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VOICES IN MY HEAD

Riverside

Progressive Metal


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erik neuteboom
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars The album "Out Of Myself" by the Polish progrock band RIVERSIDE was very appriciated on this site, personally it was one of my favorite CD's from 2004. So high expectations for this new CD entitled "Voices In My Head". It contains five studio-tracks and three live songs (recorded at the Traffic Club Warsaw in the Polish capital in May 2004). The atmosphere on most of the new tracks is mellow featuring warm and distinctive English vocals and soaring keyboards along beautiful twanging acoustic guitar ("Us"), a great, very moving electric guitar solo and delicate pianoplay ("Acronym Love"), acoustic rhythm-guitar and melancholic vocals ("The time I was daydreaming) and vocal harmonies and howling electric guitar ("Stuck Between"). The third track "Dna ts. Rednum or F. Raf" is more in the vein of the album "Out Of Myself": a hypnotizing atmosphere, fiery electric guitar, an agressive bass, propulsive drums and exciting changes of climate, from dreamy with acoustic guitar to bombastic with fiery electric guitarwork.". The three live songs are "I Believe" (sensitive and fiery electric guitarplay, beautiful piano and vocals), "Loose Heart" (great build up) and "Out Of Myself" (great rendition of their best song). My conclusion: the new tracks on "Voices In My Head" sound more laidback and less exciting than "Out Of Myself" but in my opinion RIVERSIDE still delivers wonderful, very warm and compelling progrock.

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Send comments to erik neuteboom (BETA) | Report this review (#34626)
Posted Monday, April 04, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars After the great album "Out of myself"and seeing a couple of their concerts I have been waiting for another Riverside relase to find out how will they deal with the expectations of their fans (hey I`m one of them!). So I bought this preety little thing at the day of relase, and what can I say... Beautiful, just wonderful. Dudi, Łapek, Grudzień and Mitek did a really great job on this mini. Five studio tracks - very calm, relaxing and beautiuful, I personally like "Us" and track 3 (what a title!) the most. Acoustic guitar and the great voice of Dudi along with Grudzień`s solos made this fantastic, romantic atmosphere. And the three live tracks... I`ve seen them live and I knew how they will sound so it wasn`t a big suprise that they are very good, just listen to the ending part of "Loose Heart" it shows that Dudi`s voice can be also agressive. Great Piece. So why four stars? Ehh... Lyrics. I can`t figure it out why they can`t write something more complicated, but inext time I`ll meet them I`ll ask :-). Get it if you can, it`s limited and hard to find but trust me it`s worth it, a great Ep of a great band.

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Send comments to Wolf Spider (BETA) | Report this review (#34628)
Posted Saturday, April 09, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars Ok for me the first album is materpiece...But this cd litle deception!!! I listened 4 or5 time and surly not bad..Not trace of metal and psycho aspect just soft song whit god vocal and backing job. The felling is so so..the live song is great different that original track!!! I think whit the first album the band deserved a better stuff,,But is a mini EP that why a stand again for the next real album!! I stay positive for Riverside I WISH!!!!!!

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Send comments to progarctica (BETA) | Report this review (#34629)
Posted Thursday, April 14, 2005 | Review Permalink
Rivertree
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Psych/Space Team & Band Submissions
4 stars Not only voices ...

For the first moment I wasn't convinced when I listened to this EP. I expected more long tracks like 'The same river' or 'The curtain falls'. But after several times my disappointment was blown away.

Some tracks are melancholic with acoustic guitar and good vocals. 'Acronym love' is a ballad with a surprising change of speed at the end and good guitar work. The third track is hard to describe ('far from understand') - a mix of TripHop and Metal? 'The time I was daydreaming' has an excellent melody and the end is psychedelic - you just have to close your eyes und you feel like flying ... - my favourite track. The live tracks are wellknown - the highlight is 'Loose heart' because of its agressive end.

Riverside has enlarged the musical possibilities. So let's see which changes are coming with the new album 'Second Life Syndrome'.

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Send comments to Rivertree (BETA) | Report this review (#46941)
Posted Saturday, September 17, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is a nice maxi-EP with 23:26 minutes of new songs and 13:08 of live songs from their first album. Us starts things off with a gentle acoustic guitar number with very light, laid back vocals. Acronym Love starts off with a solo piano and vocal section for the first 1.5 minutes before the rest of the band joins in. The song has a very melancholic atmosphere and some fantastic blues guitar playing. In fact, the guitar has a very Floydish feel with a great ending solo. DNA ts. Rednum or F.Raf is a bit more up-tempo than the previous two tracks with a harder bassline and a slow, rhythmmically industrial style drumming. This then gives way to a slow acoustic piece in the middle before building to a stronger climax. The Time I Was Daydreaming really reminds me of one of the slower Waters-less era Floyd tracks. Soft vocals backed by an acoustic guitar accented by electric blues guitar played overtop. About 3min into the song the drums and keyboards kick in still maintaining that Floydian atmosphere. Stuck Between sounds like it would have fit well on Rick Wright's Broken China release. It features a simple but distinctive drum pattern, acoustic guitar, and atmospheric keyboards. There's some nice acapella vocals at the end of the song showcasing their vocal harmonies quite well.

All in all, the new tracks are a lighter offering than their two studio albums. However, that is not to say that these songs are wimpy or uninteresting. Far from that because the songs are very well writting, atmospheric, and captivating. That is perhaps what makes Riverside so amazing; they can play very heavy when they want to, but they choose to be judicious about their use of heaviness. Instead they focus on strong compositions and incredible sonic textures. If you are a fan of the two studio albums, then you owe it to yourself to shell out the $15 to buy a copy of this EP. It's tough to track down, but I found that "The Laser's Edge" record label / store has them in stock.

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Send comments to adigitaldan (BETA) | Report this review (#73546)
Posted Thursday, March 30, 2006 | Review Permalink
evenless
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars (1) Us. Very warm atmospheric song consisting of space keyboards, atmospheric, soft guitar and melancholic, beautiful lead vocals. (4/5)

(2) Acronym Love - warm and beautiful played piano introduction, great vocals with excellent electric guitar melody. Riverside composes like they have been composing progressive rock songs for years already. I could almost even say that this song is better than the average Pink Floyd song! (5/5)

(3) DNA - Interesting ambient sounds accompanied by the great velvet vocals of Mariusz Duda. A bit brave compared to the other tracks on this album, but still pretty good. (3/5)

(4) The Time I was Daydreaming - acoustic guitar introduction covered by softened Floydian synth and again the soft velvet voice of Mariusz. Very atmospheric track! In the last minute the song slowly transforms into an essentially good prog-rock song. (4/5)

(5) Stuck Between. Melancholic and inspired prog-rock. One of the nicest tracks on this EP. This song could have easily been on Out Of Myself or 2nd life syndrome!(5/5)

(6) I believe (Live). Again insnpired vocals, probably at its absolutle best, warm piano and Floydian guitar, with a recognizable strong melody. (5/5)

(7) Loose Heart (Live). New Age introduction with same melancholic and melodic vocal and neoprog rhythm section with the same Floydian guitar. Vocal goes into pseudo death metal at the last 20 seconds of the song, and of course the audience likes it. (What an emotion in his voice!) (4/5)

(8) Out of Myself (Live). New fresh start with whispering "Voices in my head", and interesting vocals and interesting soft metal sound. Fortunately, inspired vocal strongly dominates again. (4/5)

Very good EP, maybe even excellent!

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Send comments to evenless (BETA) | Report this review (#75370)
Posted Tuesday, April 18, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Once in a while comes along a record where you seem to be at loss of words. Words seem not enough to describe the music... This was the case when I first listened to this EP. Somehow the prevoius record got lost in my collection, and I did not lend it the deserved attention.Which I did later. Even though it is only an EP , the few new numbers and the live songs really impressed me. Especially the song Loose Heart makes me weak every time...I always have to listen to it over and over again, every time I listen to this record. In their own calm style they create yet another masterpiece.If we had to give an example for music that is radiant, well this is a very good example. Words are useless... music will tell you everything...

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Send comments to Szöke Jenö (BETA) | Report this review (#81144)
Posted Wednesday, June 14, 2006 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars This is one of those EP's that at over 36 minutes in length would have been a full LP back in the seventies. I really like this one. We get 5 studio tracks from 2005, and 3 live ones from 2004. I like the picture of Piotr the lead guitarist wearing an ANATHEMA shirt. Nice.

"Us" is a beautiful song with synths, gentle guitarr and vocals. "Acronym Love" opens with piano as reserved vocals join in. A full sound before 1 1/2 minutes.The tasteful guitar is so uplifting. A gorgeous guitar solo follows 3 1/2 minutes in. "Dna Ts. Rednum Or F. Raf" is my favourite track on here.This one is darker as it builds to a full sound 2 minutes in.This sounds so amazing when the guitar comes in. It settles briefly before coming back even harder 6 minutes in. "The Time I Was Daydreaming" starts with strummed guitar as synths join in. Nice atmosphere. Vocals are next followed by a beat 3 minutes in. Electric guitar after 4 minutes.

"Stuck Between" has a good beat as vocals and synths lead the way early. It's building as guitar comes in around 2 1/2 minutes. It's pretty hypnotiic for a while. Cool song. "I Believe" opens with the cheering crowd as piano leads off. Guitar and vocals follow. "Loose Heart" is my second favourite tune on here. Atmospheric guitar to open as keys and drums join in. Vocals after a minute. It builds in intensity until it turns violent 5 minutes in. Nice. "Out Of Myself" opens with him whispering "Voices in my head" over and over with the crowd joining in. Guitar and bass join in. Full sound 2 1/2 minutes in. Check out the intense ending.

It will be hard for them to put out a better EP than this one. Highly recommended.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#88922)
Posted Monday, September 04, 2006 | Review Permalink
2 stars A nice little album that will provide for an enjoyable listening for the Riverside fans, but compared to the album that precedes it sounds like left-overs that didn't make the cut for the album (Out Of Myself).

Riverside explore their softer and more delicate atmosperic side. Basically it is quite boring to me, with the exception of the live track Out Of Myself, which is a good version, with some great play. For fans this wil be a nice addition, but not really essential. If you don't know Riverside please start with Out Of Myself or Second Life Syndrom, for those are far better

Enjoy the band, but don't start here.

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Send comments to tuxon (BETA) | Report this review (#91707)
Posted Sunday, September 24, 2006 | Review Permalink
OpethGuitarist
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars This album has the feeling of a coffee shop atmosphere. Most of the songs here are very laid back, soft, almost neo-prog like to a degree. There are a lot of warm sounds here and would be great to play by a fire with some hot cocoa during the winter months.

I can't help but be lulled away from the music on the album. The sounds aren't awful, but it's nothing really captivating, and hence, having a coffee shop feel. There isnt much "progressiveness" here in the strictest sense, but I am reminded of a mixture of gentle Floyd concepts and accessible rock.

I find little of value here, as this is a safe and gentle record, one that might be good for certain occassions around others who are not interested in prog, but little use for personal listening.

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Send comments to OpethGuitarist (BETA) | Report this review (#95528)
Posted Monday, October 23, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars What we've got here is a mini album. It consists of five new song and three songs from their debut album, "Out of myself", played live.

The new tracks aren't bad at all. Simple (compared to most Riverside songs), atmospheric, and full of emotion, based more on the performance of the vocalist Mariusz Duda and on the sweet guitar solos of Piotr Grudzinski. You won't hear any odd time signatures, strange and powerful bass lines and as many will say this album is less "progressive" but this is not at all a drawback. The lyrics are pretty simple but performed amazingly well. It's like Anathema... They play simple music with very common song structures but what comes out is so full of emotion. The music mellow and depressing is enough to change your mood. The live tracks are a bit different from the original versions and are performed really well.

Overall, it's a very nice addition to any prog collection and a must for Riverside fans. What doesn't let me give five stars to this one is that (1) if I did that I'd have to give the studio efforts of the band more than 6 stars, (2) because the new songs are less than 25 minutes and finally (3) because the artwork is not good compared to the artwork of "out of myself" and "second life syndrom".

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Send comments to sularetal (BETA) | Report this review (#95555)
Posted Tuesday, October 24, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars VOICES IN MY HEAD... VOICES IN MY HEAD...

This EP was released in between their 2 acclaimed full studio albums, and is a very nice mini album. As i said in my Second Life Syndrome review, not all the Prog Metal fans will enjoy this as other genres followers. This one even less because is softer than the others, more atmospheric and relaxing, at least the studio tracks. This songs don´t have the punch of their other records, but still very enjoyable, harmonic and delightfull.

Two of the 3 live songs are also mellow ones from thei previous work, but they feel a bit different from the studio versions, specially the voice wich i feel it a little weaker. And what to say about the wonderful "Out of Myself", wiyh the beginning phrase that gives the EP its name. Very good version.

Not at the same level that the mensioned albums but really worth the listen. Definitively a must have for all the Riverside fans and an excellent addition to any prog collection.

Viva el Prog!

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Send comments to FranMuzak (BETA) | Report this review (#127847)
Posted Sunday, July 08, 2007 | Review Permalink
ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars I remember that I was quite disappointed when I listened to this work when it was released. I was probably expecting too much from the follow-up of their great debut album "Out of Myself".

The studio tracks almost sound like Marillion Mark II ones. Totally boring during "Us", but quite brilliant during "Acronym Love". This one will hold some fantastic guitar moments and the melody is quite good. The highlight on this long EP (or mini-album).

The hypnotic "Dna..." is a bit too repetitive during its seven minutes. Good guitar riffs and a rather weird atmosphere. But it never lifts off, I'm afraid. I would have liked some more energy in here. And I won't get it with "The Time I Was Daydreaming", which is a dull track. There is nothing to remember from this song. It sounds all the same during the whole lenght.

"Stuck Between" is another good one here. More "Out Of Myself" oriented. Somewhat "amospheric" but tranquil again. All these studio songs are so sensible. We are millions miles away from the hard music they produced on their first album, which will remain the reference for me.

Even the choice of the live songs is more in favour of quiter pieces. This EP (still over thirty minutes) is not what I had expected from "Riverside". I just hope that they won't be a "one jewel wonder". "Loose Heart" and "Out Of Myself" come as a rescue for this release. The latter being the best live number available IMO.

I guess that this work could only please die-hard fans of the band or progheads willing to listen to the soft end of their repertoire. But it is not my case. Two stars.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#138330)
Posted Friday, September 14, 2007 | Review Permalink
progrules
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars In my other reviews of this magnificent bands albums I several times referred to the different styles that characterize Riverside such as the ballad style, the rough style (Jekyll and Hyde) and the epic style. Three significantly different styles that are all very representative for this Polish band and the interesting thing is they work different on almost everybody that follow Riverside's releases. In my comments I stated that the epic style and the rougher style have my preference and therefore I mainly love Second Life Syndrome and for instance The Same River on the debut Out of Myself. But here we have a mini album that is dominated by the softer side of the band.

And that´s the side I least prefer. Although I admit that this style suits them very nicely I still prefer the other two because they suit me better personally, so not meant as criticism towards Riverside. And it´s all relative too I have to say because a song like Acronym Love is absolutely great and wonderful and is in the end my favourite of this release. On the other hand we have a song like Stuck Between that sounds really boring to me. Two other significant songs on this album, the Dna song and The time I was daydreaming are right in between the two earlier mentioned examples. The live tracks are less significant to me because they are meant as fillers and are actually songs from their debut album.

So all things considered I think this a very nice release but with just one excellent song on it and this makes me decide for the three stars this time. Recommended for fans of the softer style of Riverside

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Send comments to progrules (BETA) | Report this review (#158883)
Posted Friday, January 18, 2008 | Review Permalink
UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars What a nice little album Riverside have made here. Very much in the same vein as their 3 REAL albums with the warm and touching vocals from Mariusz Duda and the beautiful guitar playing from Piotr Grudzinski. The songs are generally more mellow than on the albums though. I am a big fan of the quit Riverside songs though, so this is kind of a treat to me. There are 5 studio tracks on the album which are like I just described more or less ( Dna ts. Rednum or F. Raf is a bit different, but you´ll have to listen to understand) and 3 live songs recorded in 2004. The live songs are in good audio quality and nicely performed.

Riverside is such a great band in my eyes, one of the new true progressive pioneers. Not especially innovative but it´s finally a band where you know it´s them when you hear their music. Their style and sound is so warm and delightful, but sometimes also frighful and angst ridden. A nice cocktail if you ask me.

For fans of melodic progressive rock this is a must have along with the 3 REAL studio albums from Riverside. It´s not a masterpiece, but and excellent addition in my prog rock collection. 4 stars.

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Send comments to UMUR (BETA) | Report this review (#160350)
Posted Thursday, January 31, 2008 | Review Permalink
Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Metal Team
3 stars Voices In My Head is a nice EP where Riverside focuses on their more reflective side. With Us, Acronym and The Time I was Daydreaming there are 3 really strong ballads that rival the master of tasty balladry, mr Steve Wilson. If you like this style, you should sure check out Mariusz Duda's solo project Lunatic Soul.

But the best comes from two surprises that reveal a more experimental side of Riverside. DNA etc has a slowly developing start with atmospheric acoustic guitars and hazy vocals, but then at minute 2 they add an electronic beat that seems to come straight out of Depeche Mode. And indeed, a quick glance at the Riverside home site reveals the guitar player as a fan of Depeche Mode, Cocteau Twins and Fields of the Nephelim. Also Stuck Between uses an electronic beat to create one of their most moving little songs. A prog band doing Massive Attack.

Nice! More sidesteps like this please Riverside!

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Send comments to Bonnek (BETA) | Report this review (#264073)
Posted Wednesday, February 03, 2010 | Review Permalink
Aussie-Byrd-Brother
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars There are some fans of Riverside who greatly miss the early days of the band, when they were a moody atmospheric progressive rock band without the metal elements they would later incorporate. Although those later albums are all excellent examples of the heavy prog genre, it's nice to see the band put out a newer work along the lines of their first album, although more adventurous fans of the band will still recognize plenty of the gloomy characteristics Riverside would maintain on their later releases. `Voices In My Head' is a valuable collection of mostly slower, thoughtful and heartfelt acoustic pieces full of melancholy and genuine human emotion, with immersive electronic elements and melodic progressive passages.

`Us' is a lonely drifting acoustic piece with lyrics full of longing and gentle hoping. I can easily relate to his piece, and it really touches my heart. `Acronym Love' begins as a subtle piano piece with a thoughtful lead vocal, then the entire band launches into a mid-tempo performance of a piece that wouldn't have sounded out of place on more recent albums by Marillion and Porcupine Tree. Lovely melodic guitar solos throughout, and a powerful upbeat finale stop it from being too unhappy. `DNA...' is a a moody and slightly sinister 7 minute piece with droning vocals, aggressive chunky bass and cold programmed percussion. The first half of `The Time I Was Daydreaming' has lovely heart-broken vocals from Mariusz with quiet acoustic guitar and a warm chorus, before building in drama with spacey synths, urgent programming and searing guitar solos. Still very tastefully restrained thanks to the talented band who know when to hold back. `Stuck Between' is a very contemporary piece of sophisticated dreamy adult prog/pop with trip-hop beats, floating group vocals and a catchy but downbeat melody. Very nicely done, and this is even the sort of track that might attract the ears of non-progressive audiences!

The EP finishes off with three decent live recordings that offer moments of the heavier tracks from their more recent albums, but I think they could have included live performances of pieces that are more in the style of the new music on this release. Would have given the album an even more successful sustained mood.

`Voices In My Head' is a perfect companion CD in the Riverside discography that can stand proudly on it's own merits as a full album. I think it might also be a fine place to start for beginners, as I think the album is oddly accessible enough for new listeners and even female listeners thanks to the heart-felt lyrics and pained romantic vocals from Maruisz. Just don't listen to the album on a broken heart, it just might cut a little too close to the bone.

Four stars.

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Send comments to Aussie-Byrd-Brother (BETA) | Report this review (#846787)
Posted Monday, October 29, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars (8/10)

Consider "Voices In My Head" a companion piece to "Out Of Myself" - indeed, it takes its name from the whispered recurring lyric in the opening of the title track of said album. It consists of 5 new songs, followed by a live performances of 3 songs from "Out Of Myself". There's no real metal in the 5 new songs, they very much explore the softer more ambient side of Riverside, the music flowing elegantly, sometimes experimenting a bit with the electronic elements.

We start with "Us", which is just a quick piece with acoustic guitar over minimal synth, accompanied by soft Mariusz vocals. Delicate and beautiful, as well as understated. But the next track is my favourite. "Acronym Love" is hauntingly beautiful, and an absolute highlight. Introduced by melancholic piano, it leads into some gorgeous guitar from Piotr Grudzinski, reminiscent of the debut. Really moving, the guitar just soars.

Next is "Dna Ts. Rednum Or F. Raf" (or backwards: "Far From Understand", if you are staring at that name with a confused expression on your face). You hear the musical themes loop and develop, in a hypnotising manner. Synths wash over you as the bass and drums rhythmically pound and layers of Duda's (sometimes wordless) voice float around, punctuated by the slice of the melodic electric guitar. The dynamic range it utilised well, with slightly heavier parts and low key mostly acoustic soft parts, but that track flows naturally and holds your attention well.

"The Time I Was Daydreaming" is another relaxed short song, with soft vocals and acoustic strumming, alongside the melodic electric guitar playing a more atmospheric role. As with the rest of the album, the lyrics match the tone of the song perfectly, you can just close your eyes and absorb it all. The new material concludes in a similar manner with "Stuck Between", building and developing gradually, with layered multiple vocal lines harmonising beautifully complimenting the graceful melodic guitar lines. Serene bliss!

The live songs are "I Believe", "Loose Heart" and "Out Of Myself". The performances themselves are fine, though no particular revelation compared with their studio versions. For live Riverside you'd be far better off going with the live "Reality Dream" release. If you read my review of "Out Of Myself" though you'll know that I do absolutely adore the songs themselves.

"Voices In My Head" not as perfect as the first Riverside album, but it is just an extra EP, and I think Riverside just wanted the chance to explore something a bit different without the pressure of it being a full album follow up to their acclaimed debut. Besides, all the music is of an excellent standard, and will supplement your copy of "Out Of Myself" very nicely. So 4 stars seems fair to me.

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Send comments to ScorchedFirth (BETA) | Report this review (#1024853)
Posted Wednesday, August 28, 2013 | Review Permalink

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