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Morgan Rider & The Deep Dark River - Leviathan And The Deep, Dark Blue

Morgan Rider & The Deep Dark River
Leviathan And The Deep, Dark Blue
by Kai Naiman at 17 December 2019, 9:55 AM

The year 2019 penned out to be one of the most proactive years of the poetic and melancholic heavy music; SWALLOW THE SUN, for example, turned out to be one of the pioneers of the annual grievous parade, and with the high standard that they've set earlier this year, with their latest exemplary installment, "When A Shadow Is Forced Into The Light", provided an abundance of excellent soul-drowning music. Coming close to the final stygian moments of the year, Canadian-based MORGAN RIDER, accompanied by Nathan Morrison, Ty Burt and Julian Craig - better known as THE DEEP DARK RIVER, have released the second chapter of their epic quadriology, "Leviathan And The Deep, Dark Blue". Accumulating a total of 12 tracks, where five of which are acoustic revisits, at a total playtime of 58 minutes and 31 seconds, this record can best be described as a partly-completed melancholic country poetry.

I'll be honest, usually the first things that haul me in songs, are the song structure and melodic arrangements, but in "Leviathan And The Deep, Dark Blue" - it was a whole other matter that trapped my ears, or rather, as I'm about to further explain, my eyes. Yes - I'm talking about the lyrical theme. I rarely stumble upon a piece of music with such strong and poetic lyrical depiction. There is something very beautiful in Morgan Rider's poetic writing, something rather enigmatic and mysterious, in a way. Morgan depicts with his phrasing a fabulous tale of northern waters, and how they interact with the Ocean God. Every verse in this collection is a masterful and precise wordle selection that foretell a grand story - which, in my opinion, deserves to be turned into an entire anthology of poems.

As for the contributed music - this is where things, unfortunately, turn grim. There is nothing bad, per se, about the music played on "Leviathan And The Deep, Dark Blue" - however, it is quite tiresome and easily forgettable. The rather mediocre production outcome does not become a helping hand, I'm afraid - which is a shame. Such an epic saga would see an orchestra, with a massive production effort, fit best. Another, rather controversial, piece of thought, would have to be conveyed in regard to Morgan Rider's singing style - which can be easily described best as a testimony to the legendary late JOHNNY CASH - and the tune that Rider and THE DEEP DARK RIVER produce, is nothing short of a 21st century Canadian JOHNNY CASH revitalization.

To conclude - much more can be said about MORGAN RIDER AND THE DEEP DARK RIVER and their sophomore record, "Leviathan And The Deep, Dark Blue". It is, lyrically, trully a precious gem in a world where the written word matters little to the consumers of music. It does portray music, in its entirety, as an integral and an indispensable work of art, and for that, listeners worldwide can be only greatful. There are two more pieces to conclude their quadriology, and if Morgan Ride & Co want to make the most out of their music - the way is only up - higher above any other flimsy musical conduct.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 6
Memorability: 6
Production: 6

4 Star Rating

1. Beneath The Crushing Tides
2. The Immeasurable Fathoms
3. Dread
4. Ignite The Tempests
5. The Seafarers
6. Where The Waves Are Stilled
7. Where The Light May Never Reach
8. The Immeasurable Fathoms (Acoustic)
9. Dread (Acoustic)
10. Ignite The Tempests (Acoustic)
11. The Seafarers (Acoustic)
12. When The Waves Are Stilled (Acoustic)
Morgan Rider - Vocals, Guitars, Percussion
Nathan Morrison - Cello
Ty Burt - Guitars
Julian Craig - Drums
Record Label: North Soul Records


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Edited 02 April 2023

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