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Riverside - Second Life Syndrome CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

4.25 | 1702 ratings

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The Prognaut
Prog Reviewer
4 stars I'd dare to say that I'm as amazed as the rest of the reviewers here that had submitted over two hundred opinions just for this particular album. And there's a reason to this massive display of summoning. "Second Life Syndrome" blasted off so eclectic and revealing to me from the first listen that I couldn't believe my ears since I managed to encapsulate the sound of Progressive Metal in a very straightforward stream. RIVERSIDE has got this uniqueness in spite of the musical inspiration they've put together randomly on previous albums through the years. According to the musical references given away by members of this outstanding Polish band formed back in 2001, Prog Rock artists such as GENESIS, YES, MARILLION, OPETH, PORCUPINE TREE, PINK FLOYD, PAIN OF SALVATION, FAITH NO MORE and many others, have been some kind of point of departure for them in order to take the flight onwards. But how is it possible to RIVERSIDE to sound extremely different? Well, that's the wonder depicted on "Second Life Syndrome".

The album kicks off with "After". Deep, dark, lyrics that relate the listener to some sort of inner self-talk that slowly describes the illness of a tormented soul. The musical arrangements are as enticing as the words in between giving this short introducing piece a devouring space that's superlative to the three and a half minutes it lasts.

And now, one of my favorite tracks on the album. "Volte-Face". What caught my attention right away, was the clarity with what Mariusz DUDA speaks in English. Not many non-speaking English bands accomplish this first hurdle in order to sound audible. Anyways, the song turned out to be powerful and relentless to me out of the first chords. I've always appreciated the sound of a paused, delicate piano within a stormy and lightning Prog-Metal piece and this one, ain't no exception. What it seemed to be a simple kind of pure hard rock song from the beginning, turned surprisingly into a narrative composition filled of precise lyrics and awesome interpretation in the end.

Then, "Conceiving You" came out of the blue when I suggested the album would take on a landscape full of crunchy guitars and thundering drums. Definitely, this piece blew me away. I do believe there's almost no room for schmaltzy songs within the depths of Prog-Metal, but this track is quite an opposite to my self-created pattern. The lyrics go far beyond from emotional, meaningless words since they've got a scent that speaks of reason, sentiment, and commitment.

Upcoming track, named after the album's title, has got all what's necessary to be considered a respectable "progressive rock epic". Without overreacting to what I listened on this song, I truly believe this is not an exhausting, hard to listen for over fifteen minutes suite. I say an epic is not measured out from the time a song lasts, but out of argumentation, durability, arrangements, narrative and many other ingredients that mixed up all together blossom in some exceptional corner stone where we can relate Prog Rock from. And I humbly believe, this is a song to be considered as such. Out of first glance, the song seems to be everything but exceptional. Everything but different from what we all have listened to once in our Progressive experience. Just listen carefully, separate each of your senses individually and maybe like it happened to me, you'd end up as amazed.

"Artificial Smile" is the suitable song for me to detail the metallic strength the album's got. The voice, the power set upon the instruments, the growing elements inside, the provoking lyrics. All of that, this song's got it. And I dare to say, even more than that. On the other hand, upcoming track "I Turned You Down", is a great metal-ballad executed wonderfully. Here, the lyrics go with the rhythm in time, accomplishing the purpose of captivating all of your attention.

When you're listening to "Reality Dream III", this massive amount of adrenaline takes on you irremediably. The wonderstruck piano showed up in here is and opposite to the sound of the blasting guitar that joins in. This instrumental song has no need for words to explain a peculiar motive since it speaks for itself in a relentless way. Top class metal displayed by RIVERSIDE. No more to say here.

Next on this progressive trip, the turn for "Dance With The Shadow" to set off from this review has come. Simply incredible. Two long play epics on one album? Believe it. The track takes a while to ignite, but the reward is fulfilling. As the song waltzes away, you'll get this feeling of drifting aimlessly for sure. Keyboards performance by Michał ŁAPAJ is overwhelming, distant from what's presented on this nine episode adventure. There's a complicity between a one-way chord remaining guitar and the beat held by Piotr KOZIERADZKI on drums. Suddenly, like a closing section, the song opens up to lead "Before" by the hand. Subtle and delicate. Great combination here.

All of this just to widely recommend this masterpiece to you all out there. Must place hands on this one, undoubtedly. More than an "excellent addition", I'd say an "excellent audition". Believe me when I say you won't regret lending ears and mind to this fantastic album for one second. Prog on!

The Prognaut | 4/5 |


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