Riverside - Second Life Syndrome (InsideOut Music) - Back
Un-fucking-believable!! Poland’s progressive rock formula now otherworldly known as Riverside have amassed a tremendous sophomore masterpiece called "Second Life Syndrome". The atmosphere on this disc is awesome and not only that.... filled with loads of energy as well! At times I can easily distinguish some heavier, almost thrash or doom metal elements. The vocals, though for the most part, are not those overly high-pitched typical prog. rock wails. Rather Mariusz's vocal chords churn of complimentary mid-range harmony with the occassional well-placed cries. Almost a gothic style. Riverside, to me, is comparable to Anathema! Though technicality is certainly more of a key element for Riverside, as Grudzinski's guitar soloing & rhythmic skills are outstanding. As well as the keyboards' mesmerizing effect on the music, every single note therein is still very catchy and applausible. Not to mention, the drumming contrast of Jazz sweeps & pacing with Metal's rolls and double-kicks. Then finally, the bass patting delivers an equilibrium for the band (esp. during the solos!). Tracks like "Volte-Face", "Reality Dream III" and "Dance With the Shadow" are essential aspects of the bands' marvelled path. I would, on the other hand, recommend full attention to the entirety of this disc! 9 tracks (2 of which are scaled over 10 minutes) have been assembled with over an hour of pleasant listening material. It's funny, most bands are only able to capture a couple of songs worth taking note while Riverside capture a complete albums' worth. Speaking of sadness & love mostly, the two are obvious attention "go-getters" by attracting fans of various music genres. With Dream Theater-like technicality, Pink Floyd atmosphere and Rush's stellar writing capabilities... these sorta come close to Riverside's sound. Heavy, yet soothing. Now just imagine the perfect dream..?

Rating: 95

Reviewed By: Thomas Mitchell