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Riverside - Shrine of New Generation Slaves CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

4.05 | 1042 ratings

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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!

FragileKings | 4/5 |


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