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Riveryman

Neo-Prog


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Riveryman Views, Fears & Stories album cover
3.00 | 6 ratings | 3 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2018

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Passing The Chamber Of Insanity (6:14)
2. View To A Forthcoming (1:25)
3. Rumours In The Darkness (5:38)
4. Messenger Of God (8:39)
5. Figurine Of 10 Mysteries (3:36)
6. Generation Of Corruption (8:04)
7. Flower Of The Future (4:12)
8. Concealed Universe (10:46)
9. When The Stars Unite (2:07)

Total time: 50:41

Line-up / Musicians

- Toni Jokinen (aka Tony Riveryman) / vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards, piano
- Mika 'Pikkis' Korkeamäki / drums

With:
- Esa Fors / vocalizing (4)
- Alex Argento / keyboard solo (6)

Releases information

Label: Musea Records (FGBG 4997)
Format: CD, Digital
October 4, 2018

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to rivertree for the last updates
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RIVERYMAN Views, Fears & Stories ratings distribution


3.00
(6 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
0%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(17%)
17%
Good, but non-essential (67%)
67%
Collectors/fans only (17%)
17%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

RIVERYMAN Views, Fears & Stories reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Matti
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Riveryman is a Finnish band of multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and producer Toni Jokinen, a.k.a. Tony Riveryman. He plays everything else than drums, ie. guitars, bass and keyboards. Now for the sad part: as it reads straight away on the album cover (in the form of dedication), drummer Mika Korkeamäki died in December 2015. The album however features his drumming, which indicates that this has been a long recording project. The first release since the debut album Magic World (2009), Views, Fears & Stories came out late last year via the French prog-oriented label Musea and it's graced by the fine cover & inside art of Ed Unitsky, familiar from albums by bands such as Unitopia and The Samurai Of Prog.

The 51-minute album is an ambitious work, and to some degree the big ambitions turn against the overall impression. The opening piece 'Passing the Chamber of Insanity' sets the expectations pretty high as it proceeds from the careful intro to power-chorded instrumental neo prog with gorgeously soaring electric guitar. The pretentious spoken narrative that comes in the latter half is fortunately quite brief, but it is all the more central in the next short piano/synth track 'View to a Forthcoming', in which Tony deals with the eternal questions of life and death. From the third track onwards the listener most likely starts questioning the solutions in production/mixing. I mean the vocals in particular, the same thing that also on the debut was seen as the weakest link. Not only that the singing is very mediocre, almost monotonous, but the playing is already so thick and intense (whether it's the electric guitar or organ on top of everything -- or both) that the sung tracks would sound much better as instrumentals. 9-minute 'Messenger of God' is the most striking example of such overblown approach.

Fortunately the latter half of the album features several instrumentals with lighter arrangements to save the balance. Synth-oriented 'Figurine of 10 Mysteries' is dedicated to Keith Emerson and Greg Lake, and is followed by 'Generation of Corruption Corruption' "written in the spirit of ELP". Again, way too much vocals. It doesn't actually sound more ELPish than other tracks ( (surely not an easy task with vocals so different from Greg Lake's anyway), except for guest musician Alex Argento's keyboard solo. 'Flower of the Future' and the closing piece are beautiful acoustic guitar solos, deeply needed breaths of fresh air. The longest track 'Concealed Universe' (10:46) is the best of sung tracks here, due to vocal-free passages and inspired melodies with a fusion flavour. This album is a very respectable and skilled effort, undoubtedly made with deep passion. With better vocals -- and/or less of them -- four stars would be deserved.

Review by Rivertree
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR PSIKE Team & Band Submissions
3 stars This one needed an extra call. Multi-instrumentalist Toni Jokinen aka Tony Riveryman pulls the strings here, accompanied by drummer Mika Korkeamäki, who unfortunately died at the end of the year 2015. Thus 'Views, Fears & Stories' also marks a memorial competition in some way, the album cover is showcasing a special remark. This of course implies that the basic drum recordings must have been finished beforehand already. By the way, who knows Ed Unitsky will soon recognize that the sleeve design has been accomplished by him, nice one as usual. According to the painting the album title makes sense, or maybe even the other way round. Riding on an airship offers spectacular views, probably forces some fears too. And finally, when coming back safe, you will have to tell some interesting stories for sure. This might be the starting point. Apart from that, I'm not good in exploring lyrics, the deeper sense. In most cases, here as well, they are a real mystery to me.

To make it clear, first and foremost, be it acoustic or electric, Toni absolutely convinces with his ambitious and versatile guitar playing on this heavy art rock and neo prog hybrid. Just take the outstanding classically tinged guitar solo Flower Of The Future, or the kick-off tune Passing The Chamber Of Insanity, which reveals an eclectic executing par excellence. The keyboards often are symphonic tuned, provided with rather dramatic expression. Unfortunately though, apart from the spoken word attempts, some limited and uninspired vocals are downgrading the overall impression, too bad. A matter of improvement concerning further efforts by all means. Nevertheless, according to the required technical skills Tony Riveryman has produced a proper prog rock album. The compositions are well made and enjoyable, especially the first two plus the extended Concealed Universe can start a real fire when it comes to me.

Review by kev rowland
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Reviewer
3 stars At the time of recording the second Riveryman album the line-up was Toni Jokinen (aka Tony Riveryman) (vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards, piano) and Mika 'Pikkis' Korkeamäki (drums) but sadly Korkeamäki passed away prior to the album actually being released. It is actually the drumming and the guitarwork which makes this album stand out, as Toni has been making his living from being a professional guitarist for many years, and he can certainly shred when he needs to, mixing Vai with Satriani as well as more Hackett-style sounds when the time is right. The album isn't as instrumental as one might expect from what is basically a multi-instrumentalist working with a drummer, and in this case that is actually a shame. During those passages without vocals, there is an air of polish and shine which keeps the listener interested as the music moves and swirls, switching in different directions, often bringing hard rock elements into the more progressive sound.

But, for all the great performances and wonderful artwork from none other than Ed Unitsky, there is no getting away from the fact that the album is spoiled by the vocals. Jokinen has a style of singing which doesn't gel with the music and flattens instead of lifting it up. If he were performing a different musical style then it wouldn't be an issue, but his voice isn't light enough or melodic enough to provide the counterbalance which is required. The result is an album that does have some incredible highs, boy this man can play guitar, but there are also some lows. Overall I did enjoy it, and others may not feel the same as me, so it is certainly worth checking out (and unlike many albums this is available on CD as well as digitally), but probably best to hear before buying.

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