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Riverside - Second Life Syndrome CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

4.25 | 1702 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars First of all I'd like to say that RIVERSIDE's Out Of Myself was the biggest surprise of 2003! What could you expect from a new prog-metal band from Poland (out of all countries!) anyhow?!

After getting fairly known to bands like AYREON, PINK FLOYD and RADIOHEAD someone suggested I should start listening to PORCUPINE TREE, OPETH and RIVERSIDE. I "discovered" PORCUPINE TREE in 2002 and what a discovery it was! This is presently my favourite band together with PINK FLOYD and I'm lucky to have all their studio albums together with some collectables. After PT I purchased OPETH's "Damnation" and RIVERSIDE's "Out Of Myself" at the same time and I just found myself listening to those albums over and over again!

Back to "Second Life Syndrome"! Now I think that I rated "Out Of My Self" too high with 5 stars, because I simply think "Second Life Syndrome" is more mature and therefore a better album. Let's say the 5 stars I gave for "Out Of Myself" was 4.5 stars rounded-up to 5 and the 5 stars that I will give to "Second Life Syndrome" is 4.8 stars rounded-up to 5 as well.

1. After (3:31)

Slow and mellow introduction to the album.

2. Volte-Face (8:40)

Great build up of the song with perfect instrumentation and singing with a superb ending into a pseudo-death metal voice in the phrases: "HOW FAR IS THE LIGHT?" and "I'M NOT AFRAID"

3. Conceiving You (3:39)

After the somewhat harder prog metal track "Volte - Face" here's a very emotional ballad showing the emotion of "insecurity" from a guy who loves a girl but does not dare to approach her and telling his feelings about her. (Haven't we all been there?!) Simply beautiful !

4. Second Life Syndrome (15:40)

This is my favourite track from the album! "Second Life Syndrome" is actually subdivided into 3 parts.

PART I - From Hand to Mouth

Slow build up towards a more up-tempo song with great drum and bass accompanied by FLOYDIAN guitar and really good chorus sung beautifully by Mariusz Duda. This chorus will also return in PART II. PART II - Secret Exhibition

PART II really slows down the tempo back to where it started with a beautiful played strong bass line! WOW! I just love the way Mariusz plays his bass: you can actally hear it as an instrument, so not merely on the background. Together with the lyrics "secret exhibition - cure for loneliness" this song is simply perfect. In the lyrics you can see that the songwriter has come over the "love of his life" and is happy to continue by himself. "I erase you now - I don't need you now - I erase you now with all of my past"

PART III - Vicious Ritual

Song seems to end after PART II, but continues slowly until the vocals go "totakakatee totakatee totakatee totakatee" Another part of this song that'll give you goose bumps whenever you listen to it. There is actually some fine singing of Marius Duda on the ending of this song, but unfortunately I can't seem to make up what he's actually singing. If I had to pick just one song from the album, this would be it!

5. Artificial Smile (5:27)

Often played at RIVERSIDE's concerts (I have seen them play live 3 times now ad they played it every single time). Not a bad song, but certainly no highlight either. I think therefore the song is somewhat too simplistic and poppy. However: I love Mariusz' pseudo death metal voice again at the end of this song. "Tell me your lie!" WOW! It seems it's coming out of his toes! This song seems to be about envy.

6. I Turned You Down (4:34)

Another highlight of this album! Lyrics are a bit short, butt hey perfectly match the song. This song is about regret. "I turned you down so hastily - and it's tearing me apart". It's nice to see all emotions are captured in this album. Love, loneliness, happiness, regrets. I especially like Piotr Grudzinski's howling guitar on this track! Just love his playing style!

7. Reality Dream III (5:01)

After the two instrumental tracks "Reality Dream I" and "Reality Dream II" on "Out Of Myself", here's the third part of this instrumental track. It's somewhat logical that you find this track on this album, because actually RIVERSIDE's first three albums will be part of a trilogy! The 3rd RIVERSIDE album we can probably expect somewhere in September 2007. Already looking forward to it :-)

8. Dance With The Shadow (11:38)

Another nice track about some relationship problems; basically about not taking a person who he/she is, but trying to make the person the way you want him or her to be. After listening to the lyrics of this song you can imagine how one would feel free and reliefed after the relationship has ended. (see track "2nd life syndrome")

9. Before (5:23)

"Before" is a track about a changed man who just came out of a depression and found himself eager to live once again. (Hence the title of the album?!) I especially like the build up of this track from a slow mellow track in a somewhat heavier track towards the ending. The ending is really superb with the guitar riffs by Piotr Gruzinski accompanied by Michael Lapaj on keyboards lifting the whole to a higher surface.

I strongly suggest anyone who likes PINK FLOYD, PORCUPINE TREE, MARILLION or OPETH (so basically any progressive music lover) to check out RIVERSIDE (if not already done), because their compositions, instrumentation, lyrics and especially Mariusz Duda's voice is all worth it! He's got a velvet voice that can whisper, sing and even growl now and then. Normally I am not really into the "growling" but whenever he does it, it simply fits the emotion (anger) in the music that I've become to LOVE it!

Once again: probably the best progressive album of 2005 and one of the best live performances I have ever seen! (I've been so lucky to have seen those guys during a live performance three time already and actually talked to Mariusz Duda twice :-)

P.S. Also check out the great artwork from this album by TRAVIS SMITH!

evenless | 5/5 |


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