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Riverside - Second Life Syndrome CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

4.23 | 1775 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars Where the hell did this band come from? Sounding like a hybrid of Tool, Porcupine Tree and Dream Theater, this Polish band (a nation usually known for its excellent death metal bands like Behemoth, Vader and Decapitated) has quickly launched themselves into one of my favorite bands. I haven't been able to track down their debut yet, but, oh my, I plan on it.

The members are all highly talented. The basslines are fitting, nothing spectacular, but they get the job done. Same goes for the drummer, very solid work, but nothing extraordinary. The guitarist, however, is extraodinary, and extremely fun to listen to. His pure prog metal solos reek of emotion and absolute precision in choosing notes. Lovely lovely stuff. The vocalist is the same way, whether he is screaming or singing lightly. All excellent, he's one of the best vocalists I've heard in a long time. The keyboards are played very well, and help richen the compositions greatly.

Songwriting is next to perfect. Neither of the two epics get boring, and the shorter songs are of perfect length and structure. The album opens with After, whic his an excellent tribal-sounding opener with great vocals. It launches into Volte-Face, the most straight-forward song on the whole alubm. It's generally a rocker with some great vocals and screams. Nothing epic, but fun. Next is Conceiving You, which has a pretty piano line and some great guitar work. The thing that really makes this piece lovely is the vocal line, however, which is sung beautifully.

Next is the first epic, the title track. Words cannot describe. The track flows perfectly from one section to the next, and I wouldn't be doing it justice to describe it. All I can say is that this is some of the best work I've heard in years. After is Artificial Smile, which is probably the heaviest track. It features some excellent screams from the vocalist and is real fun to listen to while singing/screaming along. After is I Turned You Down, which you can hear on this site for free, so no need to describe it. Wonderful track, though. Next is Reality Dream III, an instrumental with more heroic guitar work and all substance, no wankery. It is also a very beautiful piece.

The next piece is the other epic, and is just about as good as the first one on the album. So I won't describe it, I'll just say, beauty. The closer has some beautiful vocals and concludes the album in a very satisfying way.

What a beautiful album. This is everything I like for in music. Highly reccomended.

FishyMonkey | 5/5 |


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