Review: “Blackened Sky” by Rioghan

Surfacing from the Lapua River in Finland, Rioghan is a solo project of singer songwriter Rioghan Darcy, who began to record music under the moniker in 2019 with visions of both Gothic and Progressive Metal styles combining so with the help of a few unnamed skilled songwriters, a musical soundscape has been created to provide a backdrop for her words. The foundations of the sound she creates today actually go back much further into the mists of time, to 2010 when she began writing poetry and lyrics and curiously this may be the only solo release as Rioghan is fleshing out a line up to perform these songs live in the not too distant future…

…the cover art may have Rioghan looking like the twin sister of Otep Shamaya however as “Hollowness” begins, it soon becomes clear that the music of Rioghan is anything but Nu-Metal. An achingly beautiful soundtrack bleeds from a broken heart with ambient textured piano and programming that burns to be and would make her a perfectly suited collaborator for a band like Architects. That style later continues with “Wither“, with added programmed orchestration and Gothic-Pop overtones that have a mournful quality, something which bleeds into “Corrupt” which benefits from stripping out the programming and replacing it with acoustic guitars. Rioghan’s vocals are those of a woman in pain, her tone purposely fragile without following any formula and are often harrowing. The biggest surprise is the change to one of a more upbeat nature with “Enough” taking a funky progressive guitar rhythm with pre-DJent stylings and tribal drum patterns alongside those previously icy piano moments with Rioghan bringing some harsh vocals to the music for the first time. The work of Rioghan is something unique, the troubled writings of someone in search of release and this bleak burnt offering is one for the dark moments in life [6/10]

Track listing

1. Hollowness
2. Enough
3. Wither
4. Corrupt

Blackened Sky” by Rioghan is out 10th March via Inverse Records

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