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Riverside - Second Life Syndrome CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

4.26 | 1590 ratings

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2 stars "SLS" is an average piece of hard rock that comes off smooth despite some of the painful subject matter of the songs. It jams with muscular guitar and percussion with layered keys and bass. The highlight of the album is the instrumental "Reality Dream III." I actually hear a little early 80s era Rush guitar and keyboard sound in a few places, most likely not intentional but interesting nonetheless. Not saying they sound like Rush, just that I heard a little of that sound mixture (of the guitar/keys) in a few spots. The lyrics are pretty good and I like the overall concepts which if I guess correctly concern fulfillment, alienation, loneliness, etc. They contrast the lyrics with music that is for the most part upbeat. I agree with the few reviewers who complained that there was some repetition to the songs over the course of the album. This becomes a problem the longer you spend with SLS. Initially you find the sound satisfying but over time there is little to keep the demanding prog enthusiast excited. And of course songs like "Conceiving You" are far more mainstream rock than they are prog so keep that in mind if you like to be challenged, this band could disappoint those fans.

After playing the album for over a year I had to lower my initial rating as it doesn't hold my interest. Compared to some of the great stuff out there this is really pretty old hat, generic, and definitely not essential. Riverside are a lavishly hyped band who whose overall rating for this album completely mystifies me. Musically competent but nothing special, I can't recommend this album.

Finnforest | 2/5 |


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