Riger - _Der Wanderer_
(CCP Records, 1998)
by: David Rocher (9 out of 10)
Hailing from Germany, Riger (one of Odin's many nicknames, if I'm not mistaken) appear to be one of 1998's most talented newcomers. Cleverly mixing death, black and doom metal styles with fantastic medieval and epic atmospheres, this six-member act have created an impressive opus of grim, majestic metal that clocks in at a proud playing time of 55 minutes (for nine tracks plus outro). Fronted by a very impressive vocalist whose aptitude to switch vocal registries is very convincing, the band don't simply rely on only one instrument to carve this masterpiece into shape; thus does _Der Wanderer_ feature intricate synth work, clever guitar melodies and very nicely thought out arrangements. Speed is on the whole kept at a medium pace, even if a few passages brutally lash out with cavalcading double-bass rhythms and/or rapid / blast beat drumming. Even if _Der Wanderer_ can't always match the majestic atmospheres masters like Satyricon may achieve, some tracks, such as "Baum" or "Autodafe", stand out as a display of genuine musical genius. The lyrics, sung in German, grant Riger a strong personality in a sadly increasingly anonymous scene, and demonstrate that some truly talented new bands may yet have an identity of their own. By all standards, considering _Der Wanderer_ is Riger's first output, the quality of their music is unusually high. A very recommendable and personal album.

(article published 16/1/1999)

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