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Riverside - Out of Myself CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

4.21 | 1195 ratings

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The Progmatist
5 stars I still remember getting Riverside's first album shortly after it was released. How the sharp basslines seemed to oddly complement the layered keyboards. The melodic electric guitar rising up from the mix to bring it all together. I knew they'd catch on. I probably couldn't have guessed that this album would still move me after all these spins.

Now that Riverside's Reality Dream trilogy has come to an end, most of us who are familiar with the band's work have come to recognize that it has been faithful to a pretty successful formula. We've come to expect a fairly balanced array of riffy anger, complex instrumentals, dreamy soundscapes, and piercingly echoed guitar solos. Predictable? Sure. But the interesting thing about OUT OF MYSELF is that while it pulls out many tricks out of this same bag, the album never seems to get tired. The band's two follow-up albums are both good in their own ways, but I always seem to get the impression that they're trying to sound like OUT OF MYSELF. Sure, this may be because the debut is the starting point for the trilogy and thus forms the basis for many of the motifs throughout, but when listening to OUT OF MYSELF, I hear a consistently raw emotion that I only find in certain spots scattered through the next two albums.

Listen to the deliberate but natural buildup in the album opener, The Same River, for example. The band tries to do it again in both their follow-ups, but their structuredness results in an effect less emotionally moving than the opener here. I Believe is still one of my favorite songs from the band, brilliantly melding soundscape with melodic structure, and In Two Minds continues to send chills down my spine every time I hear the beautiful combination of acoustic strumming, harmony, and crying guitar soloing.

OUT OF MYSELF doesn't feature any of the epic songs we can find in its two follow-ups, but I think this is one of the album's charms. Instead of weighing down the middle of the album with all of the greatest moments, OUT OF MYSELF spreads them throughout a coherent whole. In many ways this release is the most dream-like in the trilogy. It can pass you by if you're not listening carefully, but it leaves you with that feeling that you'll keep thinking about but never be fully able to grasp.

UPDATE (2/24/16) - With Piotr's recent and tragic passing, this debut album takes on an even more important place in my life. I will now not only continue to see this as the classic and formative modern progressive rock album that it is, but I also cannot escape the mixed feelings of loss and beauty that I hear in his magical guitar playing. It is now eight years after writing my initial review, and I cannot help but feel that a piece of my young adulthood has passed along with Piotr and his intensely emotional guitar. I hope your passing is what you'd imagined it would be, and I'd like to thank you for the magic you made me feel as I made my dream-like journey through my early twenties.

The Progmatist | 5/5 |


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