Album review: Halcyon daze – River Cult




Halcyon Daze by River Cult opens with the swaggering Likelihood of Confusion and the first thing I notice is the great production. The drums, bass and guitars all sound excellent. Each instrument is crystal clear in the mix giving it a rich, organic sound. This song is driven by the galloping drums of Tav Palumbo, I really dig this track, it’s just great to listen to. Some monumental lead guitar work midway through the track means I’m well on-board with the bands sound and some of the guitars even have a Peter Frampton vibe to them. This opening song moves towards a psychedelic conclusion of swirling guitar. Excellent!

Weighing in at just short of 12 minutes, The Sophist is a lot more grounded and has a dreamy, mellow opening. This paves the way for a song that at times sounds otherworldly and huge! Some of the instrumental passages are hypnotic in a sort of lost in the desert kinda way. This is the best track for me. I love the patterns and grooves going on. It really does take you on a journey.

There is an organic feel to River Cult‘s sound. The band sounds very tight, almost as if the songs are extended jams between friends. Seething has another very cool drum pattern. This instrumental track is a brooding, dirty number. I’m a big fan of post-rock and I really dug this one too. The title track Halcyon Daze is a trippy tune, a solid number, but not as good as the closing song, Point of Failure, which had me swirling and spiralling through 8 minutes of fuzzy bass and squealing guitars.

I really enjoyed my trip with River Cult. The music is excellent, never sounding monotonous or tired, the band is always trying to keep the listener on their toes by pulling them in different directions and through different soundscapes. The vocals are solid for this type of music but I’m all about the guitars and the drums. Recommended listening for sure.

Thanks to Red Lead Media & PR for sending me a digital copy for review. \,,/







River CultHalcyon Daze
February 9th, 2018
Vinyl:  Nasoni Records
CD/Cassette:  Blackseed Records
Digital:  Magnetic Eye Records
FFO:  Earthless, All Them Witches, Spotlights, Blue Cheer

Brooklyn-based heavy psychedelic trio River Cult fluently weave a wide array of sonic touchstones into an enveloping amalgamation that offers constant surprises – what may sound familiar at first heads rapidly in unexpected directions.
Debut full-length Halcyon Daze ranges through retro-fuzz, sweeping psych-doom and stark, almost post-metallic soundscapes.

The core of spacious heaviness remains throughout, but to hear a band channel (at any given moment) elements of Blue Cheer, ISIS, Ty Segall, Pentagram and Earthless, all while maintaining a vibrant originality, is truly a singular experience.

Making pigeonholing a further impossibility are River Cult’s lyrics.  Themes of disillusionment, angst, alienation, addiction, and the mutual exclusivity of rightness and victory are just some of the personal and philosophical considerations that surface.

Metal Sucks called River Cult’s 2016 EP, “a fuzzed-out psych rock quest that sounds like it was recorded in a ’70s rec room in outer space.”

New York Music Daily described it as, “a roaring, psychedelic envelope of sound that’s a lot more propulsive than your typical stoner metal or postrock band.”

Halcyon Daze moves fluidly across sounds and emotions, a cohesive whole that refuses to be burdened by a single identifiable genre.  The album’s tracks were recorded live in the studio, with minimal overdubs and edits, flowing together seamlessly to create an immersive aural voyage.

Halcyon Daze will be released worldwide on February 9, 2018.

River Cult:

  • Sean Forlenza: Guitar/Vocals
  • Anthony Mendolia: Bass
  • Tav Palumbo: Drums

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