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3 stars Bought this album on Thursday at a gig in Wrocław and it works very well to commemorate those moments. And it marks the beginning of new incarnation of Riverside live, different to what I saw at their previous gigs. Thrice have I watched them in smaller venues, like rock clubs, and got perceived a more aggresive, even metal style of playing. And this time it is more technical and subtle, once Riverside started doing bigger venues. But still it moves you and touches to the very core, even if the opportunities of headbanging are limited ;). Back to the music itself - keyboards of Michał Łapaj play more important role now and Mariusz Duda's vocal style is more elaborated, but of course full of emotion. The selection of tracks is representative to the Reality Dream trilogy which the future DVD is thought to summarize. The only important songs from the albums are I Believe and Loose Heart from Out of Myself (they are on Voices In My Head EP thogh), Dance Of The Shadows from Second Life Syndrome (but we got Parasomnia instead) and Beyond the Eyelids from Rapid Eye Movement - but we got Back To The River, the great opener from Second Life Syndrome tour, with quotes from Pink Floyd, which very smoothly goes into Conceiving You and wonderful, reflective Before, which lately was neglected. The sound is clear, all the instruments are audible. However, the funny comments and discussions by Mariusz Duda are lacking. This album would be a great opportunity to know the Riverside music live and great introduction to the trilogy. Its limited edition and the way of distribution (gigs) make it virtually not available to wider audience, who should wait for the release of DVD or go to band's gig, which I strongly recommend! Therefore, due to the limited availability I score this album with three stars only, whereas as first Riverside's live album it deserves better grade.
Report this review (#190992)
Posted Saturday, November 29, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars 104 minutes is rather on the short side for a live double album and indeed as already stated...many songs are missing...from which Loose Heart is perhaps one of the stangest choices. That must be said that this song already was relaesed on a cd single in a truly amazing version....the other song that is not here and what I think is the best song of the entire trilogy is Rapid Eye Movement....however since this song is only available on the limited second disc of REM I dont know if they tend to have a habbit of playing, neither to add it to the Trilogy DVD. I perhaps push the envellope too much.

However what is left is a pleasure to our ears with no doubt. The souns is not always that good. Especially the drums that do not always come on as strong as on CD. Neither are the songs played as tight as on the cd's. I know Riverside had alot of complaints in relation to their live performances in the past...that it was not living up to the expectations...that it was not a good representation of the studio album, etc, I guess when listening to this..they must have improved alot. And then...not even Dream Theater can play the songs as tight as on the studio we should not demand that....I think.

However..what I did like was the strong adds of much more powerfull and dominant keyboards here and there....which result in some truly chickenskin moments. As always great guitarwork......great vocals and great over all songs.......To me Riverside is much much more interesting than Dream Theater........Really look forward to the DVD...not to mention the Next album. Although..........till now none of the albums has been capable of living up against the first album....that should be ranked as a modern masterpiece in the galleries of Progressive to begin this live cd with The Same River really was a good thing. The song builds up so amazingly.....and almost has sort of the same effect as Pink Floyd opening with Shine On Your Crazy Diamond..........perhaps a homage to this song on the second cd of REM, was therefor only obvious.

Report this review (#191708)
Posted Thursday, December 4, 2008 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars After enjoying Riverside on their 2009 ADHD tour, I had to have this live album from the 2008 tour. It focuses on the material from the first three albums, the so-called Reality Dream trilogy of which I had always appreciated the music very much. The polished sound and safe approach had charmed me less, so I hoped the live album would add some punch to the material. I haven't been disappointed in that respect.

Each of the songs sticks close to the studio albums, they're simply perfect in that respect. Of course, it you were perfectly happy with those versions then there's not much reason to get this live album. But Riverside's live focus is precise and passionate, the great vocals and more forceful drum sound brings that little extra punch. Still, it's no ADHD. The material remains a bit underwhelming in general. Naturally, songs like Reality Dream III, Second Life Syndrome and I Turned You Down are amazing.

Reality Dream is an excellent live document. But in order to deserve 4 stars from me, a live one must have more surprises in the way of rare tracks, improvisations or rearrangements then this album has. Reality Dream brings a faithful and competent renditions of the album tracks, nothing more and nothing less.

Report this review (#281899)
Posted Friday, May 14, 2010 | Review Permalink
kev rowland
Honorary Reviewer
4 stars Many years ago my good friend Artur Chachlowski was over in the UK and he handed me the debut album by a new Polish band and he told me that they were going to be huge. Now, I have been lucky enough to hear a lot of Polish prog over the years (SBB and Collage being particular favourites) so I knew that this was high praise and paid some serious attention to the music and agreed totally with the sentiment. This double live CD from 2008 brings together songs from the first three albums, and the four guys really know how to kick up a storm on stage. Mariusz Duda (vocals, bass guitar, acoustic guitar), Piotr Grudziński (guitars) and Piotr Kozieradzki (drums) had been there since the beginning and Michał Łapaj (keys) had been there since the second album so there is no surprise that they could bounce off each other.

There has been quite a lot of debate regarding the songs chosen for this recording, but if this is how they were touring at the time what's the issue? Comment must be made on the production which is stunning for a live recording, with a crispness and clarity often missing. Mariusz's vocals are spot on with plenty of emotion and edge when required, and his basswork is very Squire-like at times with a real punch. An early Seventies feel is provided by Michał when he uses the Hammond, but for large parts of the concert he is happy to provide a support role while Piotr K nails it from the back. It is Piotr G who really makes this for me, with some superb guitarwork which can be straight ahead rock when required, or at times a mixture of Gary Chandler and David Gilmour. I had to smile when I heard the strains of "Shine On" during "Back To The River" as I had already been thinking just how Floyd-like they were at times, and it fitted in perfectly.

They are just so good at what they do, that one often forgets that this is a live album which is both a strength and a weakness. They may not vary too much from the album versions, but as an introduction to the first three albums one can't really ask for more.

Report this review (#897745)
Posted Wednesday, January 23, 2013 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars 4.5 stars for this live recording featuring material from their first three studio albums. Man this is so close to being 5 stars because of the peaks they hit for prolonged periods of time. The sound quality is excellent and for the most part they keep true to the original studio versions. I just love their sound though, the way they can bring so much atmosphere and depth contrasted with those heavy passages. This is a two disc affair with 14 tracks.

Disc one begins with "The Same River" which opens with the sound of applause and atmosphere as the guitar starts to cry out. It's building until we get heavy riffing after 3 1/2 minutes. Love the guitar and organ that follows. It's almost 6 minutes in before the main theme kicks in, vocals follow. Check out the guitar 10 1/2 minutes in, great track! "Out Of Myself" like the opening song come from the debut of course and how good is this one 1 1/2 minutes in, very powerful and I love the contrasts. "Volte-Face" has a very good heavy sound to it with prominant bass, vocals 3 minutes in. "Rainbow Box" is another kick-ass tune before "02 Panic Room" kicks in with that incredible groove to it, so good. Love the depth and atmosphere, and how good is this 3 1/2 minutes in as it relaxes some. Fantastic! "I Turned You Down" opens with piano before a full sound kicks in with vocals. Such a feel good song for me. "Reality Dream III" kicks in heavily before 2 minutes with synths over top. It settles back as the guitar solos over top. Contrasts continue. "The Curtain Falls" is the third and final song from the debut. Love the guitar early on, so relaxing. Warm vocals join in and it really is the guitar and vocals that make this such a good track.

Disc two begins with a top three song for me called "Parasomnia" from "Rapid Eye Movement". All my top three songs are on disc two by the way. This song opens with vocals only then a bass led section takes over as the vocals become more passionate. They are killing it 1 1/2 minutes in. I like when the calm returns before 4 minutes. Nice. The drum work and atmosphere standout 6 1/2 minutes in. Amazing tune. Another top three for me is "Second Life Syndrome" where we get plenty of atmosphere to start as the guitar comes in tastefully to appause. It kicks in after 1 1/2 minutes and the crowd loves it. FLOYD-like guitar a minute later and vocals follow. So intense, then the bass throbs 4 minutes in. My God! A dark calm after 6 minutes then it become gorgeous again before 8 minutes. It's building before 11 minutes as the crowd claps along. Pure joy 13 1/2 minutes in as this emotion stays to the end. "Back To The River" has so much atmosphere to begin with in this nod to PINK FLOYD. A beautiful instrumental where the guitar and bass are outstanding. Piano late as the melody for the next song "Conceiving You" comes in early. This is my other top three song. I'm not into ballads but this song kills me, it really does. Gulp. "Before" is a relaxed melancholic tune before we get some passion after 3 minutes. "Ultimate Trip" ends it, and it's drum led to start as Duda speaks to the audience in Polish. It's around 2 minutes when the main theme kicks in, vocals follow. Love the heaviness but also the atmospheric passages.

What can I say, this truly is a must for RIVERSIDE fans without a doubt. The emotion I enjoyed listening to this recording is what music is all about.

Report this review (#1288090)
Posted Sunday, October 5, 2014 | Review Permalink

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