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SHRINE OF NEW GENERATION SLAVES

Riverside

Progressive Metal


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Riverside Shrine of New Generation Slaves album cover
4.07 | 706 ratings | 35 reviews | 43% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


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Studio Album, released in 2013

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. New Generation Slave (4:17)
2. The Depth of Self-Delusion (7:39)
3. Celebrity Touch (6:48)
4. We Got Used To Us (4:12)
5. Feel Like Falling (5:19)
6. Deprived (Irretrievably Lost Imagination) (8:26)
7. Escalator Shrine (12:41)
8. Coda (1:39)

Total Time: 51:01

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Mariusz Duda / vocals, bass
- Piotr Grudzinski / guitars
- Michal Lapaj / keyboards
- Piotr Kozieradzki / drums

Releases information

2xLP (180) Inside Out Music 0506301 (Europe) (2013)
2xCD Inside Out Music 0630-2, IOMSECD 366 (US) (2013)
2xCD Inside Out Music 0506300, IOMSECD 366 (Europe) (2013)
2xCD Mystic Production MYSTCD 231 (Poland) (2013)
CD Inside Out Music 0506302, IOMCD 366 (Europe) (2013)

Thanks to lss28 for the addition
and to The Bearded Bard for the last updates
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RIVERSIDE Shrine of New Generation Slaves ratings distribution


4.07
(706 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(43%)
43%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(34%)
34%
Good, but non-essential (17%)
17%
Collectors/fans only (6%)
6%
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)
1%

RIVERSIDE Shrine of New Generation Slaves reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by kev rowland
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover Team
5 stars Somehow Riverside just seem to keep on getting better and better, with the new album being a case in point. As I write this it has had 73 ratings on progarchives and is rated as the second best album of the year so far. Now, I know it's only January but it won't be far from that mark at the end of the year I'm sure. The four musicians have now been together for a long time and it shows. Production is yet again just wonderful, and not only has the music grown in maturity and presence but so has Mariusz's vocals. This is a band that has really come of age and they mix up bouncy hard rock from the Seventies with a much more laid-back Floydian feel. For some reason I keep thinking of Opeth, although they are nothing alike, so it must just be due to approach as opposed to sound.

"Celebrity Touch" is a fun bounce along rock number with great Hammond that apart from the vocals could be classic Spock's Beard. This is a prog album that is guaranteed to make the listener smile from the first note to the very last and there is only one thing to do when it ends, and that is to play the whole thing again. The louder I played it the more I enjoyed it, as the guys really know how to hit that perfect vibe. Highly recommended. It doesn't get much better than this. www.insideout.de

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Send comments to kev rowland (BETA) | Report this review (#897746) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Review by EatThatPhonebook
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars 9/10

A Perfect Balance.

"Shrine Of New Generation Slaves" is the fifth album by Polish Progressive Rock/Metal act Riverside, one of the last decade's most beloved European bands of the genre. They started off with a trilogy of albums, which begun in 2003 with "Out With Myself", continued with "Second Life Syndrome" and ended with "Rapid Eye Movement". These albums all had a very similar sound that combined heaviness with Pink Floydian atmospheres, with a greater dose of the latter. 2009's "Anno Domini High Definition" was a complete direction-shifter, thanks to a sharper, more modern sounding production, more futuristic and advanced sounds, and more Metal. This last release stunned me completely, and I still keep it dear to my heart for it is now one of my favorite albums. "Shrine Of New Generations Slaves" at this point has quite a bit on its shoulders. Luckily, the band proves they are still in great shape, and that they can still amaze.

In many ways, this is the album that should have been midway between the trilogy and "Anno Domini": the production is a good mix between the two, because while we still have the Floydian atmospheric sounds, there is still a lot of sharp, modern sounding Metal. Like also the trilogy, there is a lot organ playing to give thickness to the guitars and keyboards, and there are quite a bit of piano bits, synth pads, and some additional instrumentation such as the sax or the flute. In fact, this album is again another pleasantly varied piece of work, instrumentally speaking. But the variation doesn't end here: in terms of mood, this is also quite a diverse album, as we find melancholic songs, but also fun, heavy ones, and some others veiled with a shroud of mystery. But it never feels like a mixed bag, everything is so perfectly in balance, and when a different mood does kick in, it comes in just in time.

The depth of "Shrine Of New Generation Slaves" is really outstanding, almost to the levels of "Anno Domini", in the sense that the music brings you deep into a world, very similar to ours, but where a melting pot of emotions is an everyday thing, where social discomfort reigns, in a time where every one is closed in, and where everything happens from within and never coming from the outside. It is a very introspective album, and the flow of it almost feels like an unconscious stream of emotions, a strongly linear journey with a beginning, and with a pleasantly suffused ending.

Particular highlights that mark this beautiful journey are songs like the wonderfully complex " The Depth Of Self-Delusion", the meditative calmness of "Feel Like Falling" the more urgent, fun pieces like the single "Celebrity Touch", or "Deprived", and the second-to-last track, "Escalator Shrine", which has the most powerful closing minutes Riverside has ever managed to write.

"Shrine Of New Generation Slaves" ought to be remembered as one of the finest examples of Progressive Metal, and to be part of that still-growing bulk of masterful releases coming out of this decade. Its approach is very new, the atmospheres are very innovative, and the level of sophistication is extremely high; with these attributes, there is no reason for this to not be part of the best of the best.

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Send comments to EatThatPhonebook (BETA) | Report this review (#904112) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, February 01, 2013

Review by Second Life Syndrome
COLLABORATOR Post/Math Rock and Crossover Teams
5 stars Much has been said about this album, so I won't waste anyone's time with more raving about each track. However, I do want to mention my perspective on this album. Riverside has proven once again that they are in world all their own: they do what they want. It's as simple as that.

"Shrine of New Generation Slaves" is a perfect example of this fact. SONGS has been correctly described as being somewhere between the Reality Dream trilogy and ADHD. Yet, I cannot shake the feeling that Mariusz Duda's solo project, Lunatic Soul, has influenced this new album immensely. Whether it be the spacey xylophone, the slow moody segments, or the signature song structures; Lunatic Soul is found throughout the album. In fact, the bonus disc Night Sessions tracks (excellent editions, by the way) seem like they are straight off of Lunatic Soul's "Impressions". While some may complain about this, I welcome it immensely. It seems that Riverside is becoming slightly more eclectic, less metallic (why are they listed under progressive metal?), and even more original.

As to the musicianship, SONGS delivers. Duda wows with his vocals and especially with his intense and intricate bass lines. The keyboards also really shine on this album as they range from a 70's texture to piano passages to more neo-prog styles. As usual, the guitar work is also phenomenal, and this is just as varied as the keyboards. I've never heard Piotr perform such soulful solos as on SONGS. Lastly, the drums are well done (I was very impressed in a few spots), but I still would love to see them taken up a notch or two.

Finally, I think my favorite thing about this album is the theme. Themes and lyrics are very important to me, and Duda really outdid himself here. The theme of new age slaves is riveting as we see first world citizens that are chained mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. Slaves to religion, to broken relationships, to materialism, and to other issues are all emotionally explored. This album is nothing short of powerful. "We never talk when we fall apart"...

Currently, I would have to say my favorite tracks are "The Depth of Self-Delusion", "We Got Used to Us", "Deprived", and the epic "Escalator Shrine". Yet, I know this will shift as I discover this album more and more. Overall, Riverside has delivered a game changer once again, and I encourage everyone to join the ride.

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Send comments to Second Life Syndrome (BETA) | Report this review (#911498) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, February 08, 2013

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
5 stars A tour de force of compelling concepts and brilliant musicianship, a triumph of Riverside.

Riverside are one of the most exciting dynamic prog artists to come out over recent years. On this latest release 'Shrine of New Generation Slaves' (abbreviated as SONGS! Don't you love it?) Mariusz Duda is as masterful as ever on crystal clear vocals, and pulsating bass. He is joined by the incredible guitars of Piotr Grudzinski, the keyboard finesse of Michal Lapaj, and the piledriver drums of Piotr Kozieradzki. When I first listened to this album I was not really worried about whether the band would sound like previous albums as I have found that their albums differ greatly from one another over the years, and they are still able to maintain interest simply due to the virtuoso musicianship and innovative compositions. So I ventured into this without any prior knowledge of what to expect, conceptually or otherwise, and had not looked at a single review, and forgot the clip available of 'Celebrity Touch'. This was a good move because the album absolutely transfixed me from beginning to end, without prior expectation. It is an incredible album, and one of the best so far in the early stages of 2013; one of the top ten masterpieces of 2013. I am delighted that this is the case as I have really grown to love this band over the years and they never disappoint which is a rare thing these days.

'New Generation Slave' (4:18) opens with distorted vocals and a powerful prog riff crashing through. It builds to a fast fractured rhythm reminding me of Soundgarden's 'Spoon Man', or indeed the riff on 'The Same River' from Riverside's 'Out of Myself' debut. The heaviness is densely layered with Lapaj's shimmering Hammond. There is a fiery guitar and bass tempo and it is all refined by the glaze of Duda's pristine vocals; a towering start to the album and an absolute sure fire killer intro to the band for those who had not heard previous songs. The lyrics focus on the hate of the new generation, the lost hopes and broken dreams that pervade this dark world; 'Into this world I came, Filled with fear, Crying all the time, I guess my birth, Left a great scar on my heart and mind, Now I hand-pick cotton, And struggle to sing "I am happy and I do what I like", But my voice breaks and I start to hate my singing and simply everyone.'

'The Depth Of Self ' Delusion' (7:40) has the acoustic vibrations of Grudzinski's guitar, and Duda's melancholy vocals are executed with passion. The lead break and driving tempo is built gradually over an uplifting melody. It is bookended with more finger picking acoustics capping off a beautiful song with a compelling structure. The lyrics by Duda are all about feeling like a wall is being built up, similar to Pink Floyd's hypothesis, and it really touches a chord with me; 'I could be foreign forevermore to your neverland, One little brick then another and I will build that wall anyway, You can find me there rested and calm without mask, This is where I will stay.'

'Celebrity Touch' (6:48) opens with killer driller riffs that have an intricate time sig. Duda's vocals are crystal clear and work well with the electrifying keyboard and guitar driven punctuation. It is a heavy song with some magnificent syncopated rhythms. There are some higher vocals in the background too that augment the tranquil atmospheres generated in the quieter verses. It has an infectious melody in the chorus and moves along at an energetic pace. This is a very nice composition with layers of musicianship of the highest quality. It really grew on me with that bassline and crunching guitar riff. I love Duda's lyrics on the dangers and hypocrisy of celebrity status, the lies and fabrication of maintaining a false fa'ade that will please the masses but in in the end is an empty existence; 'In the center of attention, TV, Glossy magazines, My private life is public, I sell everything, Days are getting shorter, They'll forget about me soon, So I jump on the bandwagon, With no taboos.' This sentiment could represent any celebrity who is trapped by public attention, something that is craved but when it is gained the celebrity abhors being the subject of hysteria as their life becomes a tomb, their home a prison, it is a sobering thought. It is little wonder celebrities become cynical and crazy, jumping on a bandwagon with no taboos, as sometimes they are given little choice as products of consumer hell.

'We Got Used To Us' (4:12) is a song that has a measured tempo and some effective lead guitar motifs over layered harmonised vocals. The timbre of Duda's voice is always a drawcard for me, he is able to create the most powerful sensuous moods as he pours out the reflective lyrics. Once again Grudzinski's lead guitar break is present but this one is more subtle with Lapaj's moody piano augmentations. This sombre song sent chills through me, it is simple compared to other tracks on the album but it has such a haunting melody and some very potent lyrics that strike to the heart; 'I know we got used to new life, And I don't want to be there, No, I don't want to be there, Where we are, Silence fallen between, All the doors are locked, All the words unsaid, And we're still afraid of time, Started to keep ourselves, At a distance that we could control, Not too close, Not too far.' The protagonist is trying to come to terms wth the loss of his loved one, perhaps a good break up song as it captures the turmoil of emotions felt, the emptiness that drives nails into the heart, love being replaced by bitterness and the cold feeling that it is over. It ends with the pleading phrase echoing, 'so walk away with me'.

'Feel Like Falling' (5:19) is a real surprise eclectic package beginning with 80s retro synths buzzing, reminding me of the rhythm of 'Candy Man' by Suzi Quatro, one of my favourites. It is enhanced by 1968 style Hammond pads from Lapaj. The rhythm is quirky and similar to the style of Muse and high register vocals again backing to add a further dimension of harmony. A heavy guitar riff comes in with a half time feel, and some glorious effervescent Hammond quavers. It closes with an instrumental break with Grudzinski's muscular guitars in an odd time sig and some wah-wah pedal lead embellishments. This is one of the highlight tracks undoubtedly. The time sig is complex at times and I wished it would have gone on longer as it is one of Riverside's best compositions. The lyrics focus on the protagonist bouncing back after the loss felt from the broken relationships, expressed in metaphors; 'Could have been a tree of dawn, Rooted deeply in the ground, Bearing fruits, Far away from falling into blank space.' The blank space is that nothing box that has been opened when one's world has turned to despair and life is like a blank slate with nothing written on it. It is like starting over from scratch now that his lover has moved on, and he tries to forget but the memories are still too raw. Thatis why he feels like falling over the precipice, to rid himself of the burning pain. But these emotions will soon subside as long as he hangs on to what he has.

'Deprived' (Irretrievably Lost Imagination) (8:27) follows with Riverside in a more contemplative mood with reverberating guitars, violin strings and an ethereal atmosphere. Kozieradzki's drums maintain a strong tempo and Duda's vocals are more estranged and laid back. This has a lovely saxophone sound, or clarinet jazz break out, and it cascades over the music with astonishing power. There are a number of tempo changes The lyrics are the dreams of the protagonist that have become fractured over time in a life that has become deprived of so many things; 'I live surrounded by cherished memories, I have a weakness for collecting them, Alphabetize, As far as I recall my childish rituals, Icons of that world always filled my shelves and heart.' I love the section where the sadness and loneliness is conveyed by poetic beauty; 'In a world of synonyms and handwritten notes, My own puppet performances, Endless bedtime stories, I could touch the moon and switch off the sun, I could have my dreams and dream about better times.' Perhaps this is the ray of hope now, the next phase of his life is beckoning and he is moving out of a depressed state to embracing what may come in the future.

'Escalator Shrine' (12:41) is the longest song so I was hoping for layers of intricate musicianship and the band to launch full tilt into the heavier prog rock I loved so much on 'Anno Domine High Definition' and some of the songs on earlier releases. It surpassed my expectations and is perhaps the definitive track to check out if you are still wondering what all the fuss is about. This song absolutely blew me away. It begins with subtle quiet vocals and soft Spanish guitars over an ominous drone. The guitar takes on a complex signature and keyboard chimes sounding like The Doors' 'Riders on the Storm'; was Ray Manzarek in the studio? I loved this soundscape generated and the unusual signature works so well with the very innovative lyrics about feeling isolated in a crowded city, moving aimlessly along with the human traffic, as people move to places of mass consumption and buy things they don't need, and the protagonist feels more empty as nothing is real or still, and he is bitter and more convinced that everyone around him is putting on a fa'ade to hide their true feelings, that they too are as lost as him but are too self obsessed with the trivialities of life to admit it; even wrapping themselves in the cocoon of syber technology, laptops, mobiles and ipods, as they converse with faceless entities to compensate for friends, and pretend thay are not alone, 'We are stairway drifters, Made of cyber paper, Google boys and wiki girls, Children of the self care, We come to pray every single training day, Looking for a chance to survive, Buying reduced price illusions, Floating into another light, Melting into another lonely crowd.' Then it builds with a grinding Hammond harking back to the 70s era, and a hammering tempo blasts in like a tempest. The Hammond is given a workout and is an absolutely stellar performance from Lapaj. Guitars jump in and out of the keyboard freakout, a tantalising skin crawler, one of the best keyboard passages on the album. The pace locks into a crawl with beautiful guitar reverbs and Duda's echoing vocals. The time sig changes into the slow measured cadence similar to Pink Floyd's spacey atmospheres. The lyrics breathe out vehemence against the throwaway society we have become, and exude that our years are wasted trying to chase unattainable dreams as we drift from day to day; 'Dragging our feet, Tired and deceived, Slowly moving on, Bracing shaky legs, Against all those wasted years, We roll the boulders of sins up a hill of new days.' This builds into some powerful riffs with Grudzinski's heavy guitar emblazoned with stirring dramatic keyboard creating a wall of sound. At the end of this I was convinced I had heard a masterpiece track of immeasurable quality; simply a stunning achievement from Riverside.

'Coda' (1:39) is the brief closing track, that glistens with sparkling acoustics and Duda's vocals with the same melody as the opening. He concludes with the sentiment that he has come to the point where he no longer wants to fall into blank space; a ray of hope at last; 'Want to be your light, Illuminate your smiles, Want to be your cure, Bridge between self and us, Want to be your prayer, Wipe the tears from your eyes, When the night returns I won't collapse, I am set to rise.' It feels like the end of Pink Floyd's 'The Wall' with the brief coda that wraps up the album.

SONGS is an amazing album full of dark and light shadows, and poetic beauty. It has some of their greatest songs, namely the chilling 'New Generation Slave', 'Feel Like Falling' and 'Escalator Shrine'. Those three songs alone are awesome, but the album also has the more subtle quiet moods that will appeal to the now generation. The one thing that really impressed me is that the album is progressicve in every sense of the word with intricate time sigs, shifting tempos, comtemplative lyrics, dynamic musicianship and innovative layers of sound. There are many bands coming out that sound like they belong on the radio and they are only interested in cash cow singles. Riverside stay true to the prog roots that progheads adore and they do it in style with inventive ideas and some of the most incredible melodies and riffs; though it is more symphonic than metal, with Deep Purple or Uriah Heep sounds, a bit like Opeth's 'Heritage'. The Hammond flourishes are amazing over the heavy guitar textures. The album also grows on the listener as I noticed on subsequent listens certain songs are drawn to the ear with their beautiful meloides, for instance on my third listen in a row 'The Depth of Self Delusion' soon became one of my favourite songs, it has a relaxing serene atmosphere and Duda's vocals are wonderful speaking to our spirit. 'We Got Used To Us' likewise strikes a real chord with me, the melancholy touch and overall melodies are absolutely mesmirising. There is not a bad song on the album, even after multiple listens nothing feels like filler. In fact each track is complimenting one another with a magical entrancing resonance, until we get to the magnificent finale; the crescendo of power captured in the tour de force 'Escalator Shrine' epic.

With so much quality displayed and with the layers and depth of musicianship executed here, I can only conclude by awarding this with the highest accolades. It is awe inspiring that Riverside maintains such a consistent high quality from album to album. 'Out of Myself', 'Second Life Syndrome', 'Rapid Eye Movement' and especially 'Anno Domini High Definition' are treasures of prog, and now 'Shrine of New Generation Slaves' is the pinnacle of their master class musicianship; a genuine musical epiphany. I hoped this would be an excellent album but I didn't expect it to have this much impact and resonate with me to such a degree. Strike this one down as another top notch brilliant masterpiece from one of the greatest prog modern artists on the planet.

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Send comments to AtomicCrimsonRush (BETA) | Report this review (#911502) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, February 08, 2013

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
2 stars 4 Years after their impressive "ADHD", Riverside returns with an album that tries to bridge the Prog Metal rocking energy of "ADHD" with the more melodic approach of their earlier albums. The result has been received with loud rounds of applause from most fans and I'm pretty sure this must be a safe purchase. Unfortunately for me this turned out quite a disappointment. This is a dull listen with plain and safe songwriting and that rarely goes beyond recycling old ideas.

Most of the songs are built around poppy ballad fluff, with some hard rock clichés, boring retro sound and unnecessary distorted vocal effects thrown in for good measure. There are few interesting solos or instrumental sections (at least not on the main CD) and bar a few unexciting 'rockers', all songmaterial is ballad based. RIVERSIDE do that with a certain flair but they've done this much better before. This album really leaves me hungry for something really exciting.

It takes till halfway into the 6th track until there's something that stands out from the wallpaper Prog that preceded. "Deprived" has a short prog-electronic inspired instrumental passage that shows the ease and confidence with which this band can produce some wonderful Prog. The instrumental themes of this song are further explored in the instrumental CD2 that comes with the special edition. Yes, when RIVERSIDE shake off their song conventions and go all-instrumental and trippy they show how good they still can be. Also "Escalator Shrine" is not without merits but still below the longer tracks from previous albums.

RIVERSIDE's career has never been marked by great originality or daring explorations but they always had an excellent ear for a good tune and they executed that with heart and soul. Now in this album I can't hear that. The wide gap of quality (and style) between the actual CD and the extra disk only confirms my misgivings, this band has much better in store but they've settled for the path of least resistance Conclusion: Uninspired band retreats into comfort zone. 2.5 stars, maybe 3 with the extra disk.

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Send comments to Bonnek (BETA) | Report this review (#920271) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars I honestly find so many of Riverside's releases to be kind of overrated, with only their debut really holding my attention. Shrine of New Generation Slaves has not prompted me to change my mind. This time around I can tell that the band are trying to work a few more Pink Floyd influences into their sound - I can tell because they keep using that "telephone" filter effect on the vocals which bands trying to mimic Pink Floyd can't seem to leave alone - but classic-era Floyd would be embarrassed to put out an album quite as riddled with cliches as this one. Strip away the Floydian affectations and many of the songs boil down to fairly typical hard rock ballads - ballads with hilariously sophomoric lyrics. Call me the buzzkilling king of all spoilsports, but I just don't get the appeal.

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Posted Friday, March 15, 2013

Review by ProgShine
COLLABORATOR Errors & Omissions and Crossover Team
5 stars Riverside is a band that always have two reactions from the audience, love or hate. Just a few people stay in the middle of the road. I'm a Riverside fan. They're one of the few bands that I actually have all of the albums including two special editions.

It's been 4 years since Anno Domini High Definition (2009), their last studio album, was released and Shrine Of New Generation Slaves (2013) is the name of the new album.

With the same line up as always: Mariusz Duda (vocals, bass, acoustic guitars and ukulele), Piotr Grudziński (guitars), Piotr Kozieradzki (drums) and Michał Łapaj (keyboards). The album was recorded, mixed and mastered at Serakos Studio in Poland between March and October 2012 and was produced by the band together with Magda and Robert Srzedniccy. The band often refers to the album as SONGS (the short version of the album's name). If it was intentional or not I cannot say. What I can say is that SONGS turned out to be the best album by the Riverside so far.

In the beginning of the composition process they said that this album would be different from the previous one, and that's true. Shrine Of New Generation Slaves (2013) is different but with all the band's elements included.

The opening track 'New Generation Slave' has a Hard Rock feeling mixed with a Blues sentiment to it. You can also feel that the band went back to the 70's sound in terms of guitar distortions. It's heavy, but not in the Metal way. In fact, the overall sound on SONGS is just perfect. Basses, guitars, drums and keyboards with the best tones possible, everything ending in the great songs.

'The Depth Of Self-Delusion' begins and I realize once again how good Mariusz Duda voice is. Clean and full of emotion. The first single 'Celebrity Touch' is a heavy brick on the window! Fast and heavy riff with Hammond Organ, the cherry on the cake. And then the trip continues through the beautiful piano and melody of 'We Got Used To Us', the 'modern-retro' beat of 'Feel Like Falling', and the space feeling in 'Deprived'. The longest song on the album is 'Escalator Shrine', and you gotta love the bass lines of Mariusz, always clever and out of the common place that the bass found itself in the last years of Prog Rock. This track is also the most Pink Floydish in SONGS, mainly because of the good Michał's keyboards.

To finish the album there is a short 'Coda'. Just acoustic guitars, vocals and keyboards with the melody of the first track. Perfect ending to the possible best album of 2013.

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Send comments to ProgShine (BETA) | Report this review (#938078) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, April 01, 2013

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
4 stars I was completely horrified upon hearing the new Riverside single Celebrity Touch and its companion video did little to help me appreciate the song. Still, I had my hopes up for the release of the band's fifth full length album and a follow-up to their highly successful record Anno Domini High Definition!

I recall being somewhat disappointed when Riverside decided to stray from their winning formula by releasing their 2011 EP Memories In My Head. There was a clear change in the band's sound that was leaning heavily on the familiar sounds from their past but ultimately lacked the punch, which made the EP an unmemorable affair for me. Things only got worse when I heard the proposed new single Celebrity Touch which was easily the worst thing that I've heard from Riverside so far. Still, I had to hear the rest of the album before dismissing it all together and so I made the decision of purchasing the record upon its release.

My first spin of Shrine Of New Generation Slaves was a mixed bag. I did enjoy some of the material but the overall feeling was that the band have shifted away from their sound on Anno Domini High Definition. The tone was much softer and most of the compositions drifted even further away from their progressive metal sound of the past. This by no means implies that Riverside have made any major changes to their sound, the album is still filled with familiar Space Rock inspired guitar passages and Mariusz Dudas melancholic vocal delivery, so fans of the band should not fear.

I was initially planning to give this record an average rating but the album finally began to fall into place after I saw Riverside performing it live. I was especially impressed by the live renditions of Escalator Shrine and Feel Like Falling which manage to overshadow their studio versions. I might still be slightly unsure about my feelings towards this record but I definitely have began to appreciate it more over time and am willing to give it the excellent rating that it would have never been able to receive have I written this review earlier.

***** star songs: The Depth Of Self-Delusion (7:39) We Got Used To Us (4:12)

**** star songs: New Generation Slave (4:17) Feel Like Falling (5:19) Deprived (Irretrievably Lost Imagination) (8:26) Escalator Shrine (12:41) Coda (1:39)

*** star songs: Celebrity Touch (6:48)

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Send comments to Rune2000 (BETA) | Report this review (#1042318) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, September 22, 2013

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars It grew on me ...

The first spin of this album did not really hook me to the music as I expect something similar - in terms of energy and dynamis - wih previous AnnoDomini. But as I repeated the spin over and over finally I reach to the point that this one is really enjoyable and excellent album in all dimensions: music harmonies, complexity, melody, change of tempo as well as structural integrity. Well I would say that the composition is not that complex but it's not simple as well. As for the opening track "New Generation Slave" (4:17) I was almost bored with relatively long opening part. But as more spins I experienced I then could understand why it took that long and it's quite clear to me that it helped set the tone of the music. One thing I love it is that the riffs are really great and become the main characteristic of this opening track.

"The Depth Of Self-Delusion" (7:39) is basically much slower to tempo than the opening track it reminds me to Pink Floyd nuances as the music moves from one segment to another. It's like a refreshing time after quite dynamics first track. "Celebrity Touch" (6:48) moves the music in different way with powerful riffs at opening followed by rocking vocal line. As the music flows I always enjoy the intertwining nature of riffs, organ work accentuated with raw vocal and drumming. "We Got Used To Us" (4:12) brings back the music to a refreshing nuance with slower tempo using piano and nice vocal work. The guitar solo is nice. In some musical breaks I can see some Floydian style and sounds. "Feel Like Falling" (5:19) starts again with heavy riffs followed with long distance singing vocal style. "Deprived (Irretrievably Lost Imagination)" (8:26) is another psychedelic kind of music. "Escalator Shrine" (12:41) is the longest in terms of duration compared to other. It flows in medium tempo at beginning with some sort of psychedelic nature. It flows then to dynamic and faster tempo with organ solo. It's a nice track, really.

Overall this is a beautifully crafted album combining the psychedelic , spacey as well as ambient style. It flows really nice from one track to another. Four stars. Keep on proggin' ...!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

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Send comments to Gatot (BETA) | Report this review (#1064422) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Review by aapatsos
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams
2 stars The controversy around this album was one of the reasons that drew me in. Not having studied their last couple of releases (but hearing snippets that confirmed they were still the same band) their single 'Celebrity Touch' came to introduce a new element to SONGS, which did not sound to glue too well with their trademark sound.

In SONGS, Riverside try to mix this retro-bluesy-stoner sound with what they know to do well: creating beautiful melodies, experimenting "reservedly". Granted, creating the same album every 2-3 years is not ideal, but when the new ingredients are not compatible with one another the cake will fail. And I assume this is what happened here, in an album with no real excellent songs from start to finish, just indications of a band that can create great music. The exceptional moments are few and hard to find in compositions that either recycle previous ideas or extend in length without specific direction.

The mellower moments are again the ones to watch out for ('The Depth of Self-Delusion', 'We Got Used to Us', 'Deprived') but even then the melodies are not consistently great and the forced introduction of distorted vocal effects spoils the ambiance. The retro-stoner (call me Spiritual Beggar) riff of the opening track gets recycled, albeit slightly twisted, in the remainder of the album and 'Celebrity Touch', possibly their weakest effort in songwriting.

Fans might enjoy it, but I did not find enough to keep me spinning this, so without exceptional songs this cannot get higher than 2.5 stars. I'd suggest waiting for the next album, this is a bit "confusing" and "awkward".

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Send comments to aapatsos (BETA) | Report this review (#1114435) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Shrine of New Generation Slaves" is the 5th full-length studio album by Polish progressive rock/ metal act Riverside. The album was released through InsideOut Music in January 2013. It's the follow up to "Anno Domini High Definition" from 2009. Although Riverside have released a couple of minor releases in their intermediate years, it's the longest time between album releases yet in the band's discography.

To my ears the long break has done the band good. Maybe they've had some time to reflect on the direction of their music because "Shrine of New Generation Slaves" is a more mellow and subtle release than "Anno Domini High Definition (2009)" was. It's also a more tasteful release and the full blown progressive metal sections on "Anno Domini High Definition (2009)" are not present on "Shrine of New Generation Slaves". Riverside are still capable of playing more metal oriented sections, but they are typically delivered in a 70s influenced hard rocking style that reminds me of Deep Purple or Rainbow, rather than the more contemporary progressive metal sound on the predecessor. I think it's an important step back to what Riverside really excel in. Paired with their neo progressive Marillion influence and the alternative/progressive rock influence from a band like Porcupine Tree, "Shrine of New Generation Slaves" works really well to my ears. I don't necessarily think, they are the most original sounding band, but they are really successful in making all their influences work together and thereby creating an impactful sound.

One of their greatest strengths is the emotional delivery and strong voice of lead vocalist/bassist Mariusz Duda, but the band are generally very well playing. Add to that a detailed and organic sound production and "Shrine of New Generation Slaves" really comes off as a high quality release. I'd call the whole album one big highlight, but hard pressed I'd chose tracks like "We got used to Us" and the 12:41 minutes long epic track "Escalator Shrine" as some of the standout tracks on the album. I know other people are far more impressed by "Anno Domini High Definition (2009)" than I am, but to my ears "Shrine of New Generation Slaves" is a welcome back to form and all in all a very enjoyable listen. A 4 - 4.5 star (85%) rating is deserved.

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Send comments to UMUR (BETA) | Report this review (#1141795) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Latest members reviews

4 stars For a band that became labelled progressive metal, Riverside have progressed a lot in a direction away from that subgenre. This album still features the heavier guitar sounds of a metal band but less than on "Second Life Syndrome", the first album of theirs that I purchased. For "Shrine of New G ... (read more)

Report this review (#1289207) | Posted by FragileKings | Wednesday, October 08, 2014 | Review Permanlink

3 stars The evolution of the Riverside sound has been astonishing. With this latest release, the band has returned to the more Pink Floyd dominated atmosphere so prevalent on their first few albums, but retains much of the heaviness that made their previous album so exciting. This time around, their s ... (read more)

Report this review (#1109232) | Posted by Mr. Mustard | Tuesday, January 07, 2014 | Review Permanlink

3 stars 3.5 Stars. I've got used to them I've always had a soft spot for Riverside as they were one of the first modern prog bands that I discovered. They are one of those consistent bands that I could always rely on to produce something to touch the heart and the head. That hasn't changed with SONGS, h ... (read more)

Report this review (#1047471) | Posted by LakeGlade12 | Sunday, September 29, 2013 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Shrine of New Generation Slaves is the fifth studio record by the Polish band Riverside and it was released this year 2013, but in the very beginning. I don't think it sounds like metal. That should be good because I don't like metal very much, but I don't like this very much either. The music ... (read more)

Report this review (#1044824) | Posted by DrömmarenAdrian | Thursday, September 26, 2013 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Deprived I was listening to the last 5 mins of track 6, and I absolutely LOVED it. Gorgeous, gorgeous musical magic! So what happened to the rest of the album? Despite the fact that I am a lover of this band (and therefore I am BIASED), I conclude that this is a very very lack lustre ... (read more)

Report this review (#1023593) | Posted by Kassimatis | Monday, August 26, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars 4/5 main release 4.5/5 with bonus disc SoNGS is the album I thought would have no competition for 2013, and for most of the year truly nothing else came close (something did sneak up on it towards the end, which surprised the hell out of me). Now, Riverside is my most favourite band in the worl ... (read more)

Report this review (#1003284) | Posted by ergaster | Monday, July 22, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Melancholic, melodic .... too perfect? (7.5/10) I have mixed feelings about Riverside's new album, Shrine of New Generation Slaves. The album is very strong in many respects. The musicianship is excellent, and all four musicians shine throughout the album. Each song contains the right mixture o ... (read more)

Report this review (#976432) | Posted by lukretio | Wednesday, June 12, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars What do you look for in your progressive rock? Is it the constant shifting of tempo? Or perhaps you prefer exuberant keyboards or an endless series of solos? Or then again, are you simply looking for sophisticated rock, driven by emotion and a desire to touch others? If you answered that last ... (read more)

Report this review (#964675) | Posted by TheDarkKnight | Friday, May 24, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I must say, this album is one that has pleasantly surprised and challenged me in a way I was not expecting. I truly did not know what to think of it the first time I heard it. I knew it was progressive, I knew it was Riverside, I knew there was talent in the playing and writing, but it was ver ... (read more)

Report this review (#938601) | Posted by Neo-Romantic | Tuesday, April 02, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Riverside, or as I like to call them...the fine line between Opeth and Porcupine Tree. Ok...I have claimed to have call the band that in the past, and to be honest, was the reason I got into the band...but...can we really pigeon hole the band with a tag like that. Well...yes and no. With t ... (read more)

Report this review (#936476) | Posted by arcane-beautiful | Thursday, March 28, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Every time Riverside realeses something new I always have big expectations and this one is another great album that satisfies them! This very different related to the previous one in the way that it is very more melodic and has less heavey riffs than Anno Domini High Definition. But on the oth ... (read more)

Report this review (#928197) | Posted by victor73 | Monday, March 11, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Riverside did it again. a masterful display of maturity from a band on top of it's game it's like Porcupine Tree meets Lunatic soul. Why 5 stars : I can always tell when I am listening to an exceptional CD, I put it on and it floats so smoothly that don't realise when it ends and my only ... (read more)

Report this review (#919962) | Posted by prog4ever | Tuesday, February 26, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars RIVERSIDE. "Shrine of New Generation Slaves". Fifth album. Songs. Listen. Focus. Dive. Evaluate. Estimate. A combination of plain words with simple orders appear into my mind as I press play and the first notes of one of the most important releases of the new year arrive in my ears. 2013 couldn't ... (read more)

Report this review (#919698) | Posted by TheWitcher2 | Tuesday, February 26, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars 10/10 I know it's early to determine what the best album of 2013, but I also know that at the end of this year this album will be among the "top 10". Shrine of New Generation Slaves is the name of the newest offering of polish band Riverside. Four years after the masterpiece Anno Domini Hig ... (read more)

Report this review (#917391) | Posted by voliveira | Thursday, February 21, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I am thankful that Riverside decided to back off from the abrasively heavy direction that Anno Domini High Definition was taking them. I am not sure that I'm up for yet another modern group paying homage to the masters and masterpieces of the 1970s. 1. 'New Generation Slave' (4:17) takes too ... (read more)

Report this review (#915134) | Posted by BrufordFreak | Sunday, February 17, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars After having listened to SONGS quite a few times, I am fully convinced that this is yet another masterpiece by Riverside. This time they did it in a totally different way than on ADHD. There is very little metal and the compositions are much less bombastic than on their previous effort. In fact, ... (read more)

Report this review (#914617) | Posted by Krzysztof | Saturday, February 16, 2013 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Starting off with such a high rating, I almost suspected this could be at least in part due to fans with rather uncritical ears. After listening to the whole album four times, I admit that I can see why this easily pleases to listeners. The musicianship is top notch but over long stretches I fail ... (read more)

Report this review (#911761) | Posted by Mexx | Saturday, February 09, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Progressive Metal return to 70s hard-rock experimental era and mix together When I came into Progressive Metal Scene I took care about 'hard' sound, because of my soft ears. Into Riverside Discography I started with 2011 EP Memories in My Head, that was for me a big surprise, "A metal group co ... (read more)

Report this review (#906010) | Posted by Popovych | Monday, February 04, 2013 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Not bad album, but not so progressive or metal as it should be if genre defined as prog metal. Nice melodies, but nothing groundbreaking or memorable. Today prog rock going to 70-s and i don't like this tendency. This is nice rock music with some 70-s influences (Deep Purple!), but not masterpiece. ... (read more)

Report this review (#905954) | Posted by serfal | Monday, February 04, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Riverside are a band who have always evaded me. Not for any real reason, but I haven't really got into them. They were, in fact, one of the first prog bands I listened to, but the albums I have just sort of sit around and barely get played. But after the success of my 2012 lists, I decided to ... (read more)

Report this review (#904468) | Posted by Gallifrey | Saturday, February 02, 2013 | Review Permanlink

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