Downriver Dead Men Go: Departures (2018)

Written by: Kev Rowland

Downriver Dead Men Go is a post-prog band from Leiden, Netherlands, and started in 2010 as a spin-off of the alternative rock band Caitlin. They released their debut album ‘Tides’ in 2015, and this is the follow-up to that. There is a melancholy throughout that in some ways is reminiscent of Katatonia at their finest, yet somehow with greater depth and emotion: this is certainly not music by anyone who is feeling slightly down, as this will only enhance the experience. This is not music that should be played on a bright sunny day, but rather when it is cold and damp, and the skies are grey. The time when the damp gets into the bones and makes one feel much colder than if it was a crisp day with snow on the ground. Musically the band moves through many different styles, from post-rock to touches of prog and dark wave, creating something that is very much their own path.

Although it isn’t an instrumental album, there are long passages with no vocals, and the notes are carefully thought out and determined, with everyone carefully bouncing and balancing what they are doing to ensure that the mood is always downbeat, always reflective, always emotional and always thoughtful. This is never music to play at a party, unless you want people to either burst into tears or leave, but is something to be enjoyed in a darkened room with just the wood fire burning to cast that little bit of light and optimism into what is a darkened environment. Certainly not for everyone, and certainly not the right music for all occasions, this is instead something that definitely has a time and a place, but when they fall into line there is nothing better.

Rating: 6/10


Track list:
1. Lamentation
2. Mother
3. Loneliest of Creatures
4. Prison Walls
5. Home
6. Uncertainty
7. Departure
8. Familiar Face
9. To Have and to Hold



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