River Black Self Titled – Album Review

          River Black, is based out of New Jersey, and plays some heavy tunes; thrashy, heavy on the groove, and with just killer musicianship, and songwriting. On July 7th they released their self-titled debut on the Seasons of Mist label. The group is comprised of ¾ of the now split up band, Burnt by the Sun. John Adubato on guitar, Mike Olender on vocal duties, Dave Witte (who is also part of Municipal Waste) beating the skins, and the only person not from BBTS is Brett Bamberger (from the band Revocation) on bass guitar. In a way this is a super group of guys who know thrash metal inside out and backwards, and they have created a slab of molten metal that any heavy music fan will get whiplash listening to.

        It is very hard for me to pick the standouts on this album, each song is just so good, but I shall try to select a few where the guitar riffs just grabbed me. “#Victim” has some great pinch harmonic work, and is just part of the heaviest groove on the album. The rest of the song is pure thrash, just intense and is reminiscent of bands from the 80’s, back when thrash was new; I hear an old school Metallica tone within. “Low” is another fine example of groove, yet thrash heavy. I absolutely love the chug of the verse riff, and an added bonus is the accents from the guitar during this part; they add a flare that just makes for one of the best guitar parts on the album. There aren’t enough good things I can say about this release, and I strongly urge everyone who is into the new resurgence of thrash oriented music listens to it.

        The first track I had heard was “Boat”; with lyrics such as, “Wade in the rivers of black, into the black”. Those words are a good example of how I feel about this album. Wade in, my friends, and drown within the heavy, grooved out thrash, of River Black.


Tom Hanno

Chimera Magazine