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LUNATIC SOUL

Crossover Prog • Poland


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Lunatic Soul biography
The LUNATIC SOUL is a solo studio project from RIVERSIDE's bass guitarist and vocalist Mariusz DUDA featuring RIVERSIDE's keyboard player Michał ŁAPAJ on the Hammond organ with Maciej SZELENBAUM playing keyboards, piano, flutes, harmonica and qujang, Wawrzyniec DRAMOWICZ from INDUKTI on drums and QUIDAM's Maciej MELLER utilising the e-bow on an unspecified stringed instrument.

While far removed from RIVERSIDE's Progressive Metal it is not difficult to see comparisons and similarities to the parent band in the music contained on the eponymous debut album - not least of all because of DUDA's distinctive clean vocals, the occasional guttural growl and, despite the lack of electric guitars, the pounding acoustic guitar riffs that appear on some of the tracks. However, this is not the lighter, unplugged side of DUDA, it is a dark brooding mix of eclectic sounds with ethnic instruments and influences evoking eastern/oriental themes, psychedlic-era PINK FLOYD-like rhythms, swirling and ethereal keyboards reminiscent of early PORCUPINE TREE tied together by songs that are surprisingly accessible and melodic.


See also:

- Riverside

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Lunatic SoulLunatic Soul
Kscope 2008
Audio CD$9.09
$11.57 (used)
ImpressionsImpressions
Kscope 2011
Audio CD$9.30
$8.30 (used)
Lunatic Soul 2Lunatic Soul 2
KSCOPE 2010
Audio CD$9.20
$8.00 (used)
IIII
Import
Snapper Import 2011
Vinyl$22.66
$31.44 (used)
II (OGV)II (OGV)
SNAPPER IMPORT
Vinyl$55.99
IIII
Mystic Production
Audio CD$37.50 (used)
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LUNATIC SOUL discography


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

4.05 | 256 ratings
Lunatic Soul
2008
3.82 | 286 ratings
Lunatic Soul II
2010
3.74 | 185 ratings
Impressions
2011
0.00 | 0 ratings
Walking on a Flashlight Beam
2014

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LUNATIC SOUL Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Lunatic Soul by LUNATIC SOUL album cover Studio Album, 2008
4.05 | 256 ratings

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Lunatic Soul
Lunatic Soul Crossover Prog

Review by Memo_anathemo

5 stars Mariusz Duda, as leader of Riverside, is outstanding in different aspects: he has a wonderful voice that ranges from melodic to aggressive; and, he plays the bass incredibly at Riverside. It was time for him to probe his composition side in a solo project. Working with some guest musicians, he created the LUNATIC SOUL project, and the first album, the black one, is an incredible effort where we can hear sounds of desperation, craziness, and landscapes, lots of landscapes that create a wonderful and varied album, maintaining the same melancholic and dark tone all the way through. Definitely, an incredible and different concept to that of Riverside.

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 Lunatic Soul by LUNATIC SOUL album cover Studio Album, 2008
4.05 | 256 ratings

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Lunatic Soul
Lunatic Soul Crossover Prog

Review by bonestorm

4 stars I'm always interested to hear an artist from a favourite band moving into the solo realm, especially when it's something quite different from his or her previous work.

This is what we're given with Mariusz Duda's 'Lunatic Soul'. Here we see the frontman from Riverside moving to arrangements centred around acoustic guitars and other instruments unseen on his previous works.

This is apparent from the very beginning. After the ambient intro track, 'Prebirth', track number two 'The New Beginning' treats us to flutes, acoustic percussion and subtle, almost whispered vocals. 'Out on a Limb' ramps things up a little as Duda's distorted bass injects some groove into the album. There's also the interesting use of a woman crying to punctuate the track midway through. I found this entirely disconcerting the first time through. A number of listens later I'm still not sure what to make of it, but it is admittedly effective in evoking a response.

The title track 'Lunatic Soul' is my favourite on this album. It begins with a dreamlike chiming that immediately transports me deep inside the music. It's an example of something simple, something subtle that is also very powerful. Acoustic guitar melts in and Duda's subdued vocals are soon accompanied by synths that gradually build the tension of the song. A memorable bassline drives the second half of the song until the chiming that escorted us into the track returns to echo in our ears as the song ends.

'Adrift' is another track that shares many of these strengths - a dreamlike acoustic intro, a killer bassline and a wonderful build up are all prominent as other instruments join the tapestry. This song clocks in at around three minutes and always leaves me wanting more.

'The Final Truth' is a track of two halves - the first mixes an organ, vocals and a highly reverberated side stick. It then builds to a more orchestral feel for the second half as the tempo picks up and other instruments join in. 'Waiting for the Dawn' closes the album with the same sense of ambience with which it began.

This album was a complete surprise for me, and one of my favourites for the year. It shows that Mariusz Duda has plenty to offer outside the confines of Riverside, and that his talents extend beyond just the one genre or style.

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 Lunatic Soul by LUNATIC SOUL album cover Studio Album, 2008
4.05 | 256 ratings

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Lunatic Soul
Lunatic Soul Crossover Prog

Review by Hnrz

5 stars In my opinion the best release from Mariusz Duda, it appears in my CD player far more than the other Lunatic Soul albums and indeed those from Riverside. With respect to the so called white album and 'Impressions', this album seems somewhat more urgent and also exhibits more coherence; while songs such as 'Asoulum' and 'Wanderings' were impressive in their own right, the white album suffered from a lack of flow from one track to the next.

The music on Lunatic Soul is almost solely the work of Duda having written and played virtually all of the instruments, and unlike the crushing riffs utilized in Riverside's music, this album is quiet and atmospheric. However despite this, and the predominantly short song lengths, the music can be powerful and emotive at times and hypnotic at others. Lyrically the album is intriguing too, exploring into the realms of what could happen after death. Track by Track;

1. Prebirth/The New Beggining - Do a good job of setting the scene for what is to come; they showcase the variety of instruments, and a haunting atmosphere is created by Duda's vocals on the latter track. They sit more in the hypnotic category than the powerful one, but are very pleasant on the ears.

2.Out on a Limb - A bit more urgent. Brilliant opening vocals lead into a faster passage of percussion and crunchy bass playing, before a pacy yet very melodic climax. Even has a crying woman in the midsection for emotional impact. Production really sounds good here, though it 's pretty much perfect throughout the album. 3. Summerland - One of the the three real big hitters on the album. Really beautiful song all round, nice piano melody and a strangely catchy chorus. This song in more lyrically populated than the previous songs, and the subject matter certainly gives you something to think about! Pretty damn good outro; Duda knows how to end songs!

4.Lunatic soul - Another big hitter. A very stylistic song, hypnotic keyboards keyboards swirl around throughout, accompanied by some rather nice drumming. With the vocals too, it kinda makes you feel as if you are floating. Great use of electronics, as on the previous track.

5. Where the Darkness is Deepest - Bit of a interlude, lots of random sounds that work together in somehow. Pulled along by a pulsating electric bass line joined by piano and some rather scary keyboard work.

6. Near Life Experience - Another Instrumental, but has somewhat more power than the previous number. Thing that stands out here is the quality of the bass playing and the general interplay between the instruments. Despite having little sense of direction the song just works so well.

7. Adrift - Small slow acoustic song with good lyrics. The tracks on this album often flow into each other, and this works to great effect here. The E-bow (played by Maciej Meller - not Duda!) really makes this song though.

8. The Final Truth - One of my favourite tracks of all time. Opens with just Duda's singing with a really fitting Hammond Organ backdrop and a simple beat. Lyrics are the best on the album here. Just past the halfway mark though, things start to liven up with some awesome speedy drumming and amazing keyboards. Then the vocals pick up the pace. This is the climax of the album. Seriously good track.

9. Waiting for the Dawn - Much in the way that 'Pebirth' led you in to the album this takes you out of it. Soothing keys, Flutes, and what ever a Quzheng create a lush instrumental landscape before an electronic drum noise thing sobers you up!

This is not usually my sort of music, but this album is really quite something (That's why it is the subject of my first ever review!). It is unique and has real emotional power. Buy it, make sure nothing is going on and just get lost in the music.

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 Impressions by LUNATIC SOUL album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.74 | 185 ratings

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Impressions
Lunatic Soul Crossover Prog

Review by tamijo

3 stars Lunatic Soul's Impressions, another solo/side project from Riverside's frontman. Again with the help of Maciej Szelenbaum, and Indukti drummer Wawrzyniec Dramowicz.

Lunatic Souls, moves even further into the landscape of Instrumental Ambient/ New age music. With a clear reference to early Mike Oldfield albums. Duda's vocal now tuned down from actual songs to a vocal instrument. More tracks now only featuring Duda, playing a wide range of different instruments. The music on the album interesting, taste full, but in my personal taste, also a little boring. Just as with Mike Oldfield, its music, I have to be in a special mood to enjoy.

You should not judge music by comparishment, but I cannot help compare it with Lunatic Soul II, and I do miss those songs a lot, they kept the album together, and I just love the sound of him singing. Its not a bad album at all, but in this style I find other albums more interesting and important, so I will stick to 3 stars, and hope he will be back with more, next time with those mellow songs.

Two bonus tracks, with vocals, both remixed from Lunatic Soul II, finish off the album, I have no idear what they are doing here, they do not fit at all, and they spoil the fact that the piano driven Impression VIII, would have been a perfect ending.

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 Lunatic Soul II by LUNATIC SOUL album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.82 | 286 ratings

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Lunatic Soul II
Lunatic Soul Crossover Prog

Review by tamijo

4 stars Lunatic Soul , is a solo/side project from Riverside frontman Duda, with the help of Maciej Szelenbaum mostly on flutes (Chinese Guzheng !! on one track) and Indukti drummer Wawrzyniec Dramowicz. Riverside keyboard player Michał Łapaj is no longer with the band.

I have not got Lunatic Soul I, so I cannot compare this album with the debut.

Besides the distinct sound of Duda's vocals, this is as far from Riverside Prog-Metal, as he could possible move. The project features an Ambient inspired music, in the line of what we know from David Sylvian, Mike Oldfield, later No-Man albums, and sometimes moving in the direction of ethnic inspired music like Kitaro or Brian Eno. But In a very unique way, that makes it an album, very much its own.

Building on a palette of repetitive patterns, ethnic tribal rhythms, and beautiful vocals. Very intelligent and delightful, combining the ingredients. Sometimes very discreet and dreamy, other times more intense percussions and a very filled sound picture.

In my personal taste it's a full blown 5 star masterpiece, that I really enjoy. But I will give 4 stars, because its not actually a prog. masterpiece that is a must have for everyone into prog. You have to like this kind of music, with next to no "rock" and a lot of relaxing sounds. Then it's a true masterpiece.

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 Impressions by LUNATIC SOUL album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.74 | 185 ratings

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Impressions
Lunatic Soul Crossover Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This is the latest release from the RIVERSIDE frontman's side project called LUNATIC SOUL. It's album number three and according to Mariusz "This third one is totally cinematic...I decided to return to the music I was listening to when I was younger such as Vangelis and Mike Oldfield". He describes this third one as a supplement to the first two albums and not part of a trilogy. There are no lyrics on this one but we do get vocal melodies. Also we get two bonus tracks that have been re-mixed. One is from the debut and it's called "Summerland" and the other is from the second release and it's called "Gravestone Hill". Each track on here is called "Impression" and it goes from I-VIII.

"Impression I" is led by vocal melodies and atmosphere early on then we get a beat after a minute that will come and go along with the vocals. Guitar around 3 1/2 minutes as the beat continues. "Impression II" features gentle guitar as the piano joins in. A beautiful track. "Impression III" has these intricate sounds that ping as the rain comes down. It picks up with percussion and guitar before 2 minutes. It then kicks in with surprising heaviness before 5 minutes. Cool song. "Impression IV" has strummed guitar and percussion early then the bass and vocal melodies follow. It settles after 2 1/2 minutes to the end. Nice bass late as it blends into "Impression V".The bass is joined by guitar then atmosphere before 2 minutes. It kicks in hard before 4 minutes.

"Impression VI" has this drum beat that comes and goes slowly as the guitar and vocal melodies join in. Piano around 4 minutes. It turns haunting 5 1/2 minutes in and we get strings too. "Impression VII" has percussion sounds as the guitar echoes. Great sound after 1 1/2 minutes with deep bass and more. "Impression VIII" is mostly piano and atmosphere.

Once again Travis Smith did the art work. It's interesting that the first album has that black cover depicting this soul who has left it's body and starts to wander. The second disc has the white cover revealing this soul has drawn closer to the light. This supplement album is a mix of both of course since it's a reflection of both. An excellent album that I really enjoy listening to in solitude with headphones.

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 Lunatic Soul by LUNATIC SOUL album cover Studio Album, 2008
4.05 | 256 ratings

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Lunatic Soul
Lunatic Soul Crossover Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars Well, I got Lunatic Soul II before I got the debut; nattily titled Lunatic Soul I, which only proves that I can still function according to all cardinal points I guess. Mariusz Duda needs no introduction to any of us and his solo project reflects the diversity that most artists aspire to, which proves that his cardinal points are still functioning. Nothing worse than being pigeon- holed in a style and then, like Harry Houdini strapped in an underwater coffin, struggling to be free of the chains, straps and ropes of market demands. There are few mainstream artists that can get away with side projects that diverge wildly from their claim to fame, but in our wonderful world of Prog, the artistic autonomy is encouraged with often brilliant results ( Porcupine Tree/Steve Wilson/Bass Communion/IEM being a good example or The Tangent/Transatlantic/ TFK/ Karmakanik community). The premise behind Lunatic Soul is the emergence of a sonic palette that is way more ethereal than Riverside, full of luxuriant ambiance and forlorn melancholia, introducing instruments that would never fit in the 'harder' mould: Tibetan bells, soporific voices, massive swaths of flute ripplings and mellotron waves and Asian percussives. The tracks sort of bleed into one another as if one long suite, perfect evolution of sound as if motored by some sonic dream. 'The New Beginning 'dives straight into the dark matter of fragile brooding proving that menacing does not have to be harsh and growly. 'Out on a Limb' starts out gently before exploding into a savage thump that suddenly introduces audible and fraught crying (tears), a moment where things get quite agonizing and desperate. Duda has mastered the contrast between lament and exaltation, his hushed voice often downcast but occasionally flashing a glimmer of relief. 'Summerland' is this window of sun, preparing for the epic title track, nearly 7 minutes of aural experimentation with the kalimba , also known as the thumb piano but exploding into a bass rumble that would make Squire blush as the blazing fire of Michal Lapaj's Hammond sweeps emotions in the backcourt , this is seriously fine music. The torment becomes quickly visceral (the organ knows how to perform that task) but Duda's angered vocals evoke the inner rage of his anguished soul to perfection. This is a composer on top of his game. 'Where the Darkness is Deeper' is outright creepy, like an outtake from a horror movie, growling dissonance and echoing pings of menace combine to elicit doom and despair, the mellotron strings and the slippery synths fluttering among the unfathomable valleys of peril. This is perhaps the best track here, totally unexpected but deliciously evil. The amusingly and cleverly titled 'Near Life Experience' is another twist in the paranoia, the acoustic guitar cutting an almost Saharan swath, jangling piano mirages and discordant drums give this a very Avant-jazz feel , the wobbly bass providing the only anchor as Arabic-styled wailing serenades the arrival at the oasis. Weird, man! 'Adrift' is a heartrending ballad that has tinges of ELP's 'C'est La Vie', a gorgeous hymn to loneliness and despair, featuring Quidam's Maciej Meller on e-bow, a thoroughly expressive song with a deep sense of painful resolve. The longest track here is 'The Final Truth', a miraculous vocal from Mariusz that expresses all the pain of a life's existence, the Hammond gently caressing the bubbly drums. The lyrics deal with the human condition, asking what is our existence all about, the unfocused blur between life and death. This is ideal funeral music when you think about it, the perfect sonic backdrop to the unavoidable moment where we all must pass on to the next universe. But the 'why?' needs to be answered first, which is why the finale 'Waiting For the Dawn' takes on such great significance. The Chinese plucked zither (Quzheng) takes us into the Himalayan heights of consciousness, far way from the mundane and regimented routine we call life. As Khalil Gibran wisely stated 'And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb'.

Wow, what a ride this was''. Sad music can be uplifting and inspirational, the 2 albums (I and II) certainly aspire to those lofty heights

4.5 madcap spirits

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 Impressions by LUNATIC SOUL album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.74 | 185 ratings

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Impressions
Lunatic Soul Crossover Prog

Review by J-Man
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Despite being a member of one of the biggest progressive metal acts on the scene today, the music you'll find from Mariusz Duda's Lunatic Soul is just about as far away as you can get from anything related to metal. Lunatic Soul clearly is a project with different intentions than that of Riverside, with its reflective and emotionally compelling style of new age often leaning more towards dark ambient than anything rock-oriented. Though the wordless, atmospheric, and experimental nature of Impressions may not be a guaranteed success for all fans of Riverside, it's clear to me that Mariusz Duda struck gold with this spectacular effort. Those who enjoyed the first two Lunatic Soul albums should find no difficulty falling in love with Impressions.

Mariusz Duda is best known for his spectacular vocal pipes as the frontman for Riverside, but his singing is used rather sparingly throughout Impressions. His vocals don't pop up too frequently, and when they do, his singing is used only to provide an additional melody rather than any lyrical concept. The almost entirely wordless nature of the album leaves every listener with the opportunity to create their own story to match the introverted style of the music - I actually think this aspect of the album allows the listener to connect with what Mariusz Duda is creating on a more personal level than one would ever imagine. The music is rather dark and repetitive, with the vast majority of the focus aimed towards creating hypnotic atmospheres and beautiful subtleties. While Lunatic Soul never prides itself on creating overtly technical music, the talent of these three musicians is clear right from the beginning. Everything from the lush acoustic guitars, transcendental synthesizers, and subtle use of digital effects is executed perfectly, and the crystal clear production makes this listening experience even more authentic.

While the highly atmospheric and emotionally demanding style of Impressions guarantees that it should never be used as background music, it's surprisingly quite accessible. I found myself entranced by the album even during my first listen, and every future spin has only deepened my affection for the music found on Impressions. While it may not be for everybody, the music that Lunatic Soul creates is highly original, transcendentally mystifying, and extremely professional - take it or leave it, this is one of the best progressive albums of 2011. 4 stars and a warm recommendation are very well-deserved.

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 Impressions by LUNATIC SOUL album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.74 | 185 ratings

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Impressions
Lunatic Soul Crossover Prog

Review by BrufordFreak

3 stars While I really like this and the previous two Lunatic Soul albums, I can see why some dismiss them as not really being prog. Me, I love this kind of ambient world music--soundscapes with emotion--which makes Impressions, IMO, better than its two predecessors (though I don't really like the space filler of two previously released songs present here as "remixes"--especially in that the original "Gravestone Hill," from Lunatic Soul II, was one of my favorite songs from 2010). The atmospheric "Impression I" and the roiling acoustic guitar strumming "Impression IV" are my favorites. I am glad and grateful for Mariuz Duda's personal medium for outlet and exploration. I hope there are many more Lunatic Soul efforts in the future as I like them better and will buy them over any Riverside output. 3.5 stars rated down for the two remixes.

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 Impressions by LUNATIC SOUL album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.74 | 185 ratings

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Impressions
Lunatic Soul Crossover Prog

Review by merid1en

4 stars Well, here we we have the much anticipated third release from Mr Duda. I listened to this album three times before attempting this review, as I am a big fan of Lunatic Soul's first two outings. This is masterpiece of recording technique and sonic developments, however, it seems to be missing the lunatic in Lunatic Soul. Most of the tracks on Impressions have more of an ambient feel to them than anything progressive. It is also missing the darker, gothic (or maybe Middle Eastern) flair that the first two offerings provide. For me, the best track is Impressions V, which elicites some emotional response, rather than a mostly mellower, sink into the couch, feel. Having said that, this album is a quite comfortable glove, and is fully suited to background music with company over; not for dropping acid and playing right after Pink Floyd's "Meddle". Even though I am a bit disappointed with this music as a Lunatic Soul album, I still quite like it and am giving it a 3.7 stars, and therefore rounding up to a 4

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