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River Of Souls was formed by skinsman Paul Beltman. A well-known figure in the Dutch scene. He is known for his drumming activities in bands such as Judgement Day, Sinister, Supreme Pain or Infinited Hate to name just a few. Next to that he owns a studio too where he produced quite a few albums too. Next to that the dude knows how to play guitar as well. He started to write material, which made him find other musicians to create this new band River Of Souls.
When you take in account what bands Paul has been in, you might expect some blasting death metal. This is not the case though. This is death metal of the melodic kind with plenty of hints to doom/death metal. The latter predominantly due to the pace in parts of the compositions.

The great thing on this six song, 50-minute album is that you can’t really compare the music to any other band. You will hear influences of course, but it’s not blatant copying, which is a good thing.
I would say River Of Souls mainly sounds like mid-paced Swedish melodic death metal. A bit in the vein of bands such as Dark Tranquillity or In Flames (to name the usual suspects) but, and I have to stress that, not as fast. When it comes to the atmosphere of the songs I was reminded of “North From Here”-era Sentenced, early Opeth or a band such as Blackshine. Add a bit of Paradise Lost and I think you get an idea. Even then I think River Of Souls has a fairly original approach with progressive elements next to the more straight-forward ideas.

As a whole I think this debut gives a great first impression. There’s variation in both the music as well as the vocals. Singer Bart uses both grunts and gruff sounding clean vocals that add a lot to the overall atmosphere of the compositions.
There are not a lot of bands around that use the same kind of approach.

The Well Of Urd” being a brand-new release hasn’t stopped the band for one minute. They already recorded a new EP on which drummer Mike debuts. This leaves Paul room to completely focus on his guitar parts. I already am curious how that one sounds.


Pim Blankenstein Addicted to metal for over 3 decades. Collector, journalist (Lords of Metal, Compilation of Death amongst others) and singer (Officium Triste, Extreme Cold Winter, The 11th Hour, Clouds).