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Riverside - Out Of Myself CD (album) cover

OUT OF MYSELF

Riverside

 

Progressive Metal

4.20 | 1051 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Insin
5 stars Riverside really isn't all of that special. They're more or less a standard prog rock band that isn't doing anything very new for the genre, let alone are they progressive in the true sense of the word. Let's face it, they basically sound like Porcupine Tree, which raises the question of why they're even considered a metal band. I would agree with one of the previous reviewers in saying that about 20% of Out of Myself is actually metal.

In spite of this lack of metal-ness, or even all of that much advancement of progressive music, Riverside manages to craft a spectacularly beautiful debut, an album that despite following the general prog rock formula, has a few quirks and factors that set it apart and then set it above the heap of similar releases.

It's difficult to pinpoint exactly what elevates Out of Myself so, but it has a unique atmosphere, brought about by the flowing background soundscapes of the keyboards and aided by the reverb-drenched production. This isn't the type of atmosphere present in, say, Agalloch or classic Darkthrone, that'll make you want to go out to the forest, but it creates an entire second set of music, an ambient song that flows behind the main music. It makes Riverside's sound so much fuller, deeper, and transcendental, a definite point of differentiation and superiority.

The guitar leads are magical, gorgeous and also steeped in reverb. These are played clean and like most of the album, not in a metal style. Throughout Out of Myself, the solos are moments where the guitar seems to break loose into the forefront, not just as an obligatory solo section from another prog band but as something that in fact adds to the music. All of the leads are great without being overused, and a few specific instances come to mind ? the riff at four minutes into Reality Dream Part 1 is the prettiest moment of the album and maybe of any song I've heard. The beginning of The Curtain Falls, where the careful soloing of the guitar coupled with the dreamy ambience of the keyboards produces a strong image of a peaceful pool or stream dappled by sunlight. RIP Piotr Grudzinski.

Riverside doesn't stick to only one type of song, either, providing for a good amount of diversity that still does not deviate from their established sound. The Same River is the true highlight of the album, the opening epic that reaches twelve minutes. It gives a good sense of what Out of Myself is all about, and it builds and flows, well, like a river. Mariusz's vocals come in a long way into the track. He can get shriek and angry when he wants to or when the song demands it, but here he sings simple and beautiful lines. I Believe and In Two Minds are the two acoustic ballads of the album, exemplifying the same tender singing and lyricism, but the other ballad that ends the album, OK, takes a darker and jazzier turn. The Reality Dream sequence is more or less what one would expect of prog instrumentals, and the shorter rock songs also hold up, the title track catchy, Loose Heart sweeping and vast, and both desperate.

Out of Myself is a great prog rock album. Although it emulates the sound of many past greats and isn't really original or truly innovative, they make the formula their own and damn near perfect it. Keeping with a variety of song types and the elements of atmosphere, and some truly gorgeous guitar work, Riverside makes their music beautiful.

Insin | 5/5 |

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