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RIVERSIDE

Progressive Metal • Poland


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Riverside biography
Despite not being the biggest progressive rock powerhouse of Europe, Poland have certainly sprouted great and interesting progressive bands since the heyday of progressive rock, being the biggest examples of that the singer and multi-instrumentalist Czeslaw Niemen and the supergroup SBB. After the fall of the communist regime, during the 90's and 2000's, more bands begun to form and release their material, strengthening the country's own progressive rock scene, such as the neo prog bands Abraxas and Collage, and Riverside is, quite possibly, the biggest and best known band to come out from that scene.

Riverside was formed almost by accident, when two of its members, the guitarist Piotr Grudziński and the drummer Piotr Kozieradzki, listened to Marillion in Kozieradzki's car back in 2001. Both played in heavy metal bands at the time, but had the common interest for progressive rock, so they decided to join with their mutual friend, Jacek Melnicki, who owned a studio, and started to experiment with progressive rock. Mariousz Duda, multi-instrumentalist and vocalist from the band Xanadu, joined the trio later that year for rehearsals and the results and reactions from those meetings were extremely positive. After some more rehearsals, and the completion of some compositions by the band, Mariousz started to take the role as both the band's vocalist and bass player.

In late 2002, about one year after the band's formation, Riverside's was already playing gigs in Warsaw with material that would later be their debut album, Out of Myself, and, after distributing 500 copies of their demos around the town, the band played in a small club in Warsaw by the end of the year.

In 2003, shortly after the recording of Out of Myself, Riverside's founding member and keyboard player Jacek Melnicki decided to leave the band to focus on his own studio, so the rest of the band continued to mix and produce the album, as well as to search for a replacement for Jacek, which would be the band's current keyboardist Michal Lapaj.

Upon its release, in late 2003, Out of Myself had an unexpected success in Poland, and such success led to the album's rerelease in September 2004 by the American record label Laser's Edge, which led to even bigger media coverage and even more praises and attention towards the band. Still on 2004 the band had its first gig outside Poland in the Progpower festival in the Dutch city of Baarlo. The crowd's response was so good th...
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Love Fear & The Time MachineLove Fear & The Time Machine
Inside Out U.S. 2015
Audio CD$12.99
Anno Domini High DefinitionAnno Domini High Definition
Inside Out Music 2009
Audio CD$7.99
$120.00 (used)
Shrine of New Generation SlavesShrine of New Generation Slaves
Box set
Inside Out U.S. 2013
Audio CD$12.23
$7.35 (used)
Memories In My HeadMemories In My Head
EP
Laser's Edge 2011
Audio CD$6.98
$6.78 (used)
Out of MyselfOut of Myself
Laser's Edge 2004
Audio CD$9.60
$6.60 (used)
Voices in My HeadVoices in My Head
Inside Out U.S. 2006
Audio CD$42.65
$34.92 (used)
OneOne
Warner Bros / Wea 1992
Audio CD$50.00
$5.49 (used)
Second Life SyndromeSecond Life Syndrome
Inside Out U.S. 2005
Audio CD$17.50
$10.69 (used)
Rapid Eye MovementRapid Eye Movement
Inside Out Music 2007
Audio CD$18.12
$14.37 (used)
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SOME SWEET DAY - The Riverside Boys, LPS-9059, 12" Stereo LP USD $10.00 Buy It Now 40m 56s
Two Hours With Thelonious Double LP STEREO~1969 Riverside Jazz Bop~FAST SHIPPING USD $23.35 Buy It Now 42m 12s
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Bill Evans Trio: EXPLORATIONS first pressing blue label Riverside USD $399.00 Buy It Now 2h 25m
Jim Robinson's New Orleans Band - S/T LP Mono DG Riverside RLP 369 USD $13.00 Buy It Now 2h 29m
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THELONIOUS MONK IN ACTION AT FIVE SPOT 1st RIVERSIDE 12-262 DG Mono Griffin M- USD $118.99 [0 bids]
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THE STAPLE SINGERS This Land RARE BLACK GOSPEL Riverside LP in SHRINK! EX+ USD $25.00 [0 bids]
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THE STAPLE SINGERS This Little Light GOSPEL Riverside LP STILL SEALED ORIG MINT! USD $25.00 [1 bids]
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Cannonball Adderley - Riverside Profiles [CD New] USD $11.31 Buy It Now 4h 8m
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9h 25m
Alice's Adventures In Wonderland 1957 RIVERSIDE 4LP Box Set CYRIL RITCHARD USD $19.55 Buy It Now 10h 41m
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12h 5m
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12h 36m
The Riverside Jazz Sampler (CD 1988) USD $3.07 [0 bids]
12h 38m
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13h 29m
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riverside history of jazz 5lp box set sdp II w booklet VG+ USD $10.00 [0 bids]
16h 4m
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17h 24m
Junie C. Cobb's New Hometown Boys CHICAGO: THE LIVING LEGENDS Riverside 415 DG USD $19.99 Buy It Now 17h 29m
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17h 32m
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17h 39m
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CANNONBALL ADDERLEY At The Lighthouse LP RIVERSIDE RLP 9344 stereo VG+ USD $6.99 [0 bids]
17h 51m
SONNY ROLLINS The Freedom Suite Riverside LP EX Vinyl USD $3.99 [0 bids]
17h 56m
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19h 10m
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19h 23m
SOUNDS OF SEBRING 1960 Riverside Records Stereo #1173 Florida 12-Hour Grand Prix USD $15.99 [0 bids]
19h 28m
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19h 52m
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20h 14m
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XANADU The Last Sunrise NEW CD PROG Porcupine Tree, Sylvan, Riverside, Rush, Yes USD $13.99 Buy It Now 20h 19m
MUNDELL LOWE Guitar Moods LP 12 Track Reissue GERMAN Riverside USD $11.27 Buy It Now 20h 40m
BILLIE POOLE Sermonette LP 12 Track US Riverside 1962 USD $11.27 Buy It Now 20h 41m
SAM JONES Soul Society LP 8 Track Mono In A Flipback Sleeve UK Riverside 1960 USD $59.63 Buy It Now 20h 41m
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20h 45m
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BAYAMO RIVERSIDE ORCHESTRA SON MONTUNO LP PUCHITO 45 HEAR USD $9.99 [0 bids]
20h 54m
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JOHN GREENWAY the great american bum LP VG+ RLP 12-619 Vinyl 1955 Riverside USD $40.00 Buy It Now 21h 9m
Out Of Myself - Riverside (CD Used Very Good) USD $11.43 Buy It Now 21h 22m
BUD GREENSPAN & H.V. KALTENBORN witness 2 LP Mint- RLP 7513/7514 Riverside USA USD $75.00 Buy It Now 21h 25m


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RIVERSIDE shows & tickets


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RIVERSIDE discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

RIVERSIDE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.19 | 902 ratings
Out Of Myself
2003
4.26 | 1327 ratings
Second Life Syndrome
2005
3.76 | 667 ratings
Rapid Eye Movement
2007
4.19 | 1020 ratings
Anno Domini High Definition
2009
4.06 | 768 ratings
Shrine of New Generation Slaves
2013
4.75 | 4 ratings
Love, Fear And The Time Machine
2015

RIVERSIDE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.03 | 132 ratings
Reality Dream
2008

RIVERSIDE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.09 | 107 ratings
Reality Dream
2009

RIVERSIDE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.70 | 50 ratings
Reality Dream Trilogy (6CD)
2011

RIVERSIDE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.36 | 33 ratings
Riverside
2003
3.56 | 34 ratings
Loose Heart
2003
3.62 | 181 ratings
Voices In My Head
2005
2.56 | 58 ratings
Conceiving You
2005
3.76 | 92 ratings
02 Panic Room
2007
3.50 | 61 ratings
Schizophrenic Prayer
2008
4.00 | 1 ratings
Reality Dream Tour 2008
2008
0.00 | 0 ratings
Forgotten Land
2011
4.03 | 237 ratings
Memories In My Head
2011
3.44 | 58 ratings
Celebrity Touch
2012

RIVERSIDE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Voices In My Head by RIVERSIDE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2005
3.62 | 181 ratings

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Voices In My Head
Riverside Progressive Metal

Review by ergaster

3 stars 3.5/5

The second Riverside release, Voices in My Head, was offered as a sort of placeholder for the fans, after the excitement of the first album and while they waited for the next. It is brief, as befits an EP, presenting five new tracks and three live performances of songs from Out of Myself. It showcases the gentle, acoustic side of the band, and is notable for being the first studio appearance of their new keyboard player Michał Łapaj, who had taken over from Jacek Melnicki.

The new tracks on Voices in My Head are all ballads save one (which is exceptional in more than this), essentially acoustic and electric guitar, keyboards, and Duda's lovely voice. The three live tracks were taken from a show played in Warsaw in 2004, and maybe can be regarded as a road-test to see how well Łapaj was going to fit in.

Overall the EP is pleasant, the tracks short, beautiful, acoustic guitar and piano; but too many ballads in a row leads one to perhaps forget that this is (theoretically) a Riverside release and not a Mariusz Duda solo effort with guests. Still, these songs arrow straight for the heart, taking full advantage of the delicately intimate side of Duda's voice and lyrics, silky and yearning. "The Time I was Daydreaming" and "Acronym Love" (which would re-emerge a decade later as a somewhat re-worked live showstopper) are the best songs along that line.

And then...the remarkable "Dna Ts. Rednum Or F. Raf", with its too-clever-by-half backward title, charges headlong into the middle of this otherwise rather sedate set: a rocking, chugging track with a rumbling bassline and compelling hypnotic rhythm (no live drums, but drum machine), it thunders along powerful and unique, and remains one of the outstanding tracks in the entire Riverside canon. I don't know if it ever got played live, but it might be worth seeing -- this track at full bore has roof-raising potential.

Overall, Voices in My Head lacks the stylistic variety and signature sound associated with Riverside as a band; it seems more a Duda/Łapaj effort, with some Grudziński thrown in. I tend to sample this EP rather than listen to it through: "Dna Ts. Rednum Or F. Raf" has become a staple, and a couple of other tracks get play depending on mood. I think what we have is what it was intended to be: a collection of extra tracks assembled to help fans endure the wait between albums. It certainly does not have the status or quality of the band's other EP.

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 Anno Domini High Definition by RIVERSIDE album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.19 | 1020 ratings

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Anno Domini High Definition
Riverside Progressive Metal

Review by ergaster

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 that even after three albums, the second point was not so obvious. The Trilogy introduced an unmistakable Riverside-ish musical Gestalt, one that essentially defined them and even though there were some differences from album to album (especially in regard to how heavy they became), there really was a unity of sound that likely has helped pigeonhole them in the "progressive" category from which it is proving difficult for the guys to extract themselves (in fact, anyone who has paid any attention at all to interviews and comments over the past couple of years will realize that being styled 'progressive metal' is somewhat of a Duda bugbear).

Anno Domini High Definition (ADHD), their fourth album (with its four-word title and double-entendre acronym) was the first album where this desire for stylistic change became undeniably manifest. And what a change it was. It must have seemed as if they were not just abandoning their lush progressive roots, but dropkicking them into the next solar system. The guys took their sumptuous atmospheric sound and slammed it head on into a heavy metal wall; they embraced it so enthusiastically one might even suspect they were eager for a change. The lush keyboards acquired a much harder edge. The guitars are dense and raunchy and full of relentless energy, the bass punchy and riff-heavy, taking the lead like it had never done before. Piotr Kozieradzki must have been in drum heaven on this one, with his extensive death metal background. No acoustic guitar, no ballads, no real soft pieces except the start of "Left Out'. For all that, Duda's first point stands: There is no doubt we are listening to Riverside -- their distinctive core stands untouched.

The album is a departure in more ways than music. It looks very different: designed by Travis Smith, but with a glaringly bright red cover instead of the more subdued, darker tones he is noted for. And it was not recorded at Serakos Studio by the by the Szredniccys, but elsewhere, by others. Taken all together the message is clear: Pay Heed, Things Have Changed.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that ADHD may well be the band's most polarizing album. There are those who didn't know what to make of the sudden swerve away from the great sweeping soundscapes of the Trilogy and towards sheer headbanging metalness, and for whom this album sees little play; on the other hand I know of folks who aren't necessarily fans, but when they do play a Riverside album, this is the one they reach for. And then there are the fans (I among them) that ended up embracing the album completely and unreservedly. It did take me a while to come around to it, but if the criteria of consistency, energy, performance, song writing skill, lyric chops etc. mean anything at all, this album surpasses all the rest of the discography in almost all categories. Whatever the case, it sure as hell worked. The result is a mighty, in-your-face, relentlessly kick-ass chordfest that set the band's bar high enough they have not yet managed to surpass it. In short: this album is astonishingly good.

If Inspiration had been largely somnolent for REM, she awoke with a vengeance for ADHD. "Hyperactive" begins the album with a simple introductory piano theme and then kicks into high gear; from there and through the rest of the tracks the album really never lets up. All the songs demonstrate the band's complete mastery over intricate and shifting song structures but in metal mode this time, and all of them are compellingly, blazingly powerful and consistent. There are, however, a couple of clear standouts.

"Driven to Destruction" begins with a massively iconic opening bass line, upon which the buzzing guitar riffs, dense keys and drums build relentlessly into a monster, chugging track. Duda punctuates his deceptively soft vocals with barks, growls and distortion, and Mitloff drums like he is having the time of his life. This song is as heavy as all getout.

But the real revelation, the mightiest track on the album, and perhaps the only one that can rival "Second Life Syndrome" as the greatest song the band has ever produced, is the extraordinary "Left Out". It just might be the perfect Riverside song, the acme of their collective achievement. Every single element works exactly as it should, and where it has the edge over "Second Life Syndrome" is in the lyrics, which may well be among the finest that Mariusz Duda has yet written for Riverside. This massive epic is a musical and emotional tour de force, a marvel of songwriting; it begins here and eleven minutes later ends up way over there, and you have no idea how that happened...but it is an exhilarating ride.

As it turns out, ADHD was the first album in a new trilogy, a set of albums whose lyric themes continue to address Duda's intense interest in being human and coping in a complex, ever-changing, often distressingly impersonal world, but from a more sociological, less psychological perspective. ADHD may also represent some of the most mature, smartest, and directly incisive lyric writing he has done for Riverside, with the possible exception of the Memories in My Head EP.

To my mind this is the Riverside album where everything coalesced, where all the elements finally come together: ambition, superb performances, intricate and astonishing song writing, beautifully evocative lyrics, all built on a rock-solid foundation of sheer exhilaration. At a shade over 44 minutes in length, it is their shortest studio album to date, but this length (very probably a deliberate result of Duda's continuing fascination with number games ' note the four word title) may well have worked in its favour. There is not a wasted note or riff or idea on this album. It is heavy and tight, monstrously hard and joyful; I'm sure I could quibble about details here and there, but you know, they really are not worth mentioning.

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 Rapid Eye Movement by RIVERSIDE album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.76 | 667 ratings

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Rapid Eye Movement
Riverside Progressive Metal

Review by ergaster

3 stars 3.5/5

And then there were three. The release of Rapid Eye Movement (REM) wound up the Reality Dream Trilogy, the first three albums united by their ambitious and lushly intricate musicality, and their common lyric arc of self-exploration and change. As it turned out, REM also marked the end of the first phase in the band's ongoing quest to explore new musical directions and keep themselves sounding fresh, but this wouldn't become clear until album number 4.

I find this a difficult album to review. I like it, of course, I like all the Riverside albums, and I would rather play REM than many other albums in my collection, but I rarely feel the urge to play it in its entirety. It is an album that seems "stuck between", as it were, in a kind of limbo between potential and success, as if something intangible is missing. In other words, it is not immediately obvious why REM should not be a well-played album. I don't have an easy explanation for why it niggles at me.

At any rate, I suspect that if anyone is going to bother to disagree with any of my Riverside reviews, it will be with REM. I know a lot of people connect with it, but I seem unable to do so. I think my issues with the album boil down to this: the largely hit-and-miss nature of both the songs and the lyrics.

The lyrics of REM appear to be themed around psychological aspects of duality and opposition: sides of our personalities that often are in conflict. Sleeping, dreaming, and the liminal state between sleep and wakefulness are some key metaphors that drive this theme. And I have to confess that these ideas are cleverly handled: hooky imagery abounds, sly cultural references, and plenty of deft turns of phrase -- and yet, there is just something missing.

At his best, Mariusz Duda pens lyrics that often come across as intensely personal, even autobiographical -- as if he is permitting us glimpses into the intimate corners of his soul. In so doing, the words often have the uncanny ability to reflect back our own fears, dreams, and hopes, and it strikes me that given the psychological struggles he is attempting to convey on this album, making that connection would be of paramount importance. And yet despite all the skillful imagery and evocative metaphor, I find this sense of intimacy is largely (but not completely) missing from the lyrics of REM. Except for the poignant "Embryonic", with its heartbreakingly simple tale of dying love, the ideas being conveyed are disappointingly remote.

Musically, REM seems to straddle two worlds. It carries over the lush, dense atmosphere of the previous two albums, but it also -- when it gets going -- is much heavier in feel: the guitars are often hard and jagged, the sound more unremittingly metal -- hints of the musical direction the band will take on the next album. However, I find that REM does not carry the memory-weight of the other albums. With a few exceptions, the songs just don't stick: it is the only Riverside album where I cannot immediately recall the name or the sound of several of the tracks, and I've listened to this album uncounted times since I discovered the band.

The exceptions, though, are incandescent: After the heavy but unmemorable opening track ("Beyond the Eyelids") the album ramps into high gear with "Rainbow Box"/"02 Panic Room"/"Schizophrenic Prayer": three short but monstrous ass-kickers in a row. This is some seriously huge music: the first two tracks chug and throb along (indeed, "02 Panic Room" may be among Riverside's greatest, most beloved songs), and while "Schizophrenic Prayer" is not quite as relentless it is a fitting windup to this massive threesome.

Alas...after that surge of brilliance the album never manages to regain momentum. Like all the Riverside albums, there are long, intricate progressive tracks, but unlike pretty much all the other Riverside albums -- in fact, REM may be unique in this respect -- none of these seem to develop into anything memorable. And perhaps that can sum up the entire album...apart from a few of the short songs, the album just sits there, as if Inspiration, that most important tenth Muse, had gone on vacation.

REM II

But all is not lost....

And then there is the bonus disc. This would be the first album that offered a second disc of bonus material, and these tracks prove to be the album's saving grace. REM II is a collection of somewhat experimental, mostly instrumental tracks: after the remix and revision ("02 Panic Room" and "Beyond the Eyelids" respectively) the rest of the bonus material consists of the band romping its way joyfully through short tracks and long, showcasing influences and vocal play.

"Lucid Dream IV" is a massive metal stompfest along the lines of the three "Reality Dream" instrumentals, but taken to another facemelting level. "Back to the River" is more ambient, contemplative, and unapologetically Floydish -- so much so that when they break into a passage from 'Shine On You Crazy Diamond" the surprise is but momentary -- and naturally they pull it off with casual perfection. "Rapid Eye Movement", perhaps the real epic of the entire album, builds itself over layers of vocal noises: hisses and clicks and chitters and heavy breathing as Duda experiments with his voice as pure instrument.

At the end of the day...Riverside's Reality Dream Trilogy ends in a bit of a slump, with an album somewhere in between their best and their not-so-best (one hesitates to say "worst" -- it is not a word much used in the context of Riverside), sitting towards the bottom of the list mostly due to its sheer averageness. Of course, REM has its adherents -- all the albums do. You just can't hit it out of the park for everyone, every time.

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 Out Of Myself by RIVERSIDE album cover Studio Album, 2003
4.19 | 902 ratings

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Out Of Myself
Riverside Progressive Metal

Review by ergaster

4 stars 3.5/5

Out of Myself is the album that introduced Riverside to the world...and for a first album, this is as grand an entrance as can be imagined. Imbued with an astonishing sophistication of sound and vision, it is confident and forward-looking; call it what you will---prog rock, prog metal---this album married the various band-member influences (and inevitable comparisons to Certain Other Bands) into one glorious progressive bundle. Influences aside, Riverside marched into progressive consciousness as an entity unto themselves, and have managed to maintain their unique sound throughout their subsequent stylistic incarnations.

As it turns out, an early version of their music, raw and unrefined, exists on a 7-track "demo". A couple of the tracks from this made it onto Out of Myself more or less intact (just cleaned up), but others are very differently conceived (such as "The Curtain Falls"), one has completely disappeared into oblivion (never rerecorded as anything that I have found), and one reappeared much later as a track on the "Conceiving You" single. This bit of history provides a fascinating glimpse of the wobbly first steps of what would eventually become one of the most polished and professional musical outfits around.

Out of Myself pulls no punches: it kicks off with "The Same River", a 12-minute prog opus, and from there manages to encompass an impressive range of styles: delicate acoustic ballads, pure face-stomping instrumental metal, screams and growls, the willingness to wander off in different musical directions and back again. We discover Mariusz Duda's intimate, introspective lyric style, and his lovely distinctive voice. And behind it all what would become Riverside's hallmark sound: Piotr Grudziński's great winding guitar themes and melodies and Duda's intricate bass playing, anchored by solid drumming and the vast soundscape wash of the keyboards. It would take another album and a new keyboard player for all these elements to coalesce, but this first album is remarkable for how thoroughly it introduces us to the essence of Riverside.

And yet, for all its unquestioned quality, this is not an album I want to listen to very often. It does not draw me in. It is unquestionably a grand debut, and it clearly indicates the future trajectory for the band, but I think the album shows more potential than it does achievement--it is clear that there is much more to come. The sound is still somewhat raw and lacks nuance, and while the songs are ambitious and confident, none of them are truly great, with one exception.

"The Curtain Falls" is the first of Riverside's truly inspired signature tracks, a song that exemplifies the band at their transportive best. Lush, complex, magnificently melodic, this is a song that can hold its own against anything the band has come up with since. However, Out of Myself is unusual in that in has only one truly exceptional track (although I'm willing to argue that "In Two Minds" flirts with greatness). At the end of the day, I have two issues with the album: First, "The Same River" and "The Curtain Falls" bracket a series of tracks that foreshadow the future greatness of the band, but there is a certain lack of polish, and while the songs are strong, they are not compelling.

Secondly: you may have noticed I mention "The Curtain Falls" as if it is the last track on the album, and for all intents and purposes, it is--when that song ends the album really does feel complete. It is an eye-blinking WtF?? moment to realize that there is in fact one more song.

"OK" is not a track that sees much light of day on best-of-Riverside lists or as a youtube video in Facebook groups; if it there is a live version I have never heard of it. That song is like the band's crazy relative, kept hidden in the attic bedroom but best not discussed in public. It is very much an oddball in the Riverside canon, a slow jazz/blues fusion experiment complete with trombone...and it feels like a complete afterthought. Why on earth is it even there?

I have an idea about that. Along with Mariusz Duda's songwriting chops, Out of Myself introduced us to a certain expansiveness of his musical vision. This was the first album in what became the Reality Dream Trilogy, a triumvirate linked by a broad thematic lyrical arc. This habit of mind is patently obvious now, what with a sixth Riverside album on the way completing a second trilogy, and the three linked lyric albums of the solo project Lunatic Soul. Duda doesn't envisage material a mere album at a time, but in great conceptual swathes.

At any rate, the number three, and its multiples clearly had some importance: Out of Myself and the other two albums in the Trilogy---Second Life Syndrome, and Rapid Eye Movement--have three word titles. What's more, they all have nine tracks each. And it seems that despite what the actual structure of the album demanded, the anomalous "ok" was shoehorned into Out of Myself to make up the number.

Well, that's my hypothesis. It may also be as simple as they just thought it was good idea to tack it on. (As an aside: the word-count of the titles of the next three albums follows a different pattern, but a pattern nonetheless).

Out of Myself is an exceptional debut album, demonstrating great assurance and remarkably few growing pains. I don't find it their best album by any means, it does not draw me to listen to it the way other Riverside albums do. I do know that it is a beloved part of the band's discography, and I can appreciate that even if I don't find it so myself.

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 Anno Domini High Definition by RIVERSIDE album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.19 | 1020 ratings

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Anno Domini High Definition
Riverside Progressive Metal

Review by Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer

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

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 Shrine of New Generation Slaves by RIVERSIDE album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.06 | 768 ratings

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Shrine of New Generation Slaves
Riverside Progressive Metal

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 4.5 stars. RIVERSIDE in my opinion are at their best when they play in that atmospheric style with the addition of Duda's warm vocals. Well, we get that style in spades here on "Shrine Of New Generation Slaves". I would go as far as to say this is their most beautiful album, and if it wasn't for the first track i'd be giving this 5 stars.

Not that "New Generation Slave" is a bad tune, in fact I do like it somewhat but right from the first spin of this album i've felt it always gets this recording off on the wrong foot. Lots of tension with vocals early on until it's released after 2 minutes. This is good. "No I don't have a stomach ache, it's just my face." An instrumental workout follows with lots of organ late. "The Depth Of Self-Delusion" is more like the RIVERSIDE I love. A beautiful instrumental section though brief begins after 3 minutes as the vocals return quickly with strings. Another great instrumental passage before 4 1/2 minutes and I love the mellow ending. Excellent track! "Celebrity Touch" hits the ground running and the vocals are passionate here as well as we get some good organ runs. It turns atmospheric before 2 1/2 minutes with warm vocals. Love it! It then kicks back in but contrasts will continue. A nice guitar solo after 4 1/2 minutes with chunky bass lines. Such beauty in this one at times like old school PORCUPINE TREE. "We Got Used To Us" is a top three with those multi-vocals to start that are replaced by Duda alone. How emotional is this song? Thankyou God! "We never talk when we fall apart". Man this is too close to home lyrically. A gorgeous track and so emotional.

"Feel Like Falling" is an interesting song with Duda's at times higher pitched vocals along with some vocal harmonies. Another feel-good tune for me. "Deprived(Irretrievably Lost Imagination)" is another top three tune. A warm atmosphere with intricate sounds as Duda's warm and reserved vocals join in. So beautiful, especially just before 2 minutes. A very cool atmospheric section 4 1/2 minutes in that builds somewhat slowly to a full sound. Nice. "Escalator Shrine" is an over 12 1/2 minute ride. Starting out slowly we get almost spoken vocals before 2 minutes. Both vocals and instruments turn more passionate slowly. It then kicks into a higher gear with organ out front 5 minutes in. Synths then lead before it turns heavier before 6 1/2 minutes. Themes are repeated. It's absolutely gorgeous 10 minutes in and the vocal melodies late to end it with that atmosphere is fantastic. "Coda" is a short piece with picked guitar, atmosphere and laid back vocals. Beautiful to say the least. Now my other top three is the two part track on the bonus disc called "Night Session" worth over 22 minutes and is worth the price of admission alone. An instrumental highlight that is full of atmosphere and beauty.

While many fans seem to be put-off by this recording, it suits my tastes to a tee. I'm repeating myself here but man this album is full of gorgeous melodies and sounds.

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 Out Of Myself by RIVERSIDE album cover Studio Album, 2003
4.19 | 902 ratings

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Out Of Myself
Riverside Progressive Metal

Review by petrica

5 stars Incredible debut album and performance. You can count on the fingers on one hands such a devastating debut. After listening to this tens of times I could say that is one of the landmarks of the new wave of progressive rock. Aggressive parts, slow parts, beautifully crafted interludes, inspired guitar and keyboards solos all over the place. The album from the right beginning creates a dreamy atmosphere. The radio tuning from the first song makes me think of somebody waking up in the morning and continue to have lucid dreaming through music. I will not go through a song by song review because I would like to think about this as a whole and there isn't any weak part.

If we are going to talk about influences one can feel a large spectrum of styles and bands but don't think about any kind of bad copy or something. They managed to take all the good from various areas of progressive music and add an important amount of originality. I could say that Riverside managed to have their own distinguishable sound from the very start. And that's something not easy to accomplish.

When I'm writing this review this album has 10 years already. I believe they managed to pass the test of time also and their next release is at least at the same level if not even greater. I'm glad I've discovered this band and to enjoy their accomplishments in the last years. Highly recommended.

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 Shrine of New Generation Slaves by RIVERSIDE album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.06 | 768 ratings

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Shrine of New Generation Slaves
Riverside Progressive Metal

Review by FragileKings
Prog Reviewer

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 Generation Slaves", Riverside has made plenty of room for subtlety, melody, mood, and very effective use of all instruments present, including wonderful vocals that move from whispers to barks and shouts but mostly roam the realms of emotive clean singing.

The album jewel must be "Escalator Shrine" for all its variety in groove, from melodic and slow to loud and fast and several paces in between. But there are other highlights like "We Got Used to Us" with its piano, bass, drums, and sensitive vocals or "Deprived (Irretrievably Lost Imagination)" which also makes good use of non-bombast and good clear instrumentation and great atmosphere. And "Feel Like Falling", though short, nicely includes pop synthesizer in some parts and heavy guitars in others.

Because so much of the album is not heavy, the heavy parts are treats to hear, but as well the less sonically aggressive parts capture the sounds and notes of the instruments so well that its a great joy to play the album from beginning to end. Still, I can't help but pull off individual tracks for playlists, and that makes this album for me a great one.

This is one of my picks for a post 2010 "gateway to prog" album. To understand "gateways to prog" check out Stephen Lambe's book "Citizens of Hope and Glory: the Story of Progressive Rock". Riverside receives only a brief mention; however, this album would look good in any future edition of the book. Four and a half stars!

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 Reality Dream by RIVERSIDE album cover Live, 2008
4.03 | 132 ratings

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Reality Dream
Riverside Progressive Metal

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

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

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

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

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

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 Out Of Myself by RIVERSIDE album cover Studio Album, 2003
4.19 | 902 ratings

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Out Of Myself
Riverside Progressive Metal

Review by Obsidian Pigeon

3 stars Riverside is a band that I've known for quite a while now, and listened to first several years ago, starting with this album.

The Same River, the opening track, is certainly the highlight of this album, flaunting its Pink Floyd-influence while still being entirely original. The track is one of my favorite more space-rock moments of recent history. However, I find the rest of the album to fare much less favorably than the first track, which gave me such high expectations. Songs such as Reality Dream and the title track just don't do much at all for me.

As much as I tried to love this album, and even this band, I just couldn't. I recognize their talent, and I do believe that they've earned whatever recognition that they have attained, but it's not quite my kind of music, although The Same River is quite an outstanding track.

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