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Riverside - Second Life Syndrome CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

4.26 | 1637 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Very, very good progressive music with a prog-metal edge, RIVERSIDE's second album misses out on greatness but is thoroughly competent in all aspects.

To compare this Polish band to prog-metal greats such as TOOL, PORCUPINE TREE and DREAM THEATER is not to demean them: they do have their own sound, nascent still but more audible in this album than in their debut. Instead, the comparison is designed to help the new listener place this band in the ranks of progressive offerings.

But it doesn't quite make a full five stars. There are not as many hooks as I would have expected: with such depressing subject matter, there needs to be a reason for the listener to return, and the music, while having all the ingredients, is somewhat predictable. Who, on listening to this album for the first time, would not expect 'Volte-face' to sound as it does, given the TOOL-like opening track that precedes it? And RIVERSIDE is unashamedly retro: I haven't heard guitars like those that open the title track, for example, since DIRE STRAITS in their pomp. After listening to this album I tend to go and listen to something from one of its influences, a sure sign the band haven't yet truly found their own voice.

RIVERSIDE are somewhere near the best of the current crop of retro-prog rockers, but don't stand comparison with the likes of THE MARS VOLTA, KAYO DOT or SLEEPYTIME GORILLA MUSEUM as purveyors of cutting-edge prog rock. This album is about as good as - I'll say it carefully - any that wears its '70s influences so obviously on its sleeve. If you're a fan of the 70s sound you're in for a treat. Don't delay, purchase this immediately. Otherwise prepare yourself for a good, but perhaps not great, experience.

russellk | 4/5 |


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