Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Riverside - Second Life Syndrome CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

4.26 | 1632 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Special Collaborator
Prog Metal Team
4 stars Second Life Syndrome is the most representative of Riverside's first 3 albums. I could apply most of the criticism that I have with Riverside again but I will refer you to my review of Out Of Myself for that, assuming you would want to hear Riverside-criticism. However, on SLS, Riverside managed to add some nice surprises to their Anathema meets Marillion stew.

The opener is the first one of those; it's almost an a-cappella intro with beautiful vocal harmonies, some soft percussion and background synths. A strong and very atmospheric start. Volte-Face and Dance With The Shadow are typical Riverside epics, featuring long instrumental intros that go through a number of metal-proggy themes and riffs, followed by a rocking main body with lyrical vocals and ending on a dramatic climax. Nothing revolutionary but enjoyable, especially the first one.

One of Riverside's strong sides is actually balladry and the short rock song. Conceiving You is a fine example of that sugar-sweet pop style and I Turned You Down is one of their best tracks ever. But they also manage the prog epic format quite well, the title track Second Life Syndrome is flawless. The instrumental Reality Dream III is another pleasant moment, it's one of the few places where I can actually hear them having some playing fun. There's a nice ELP vibe in the last minute. The album has only one weaker cut, Artificial Smile is rather artificial indeed, the gruff vocals are too overstated and sound out of place on this album. It all ends strongly in true Porcupine Tree fashion with a slow Floydian space epic.

There are few moments on this album that I get really excited about, it's all pretty monotonous in the end. But I can't help loving it and it's perfectly fine album that might serve as a good introduction into prog rock, sub-genre: Prog-Lite.

Bonnek | 4/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this RIVERSIDE review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives