Album Review: One With the Riverbed – Absence (Snow Wave)

One with the Riverbed is a five-piece post-metal band from Kalamazoo, Michigan. Since forming in 2017, the band has strived to push the boundaries of the genre by incorporating elements of atmospheric black metal with ambient soundscapes, dissonant textures, and dynamic shifts.

Absence, the band’s first full-length album following an EP in 2018, showcases these sonic progressions while exploring overarching themes of death and loss. It will be released on the 20th August, 2021 via Snow Wave.

There’s nothing like music that makes you feel and goodness, One with the Riverbed’s Absence will make you feel.

An emotional roller-coaster of post/atmospheric black metal that draws from the likes of Deeafheaven and Ghost Bath but with enough innovation and unique elements to stand out as their own thing.

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While dripping in cold and heartless ambience, the first track certainly leans more towards the black metal side of things. A raw style of black metal; the vocals howl like a wind blowing through a mountain passage, the guitars are sharp and bloodying, and the percussion has that tinny, old-school vibe that always works in this environment. At times, the embodiment of black metal but with shifts and twists that take things in a brand-new and often exciting direction.

Carcass has a wonderful blend of deep, guttural horror and disconnected and heartfelt melody before One with the Riverbed show that they can hit all the highs and lows they’re so good at, without resorting to epic lengths. That comes after, beginning with the mood-altering Sanctuary.

Where a subtle and melodious start builds and builds atmosphere, the ‘post’ side of the band ever so strong here. When it does eventually ‘erupt’, it still retains that emotional edge while being unrelenting. Especially as, right near the end, it shifts briefly into something absolutely crushing.

Finally, we get the true epic with Phantom’s G. A near 15-minute atmospheric and post black metal marathon. Every step of the way, the chill seeps into the bones and even the blasts of fiery blackness can’t warm the soul.

One with the Riverbed – Absence Full Track Listing:

1. Thaw
2. Carcass
3. Disembodied
4. Sanctuary
5. Phantom’s G


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  • Carl Fisher

    Owner/Administrator/Editor/Writer/Interviewer/YouTuber - you name it, I do it. I love gaming, horror movies, and all forms of heavy metal and rock. I'm also a Discworld super-fan and love talking all things Terry Pratchett. Do you wanna party? It's party time!

One With the Riverbed - Absence (Snow Wave)
  • The Final Score - 8.5/10
User Review
9.5/10 (1 vote)