Album Review: The River – Vessels Into White Tides (Nine Records)

After a decade since last their last full-length album (In Situ) British doom dealers The River return with long anticipated third full-length album, Vessels Into White Tides, out on December 11th 2019 via Nine Records.

The River have been honing their craft over the past two decades with two well-received albums and EPs. The band’s third album, Vessels Into White Tides, brings new colours to their musical palette.

One part utter mentally draining doom and one part emotive and melodic. The River’s new album is a memorable mix of melo-doom, leaving a dark and cold feeling throughout but also providing destructive heaviness as only doom is capable of.

Each track is an epic trawl through the murkiness of The River. Bellies scrapping across the rough base, the riffs like sharp stones scratching while the vocals are the soft current moving things softly along. From the epic and enormous size of Vessels to the cold loss that Into a White makes you feel. The first two tracks combine to over 26 minutes showcasing everything that The River is. Transcendent at times, crushingly heavy at others but at all times, a mesmerising experience.

The tearfulness and sadness that comes from the shortest track on the album, Open is effective. Allowing pause for breath from the heavier side of The River’s music with a melody driven song. One that uses acoustic guitar strumming and violins to impressive effect.

The second half of the album sees The River apply their deft touch to letting the bass lead the rhythm of the verses with Passing. It relaxes the mind allowing the punchier slams of doom to have even more impact. The best track on the album, although Tides’ lighter and uplifting effort is worthy of mentioning too. Fantastic tracks in their own right, put them with what came already and we have a very special album.

The River – Vessels Into White Tides Full Track Listing:

1. Vessels
2. Into White
3. Open
4. Passing
5. Tides


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The River - Vessels Into White Tides (Nine Records)
  • 9.5/10
    the Final Score - 9.5/10
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