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Riverside - Anno Domini High Definition CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

4.21 | 1335 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Prog Metal Team
5 stars After three excellent albums, Riverside finally hit their stride with ADHD and exceed the safe and sound approach they had applied before. Don't get me wrong. I absolutely loved the preceding albums but still, I wasn't entirely satisfied. The music was too similar to their peers (Anathema, Pink Floyd, Marillion) and they seemed unwilling or unable to stray far from the tried and true sound and style established on the debut album.

Not so on ADHD. As the title already suggests this album surges with energy and finds Riverside taking a more dynamic and metalized direction. The result is superb, it's been quite a while (since Opeth's Ghost Reveries in fact) that I have heard an album so full of focused inspiration and enthusiasm. Each song is a breathtaking adventure through prog, metal, melody and emotion. All of them perfect in their own right, with as standout track Egoist Hedonist, which launched itself from out of nowhere right into my top 10. So instead of dissecting this album song by song, let's focus on the musicians for a change.

Mikael Åkerfeldt excluded (as he is in a league of his own), Mariusz Duda must be the best rock singer of this decade. At least I haven't heard anyone recently with his exceptional gift for melody or with a voice that can be both so subtle and warm or loud and harsh. On ADHD he shines in all of these aspects and even adapts a few new tricks like the casual and slightly hoarse timbre on Hyperactive and Driven To Destruction. Whenever he's not too busy singing he puts in some exceptional bass guitar lines like the opening strumming on Driven to Distruction and the fat rolling groove that drives the closing track.

Piotr Grudzinski stands out on electric guitars. Some people will probably miss the prevailing clean melodic lines from earlier albums but they shouldn't. The reason is that first of all, the clean melodic solos have not entirely gone, but most of all, he has diversified his playing a lot. Adding lots of metal flavours, a bit of funk and also some vary fragile plucking as in the first short solo of Left Out. Almost Reine Fiske from Landberk here.

Piotr Kozieradzki is not the type of fellow you want to meet in a dead end street after dark so evidently we will only praise him! Not only is his drumming as adequate as always, but, due to the excellent production here, it is put much more to the foreground and shines as it never has on a previous Riverside album.

But the man of the album would be Michal Lapaj. Those of you who have stumbled upon one of my reviews of the classic prog era might have noticed that I'm not too big a fan of the way keyboards are usually utilized in prog. Well on this album they absolutely astound me. Both on the prominent Hammond Organ and on the keyboards he continuously adds excellent leads, solos or backgrounds. World class. There's even some theremin at the end!

With this album Riverside have outshone many of their examples. This album will be hard to beat in the 2009 year lists.

PS. I don't know what all the 4-hype is about though. It's their 4th album yes, but it has 5 songs, its length is 44.42 (not 44.44 according to my CD-player) and it has a definite 5 stars, not 4!

Bonnek | 5/5 |


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