The Finnish music scene is always busy, always pushing new music and new artists. Recently, we caught wind of an artist, Jenni Peramäki, who goes by the stage name Rioghan Darcy, who releases music under the band name RIOGHAN alongside multi-instrumentalist Teemu Liekkala and drummer/percussionist Valtteri Revonkorpi. They released an EP, “Blackened Sky,” last year, which rather impressed us, so when the debut full-length was released on December 9th, 2022, via Inverse Records, we thought we’d give it a spin and – spoilers – we found that we rather liked it!
If there’s one way of describing this album, it’s diverse. Certainly, progressive might be the only genre to describe this, as it doesn’t fit cleanly into any other existing genre. This can be seen in the variety of sounds, from doom and Gothic aesthetics, heavy bangers, and ambient slow material, “Different Kinds of Losses” could just as easily be called “Different Kinds of Sounds.”
The album opens on a distinctly doomy track, “Sight,” which very distinctly invokes a 2013-ish KATATONIA feeling, in all likelihood due to the influence of Jonas Renkse, who provides keyboards and the guitar solo on the track. Renkse isn’t the only metal legend to loan his sound to the album though, as LEPROUS‘ Einar Solberg adds keyboards to both “Bruises” and “Lights,” while Tony Kaikkonen of RED ELEVEN fame can be heard playing harmonica and adding some vocals to “Summer,” and Marko Hautamäki seems to be adding cello to a few tracks.
Some songs have a distinctly djenty blast to their bass sound, like in “Reflection,” which also showcases a harsher sound to Rioghan‘s voice and has moments that strongly invoke HAKEN‘s sound. Throughout the album, she shows off a really strong base voice, with an ability to dip into different styles, from high and gentle to rougher sounds as well. Meanwhile, other songs are slower, more melodic and ambient, such as “Lights” and “Summer,” while others are funkier and heavier, like my personal highlight, “Promises,” or the equally djenty “Home.” Nothing sounds weird, out of tune or place, or offensive to the ear. While certain songs are liable to draw in listeners more than others, it seems like there might be a little something to appeal to anyone. She’s certainly developing a very intriguing sound that will be very interesting to follow and see how it develops.
Ultimately, RIOGHAN‘s debut album has invoked a lot of different sounds and styles, making her an interesting name to follow and a surprisingly unique-sounding artist in a heavily over-saturated music scene, which really says something. “Different Kinds of Losses” is definitely worth giving a spin!
Written by Bear Wiseman
Jenni Perämäki – Vocals
Teemu Liekkala – Guitars, bass, keys, saxophone
Valtteri Revonkorpi – Drums, percussions
Jonas Renkse – Keys and guitar solo on “Sight”
Einar Solberg – Keys on “Bruises” and “Lights”
Marko Hautamäki – Cello
Tony Kaikkonen – Harmonica, ft. vocals on “Summer”