Dead River Runs Dry
Hierophants of The Storm
Release Date: Out Now
Review by Cameron Cooper
Seeing “psychedelic” and “black metal” side-by-side in a band’s description of themselves is likely to conjure one of two reactions among the extreme metal faithful: excitement and intrigue, or pure disgust. The squeamish will be pleasantly surprised by Dead River Runs Dry’s third release, which wrangles an impressive breadth of influences. Hierophants of The Storm begins with one foot in Show No Mercy-era Slayer and the other in Norwegian black metal, but soon reaches for greater heights.
About halfway through, the album really comes into its own: plunging headlong into a sound more akin to Watain’s general weirdness and Immortal’s epic sound-scapes, climaxing with the empowering anthem Hyperic Vortex. A more varied production may have helped lift the band’s dynamics but, as it stands, Brad Gentle’s eclectic range of howls, growls and croaks keep the whole thing varied. Dead River Runs Dry have the ponder of prog without the pretension, and the agony of depressive black without the misery.
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