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Riverside - Love, Fear And The Time Machine CD (album) cover

LOVE, FEAR AND THE TIME MACHINE

Riverside

 

Progressive Metal

4.07 | 806 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Insin
4 stars Riverside is supposed to be a progressive metal band. On their latest effort, they are definitely not metal, and even the many of the prog elements have also prominently decreased. It's hard to call any Riverside release purely metal, while contrarily they've always undisputedly been a prog band. Love, Fear, and The Time Machine generally has a stripped back, mellow sound, following the trend set by their previous album, Shrine of New Generation Slaves, though less based in prog. So does this mark the beginning of the end? Are the metallic aspects the first to go, then the prog?

It's always nice when a band continues to evolve their sound while remaining fairly consistent in quality.

LFatTM has two distinct categories into which its songs fall: the prog rock songs are more often found near the beginning, and the ballads are clustered near the end. During the first half, even though this is the heavier end of the LFatTM spectrum, distortion and hard-edged riffs are rare. While these tracks do go into prog-style instrumental breaks, they lack intensity and remain rather laid-back, like everything else about the album. The second half is even more relaxed, with ballads Afloat, Time Travellers, Found, and Towards the Blue Horizon (though the latter still picks up in the middle).

Drums and electric guitars are minimized on these soft songs, with a surprisingly low usage of acoustics as well. Though keyboards stay mainly in the background, they fill a lot of space, used for flourishes. With a retro, seventies sound to them, and sometimes a traditional piano, this does the trick for Riverside. Mauriusz's voice is essentially the album's focal point. He does not get angry (no yelps and screams of early albums are present), instead singing clearly and as beautifully as usual so that you can admire his lyrics about, well, the album title. Numerous bands, by this time in their career, revisit the same lyrical themes time and time again, almost as if it's automatic, but Riverside manages to keep it fresh and it definitely sounds like they're putting plenty of thought into what they sing. Is this metal? No. Is this prog? Yes, though to a lesser extent than their previous albums. Most importantly, is it good? Yes. With its more peaceful, simpler style, it allows Riverside to show off other skills; instead of ten-minute epics, they give us enjoyable, emotion-oriented ballads that focus more on lyrics and vocals. Love, Fear, and the Time Machine isn't a drastic change from Shine of New Generation Slaves, but there are notable differences. It's not Riverside's best, but it's worth owning for fans, or at the very least listening to once or twice.

Insin | 4/5 |

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