I’ve always pictured the Stockholm-bound The Riven as the Swedish version of Thulsa Doom – similar vibes, similar undertones, and similar upbeat resonances. The RIven, as far as I observe, has always been influenced by the sounds from the golden age of classic rock; the 1970s and 1980s. Their sounds are genuinely hard-hitting, sharp-shooting, and they appear to be the kind of sounds that would make you want to headbang as the exciting memories in your head replay themselves in retrospect whilst you listen to them. In terms of genre classification, they might pass as heavy blues rock with progressive, psychedelic, and classical influences and a strong emphasis on menacing riffs as well as vigorous vocals.
My first encounter with SubRosa’s music was back in 2016 as an eighteen year-old who had just gotten a headstart into music journalism, just right after they released For This We Fought the Battle of Ages. That 2016 release was especially remarkable for my eighteen year-old self, because, apart from its droning resonance in a form of menacing atmospheric doom that would drive the listeners into a solemn state of enchantment, the album was also inspired by Yevgeny Zamyatin’s We, a Russia-bound dystopian novel that portrays a state ravaged by modern-day authoritative surveillance; an uncanny prediction towards the terror of the Stalinist regime in real life. The theme and inspiration of the said SubRosa album just instantly ignited the politically conscious side in me at the time.