River Cult – Halcyon Daze


Earthless already has a couple opening acts lined up for their upcoming North American tour, but if they ever needed another one, they couldn’t do much better than this New York heavy psych trio. River Cult busts a groove and kicks out the jams for over 40 minutes here on their full-length debut.

“Likelihood of Confusion” kicks things off with a heavy, fuzzy, head-nodding riff right from the get-go, riding a slow, heavy 70’s groove for several minutes, before taking a swirling psychedelic turn for the final few. This is not an instrumental outfit, mind you—the first Fu Manchu stoner drawl comes about 1:30 into this seven-minute epic.

They follow it up with an even more extended cut, “The Sophist,” which lasts almost 12 minutes. The vocals are a little angrier and more aggressive, alongside a gritty verse that displays shades of Pentagram. This song swirls and swells around the four-minute mark, adding what certainly sounds like an organ to the mix, before mellowing out and picking up the tempo at the same time, flowing into a spaced-out, extended solo/jam section. The Earthless is strong with this one.

Airy seven-minute instrumental “Seething” starts off in post-rock territory, which only makes that first fuzzy doom riff all the more impactful when it kicks in about 2:30 in. From there, they move into more psychedelic jam territory, before ending in a swirl of feedback. The title track opens with a solid Sleepy bass line, kicking straight away into a heavy “Dragonaut” groove, then shows a bit more urgency on the chorus before ripping into a rollicking guitar solo, adding another one further down the line. These guys are definitely not afraid to jam… but sometimes, a little more structure might not hurt.


Gruesome Greg

Seahawks/Stamps/Flames/Zags/Jays/Raptors fan and lifelong metal head with a beer gut and a self-deprecating sense of humour. Reviewer/blogger (Yon Senior Doomsayer) for Hellbound.ca.

7.5 Rating