THE HUMAN CONDITION / THE RIVER
The Human Condition / The River
(Cavernous Records)
30:56min

As it is hard to deny that I really dig some fine Doom Metal not just once in a while, I probably was the right one here to react to a mail from our editor that said “Only Doom Remains”. Said mail offered a review on a split release with two songs each by two British bands that are loosely related to each other in concern of their line-up: THE HUMAN CONDITION were formed by Jonathon Gibbs after he left THE RIVER in 2010. This of course implies that the latter are around for a longer time by now, a quarter of a decade, to be precise. In spite of the longevity of both bands, this is my first contact with them. Thus I can’t tell whether the songs are representative of their general sound. Despite both bands being rooted in Doom Metal, they don’t sound that similar. The sound of THE HUMAN CONDITION is on the one hand pretty epic, especially in the first song ‘Mirrors’ that somehow reminded me of SOLITUDE AETURNUS. But on the other hand, they are sometimes even touching the borders to Sludge Metal, which can be heard in the second song THE HUMAN CONDITION contributed to this release. ‘End Of Man’ was recorded live, therefore sounding rather rough. Even though THE HUMAN CONDITION is not the next sensation in Doom Metal, both songs here are fine and really pleased my doomed Metal soul. The two songs of THE RIVER are quite a contradiction to the ones of THE HUMAN CONDITION. I’d like to describe THE RIVER as a kind of Post Doom Metal, as they might be rooted in Metal, but evolved into a unique, very reserved, mournful and frail sounding kind of Post Metal. The guitars are mainly undistorted and unamplified, the arrangement of ‘Dry Mountains Burn’ is even spiced with strings and the mellow voice of Jenny Newton accentuates the melancholy. The second song ‘Passing’ was recorded live and features even more the atmosphere of fragility, contrasted by some heavy, bass-laden parts. If there is one band that creates an atmosphere similar to THE RIVER here, it might be S├ôLSTAFIR. This sound in all its sad beauty might not appeal to most people reading these pages, but it might address those of you who also like gentle and moody music every once in a while. In this case, visit www.facebook.com/riverbanduk. The more traditional minded Doom aficionados should check THE HUMAN CONDITION at www.facebook.com/thehumanconditiondoom. And if you want to find out more about the label, go to www.facebook.com/cavernousrecords

Thomas Meyer

Thomas Meyer

Related reviews / interviews:
THE RIVER - Vessels Into White Tides (Giorgio Trombino)

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