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Album Reviews : Downriver – Seethin' Heathen

By on July 10, 2008

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From just the opening few distorted guitar notes you instantly get the old school vibe that this band create so damn well. To be honest, I’m not entirely sure what bands I am comparing the sound too to get this old school comparison, because this isn’t really my usual type of music. But that vibe is there.

The band call it “N.W.O.B.H.M influenced, bluesy, doom tinged heavy rock/metal” and I’d say that definition is pretty spot on. Many of the slow, heavy riffs have a distinct doom metal sound to them, while the occasional faster ones are more reminiscent of classic bands such as Motorhead. The groovy guitar solos throughout the album are absolutely top notch and many wouldn’t sound out of place on a blues record. The vocals alternate between deeper clean singing and a rougher style which brings a dirty rock side to the band, making them sound like the perfect pub band at times. All of the musicianship is fantastic and each instrument most definitely has its part.

While the album has a very consistent sound and upon a quick listen it may sound like there is very little variety in here, but listen through the whole album and you’ll notice that quite a few of the songs have a sound of their own that separates them from the others. “Fear The Eagle” has a bass heavy beginning, and combined with a slightly more upbeat guitar riff over the top, it has a touch of Black Sabbath to it. The first half of “Daemonified” has a dirty doom vibe while the awesome guitar solo that runs for the last 2 minutes of the song sounds more classic hard rock than anything and the faster “Dr Sixicksix” could be straight off a Motorhead album.

However the most interesting track on the album is “Doombringer (Astride the Glacier of Hate)”. It’s the longest track on the album and is certainly the most unique. Starting off with some slow, empty sounding clean guitar it eventually builds up into some of the heaviest riffing on the album. Then the vocals come in. They are the rougher vocals found on previous tracks, except this time the band seem to have experimented with a mixture of echoing effects creating more of a post-metal sound, reminding me a lot of the similar echoed yelling that U.S post-metal band Rosetta use so well. The song continues on for the most part with this heavy, repeating slow riff and echoing vocals for most of the song before being turned up another notch toward the end by adding some further, higher guitars underneath and a clash of cymbals. A very powerful song indeed and a style that I would like to see the band pursue more in the future.

This is a fantastic album full of great tunes, topped off with the occasional catchy vocal work. I highly recommend this to any fans of the genres mentioned throughout the review. You’re bound to find something you’ll like on Seethin’ Heathen. 8.2/10

Band: Downriver
Album: Seethin’ Heathen
Year: 2008
Genre: Rock/Stoner/Blues
Label: Independant
Origin: Australia
www.myspace.com/downriverband

For fans of: Down, Motörhead, Black Sabbath

Track Listing:
1. Dead Man’s Hand
2. Fear The Eagle
3. Daemonified
4. Through The Mountain
5. Ghostly Spiel
6. Offend Me Not, For I Am The Grisly Hand Of Death
7. Doombringer (Astride The Glacier Of Hate) <- Reviewers Choice
8. 6 Shooter Blues
9. Hand Over Fist
10. Dr. Sixixksix
11. Universal Necromancer
12. Liar of the Lummocks

About

Mitch Booth is the owner, designer and grand overlord of Metal Obsession. In the few seconds of spare time he has outside of this site, he also hosts a metal radio show over on PBS 106.7fm in Melbourne (Australia) and organises shows under the name Untitled Touring. You should follow him on Twitter.