Monday 21 November 2016

Review: Riftwalker - Green & Black

What Riftwalker have pulled together on "Green & Black" is an impressive collection of riffs and rhythms evident on the opening “B.H.O.”, a groove that’s about five minutes of technical perfection and, to borrow a word from a bygone era of metal scribing, brutality.

No doubt the outfit — guitarist/vocalist Miles Morrison, bassist/vocalist Spencer Atkinson and drummer/vocalist Zan Petrovic — had honed these numbers to fine point on the stage and in the rehearsal room before tracking as there’s nothing left to chance here. The album sequence is as relentless and unforgiving as that heard on the likes of Slayer’s "Reign in Blood" and the At the Gates classic "Slaughter of the Soul" and the playing and writing is commensurate with those releases as well. What’s also remarkable, though, is how well Riftwalker managed to shake up the game of playing the genre and not the music.

The trio appears to have been as influenced by the New Wave of British Heavy Metal as the Gothenburg sound or any of the myriad technical masters that were popping up like medical waste in North America about a decade back. It’s not just refreshing, even now, but necessary for the survival of any music to have new life breathed into it and that’s precisely what this trio has done.

Enthusiasm for this release and the group’s ability to deliver uncompromising music that doesn’t wear out its welcome upon repeated listens will eventually lead to Riftwalker’s signing with a good label what will also mean breaking out from Canada.

"Green & Black" is available now from Bandcamp.

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