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Riverside - Voices in My Head CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.62 | 271 ratings

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3 stars Riverside's "Voices in My Head" is an EP that was released between their first and second albums in March of 2005. It contains 5 original studio songs and 3 live tracks recorded at the Traffic Club in Warsaw in May 2004. As far as I know, none of these tracks are available elsewhere. This EP presents Riverside at a more mellow vibe for the most part and also presents the band performing early on and how well the could connect with their audience from their native land. The EP also reminds us how their music can be creative and atmospheric, mellow and dark, and also somewhat similar to their contemporaries "Porcupine Tree". This similarity really shows through in their mellower songs.

"Us" is a short, mostly acoustic ballad with some keyboards added for atmosphere and a repeating, subdued percussive sound. "Acronym Love" leads out with a soft piano introduction. Vocals deliver a mellow first verse after which a full band joins in while the piano continues. There is a very nice electric guitar solo after the 2nd verse. It is reminiscent of Porcupine Tree. Towards the end of the track, tempo picks up quite a bit and a rousing guitar finishes off the track.

"DNA?" is the longest track on the EP at over 7 minutes. It starts off on a more experimental style with a more ambient feel, but dark vocals start off early as things start to build and get more intense. As it continues, you get a mid-eastern vibe with vocal styling to match it for a short passage. The track remains sinister throughout and stays interesting all the way through.

"The Time I Was Daydreaming" starts off in acoustic mode again. A strummed guitar is soon joined by soft keyboards and mellow electric guitar. The vocals here sound similar to "Opeth's" more mellow songs, but also foreshadows the direction that band would be taking for their more progressive songs, except "Riverside" might be a touch more accessible here. There are some nice harmonies here too.

"Stuck Between" keeps the same atmosphere, but the percussion is so straightforward, it seems programmed. This one is less interesting and seems like an attempt at commercial music. This is the last original studio track.

Next we have 3 live tracks culled from previous studio tracks. The softness carries forward on "I Believe" with a piano introduction, but as it continues it builds and becomes more intense. This was a good placement of this track to carry forward into the excitement of their faster and more intense music. "Loose Heart" fades in on electric guitar and piano and a mid tempo rhythm and a nice bass line build full band support. After the first vocal section, a heavier sound comes in with a short guitar solo. There's a 2nd verse, then more intensity and more guitar. This time the intensity flows into the following vocals and the build continues until it erupts into a surprisingly dramatic and heavy ending. "Out of Myself" starts off with a fast pace guitar riff and a sinister sounding whisper. This is another track with more intensity that gets quite heavy again.

This EP was a big "thank you" to fans and critics early on in their career. But, even though it stays mostly on the softer side of their music, it does build to heaviness in the last few tracks, so you do get a taste of that here too. I must admit, I was hoping for more heaviness on this, but it is still a decent EP, and at just over 36 minutes, it gives you a good idea of what music they could generate.

TCat | 3/5 |


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