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Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Riverside - Second Life Syndrome CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

4.26 | 1589 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars High time for the reviewing of a classic. And I think you can really call this a classic. It's also a class album by a class band. My first encounter with Riverside was a few years ago thanks to progarchives' download (now stream) at that time called Loose Heart from their debut album. I didn't think too much of it then, thought it sounded nice but no more.

Then two years ago this album came out and I heard nothing but praise about it, so I thought maybe they have improved or I was mistaking by not giving them the recognition they deserve. I bought the album and I can only say: both is true. They improved since their debut and they deserve much recognition. What a fantastic album this is. Bringing me to the always killing choise between 4 or 5 stars.

But first let's say some more about the band and the album. I always compared Riverside with Porcupine Tree, not quite the same style but there are resemblances and funny enough Mariusz Duda looks a lot like Steve Wilson. I think they are both real genii in what they do in music. To me Riverside has two 'faces' (sort of Jekyll-and-Hyde). The very quiet and ballad like side of which there are a few examples on this album and the much rougher side with a lot of power and even gruntlike sounds by Mariusz Duda. This side got them categorized in prog metal by progarchives and many others but I'm not totally convinced this is a real prog metal band but I admit there is no obvious alternative. Personally I like the heavy side best, in fact it's the only side I like about them because their ballads don't really appeal to me. I love the title track, it's a real masterpiece but also Artificial smile, Volte Face and Dance with the shadow are true highlights. The other tracks are far less to me and so that means only half the album rises up to the masterpiece status.

That means that 5 stars is a little overdone here. I have to limit it at 4 but in fact it's 4.5.

progrules | 4/5 |


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