Monday, December 19, 2005

Riverside ~ Second Life Syndrome

This Polish band made quite a splash with their debut album, “Out Of Myself”. This second album follows on thematically from that and seems to be part of a proposed trilogy of linked albums. Now signed to InsideOut, this second album is much heavier and complex than their debut, but none the less impressive.

The title track itself is a sprawling 15 minute epic, where the band use the space to fully explore the style developed on their debut. That is, atmospherically charged contemporary rock with a solid prog metal element to it. On the surface these guys are from a similar stable as Porcupine Tree, RPWL, Opeth and Anathema and will appeal to fans of those bands.

The key instrument is the guitar of Piotr Grudzinski which is sharp and sustained. Singer Mariusz Duda is moody and sad. His bass playing is pretty impressive too, really to the fore on certain tracks. But for me the standout musician is drummer Piotr Kozieradzki. As this music is heavy you would expect the drumming to be pounding, but it’s not. It’s loose, restrained, detailed and thoughtful. Really gives the group an unusual depth to their sound.

Standout tracks are “Volte-Face” which is a real tour-de-force, the aforementioned epic title track with it’s Floydy opening guitar intro and the very catchy “Conceiving You”. Heck, the whole album is impressive!

The superlatives that have been bandied about for their debut and now this second album are very well deserved. This is modern, dynamic rock music of the very best and without doubt Riverside are destined for much bigger things in the future.


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