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Riverside - Anno Domini High Definition CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

4.21 | 1198 ratings

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4 stars Since their 2003 debut, Out Of Myself, Riverside have consistently improved with each subsequent release, Anno Domini High Definition being their best yet. The sound is still unmistakably Riverside. The atmospheric keyboard flourishes, the spacey hypnotic grooves, the metallic guitar riffs but only this time it's a much more overall heavier affair. It's not the longest of albums clocking in at around 45 minutes and there are only 5 tracks but the good news is there isn't a weak one amongst them.

Hyperactive opens with a haunting piano refrain that builds into an explosive unison metallic frenzy. The track kicks along at a fair pace with some excellent guitar riffs backed by keyboards ranging from synths to Hammond stabs and Mariusz Duda's recognisable smooth vocals; not your typical metal singer then.

Driven To Destruction has more dynamics mixing the light and shade with the heavier parts and is more old Riverside in feel only heavier with an eastern vibe and that organ really packs some power! I'm really enjoying the use of organ here and there are some great flourishes from it on Egoist Hedonist, a track with many changes and sub divided into 3 parts with an excellent closing instrumental section.

For the first time on the album, at least for any great length, things quieten down on the 11 minute Left Out with its moody atmospheric feel. Even on the heavier parts it still retains a slower pace in the main though picks up a bit later on and benefits from some of the best melodies too. The ending packs another powerful punch; another strong instrumental section.

Saving the longest piece until last, the 12 minute Hybrid Times keeps the quality quotient high and is one of the heavier tracks overall. Once again a song of many changes the drumming briefly venturing into thrash metal territory! A lull punctuated by a sequenced synth makes way for a final build into a cacophonous ending. Powerful stuff indeed.

So there you have it, a very pleasing new album from Riverside and very welcome in a year that so far hasn't produced too many great albums. A high contender to make my top 10 at the end of the year.

Nightfly | 4/5 |


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