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On disc: Deliverance

River Disturbance - Claudia Ehrhardt - 7 stars

River Disturbance

River Disturbance
(Retroactive Records - 2008)

The album River Disturbance was originally released back in 1994 and was out of print for several years. To make it even more interesting they added 4 track - 3 songs and a track where Jimmy Brown talks about River Disturbance. Beside that there is a new cover and booklet. A collector's edition and the chance for new friends of Deliverance to get this one!
Drums kick off Belltown, a heavy 70's-tinged rock tune with vocals varying from low-key laid back parts, some Iggy Pop-like words and even slightly aggressive parts. Jeff Mason on drums and Manny Morales on bass deliver the fat groove upon the guitar solo lays. A bit dark... almost threatening is this one. But a good choice to kick off, coz this won't leave you cold.
With After I Fell they show themselves lighter, even if there are crunchy riffs. The up-tempo tune shows twists and turns, but it's the vocals of Jimmy P. Brown II which make it stick out. The title track starts gently with guitar and bass blending into one, but then they explode with heavy guitar riffs for a moment, getting back to the opening theme. The chorus isn't overall catchy, but still can hook you up. The distorted vocals / backing vocals give it an aggressive edge. Cool tune!
The balladesque Now & Then is perhaps the easiest one to get into River Disturbance. The acoustic guitar makes the difference - and the melancholy touch in Brown's voice. At Speed Of Light the heaviness is back! A punchy bass and crunchy riffs takes you through this one.... Push you forward while the vocals enthrall you, but not they way you might expect! There is a certain fascination in the vocals... And at a point the vocals are David Bowie-ish.
With A Little Sleep they head into a crossover track which reminds me a bit of Clawfinger... Perhaps because they were one of the first bands combining metal and rap... Anyway, Deliverance been for this one joined by 12th Tribe. The track is cool, but don't really fit to the other songs. At least they should have placed this one at the end of the album. I think this one will disturbed some fans. Map is another song which disturbs the flow of the album... A quite strange tune, but I believe some will dig it... Not my cup of tea, sorry.
Then they get back to 'normal' and present a ballad called You Still Smile. The song starts orchestral, but then it becomes a moody piano ballad. One of the highlights on River Disturbance. And with Breathing Still they present another cool tune with heavy riffs. The up-tempo tune varies in speed - and vocal style. At the beginning the vocals remind me a bit of Iron Butterfly... At least there is an influenced from the 70's rock... And a dash Bowie - again.
The first bonus track is I Thought, which was initially recorded for River Disturbance, but previously unreleased. With On The Fritz they added a cover of the Steven Taylor tune which they did for a Steven Taylor tribute, but it never been released by Deliverance. The song is quite 80's, but fun to listen to. The Belltown (Hyper Mix) is an electro beat version of the opener - and something I usually try to avoid. Sorry.
At the end Jimmy P. Brown II talks about his feelings when he first heard about the re-releases. And about the River Disturbance album in general. Really interesting for fans!
If you don't know Deliverance, but are open to new sounds then you should try this one. Okay, this isn't really new, but if you haven't heard Deliverance or this album before, then I would roughly describe it as a blend of Nevermore and David Bowie with a 70's rock attitude. Sounds weird, well, I have no better way to put it, so check it out yourself!

7 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


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