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Riverside - Anno Domini High Definition CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

4.22 | 1336 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars I had known of Riverside for some time now, but ADHD is my first shot at understanding the Polish progressive metal group. I must have had a really bad first few tastes at progressive metal for I really feel left out that I hadn't gotten this any sooner. The songs on ADHD are semi- long to fairly long (about the standards of a King Crimson or a Genesis), and combine 5 movement songs into one not-so-obviously unified whole. And it's only around 45 minutes which is quite an important statement in the music scene today.

But the key to the album is really in the music itself. This is progressive metal that shows off its chops only when it feels it has to. Even in the longer bouts, Riverside just seem to let the songs write themselves. There are no kneejerk transitions, very few unnecessary extensions/notes, and the album is done without any cheese factor. It's a triple win from right there.

But it keeps getting better. Mariusz Duda must have been spinning Porcupine Tree's BLANK PLANET album because I can detect similarities in both of their concepts being tongue-and- cheek observations on post-2000 techno-society. The song ''Egoist Hedonist'' is the only one that I can detect any PT musical influence, but Riverside leave it at just influence, especially with the banjo-sounding theme at the end. Keyboard player Michal Lapaj deserves a special mention for his arsenal of instruments getting many vintage sounds along with contemporary ones all benefitting the music and not distracting from it. Listen to ''Hybrid Times'' to really get the full effect of the Hammond organ sounds and how pivotal they are to the ''discorporate-to-the-music'' feel in the same way Ikey Owens has that ability on some Mars Volta tracks.

One of the most important aspects of any album I've been concerning myself with recently is the overall pace of the album; ADHD is paced beautifully. It begins with the aptly titled ''Hyperactive'' to grab the listener's attention, but then the album varies the mood throughout the album. And to culminate on one of the greatest epic tracks in recent memory, ''Hybrid Times'' (the highlight of the album), is money; the final notes let the listener know the album as a whole did build to something. Then there's ''Left Out'', one of the more mid-tempo points on the album, but to set the final piece the way it does is masterful. The song itself does what I had mentioned earlier in that it doesn't seem like a strictly composed piece, as it's more like a song that writes itself. And all throughout that number, the lead guitar punctuates the mood so accurately and effectively that it's easy to get lost in its atmosphere.

This album is ideal for any fan of progressive metal. If you haven't been sure about what the genre could do for you, ADHD is one of those albums that can blow your mind.

Sinusoid | 5/5 |


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