Review: Riftwalker – Green & Black

Riftwalker came flying out of Vancouver in 2009, and it took them about four years to release a debut EP Wreckage of the Old World in December 2013. Now almost three years later, the band returns with a full-length album Green & Black, which is an amazing effort.

Bringing only the finest of elements from thrash, prog and death metal, this release is everything you would expect and then some. It is so full of speed, ideas and finger bleeding riffs. It’s hard to be able to decide on any stand out tracks, opening out with “B.H.O.,” “Harlequin Ichthyhosis” and “Engineer Their Consent” all fitting very much in the deathrash metal league. Abuse of speed, aggression and the pedal to the floor attitude all come through from the off, you can’t help but feel pumped up by them!

riftwalker-green-black“Intrinsic Degeneration” is along a more melodic death metal vibe, which really show boats the talent after the thrashing of the first three tracks. Bringing in some amazing passages with great finesse, and beautifully harmonies of melodic playing but all with a slight black metal feel with clashing chords, yet all still very up and at them with intensity.

“Primordial Collapse” brings the pace down, with a superbly written instrumental. The power and dynamic of the song is all in the writing abilities here, and unlike most thrash, the music shows some beautiful emotion and travels well and positive throughout. By the solo, it has slowed even more, bringing a glorious tone to the table in a clean sound as the underlay before opening into a real warm open played moment with great dual harmonies. The solo itself is full of long, open bends, slow climbs and builds, and a great piece to listen to.

“States of Decay” brings a great progressive time signature, and is a great showcase for the bass as it plays more a lead role. I find it hard to believe that 6 tracks in with all this talent, that it was a debut album for them. This track shows a level of musical maturity that most big bands never seem to even get to, let alone start out with.

Title track “Green & Black” brings forward a more laid-back vibe with bass receiving a prominent role. As it plays on, the song epitomizes everything about them and this record, aggression, speed, progressiveness, and an all round raw talent that is everything this genre needs. I honestly wish more bands were like this.

As far as dedication to heavy metal music, this band has it in waves, and they are full well in deserving of an equally dedicated fan base.

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