The Connecticut free rock duo Rivener sent me a message about their 2016 album, Svengali Gaze, about which I had mixed feelings – a sentiment I still hold. On September first, they released its successor in this self-titled package of about one dodrant-hour long. Here, I feel a stronger sense of vision and unity within the duo, which translates into semi-improvisations serving much more convincing purposes. The songs on Rivener are oddly reminiscent of Omniataxia‘s “Scatterwhite” in their construct and in their final forms. The band definitely borrows a lot from free jazz, but they apply their knowledge of it successfully to experimental and noise rock. Well, maybe it’s just not jazz by omission. Lay down some saxophone doots on a new layer, and this could be convincingly labeled as such. Nevertheless, Rivener has crafted a beautifully haunting series of experimentations that put the drumkit at the forefront while the guitar and keyboard play the role of support while also acting as the glue that holds the loosely agglomerated pieces together. Rivener didn’t need to reinvent themselves, but they did have to, perbe, narrow down their vision into a concentrated beam of artistry. And… I’m convinced they’ve done just that. Rivener is a treat.