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Riverside - Second Life Syndrome CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

4.26 | 1590 ratings

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5 stars The first track is “After” and it gets going in about 40 seconds, following the brief whispered introduction. It has a slightly different feel to the RIVERSIDE I’m familiar with, the drums giving a different mood than those of the previous album. But the song is still melancholic enough, especially vocally, with some high female singing towards the end; a great track which serves perfectly as an introduction.

We move on to Volte-Face, the instruments build up from silence and the feel is a bit more rock orientated. And when the guitar kicks in – now that’s what I’m talking about! Piotr has such a characteristic way of playing and his choice of notes instantly lets you know its him, in both the riffs and solos and that is one of the things that makes RIVERSIDE what it is. The song moves on through some heavier riffs, refreshing when combined with organ sounds and juxtaposed with mellower sections and this demonstrates the variety in “Second Life Syndrome”. “Conceiving You” is a much lighter song, perhaps even the ballad of the album, but don’t let that put you off – some truly brilliant melodies, showcasing the wonderful emotion in Mariusz Duda’s voice and also his talent on bass guitar.

The highlight of the album is definitely the title track, an absolute Prog masterpiece, in every section. So many atmospheres are created and covered and it really is quite amazing that it’s almost 16 minutes long yet never drags at all. There’s not much more I can say about it, the guitar and vocal melodies, once again are so beautifully emotive that in fact this is one of my favourite Prog epics of all time. “I Turned You Down” also need a mention as a truly special track – quite slow paced, but magnificent once again. And following that, the “Reality Dream” trilogy is finished off in part 3, adding more to the addictive 7/8 time signature already established in parts 1 and 2 from “Out Of Myself”.

One nag would be “Artificial Smile”, a song with a more rock vibe to it, which for me is a bit misplaced with the other songs and which I actually find quite annoys me, but then again, that’s my opinion and it’s a solid track nonetheless. The musicianship by all is very good, especially during some of the more Proggy passages and production is very nice too. As it is one of the best albums I ever heard it wouldn't be fair not to give 5 stars. Solid 9.5/10

prebirth | 5/5 |


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