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Riverside Anno Domini High Definition album cover
4.22 | 1427 ratings | 73 reviews | 50% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2009

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Hyperactive (5:45)
2. Driven to Destruction (7:06)
3. Egoist Hedonist (8:56) :
- a. Different?
- b. Hedonist Party
- c. Straw Man Dance
4. Left Out (10:59)
5. Hybrid Times (11:53)

Total Time 44:39

Bonus DVD-Video from 2009 special editions - "Live in Amsterdam 2008" :
1. Volte-Face (8:50)
2. I Turned You Down (5:09)
3. Reality Dream III (5:15)
4. Beyond the Eyelids (7:28)
5. Conceiving You (4:14)
6. Ultimate Trip (5:20)
7. Panic Room (5:19)

Total Time 41:35

Line-up / Musicians

- Mariusz Duda / vocals, bass, acoustic guitar
- Piotr Grudziński / electric guitars
- Michał Łapaj / keyboards, Hammond, theremin, backing vocals
- Piotr Kozieradzki / drums, percussion

- Rafał Gańko / trumpet (3)
- Karol Gołowacz / saxophone (3)
- Adam Kłosiński / trombone (3)

Releases information

ArtWork: Travis Smith @ Seempieces with Michał Łapaj (art direction)

CD Inside Out Music ‎- IOMCD 313 (2009, Europe)
CD+DVDv Inside Out Music ‎- IOMSECD 313 (2009, Europe) Bonus DVD w/ concert filmed at The Paradiso, Amsterdam, The Netherlands 10th December 2008
CD+DVDv Mystic Production ‎- MYSTCD 096 (2009, Poland) Special Ed. w/ bonus DVDv, same as above

Thanks to progshine for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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RIVERSIDE Anno Domini High Definition ratings distribution

(1427 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(50%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(32%)
Good, but non-essential (12%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

RIVERSIDE Anno Domini High Definition reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by ProgBagel
4 stars Riverside ? Anno Domini High Definition 4 stars

The beginning of a new trilogy.

Riverside not only moves onto a new trilogy, but a new sound as well. The new sound features a more traditional prog-metal sound. First and foremost, a lot of the soft acoustic or spacey section is really scarce on this record. While that seems like the soul of this band may be gone, listening to this record all the way through denied the accusation. The classic Riverside sound is still there but they started to really let go on their instruments. Even the opening number can show even some Meshuggah influences.

What is fascinating about the record is that there are only 5 songs, but when you listen to the album, you can never tell when the songs change. Each song really takes a life of their own and is constantly moving into new areas, a really diverging album, in other words, lacking repetition. The only songs that can remotely relation to the Reality Dream series are the song 'Egoist Hedonist'.

While moving to a genre that is infested with a lot of Dream Theater style bands, Riverside ventures into this territory giving their own take on it, and I was impressed. They can certainly stand out in that genre; think along the lines of Pain of Salvation. For fans of the softer Riverside stuff might want to shift onto Mariusz Duda's solo project Lunatic Soul which I liked more than this and highly recommend. This album was a welcome change of pace before the first trilogy could get a little tiring, which what Rapid Eye Movement was?just to an extent though. Solid addition.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Anno Domini High Definition" is the 4th full-length studio album by Polish progressive rock/metal act Riverside. The album was released in Poland in June 2009 through Mystic Production. The European and the US releases were in July 2009. The cover artwork was created by Travis Smith. There´s a special edition available with a bonus DVD containing parts of the concert recorded in Paradiso club (Amsterdam) in December 2008 during the "Reality Dream (2008)" Tour.

The music on "Anno Domini High Definition" continues the progressive rock/metal style that Riverside has played on their previous three studio albums, "Out of Myself (2003)", "Second Life Syndrome (2005)" and "Rapid Eye Movement (2007)". There´s a pretty strong emphasis on the metal side of the group´s sound on this album though and the softer progressive rock sections are fewer compared to the previous releases. "Anno Domini High Definition" is generally quite the heavy album. Don´t expect too many surprises though. This is still unmistakably the sound of Riverside, with atmospheric rock sections and mellower moments to compliment the heavy riffing. The music features many instrumental sections in addition the vocal sections, which are as usual delivered in the pleasant and warm voice of Mariusz Duda. The musicianship is generally on a high level. Great soloing, strong rhythmic playing and nice keyboard work throughout. In addition to that "Anno Domini High Definition" is packed in a detailed and powerful sound production.

So overall "Anno Domini High Definition" is a strong release, but if I have to the honest Riverside have gone in the complete opposite direction of what I had hoped for with "Anno Domini High Definition" and although the album is objectively seen a high quality product and a great listening experience I´m personally slightly disappointed that there are not more atmospheric progressive rock parts on the album. I´ve always felt that Riverside´s strength was in their softer progressive rock side and not in their progressive metal side and to my ears this release is the proof of that. It´s when the band are most melodic and sophisticated like they are on "Left Out" and not when they play heavier parts like they do on "Hyperactive", that they shine. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is still warranted even though I feel this is a step down from their previous releases.

Review by Nightfly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Since their 2003 debut, Out Of Myself, Riverside have consistently improved with each subsequent release, Anno Domini High Definition being their best yet. The sound is still unmistakably Riverside. The atmospheric keyboard flourishes, the spacey hypnotic grooves, the metallic guitar riffs but only this time it's a much more overall heavier affair. It's not the longest of albums clocking in at around 45 minutes and there are only 5 tracks but the good news is there isn't a weak one amongst them.

Hyperactive opens with a haunting piano refrain that builds into an explosive unison metallic frenzy. The track kicks along at a fair pace with some excellent guitar riffs backed by keyboards ranging from synths to Hammond stabs and Mariusz Duda's recognisable smooth vocals; not your typical metal singer then.

Driven To Destruction has more dynamics mixing the light and shade with the heavier parts and is more old Riverside in feel only heavier with an eastern vibe and that organ really packs some power! I'm really enjoying the use of organ here and there are some great flourishes from it on Egoist Hedonist, a track with many changes and sub divided into 3 parts with an excellent closing instrumental section.

For the first time on the album, at least for any great length, things quieten down on the 11 minute Left Out with its moody atmospheric feel. Even on the heavier parts it still retains a slower pace in the main though picks up a bit later on and benefits from some of the best melodies too. The ending packs another powerful punch; another strong instrumental section.

Saving the longest piece until last, the 12 minute Hybrid Times keeps the quality quotient high and is one of the heavier tracks overall. Once again a song of many changes the drumming briefly venturing into thrash metal territory! A lull punctuated by a sequenced synth makes way for a final build into a cacophonous ending. Powerful stuff indeed.

So there you have it, a very pleasing new album from Riverside and very welcome in a year that so far hasn't produced too many great albums. A high contender to make my top 10 at the end of the year.

Review by progrules
4 stars The first thing I heard about this 4th studio release by Riverside was on my own thread about the band where I questioned their metal status and called them more heavy prog overlooking their career so far. One of the responders said their new album was going to be more metal than their previous ones and therefore Riverside would be adequate in the prog metal subgenre after all. Well, I don't know how the member knew this at that point because this was several months ago but probably he had some inside information because I can only admit he was right. Anno Domini is by far their roughest output so far.

Things start with Hyperactive, an energetic shorter song proving this point immediately. This song can compete with their roughest material on SLS in my opinion. The song has a nice pace and though the song took quite some listenings before getting the hang of it, I'm really into it now. This also goes for the rest of the album by the way, this is not very accessible I have to say but that always has a certain charm too and it proves the progressive calibre of an album , nothing wrong with that, is there ? 4*.

Driven to Destruction is already more epic and inventive than previous. Especially the vocals remind of their earlier albums but musically also this one is somewhat innovative with some nice haunting keys in the second half of the song. Really metal this one as well. 4,25*.

Egoist Hedonist is the first that really got stuck in my system first few times I listened to the album. This is truly a memorable song and the most accessible of the album. This is what I call a terrific composition, the build up and concept are excellent and again also this one is pretty metal. So after having listened to this album many times by now I have to agree Riverside is a prog metal band after all. This song is the highlight for me and I love the wind section after a few minutes which proves a brilliant idea ! 4,75*.

Left Out starts more laid back in a wonderful way giving the song an ambient dreamy feel. After two minutes Piotr accompanies and the song turns into a rock ballad, after this the mood within the song keeps changing but remains on the quiet side most of the time only getting a bit heavier towards the end. Another winner on this maginificent album. So far it's close to masterpiece status for me. 4,5 *.

Hybrid Times is a splendid closer in my opinion summing up all elements I heard so far in the other songs. Yet there is no special feature in this song to me like in third track, this is more like an overall very good track. Some nice guitar by Piotr around the 8 minute mark. 4,5*.

Like I said, close to a masterpiece but just misses out on that for me and not for the first time the average the album has so far on our site (4,33) is the right one for me. Second Life Syndrome is still their best album in my opinion but this one has moved up second place.

Review by Prog-jester
4 stars RIVERSIDE are back with their new release, and I feel like I'm coming back to my reviewing activity, he-he)

I really loved the Reality Dream trilogy, though, to be honest, it's ending part is somewhat weaker than its precedetors. To make myself clear, I never thought RIVERSIDE would return after such a weak album as "Rapid Eye Movement". But here they go - 5 tracks, 44'44'' of pure Atmoseric Rock/Modern Prog, and don't you dare to compare these Polish guys with ANATHEMA; PORCUPINE TREE or OPETH anymore! They've made enough albums to prove their right to have their own face, their own manner, their own sound, and ADHD only upgrades elements of their music to some new level. Two closing epics is an exclusive treat, especially for those who got tired with their REM's brooding. Welcome back, RIVERSIDE; and thank you for such a nice cute album! My Top-10 record for this year for sure

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars I discovered the band in 2004 with their first recording and so far, "Out of Myself " has always have had my preference. Probably because it was the less heavy-metal oriented. This "Anno Dominici?" is in line with the band's evolution towards a heavier and more metal sound. At least it is what can be felt while starting to listen to this album.

As soon as the well titled "Hyperactive" starts, you get the message: we're in for quite a wild treat. The band has a sound of their own, even if here and there some references are noticeable ("Opeth" or "Dream Theater" for instance). I have to admit that I much more preferred the whispering vocals from their debut than these aggressive ones available here.

This being said, there are still some enjoyable melodic parts which are combined with heavier ones. Keyboards do bring some other dimension to the music ("Driven To Destruction"). There are only five tracks on this short album. And their length is increasing chronologically: the shortest to start and the longest to end with.

The fine Oriental oriented "Egoist Hedonist" is a good song; probably because these sounds break with the overall metal mood (although this one is not a lullaby either). My fave of the whole is "Left Out" which reminds me a lot to their debut album: some atmospheric passages combined with heavy metal lines are a fine combination. Keyboards and guitar parts are very effective and end up crescendo in a fantastic orgy of sounds. A great track indeed.

The closing song is again on the heavy edge: keyboards are (again) the highlight: Michal Lapaj pumps them jolly good like the good old Hensley or Lord. He does overall a quite serious job on this album (maybe more than ever).

This work is their best one since their debut (at least I feel so). Just outside the four star rating (seven out of ten).

Review by Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars A really appealing aspect of this album for me is how each section within the arrangements flows together almost without seams. The longest two songs, situated at the last, are not as strong nor as memorable as what comes prior, however. This factor makes it a tough album for me to judge, given that it begins so mightily and then peters off as it seems the band is trying to be heavier than they are capable of. While classified as progressive metal, this work features some dynamics in terms of softer contrasts, but these unfortunately tend to be rare.

"Hyperactive" An exquisite piano introduction is eventually consumed by more menacing synthesizer and electric guitar dominated layers. The stark vocals shoot in over musical breaks, and sound exceptional except for the presumably intentional cracking that occasionally happens. The electric guitar burns through the mix like a wall of flame, while the synthesizer lead is more like a concentrated laser, searing a tremendous solo into the wall of noise. This is remarkable work.

"Driven To Destruction" A thudding bass kicks off the second song, and as with the previous one, becomes thicker thanks to electric guitar and subtle synthesizer. The pattern of the verses is similar to the previous song in that the singing takes place over quiet.

"Egoist Hedonist" A static guitar works against the dynamic music of the verses, and later on, heavy riffs and vocal improvisation take over on top of a brass section that provides some additional variety. A gritty bass solo ushers in an extremely creative musical interlude, full of crunchy guitar and eerily bright keyboard. It reminds me of Kansas in a way, particularly "The Spider" or "Myriad" if the band had taken a much heavier approach to either of those spiraling masterpieces.

"Left Out" A forlorn bass and soft electric guitar slow things down. When things become heavier, there's a pleasing and warbling organ accompanying the explosive guitars and drums. A lovely guitar riff, doubled by keyboard, is incorporated for bit just before that teaser of an organ earlier on pays up with a full on solo. The quieter middle section reminds me in so many ways of the somewhat underground artist Celldweller. The ending is grating at best, and downright irritating at worst.

"Hybrid Times" That coldly beautiful piano returns once more, and this time the vocalist does not tarry. It doesn't stay quiet for long either, as the band explodes into heavy riffs and a wild synthesizer lead. Midway through, the music takes on a more industrial veneer, pumping out crushing chords and heavy drums, and punctuating it all with vocal interruptions. Coincidentally, the organ chord progression is the same one used on one of the stages of Mega Man 2 for NES (I'm a nerd, I know). The track wears out its welcome in the last several minutes or so though, as it becomes repetitive and degenerates into an almost white noise conclusion.

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars This is what progressive metal should sound like. Blazing guitar, bass and drums. And vocals you can actually understand. The only big drawback is it's only forty four minutes long. Oh well.

This is my first Riverside album, so I cannot compare it with their previous work. But I like this one a lot.

The album begins with placid piano, but with the song being titled "Hyperactive", you know that will not last. The band soon comes in with some head ripping riffs, full of prog twists and turns. From start to finish, this album brings song after song of blissful attitude adjustment.

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Dear fans of Riverside fear not the new Anno Domini High Definition since I can assure you that it's truly an amazing release!

I admit that I had certain reservations and fears about this release since Riverside has so far only worked on their Reality Dream-trilogy, so who knew how the band would evolve once the trilogy was complete? All those fears were put to rest once I heard the new album. The band implemented a great deal of new sound techniques that make them sound better then ever. Don't believe me? Then check out the radio edit version of Egoist Hedonist from the band official Myspace!

It feels like Riverside have gathered all the elements that I truly loved about them on their previous releases and pushed it one step further which is an excellent definition of progress. Anno Domini High Definition is a strong competitor for best release of the year!

***** star songs: Hyperactive (5:45) Egoist Hedonist (8:56)

**** star songs: Driven To Destruction (7:06) Left Out (10:59) Hybrid Times (11:53)

Total rating: 4,33

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars RIVERSIDE can do no wrong as far as i'm concerned. This is their fourth studio album and they all rate between 4 and 4.5 stars in my opinion. The first three albums really drew me in with the atmosphere and those warm vocals and guitar leads, but this is a new chapter for the band and I like where they're heading. What stood out for me on this latest disc was the drumming and chunky bass. This one really kicks ass, and besides all that they've kept it under 45 minutes ! The art work is still done by Travis Smith but with a new trilogy comes a new direction in that area as well. The songs seem to get better as this album plays out and they certainly get longer. I still think "Left Out" is the best track though.

"Hyperactive" is a song that's been the hardest for me to get into simply because it's so different from what they've done in the past. Piano intro before it kicks in around 1 1/2 minutes. Vocals after 2 minutes. I like the guitar 2 1/2 minutes in. Synths come and go. "Driven To Destruction" has such a good bass intro before everyone joins in. It settles before a minute. Love the guitar after 1 1/2 minutes. Vocals and riffs trade off then join forces wreaking havoc. Classic RIVERSIDE right there, especially the guitar 3 1/2 minutes in. Great sound before 5 minutes then it kicks back in.

"Egoist Hedonist" opens with some crowd noise as drums, bass, guitar and vocals come in. Growly bass a minute in. Riffs 3 1/2 minutes in as contrasts continue. I like the drums and guitar 3 1/2 minutes in and later at 6 1/2 minutes. It's nice and heavy after 8 minutes with some excellent sounding synths late. "Left Out" really reminds me of "Damnation" for the first 2 minutes. Lots of atmosphere with fragile vocals, it's amazing. It kicks in after 2 minutes, settles then kicks in again before 4 1/2 minutes as contrasts continue. I like the keyboards and atmosphere 7 minutes in then we get some huge bass followed by guitar. Nice. "Hybrid Times" opens with piano before vocals then the whole band around a minute. The guitar is grinding it out after 3 minutes. It settles 6 minutes in with vocals then it starts to build. A warm guitar solo after 7 1/2 minutes before settling again 9 minutes in. There's a powerful undercurrent still as this plays out to the end.

It's too early for me to say how this rates when compared to their other albums, all I know is it's another successful recording from this great band.

Review by EatThatPhonebook
5 stars 10/10

"Anno Domini High Definition" is the quintessential modern prog album,the true essence of progressive metal.

Riverside's fourth album, released in 2009, finally showed me how progressive metal can penetrate your soul so strongly that you can't forget about it. Indeed, "Anno Domini High Definition" has become one of my favorite albums of all time, and it never seizes to amaze me for the fact that it's such a new and innovating album, and how it changed my life despite being released only one year ago.

I couldn't help noticing how this album was badmouthed by many Riverside fans, since it is very different from their previous efforts: the atmospheric Pink Floydish moments are practically gone, the sound is much crunchier, more crude, and of course heavier. It is a 100% progressive METAL album. Also, the song structures are more complex (it took me about seven listens to finally understand ADHD well), because of many time changes and the number of tracks goes down to five, and, as a consequence, the length of the album is shorter than those 60 minute Riverside records released previously.

How come this album is a landmark in progressive metal history? Let's look back at the previous prog metal masterpieces: with "Operation Mindcrime" there is a introduction to epic concept albums, with Images And Words" the genre reaches mainstream success, with "Scenes From A Memory" concept albums start to become more concentrated on the music, making some mind blowing songs and passages, with "The Perfect Element" some more modern elements are introduced in the music, "The Human Equation" proved that mixing prog metal with many different styles of music is a definite winning formula, even with "Second Life Syndrome" there is a different approach to heaviness, using also some space/ psych rock moments. I could list more albums, but I think these are the really important ones.

Anno Domini High Definition is important because it is indeed heavy, but there is no particular virtuosity from the musicians, there are no thrashy riffs, everything seems like it's coming straight from the heart.Even though there's no particular virtuosity, the band really is able to use and keep at the same level, without one overshadowing the others, all the instruments, that all have their shiny moments. The production is great, the sounds here sound very modern, almost futuristic because of the unbelievable use of synths, which many times produce some crazy sounds that are truly breathtaking and fascinating, and I could say I have never heard anything like it before, not even from a keyboardist such as Jordan Rudess. And finally, even though not as much as "The Human Equation" by Ayreon, the album is very eclectic: metal, jazz, some spanish taste (only in "Egoist Hedonist" for something like thirty seconds), ambient, electronic, and maybe even some synth pop.

This five song LP doesn't have a bad moment, as a consequence the album is quite solid. The opener "Hyperdrive" an unbelievable intro for this album, that creates such an amazing energy, with it's many time changes and hooks, in only five minutes. "Driven To Destruction" goes more progressive, and even though it has a really catchy guitar riff that explodes after two minutes of semi-building. Another great song for Riverside, with once again many hooks, slower and more tense ones as well. "Egoist Hedonist" is where the building and the tension is the highest, but it's also where these moments are he most haunting; this eight minute track is in fact the mot beautiful one here, constructed like a sort of minisuite. At mid song, it gets quite loud, it get's quiet again (for me this is the highest peak of the album) to explode into a fantastic climactic ending. "Left Alone" is a ten minute song that is the biggest and most succesful builder here; almost half of it is meditative, calm, and haunting like few songs. The end is of course also climactic. "Hybrid Times" is the closure and the longest song here (eleven minutes), a beautifully but differently structured piece,that starts with mind blowing prog metal and that has an unexpected ambient ending to a terrific masterpiece.

This said, I realize how I'm maybe the only one that recognizes this as an important record, but I'm sure it will be considered that way in the years to come. "Anno Domini High Definition" is the quintessential modern prog album, the true essence of progressive metal miraculously carved in these five tracks.

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars After three excellent albums, Riverside finally hit their stride with ADHD and exceed the safe and sound approach they had applied before. Don't get me wrong. I absolutely loved the preceding albums but still, I wasn't entirely satisfied. The music was too similar to their peers (Anathema, Pink Floyd, Marillion) and they seemed unwilling or unable to stray far from the tried and true sound and style established on the debut album.

Not so on ADHD. As the title already suggests this album surges with energy and finds Riverside taking a more dynamic and metalized direction. The result is superb, it's been quite a while (since Opeth's Ghost Reveries in fact) that I have heard an album so full of focused inspiration and enthusiasm. Each song is a breathtaking adventure through prog, metal, melody and emotion. All of them perfect in their own right, with as standout track Egoist Hedonist, which launched itself from out of nowhere right into my top 10. So instead of dissecting this album song by song, let's focus on the musicians for a change.

Mikael Åkerfeldt excluded (as he is in a league of his own), Mariusz Duda must be the best rock singer of this decade. At least I haven't heard anyone recently with his exceptional gift for melody or with a voice that can be both so subtle and warm or loud and harsh. On ADHD he shines in all of these aspects and even adapts a few new tricks like the casual and slightly hoarse timbre on Hyperactive and Driven To Destruction. Whenever he's not too busy singing he puts in some exceptional bass guitar lines like the opening strumming on Driven to Distruction and the fat rolling groove that drives the closing track.

Piotr Grudzinski stands out on electric guitars. Some people will probably miss the prevailing clean melodic lines from earlier albums but they shouldn't. The reason is that first of all, the clean melodic solos have not entirely gone, but most of all, he has diversified his playing a lot. Adding lots of metal flavours, a bit of funk and also some vary fragile plucking as in the first short solo of Left Out. Almost Reine Fiske from Landberk here.

Piotr Kozieradzki is not the type of fellow you want to meet in a dead end street after dark so evidently we will only praise him! Not only is his drumming as adequate as always, but, due to the excellent production here, it is put much more to the foreground and shines as it never has on a previous Riverside album.

But the man of the album would be Michal Lapaj. Those of you who have stumbled upon one of my reviews of the classic prog era might have noticed that I'm not too big a fan of the way keyboards are usually utilized in prog. Well on this album they absolutely astound me. Both on the prominent Hammond Organ and on the keyboards he continuously adds excellent leads, solos or backgrounds. World class. There's even some theremin at the end!

With this album Riverside have outshone many of their examples. This album will be hard to beat in the 2009 year lists.

PS. I don't know what all the 4-hype is about though. It's their 4th album yes, but it has 5 songs, its length is 44.42 (not 44.44 according to my CD-player) and it has a definite 5 stars, not 4!

Review by Zitro
5 stars 4.5 stars rounded up.

Riverside began as a highly enjoyable progressive rock band that blended elements from Porcupine Tree, Marillion and Tool. The band was dominated by guitar, bass, and Duda's great vocal skills, occasionally flirting with heavy metal. The first three albums formed a trilogy, where I could tell that they were running out of ideas by the third. After that album, I didn't think they could continue making excellent Riverside music.

I was wrong. Riverside reinvented itself. This may divide the fans, but I think they did the right thing and came up with their best album yet. Anno Domino High Definition (ADHD) is heavier, hectic, dynamic, and with some of the best application of keyboards in heavy metal that I've heard. Oh yes, Riverside is now a progressive metal band. However, Riverside did not let go of its 70s influences. In fact, it seems more influenced now with the multitude of analogue synthesizers and vintage hammond organs.

I will focus on the keyboards when talking about the songs.

Hyperactive starts with a piano theme that slowly fades away while guitars start creeping in. Moog Synthesizers play along the heavy metal riffs. Afterwards, there is a call-and-response section between vocals and heavy instrumentation, with fiery hammond organ runs and some subtle synthesizer.A bridge features more hammond and mini-moog synthesizers and the climax of the song is an analogue synthesizer solo backed by metal riffs.

Driven to Destruction starts with a bass line, dirty and thick synthesizers until it transitions into a latin-influenced section with an exotic piano line. All of the rest of the song is supported by very nice keyboard touches and that piano line returns halfway.

Egoist Hedonist frequently uses synth pads like in the early Riverside albums but much more. There is a hectic hammond organ run before the first verse that is very effective. Emerson-like synthesizers introduce and finish the frequently-discussed brass section. This is a very funky part with horns and jumpy bass lines alternating with heavier parts with a very effective synthesizer melody and nu-metal screaming low in the mix. Again, vintage keyboards really help the mood in the very mellow part of the song. The last three minutes of the song are dominated by various keyboard timbres and a middle-eastern mood.

Left Out is my personal favorite song in the album: a masterpiece. The first minutes seem influenced by Opeth's soft side and is almost keyboard-free, until a vibes-like timbre plays along a mellow electric guitar riff. The music briefly gets heavy twice with electric guitars, hammond organ runs and synthesizers playing along them. I think when the song becomes truly special is when a rhythmic low-pitched synthesizer riff plays by itself and the vocals and other instruments starts joining it. Here is when the band truly shines and the songwriting is awe-inspiring. The piano in particular gets me every time. The music slowly builds into a progressive metal passage, without abandoning that rhythmic synthesizer.

The beginning of Hybrid Times is dominated by elegantly complex and fast-paced piano with great vocals singing along. The piano theme is then played by heavy guitars and synthesizers. One timbre sounds similar to the legendary Rick Wakeman. After a few minutes of Dream-Theater influenced metal, various keyboards create a beautiful landscape of music which ends up building up into the heaviest passage of music, with dissonant high-pitched synthesizers, blastbeats, and heavy guitar riffs. The calm after the storm features a keyboard-only electronic passage full of vintage keyboards and sampling getting very dissonant at the end.

After the detailed description of how well Riverside implements keyboards into their new sound, you might see why I was so pleased with this album. I think it is not truly heavy, so it may be quite accessible to the baby boomer generation who regularly plays the Symphonic Rock legends from the 70s.

Review by CCVP
5 stars Putting METAL in Riverside's progressive metal

The thing I like most about great bands is their capability of reinventing themselves, with dear consequences every time. It all depends on which thing they decide to make their bets and, most times, it either is catastrophic or brilliant, but that is always a very dangerous thing to do because, in one hand, one can seriously lose the point and turn into something that neither the old fans like, nor is able to capture the attention of anybody else, like happened to Queensr˙che, for example. On the other hand one can hit precisely the bullseye, putting out something new that is pleasant to everybody, old and, eventually, new fans alike.

Riverside's case, along with many other bands that released albums these past years and 2009, is, of course, the second case. The band decided to make a really good departure from their mellow and spacy progressive metal and embrace their more extreme influences, such as death metal, though keeping their identity: space rock, Porcupine Tree and Marillion influences can still be seen throughout the album, not as clear as in their debut, however, which is definitely an improvement, but they are still somewhere in the mix. Powerful organs have also been added and assumed a very important role, a role which the synthesizers couldn't fill very well, with great results. Also, this change of direction is very important to consolidate Riverside's spot in the sun as on e of the most important progressive metal bands of nowadays and to take them out of the grise (or grey) zone, since many times they were in the borderline between heavy progressive rock and progressive metal and now they send a clear message to us all that they are, indeed, a (very good) progressive metal band.

Anno Domini High Definition is, as bassist and singer Mariusz Duda said, the clearest way for fans to see what Riverside really is, a high definition picture of the true identity of the band (thus the name of the album). That can be interpreted in a series of different (and positive) ways: the band has really matured to the point that they can easily work together and put out the best of each and every member; Riverside is finally able to give itself the luxury of being different; the members are finally able to work out, in their music, all the intensity of what they picture it to be. One way or another, this album is all of this: INTENSE, DIFFERENT AND MATURE, WITHOUT LOSING THE BAND'S IDENTITY!

This combination resulted in one of the biggest surprises I had in some time, musically, regarding progressive rock/metal releases. Every musical phrase comes with a pleasant and unexpected surprise (being the biggest surprise of all the drums crescendo at the end of the album, ending perfectly with a very well put blast-beat) to such a degree that I have been listening to this album almost three months non-stop and it still surprises me one way or the other and I bet that, as time passes, the album will be even more pleasant and interesting to listen to. Thus, I believe, Anno Domini High Definition will be a serious competitor for the place of album of the year, if it isn't already.

Musically, you can pretty much expect the usual Riverside, but in the higher gears, with more power and intensity then ever before. However, they are not anywhere near being extreme, they are just more energetic. The highlights go to the whole album, which is a very memorable and enjoyable one. The production is also top notch: the instruments and vocals sound as clear as possible, contributing greatly for the album overall quality.

Grade and Final Thoughts

An album of such high quality production, recording and composing features cannot be left unrewarded. Indeed, Riverside's 2009 album is one of those fine treats that is instantly recognizable as a masterpiece, though some may take a wile to be able to draw the whole picture and really enjoy the album. Solid 5 stars and, sincerely, the best album released so far in 2009. Don't miss it!

Review by The T
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars An early candidate for album of the year.

RIVERSIDE disappointed me a little with their previous release, Rapid Eye Movement, which lacked any real good songs and any definition of character. The album was neither black or white, space-rock or metal, nor a good blend of those two. Unlike the two first great albums, Out of Myself and Second Life Syndrome, RIVERSIDE's third was just another rock album in a year full of better releases.

Change has arrived, finally. Or maybe not actually change, but realization, the comfirmation of a promising band ultimately reaching maturity and adopting a true, unique identity. RIVERSIDE is now a progressive metal band, with plenty of space rock elements and atmosphere, but a metal band at last. Gone are the indecisions of the past, the Polish group has decided to make a statement about their musical objective and they have accomplished that in glorious, full 1080p high-definition, to use video terms and the album's title.

As said previously, RIVERSIDE's fourth and best is a progressive metal album. The riff matters a lot on this disc, the riff carries a lot of weight, as does melody and atmosphere, two crucial elements that the band has mastered at last, creating the PINK FLOYD-TOOL-PORCUPINE TREE hybrid that brings back memories of already-legendary groups but resonates, firmly, with its own sound. The songs, with no exception, utter one and only one name which ends up in the mind of the listener: RIVERSIDE. The Polish quartet has been born, full, complete, authentic.

When new bands come around, critics always use comparison to give an idea of what the music sounds like to other potential listeners. RIVERSIDE has finally got to the point where it will stop being compared, and it will turn into the point of reference.

A masterpiece. One of the best albums of 2009, if not already the absolute best. Get it with no hesitation.

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I was fan of hard rock and heavy metal in times, when I still didn't now too much about prog- rock.After 20+ years my point of view is a bit different, but I still love many of great heavy- metal atrists, from Black Sabbath to Metallica.

Another story is modern heavy music. Even if there are some really interesting names ( as Therion, or Opeth, for example), many of new bands are just imitators of different quality. I am not speaking about technical quality of music - there are plenty of very technically skilled musicians all around, but about spirit. The real spirit of neavy metal is gone.

So it's a pleasant event, when I can find something, what is new and has this true spirit of heavy rock. May be you 'll be surprised, but on of this rare pleasant events happened right now, with new Riverside album!

I am quite familar with Polish rock, still from my childhood I grew up with Polish radio translations. There was plenty of good music! But after SBB/ Czeslaw Niemen era slowly I came to the understanding, that Poland is one of the best countries for quality pop-jazz songs, nor rock. Another thing, during last some years Poland is one of the biggest European market for live shows of world well-known prog-groups!

But their original product? Till now it quite often was some groups of different level, but often just of local interest scale. So, I started with new Riverside album with some scepticism. And it was disappeared immediately!

Absolutely world-class prog-metal ( I can say, it something in between of heavy prog and prog-metal), perfect melodies, complex,but very individual compositions. But most important - warm, even nostalgic, sound with this wonderful atmosphere many of us still remember from best rock records from 70-th! Vocal is strong enough, but with this warmness again.

Yes, formally it's a keyboard driven prog-metal, but with strong accent to melodism, even some acoustic sound, not too heavy ( it's a plus there), but soul-catching. Very roughly you can classify this music as something what came from Dream Theater field, but you can hear much more soul there!

So, perfect surprise for me, that album! After checking their site, I realised, that Riverside are starting their World Tour ( supporting this album) just next week ( at the end of september,2009), and three very first concerts are scheduled not too far from my place! In fact Bialystok,Elk and Olsztyn all are about 200 -3oo km right from my hometown of Vilnius. So I'm seriously planning just to cross Polish border next weekend and see them live!

Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Everyone is happy about this album. I was happy too, quite enthusiastic, so I was quite pleased. I've tried most of top 2009 albums by far (first was perhaps Maudlin, hehe), but then I started to be cautious about "Anno Domini HD". It albums grew and fell down regularly, but this one remained on second place for a long time. And I guess why.

It's not exactly prog metal. It's rock and metal somehow blended together. 70s sounding keyboards illustrates it and gives me rock feeling. But there's metal part, guitars mostly. Simply - weird, but interesting. And interesting is everything here. Honestly, I was expecting something which would be mystery for me why everyone loves it. But now I understand, what's it. Maybe it's because this is my first Riverside album, but I hope others will be as good as this. There's maybe one bad thing, Arabic influence is welcomed, as it's not so usual in prog music, but sometimes they pushes limits too far (end of otherwise great ending song Hybrid Times), or maybe another thing. Even they're trying to be as opposite as possible, their music is sometimes repetitive. But just a little bit, nothing so much important.

4(+), I just like how this album is for everyone (not everyone is going to appreciate Yes music, some may be awed by Jon's voice, some may feel lost in long compositions. Not every progger will like death metal, will be able to stand the voice and brutality of it.), good for beginners and also providing real treat for old-schoolers.

Review by The Sleepwalker
3 stars Riverside's most recent release and fourth full-length studio album is Anno Domini High Definition. The album shows the heavy side of the band more than on previous releases, which means that there is less focus on creating atmosphere. This is probably my main issue with the album. It isn't bad though, not at all. The album shows excellent musicianship and does really feature some great music.

The album opens with the haunting piano playing of "Hyperactive". This will soon change in menacing metal that's very rich of synths. The song is very powerful, like most songs on the album, though it isn't a masterpiece. The same goes for "Driven To Destruction"; a good song, but nothing more. The following songs are longer ,more progressive, and also more interesting. "Egoist Hedonist" features some cheesy melodies but in the end is a very nice song. "Left Out" is probably the most atmospheric song on the album and in my opinion the best. It shows some excellent musicianship and I can't really say much bad about it. The closing track, "Hybrid Times" starts with a piano intro, like "Hyperactive". Soon the song will burst out into the heaviest track on the album, that isn't much less good than "Left Out".

There aren't really bad songs on here, though none are really overwhelming. All songs are incredibly powerful though, and while that might sound positive I don't think it is. The album sounds a bit unbalanced because of this, which I think really is a shame. The bonus DVD, which is recorded at the Paradiso in the Netherlands is a nice feature. The performance is excellent, and much more atmospheric than the album itself. This is because it features songs from the previous albums. This live performance also shows the excellent musicianship of the band.

Three stars seems like a very good rating for this album. It isn't bad by any means, but just lacks the atmosphere that is so defining for Riverside's sound. I'd recommend this to anyone liking some powerful prog metal with psychedelic influences and not minding a bit of cheese here and there.

Review by poslednijat_colobar
1 stars Metal is everything... yes, but no!

Some months ago I have tried to listened to the album Anno Domini High Definition by Riverside. It doesn't worked for me then. I wrote a review about this album and it was very ironical and cynical. In fact, then I was very nervous and a couple of days I have asked a man of admin group to delete my review and rating about this album, because it's not objective. Meanwhile, two or three Riverside lovers sent me messages with not very kind words. After that, I decided not to write a review about Anno Domini High Definition immediately, because of lacking enough time. But I didn't forget I have to write it lately. And now, half an year later I'm again in front of this album and I'm quite determined to realize this dream!? ;) I found out there isn't matter how many times I'll listen to this album. I shan't like it even I listen to it 100 times.

What an interesting thing is the fate!? Once I have been in a bar with a friend of mine and we were arguing about music. I'm big fan of progressive music and don't like blues music. He's big fan of blues music and doesn't like progressive music. I told him progressive music contains great musicians and philosophers, great ideas, precision and so on. He told me all these things belong to blues music. He told me something else - there aren't feeling in progressive music; it's only a race or competition of technique between the bands. Of course, he's not so familiar with progressive music and I just laughed at him. When I listen to Anno Domini High Definition by Riverside I recall my mind with these words of him. He's little right about all these things, but obviously only about progressive metal and especially Riverside.

What we have here in this album? It has solid musicianship and nothing else. We have race, competition, we don't have feelings. This music was made full of sterility all around the album. There aren't almost any ideas and the songwriting is poor. Accurate example of meaningless. There isn't anything memorable. Most of the sound is programmed. I have to pay attention to the vocals. They are disgusting and looks like vocals made by fifteen years old absent-minded lad. Tthere are some attempts to resemble Prodigy, Amorphis even Deep Purple and so on, but even this doesn't help to the album. Everything sounds artificially. So I'm looking forward to the next Riverside album. For now not more than one little star! Mission completed!!!

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Anno Domini High Definition is the fourth studio effort by Polish act Riverside, a band that seems to steadily become more and more popular.

And their eclectic mix of sounds and styles is still innovative 8 years into their career, blending classical-inspired and ambient dreamy segments with sophisticated hard rock and progressive metal, including the inclusion of a few subtle elements from the more extreme parts of the latter at times.

The tracks are diversified, at times to the extreme, suddenly evolving affairs that are unpredictable and challenging despite not utilizing any extreme effects of any sort. Fans of dissonant sounds and disharmonic passages can safely look elsewhere for their entertainment - sparse sequences with insistant dominating elements or richly flavoured and textured themes is the name of the game here. And the latest addition to Riverside's arsenal of sounds - or at least the latest to be given a dominating role - is the organ. Adding a vintage tinge to their otherwise rather modern sounding excursions.

Personally I don't find this latest effort to be a truly great effort though. Final track Hybrid Times is a stunning affair though, and the only creation that didn't really grab my attention was Left Out. The rest of the album, the opening three numbers to be precise, are solid, strong affairs though. And I suspect that all of them eventually may grow on me as well as other listeners - there's so much going on there that it takes more than a handful of listens to digest it all.

But with the limitations the latter does give as far as reaching a conclusion goes, I note this down as a solid effort, and one with a potential to be regarded as more than that as time goes by.

Review by TheGazzardian
2 stars Musically, I can't explain why this one doesn't appeal to me. It has melody, catchy bits, has plenty of variance within. Yet somehow, after many listens, I just can't find myself caring about a single song on this album.

There are just little things about it that irk me a bit. Things like the fact that, the very last time they say, "It's just another day in my life" in the opening track, I always think to myself, "I really hope this is the last time, because I'm sick of that line." The song then ends, so it's literally about five seconds longer than it should be ... surely nothing to complain about.

And in Egoist Hedonist, when they are singing "Just Let me Live Without Your Pain", I always get the feeling that I've heard that line before, heard the way it's sung before, heard the vocal effect they used before, and while perhaps I didn't hear those three things together, I didn't think they were interesting the first time.

It has its moments, but none of them really grab me enough to remember later. That, I suppose, and all the little things that just sound off to me, is why I rarely feel the desire to pop this album into the CD player.

I do find Left Out to be a rather decent track, starting with nice guitar work, and it uses mood quite nicely. If I liked Mariusz' vocals more, I might listen to this track on it's own (ignoring the rest of the album). Unfortunately, Hybrid Times does not sound as good as Left Out, but is more along the same line of quality as the first three tracks.

Overall, I don't find enough appeal with this album to recommend it to anyone, unless they already fans of the band - in which case, they probably already own this album.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Anno Domini High Definition (ADHD) is all killer, no filler, a full blown masterpiece.

I publicly announce my official conversion to Riverside. Although I am new to this band I am absolutely convinced they are setting the bar high with their last 3 albums. This, their latest, is absolutely stunning music from end to end. The musical virtuosity is excellent, I love that pounding Hammond sound and the guitars are intricate and soar over the music. The vocals are easy to listen to, similar to Steven Wilson's style, and every track rises and soars with lengthy instrumental sections that feature incredible guitar and burning keyboards.

Egoist Hedonist utilises trumpets by guest stars and it is an effective moment on the track. The ambience of the quieter sections are balanced by all out psych prog freakouts and this is a heavy album with melancholy singing mixed with aggressive growling at times. The guitars are Jon Petrucci like, but there is a signature trademark sound that Riverside captures.

Every track seems to blend seamlessly into one 44 minute track but definitely a real highlight is 'Left Out' and the closer 'Hybrid Times' absolutely kills featuring Theremin would you believe!

'Hyperactive' is a short (5:45) opening number to get things started beginning soft piano that builds to a fortissimo of keyboards and bass. The killer riff chugs along frenetically and the off kilter drums are outstanding.

'Egoist Hedonist' would be one of the best prog metal tracks I have heard. It delivers with symphonic glacial landscape atmospherics with the warm vocals chiming in. The ambience of serenity is broken with the fractured angular guitars; an all out metal onslaught off the scale.

The absolute icing on the cake is the limited edition DVD that feature the band Live at the Paradiso in Amsterdam, a popular venue for prog metal such as Pain of Salvation on their 'Ending Themes' DVD. The Riverside concert is resplendent with colourful lighting and a tiny display screen but the music is the main star. 'Volte Face' hammers along with shimmering organ and relentless guitar riffing. The band play many tracks from their last 2 albums. 'Volte Face', 'Conceiving You,' 'I turned you Down' and 'Reality Dream III' are from "Second Life Syndrome" and are played to perfection. The Tracks from "Rapid Eye Movement" are 'Beyond the Eyelids', '02 Panic Room' and 'Ultimate Trip'. Though this is not their best album from what I have read, the tracks are equally good on the live stage.

The crowd absolutely adore them and the band effortlessly perform one track after another with little explanation or introduction whipping them into a frenzy. The DVD runs for 40 minutes only, but it's well worth getting hold of. So this package features some of the best of the band thus far and is a pleasant experience. If you are new to the band you can expect accomplished musicianship with intricate drum patterns, screaming guitar breaks, keyboard flourishes and complex time signature changes.

There is a thread of Dream Theater, a layer of Porcupine Tree, a spattering of Deep Purple, and a teaspoon of Pain of Salvation, but Riverside are carving a niche in prog metal that is their own and deserved of cult status. If they were not mega stars in the prog world after their Reality Dream Trilogy, ADHD seals the deal and launches them to the stratosphere. Poland bands bow down and worship the new masters. They are undisputed brilliant musicians and this CD package is indispensable.

A 5 star triumph!

Review by jampa17
3 stars A good prog metal album... Nothing more...

This is the first time that I've heard this interesting band. Riverside happened to be (to my ears) an interesting effort of different tendencies, having a mixture between Porcupine Tree and Dream Theater together. They have a groovy side, more atmospheric and relaxed mixed with more straight nu metal parts and other prog metal phrases with intricate solos, time signature changes and unisons. The result is very good, not impressive maybe, but still good enough to enjoy.

This is their most recent piece and maybe I should check a little back in their catalog, because I've found a very good band with a lot of dynamics going on, all the musicians in the top of form and sharing a good experience of intensity and heaviness, lifted in the right places with more ambience piano soft oriented phrases.

The album is really short, just above 40 minutes of music, which is good, because you have to have a really good concept to make a solid album longer than that. And I feel maybe Riverside is not at that level of quality or maybe not in this album. My point is that I felt that only 40 minutes of music was perfect for their purpose. The melodies are very enjoyable and "singable", maybe the voice of their vocalist is not the best for this type of music, but the music is good enough to save it. I mean, he has the ability to sing in different states of emotion, but in the heavy parts it's evident that he can't reach the level of aggression the music needs (it's a very subjective observation, I know, so, don't give this too much credit, please, I'm very picky with vocals). As for the rest of musicians, no complains, a great sound, good interpretation, maybe they should receive more respect and attention, but with those so many prog metal bands out there, is a little difficult to reach that goal. I will check out their rest of material, because it promises to be good.

For me, their first three "short" songs are more interesting, but I think the complete piece is solid and cohesive enough to make it.

I do recommend this album and this band to any alternative prog fans, like Porcupine Tree or Tool fans, as well as more Prog metal oriented fans, like recent Dream Theater or O.S.I. fans. 3 stars, with possibilities of growing, but just for now it's a solid 3 album. Good, but not essential.

Review by Flucktrot
4 stars No tricks, no frills, no overblown pomposity, and a take-no-prisoners attitude: Anno Domini High Definition punches you right in the mouth and doesn't let up.

I've always thought that Riverside left a bit on the table in previous albums, but they have cleaned up the unnecessary ambiance, tightened up the structure so that each member is locked into each second of music, and just generally rocked out for the entirety of the album.

First of all, these guys produce a bigger sound with four members than many five or six person groups can muster. In addition, each of them sound better than on previous albums (except possibly Piotr G on guitar, who perhaps only equals his previous high standards). On drums, Piotr K appears to have expanded his kit, and it really comes through on some of the fills. Lapaj is fantastic on keys, leaning on that dirty, heavy rock organ to killer effect, but also being right on the spot with atmospheric synth strings, piano, and various solos when its his turn. And Duda is awesome in his double duty on vocals and bass.

The entire album is quite solid. Perhaps they are trying a bit too hard to change their sound in the intro, but after that first song, they are all locked in and ready to rock, from the danceable Egoist Hedonist to spacey yet intense Left Out.

Tons of great grooves, never overly repetitive, and lots of straight-up, balls-out rocking: By now it should be clear that I love what Riverside is doing on this album, but I'm going to pull up just short of masterpiece status and err on the side of caution. I would not be surprised if I decide to upgrade after another year or two.

Regardless, I've had me a killer case of ADHD since this album came out, and I hope to stay that way!

Review by SoundsofSeasons
5 stars We live in hyperactive times.

I have been away from reviewing albums for a LONG time, but ill come back for this one. I just listened to this (had it for a few months) intensely today, and i am blown away by it once again. This is modern epic metal at its very best. Its SO theatrical its like a Dream Theater epic without the cheese thrown on top.. i can say this because recently DT isn't anything like it used to be. Riverside is on the upper echelon. The NEW STANDARD people. If i had to relate the album to something, one of the first things that come to mind is a story unfolding, one of the constant movement of today with the keyboard making sounds like those of a modern computer or something you might hear in the 'Born Identity' movies, with the pace being like that of the latest one 'The Born Ultimatum'. If anyone has seen that movie you'll know what i mean, it hits the ground running and does not let up.

On the music front its Riverside re-inventing itself. And unlike 90% of the time with most bands, this reinvention actually WORKS. It still has those emotional guitar solo's we loved from Second Life Sydrome, but with the intensity cranked up a notch, the drums are EVEN more technical and just plain inventive then they were in past albums, definitely more on the forefront this drummer is going to make a name for himself one way or another. The keyboard is so sick! It ads so much atmosphere to the album interjecting buzzes and beeps and walls of sound that really feel as though your ADHD and constantly being thrust forward in this high tech world. And the vocals are, as always, greatly warm lower register singing with the 15% chance of growling as well for a nice contrast of emotion and pure animalistic power.

Honestly this album is so good it actually takes time to let it soak in because there is so much layered in these 44:44 minutes that it will cause your head to spin a good number of times before you can break it down and understand where its going. Also the lyrics MUST be read as well, a real treat, well thought out commentary and introspective assesment of the world, this generation. Not to say this album isn't catchy and easily accessible, just that what will be found at first is the licks, tempo, and rock. But whats hidden underneath that is layers upon layers of soundscapes washing over like the streaks of lights of the cover art, blurring the resolution in our Nex-Gen Hi-Rez Wonderland.

As much as i LOVE Second Life Syndrome. Regarded it as the best Riverside album, and one of my all time favorite albums. Along came ADHD. And this is actually even better.

5 Stars. Masterpiece.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Not even in the same league as "Second Life Syndrome"! This album is far too heavy-bordering-on-metal and lacking the melodic appeal and accessibility of the previous near-masterpiece. It's as if Duda's other project, Lunatic Soul, is extracting the subtler, "prettier" side out of Riverside, leaving only the flash, show, and freneticism of this rather unexceptional, ordinary heavy rock. Everything is being played at a volume of eleven, at hyper-speed, with reckless abandon--as if the world were ending and they were racing toward it in a mind-numbing stupor. Not even "good" to my ears--for collectors only: two stars. Better luck next time (I hope the boys come up with an alternate plan in case the world doesn't end as quickly as they think it is.)
Review by Menswear
5 stars Loud.

This album stomps, shreds, drives, pummels, jackdrills and plows your interiors at given times, but it can also gently rocks you in Left Out..(into big strong arms though).Riverside is one of the youngest modern bands to be the father of many others, they already reached the state of almost-cult band in less than 5 years. Every year, many bands are trying this recipe to talk to the world, best amongst them Osada Vida and Votum.

Their blend of Titanium (abrasive) and Lithium (mood stabilizer) is a force to be reckoned with in the rock buisness, a powerful ace in the hole that blows away the sceptic in a few listens. Riverside is giving again the borderline anger/ despair approach, making them genuinely scary.The keyboard has never been more in front, with rythmic high-tek textures, deafening/ frightning segments (Hybrid Times) and a powerful Hammond sound. In fact, this album is the most powerful of all 4; not by the heavyness of the guitars, but by the cranked up mood it radiates. Better than Rapid Eye Movement, louder than any other but still as pumped.

There is a distinct sense of urgency in this record, making it the perfect unwinding record after a hard week.

Review by Negoba
4 stars Excellent Evolution of an Already Great Band

With ANNO DOMINI HIGH DEFINITION (ADHD), Riverside made decisions to regroup after the relative letdown of RAPID EYE MOVEMENT. REM was solid enough, but seemed to many to be a bit of a retread of the previous two albums rather than the climax of a trilogy that it was intended to be. Under a new producer, recording in a new studio, the band upped the prominence of the keyboards and electronics while simultaneously getting heavier. (Yes this seems backwards, but it is accurate.) They also injected a little more frantic energy, consistent with the ADHD title and album theme. The result is excellent, and I think that the album is probably their best work.

What I've always loved about Riverside is that they have this slight 80's flavor that I've found a little hard to pin down. Some of it has to do with tone, with the reverbs and delays they use. They also have a vibe that just reminds me of some of Queensryche's dark rainy night scenes. On ADHD, the keys definitely continue this trend, but introduce some new sounds we've never heard on a Riverside record before. The band does a great job of treading the fine line between modern precision and live feel. While the production is very up front, I can imagine every bit of this record being performed live.

The sound continues in the Anathema meets Pink Floyd meets Tool mold with influence from Queensryche and Pain of Salvation. In my opinion, they continue to clearly separate from the Dream Theater crowd both in Mariusz Duda's goth rock vocal tone and the general lack of wankery. I do, however, hear alot of Kevin Moore influence on this record which in my opinion is a great thing. The album begins with a slightly anxious piano interlude, clearly preparing past fans that something new is coming. Even when the full band comes in at 1:30, the lead element is almost 70's prog synth.

As the album progresses, we get more of the typical Riverside sound from previous albums, but by that time, this listener has already shifted my expectations. The songwriting has also improved a bit, I think. The melodies are more compelling, the transitions from section to section are better planned. The album simply holds interest much better than even the wonderful Second Life Syndrome.

At the same time, this album lacks those few "holy moly" moments that makes me yell "Awww heyall yeah" at the speakers. Every masterpiece album has a few of those sections that just send shivers down the spine.

4.5/5 star album rounded down simply because of that lack. One of the best albums from the last 5 years in our straight prog metal category.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars It sounds like one song with five movements...

Oh man ... I really love this excellent offering from Poland's space progressive metal band. The music is really great combining progressive metal elements as well as space psychedelic style that sometimes bring me to the kind of Ozric Tentacles goes progressive metal. The music is truly captivating as you will get excellent contribution of good melody vocal which most of them is in clean vocal style with some screaming verses - but it makes unique style; guitar work both in riffs style as well as stunning guitar solo; piano and keyboard and of course powerful music flow that sounds all album as one song with many movements - five movements. The other good characteristic is that in every song there are many changes of moods and styles. The music sometimes is unpredictable and makes good experience in listening.

The opening track Hyperactive (5:45) starts nicely with piano touch that sounds something mellow and it then suddenly move to the spacey progressive metal style with nice combination of power and space psychedelic. Almost in the same style is the next track Driven To Destruction (7:06) which both have excellent dynamics and energy from start to end. What then becomes my favorite is the third track Egoist Hedonist (8:56) which has powerful melody and energetic style with bass-driven composition. This track demonstrates the band's innovative way presenting the brass section sounds, emulated from keyboards, that enrich the composition. There are many excellent bassguitar lines throughout this attractive track, I really enjoy it. The guitar solo is also stunning especially when it's combined with the spacey background that surrounds it. Oh by the way, I like the parts when the lyric verses say something like "Just let me live without your pain". Wow!! It's really great man! Left Out (10:59) starts beautifully with atmospheric bass guitar work combined with guitar fills that bring the vocal enters the music in mellow style. In terms of tempo this track can be considered as mellower than the previous three tracks but again the flow and overall composition are really excellent. I do enjoy this track from start to end. Yes at the end there is heavier style and it makes the music much more captivating especially with its Hammond- like organ sound. It's quite weird isn't it - having prog met with Hammond? But it's really nice. The final track Hybrid Times (11:53) is like a great climax that summarizes everything this bad has as its potentials. It's really great to have organ solo combined with guitar solo in a space psychedelic progressive metal using rhythm section that is very bass guitar driven throughout the whole song.

Overall, this is an excellent addition to any prog music collection. I just one to add that the production - the sonic quality - is really great and you will get full satisfaction if you play it LOUD. Keep on proggin' ...!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Review by Sinusoid
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.

Review by Prog Leviathan
4 stars Anno Domini High Definition is a solid piece of dark prog metal that continues Riverside's winning streak. While it doesn't quite grab hold of the listener as strongly as their earlier work, which had a more emotive and personal resonance, Anno Domini HD is undeniably excellent. After many listens I found myself being consciously aware that it wasn't having a strong impact on me, but nonetheless loving the heavy crunching, complex rhythms, and layers of electronic textures.

Riverside's style takes the best elements of modern prog from the past 15 years and turns it into something distinct and entertaining despite sounding somewhat derivative. On Anno Domini HD, the group focuses on intensity and instrumental virtuosity. There are few open sections within, or between songs, which was a trademark of earlier work. Here we've got an almost constant up beat tempo and interplay between instruments, with bassist Duda and keyboardist Lapaj standing out to me as the strongest contributors. Lapaj especially is experimenting with new sounds that give the album that sort of "high tech" feel, which is a theme prevalent in the lyrics. As a whole, the band plays very tight, very intense, and very metal (in Riverside's distinct, bass-heavy and almost mellow way).

The songwriting is good, though suffers from the album's focus on intensity. Giving more space for us to enjoy the journey would have been nice, rather than focusing on instrumental virtuosity that is the standard for the genre; at least we can appreciate it being something different for Riverside. The lyrics are, conventionally, dark. Duda's dynamic voice is smooth throughout, another nice trademark that distinguishes Riverside from most metal bands, singing lyrics about the struggle for individuality in modern life and addiction to stress/electronics (with a bit of Plato's "The Cave" thrown in). They're poetic, cynical, and well sung.

All in all another great album from one of the best modern prog acts around, though not their best.

Songwriting: 3 - Instrumental Performances: 4 - Lyrics/Vocals: 4 - Style/Emotion/Replay: 4

Review by The Crow
5 stars After the slightly disappointing Rapid Eye Movement, Riverside returned to top form with one of their best albums to date!

Based on a concept which talks about uncommunication and isolation in modern society given by technology, hedonism and egoism, Riverside managed to create five wonderful songs in the vein of Second Life Syndrome (not so dark like Rapid Eye Movement) but even heavier, making this album their hardest to date.

The album is more guitar oriented than their previous three and the keyboards are also rockier, with extensive use of Hammond, making this album sound a bit less symphonic and more straightforward heavy prog. The drumming is also fantastic and so are the incredible bass lines and mellow (and sometiemes really harsh) singing of Mariusz.

Best tracks: all of them! But Left Out is a marvelous melancholic classic.

Conclusion: Anno Domini High Definition is one of the highest peaks in Riverside's career in terms of quality, and it's also their heaviest record. All five tracks are just an outstanding sample of modern prog rock at its best, making this album one of the most prominent of the last decade.

A masterpiece of music in general and an absolute must for every prog lover!

My rating: *****

Review by Hector Enrique
5 stars Anno Domini High Definition is the confirmation of Riverside as one of the best exponents of progressive rock of the 2000s. With a heavier sound than the previous three albums, the concept, the interpretive quality and the execution, are developed reliably during their almost 42 minutes long.

Including some nods to Dream Theater and Porcupine Tree, Mariusz Duda and his bandmates intertwine 5 songs seamlessly or lows, combining euphoric moments with masterfully constructed laid-back atmospheres. There isn't one song that stands out in particular, simply because they are all at a superlative level, further enhanced by impeccable production work. The main protagonists are the always clean and deep guitar of Piotr Grudziński and the keyboards of Michal Lapai, much more present and active compared to any previous work by Riverside.

From the aggressive Hyperactive, we enjoy a constant and dynamic proposal that stays active with Driven to Destruction, and is further intensified by the powerful and changeable Egoist Hedonism (impeccable keyboards and vocals from Mariusz Duda in the middle of the song). To close the album, two long songs, the superb Left Out of almost 11 minutes (half a calm song and the rest an irrepressible whirlwind) and the super progressive Hybrid Times of 12 minutes (again the keyboards present, decidedly protagonists).

Anno Domini High Definition is one of Riverside's strongest work, and undoubtedly a fundamental work of progressive music of the present century.

Latest members reviews

5 stars "Anno Domini High Definition" : a concept album that takes Riverside to the firmament of prog... 5 stars! What has not already been written about Riverside, these four boys from the East as brilliant as being uneasy to categorize? Actually, it is fortunate that this fourth opus, "Anno Domini High ... (read more)

Report this review (#2532847) | Posted by ProfGrognon | Thursday, April 8, 2021 | Review Permanlink

1 stars Sometimes I truly wonder if I should be reviewing this band. I don't like them at all, so why even bother listening their albums and making reviews for them? ... But then I remember that the point of this site is to gather multiple points of perspective and create an average opinion, or star rat ... (read more)

Report this review (#2509155) | Posted by Isaac Peretz | Friday, February 26, 2021 | Review Permanlink

4 stars 4.5/5 And then there were four.... Mariusz Duda, when interviewed, often likes to draw attention to a couple of things: that Riverside has a recognizably distinctive sound, and the band does not like to remain static in that sound. These facts are abundantly clear nowadays, but I warrant ... (read more)

Report this review (#1450355) | Posted by ergaster | Saturday, August 8, 2015 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This album sets the bar high for modern progressive music, and not just prog metal. This album is a veritable tour-d-force of masterfully crafted musical passages sporting both tremendous technical proficiency and emotional depth. In short, it's an accomplished modern musical work of art. " ... (read more)

Report this review (#1026881) | Posted by Neo-Romantic | Sunday, September 1, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars By this point, Riverside has found itself resting comfortably in the realm of Progressive Metal, shedding much of the atmospheric sound that was so pervasive in their first few albums. It is no surprise, as this is the direction they had been gradually moving to from the start, and has always ... (read more)

Report this review (#1026197) | Posted by Mr. Mustard | Friday, August 30, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Riverside "Anno Domini High Definition" 8.5/10 Riverside showed how well they can compose music right from the beginning in this album. Anno Domini High Definition starts off with an incredible beautiful piano intro, which led into a fairly heavy and definitely killer riff. The interest has s ... (read more)

Report this review (#854023) | Posted by IcedPorcupine | Friday, November 9, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Driven To Distraction Riverside, by definition, are a band I should love. They lie perfectly between the spectrum of prog rock and metal that almost all my favourite bands sit. They are highly recommended by not only people whose opinions I trust, but also the artists themselves whom I adore. All ... (read more)

Report this review (#828090) | Posted by Gallifrey | Tuesday, September 25, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Anno Domini High Definition is the fourth full-length studio album by the Polish Progressive Metal band Riverside. It was released in 2009 and is their first full length-album that isn't part of the conceptual series 'Reality Dream.' The album consists of five tracks, arranged from shortest to lo ... (read more)

Report this review (#772428) | Posted by Gentlegiantprog | Saturday, June 16, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Anno Domini High Definition is, without a doubt, Riverside's best album so far. From the melancholia piano introduction in "Hyperactive" to the nearly ambient techno finale section in "Hybrid Times" ADHD is truly a dead on reinvention of Riverside's style and skills. I have been a lackluster, ... (read more)

Report this review (#735559) | Posted by sindali | Saturday, April 21, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars an absolute masterpiece! having put off buying this album even though i loved "Out of Myself", "Second Life Syndrome", and "Rapid Eye Movement" simply because i had other stuff to listen to (and was still figuring out the best sources to buy from in my new home location!). the wait (or del ... (read more)

Report this review (#455249) | Posted by sv_godspeed | Tuesday, May 31, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This album reached number 1 in Riverside's homeland of Poland. With ADHD, Riverside develops their prog rock sound toward a more prog metal style. And with it, they offer one of the best prog rock albums to come out in a long time. Perhaps the best song of the year is "Egoist Hedonist." It ... (read more)

Report this review (#442778) | Posted by BobVanguard | Wednesday, May 4, 2011 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Well, the latest effort from Riverside, and this CD falls short of four stars (just). Perhaps they have run out of ideas, but the first two tracks are so-so, with fast metal riffing and not much in the way of interesting guitar/keyboards. If you are in the mood for something a bit heavier, then ... (read more)

Report this review (#420673) | Posted by M27Barney | Wednesday, March 23, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars These guys are a jewel.Really I do not regret having them heard! this album, "Anno domini high definition, " is one of the best I've heard in recent times.The 5 songs have long duration (5-11 minutes ), but they are so compelling, that go by so fast, so it is almost impossible to perceiver. Th ... (read more)

Report this review (#383531) | Posted by voliveira | Thursday, January 20, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars 5-Step Escalation Believe it or not, but Riverside performed a miracle here. They redefined classic progressive metal, a genre stale to the point of being almost inedible. Forget Drag Theater and take a look at the ingredients Riverside mixed here: 1.) spatter of oriental music 2.) pinch of vinta ... (read more)

Report this review (#297019) | Posted by bartosso | Wednesday, September 1, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is their best material yet, no doubt. A solid release that has that trademark Riverside sound but with a more cohesive audio dimensia to it. Probably their hardest hitting ear candy but somewhat less of the growling lyrics at the mic, which is most agreeable to me. Superb mash-up of organ, ... (read more)

Report this review (#291775) | Posted by MikeHgl | Saturday, July 24, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars A step in a refreshing direction. Welcome all to the new masters of the progressive genre. Metal, rock, space, and all others are now melded into this wonderful piece. Previous albums of Riverside start wonderful and then showcase great growth. Now, after this release, I believe that everyone c ... (read more)

Report this review (#283243) | Posted by ShadowMKII | Sunday, May 23, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars One 100-carat diamond surrounded by smaller brilliant cuts... The highlights and novelty of this production are the excellent dynamic rythms used, and the burning rock organs that send me in heaven. I will start from LEFT OUT: this is marking ADHD indelibly. It gives me goose-flesh as more and ... (read more)

Report this review (#257144) | Posted by ingmin68 | Monday, December 21, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is a stunning album. Though I miss the spacier feel in "Out of Myself" and "Second life Syndrome", as a metal lover, I do enjoy this progression to a heavier sound. Great metal riffs in the first four tracks. The solo guitar work in "Driven to destruction" and "Egoist Hedonist" is just brill ... (read more)

Report this review (#255337) | Posted by Kassimatis | Wednesday, December 9, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I'm completely unfamiliar with Riverside and any of their earlier releases. I saw this album appear in the top of the top 2009 albums and trusting the judgment of the progarchives reviewers(which in general seems to be in the lines of my taste) I got a hold of the album. At the first listen I w ... (read more)

Report this review (#252404) | Posted by Lezaza | Monday, November 23, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Mature. That's what I think about this album. When Riverside first began with "Out of Myself" one couldn't help but to be enchanted by that album. Yet it was derivative from Floyd and PoS, among other influences. But now I feel that Riverside has truly progressed. Yes they're more metal than be ... (read more)

Report this review (#251891) | Posted by progkeys | Friday, November 20, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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