Rioghan – Blackened Sky

Rating: 3/5
Distributor/label: Inverse Records
Released: 2021
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Band line-up:

Rioghan Darcy – All Instruments and Vocals


1. Hollowness
2. Enough
3. Wither
4. Corrupt


Having built a strong background in gothic, metal and alternative rock scenes in her native Finland, singer-songwriter Rioghan Darcy has released her latest EP: Blackened Sky. A four-track journey into the psyche of this pensive young musician who takes some of the best elements of her eclectic career and assembles them in an impressive manner.

I should begin by saying that this is more on the dark pop end of the spectrum, so if, like me, you were expecting something more along the lines of Chelsea Wolfe when you put this on, I’m afraid it’s not too heavy, but worth a listen nonetheless. Personally, this isn’t the kind of dark pop I would usually go out of my way for but Rioghan left an impression on me.

The first track feels like a slightly darker version of the European singer-songwriters who dominated the rock and indie scene over a decade ago, think of the more melancholic sides of Duffy, Amy Winehouse or Lorde and put that to a gothic arrangement of guitars and drums. It definitely gives you feelings of hollowness as the title suggests.

“Enough” moves more into the metallic edges of Rioghan’s repertoire – hefty guitars and drums that won’t look out of place on a Sirenia record, and her voice whines and croons over the depths of the notes taking you further down into the evil depths this singer wants to share with you.

“Wither,” however has something of an erotic vibe to it. Coy and seductiveness echoes from Rioghan’s vocal cords as the harrowing yet playful musicianship takes you on a further boat ride into the flowing river of the human ego, ready to show just how lustful and divinely horrific the mind can become in its most desperate of moments.

All this ends on “Corrupt,” which acts as a ride back to earth leaving you feeling somewhat elated yet empty at the same time. I was definitely feeling like something inside me had been piqued and being able to reach into the darkest depths of the human psyche is quite an achievement for a musician who makes music that could pass as radio-friendly.

Overall, this is an impressive achievement for a singer of Rioghan’s ilk which makes her the kind to be on many a gothic pop fan’s lips in the near future.

Review by Demitri Levantis