||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..?
Reviewed By: Thomas