River of Souls Interview 14/08/2020
MM: Can you tell us about your Band and whos your biggest influences
I'm Bart de Greef, vocalist of River Of Souls. We play a mixture of all kinds of metal, which we describe as Doomed Heavy Death. We have released a full-length album called 'The Well Of Urd' in 2017, a 3-track EP called 'The Nihilist' in 2018, a digital single called 'Prometheus Unbound' in 2019, and this year we released our second full-length album called 'Usurper'.
We are influenced by everything we listen to. This goes from 70’s prog rock to extreme death metal but mainly heavy metal, doom and death. You can hear all of this back in our songs, but sometimes it is really subtle.
MM: Where do you draw your inspirations and ideas from
It’s all about the atmosphere for me, in music as well as in lyrics. I always try to work around a concept and mold it into a story which flows naturally throughout the album.
Our latest album ‘Usurper’ is about the tyranny of grief, hurt and death which strikes us in many forms and at different levels. It takes away everything we thought we had control of, like a usurper.
MM: What would you say is your Bands favourite song ?
For me that would be Soilsorcerer and also our newer track Usurper. Those songs really show what we are all about.
MM: Plans tour and festival wise for 2020
Not much unfortunately, with the COVID-19 virus regulations laying waste on the live music industry… So at this moment, the internet is the only way to promote our new album. We might do a live rehearsal stream later this year but well... that's not really a substitute for a live show.
MM: What can we expect from River Of Souls live
A decent performance from a band that tries to bring the atmosphere from the album to the stage. Do not expect a lot of talking. We try to use soundscapes to connect our songs so it will leave you thinking ‘Wow, was that already 50 minutes?’.
MM: Which three Bands would be your ultimate touring buddies
That would be My Dying Bride, Candlemass and Primordial for me.
MM: What's the most memorable concert you've been to (other than your own) and why
Iron Maiden in the O2 Arena in London in 2013. Pure nostalgia, goosebumps all over, and had a great time with the British Maiden fans in London as well!
MM: What do you feel has been your biggest accomplishment so far with
Our latest album “Usurper”, which ticks all the boxes for me personally both lyrics/vocal wise as well as the flow this album has.
MM: Which are your Two favourite Albums of all time
Iron Maiden - Somewhere in Time & Katatonia – The Great Cold Distance
MM: Can you remember the first time you ever played live and how it felt to have people watching you?
I remember my first show (with the NWOBHM band Twisted Truth) very well. It was the year 2000 and we played on a town square in a little farmers village. We were the only metal act and people were drinking more than listening to the bands so I wasn’t very nervous. We did a cover of Iron Maiden (Phantom of the Opera) which was recognised by three drunk metal farmers who complemented us afterwards.
MM: Growing up which Bands posters did you have on your bedroom wall.
My room was filled with movie posters mostly (Nosferatu, Critters, Alien, Conan the Barbarian, etc.) but I did have a Life after Death flag of Iron Maiden which looked really awesome with blacklight underneath it.
MM - Who do you think influenced the world of Metal / Rock more than any other person
God, Satan and humanity’s failures 😉
MM - What's the most important thing to the band right now?
Koen, Mathijs and I are currently writing a few tracks for an EP, we have plans to do a live session in the rehearsal room once the recording gear is all set up. But most of all we look forward to do some real live shows again. Hard to tell what will happen in the near future....
MM:If you could do a cover of any song which one would it be and why?
I would cover the song “The Coffin Ships” of Primordial because this song has everything for me both musically and lyric wise and above all the vocals really stand out on this one.
MM: Tell us why we should buy and listen to your Band
You should check out our new album ‘Usurper’ because it is a really cool and diverse record! We put a lot of effort in the structures and melodies and the sequence of the tracklist. If you like cool, catchy riffs with lots of additional melodies and variations, this is your album. It goes from old school doom metal, to heavy metal, to Gothenborg death metal and even some black metal parts, but it never sounds misplaced, it fits the songs.
MM: Four words to describe River Of Souls :
Diverse, Organic, Heavy and Atmospheric!
Final Words for your fans and our readers:
We invite you to listen to us on Spotify, Bandcamp, YouTube or other streaming platforms. Hopefully we will pull the right strings so you will come back to enter the River of Souls again with us! Follow us via Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/riverofsoulsband and visit our shop at https://www.riverofsouls.nl/.