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Riverside - Wasteland CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.99 | 454 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
4 stars Riverside returned after a hiatus following the sad passing of guitarist Grudzinski. The trio continued on relentlessly with new guitarist Owczarek and Meller, but the evident missing ingredient of Grudzinskis magic guitar prowess is a factor. However the album is well executed and has some of the more melodic melancholy songs from Riverside. The beauty of Lament is hypnotic and graced with heavy chorus and instrumentation. Guardian Angel is gorgeous in its simplicity and Duda has a passionate vocal. Acid Rain has a metal riff driving it and a melody that is catchy and infectious throughout with wonderful guitar augmentation.

The album has a sadness flowing through every song due to the themes of alienation of the lost and lonely embedded in the lyrics. Vale of Tears has a heavier vibe but still embued with the soft impassioned vocal of Duda. The Struggle for Survival is an instrumental workout of blazing guitars and tempestuous drumming and bass, the longest track at 9 and a half minutes. The time signatures fluctuate and it builds with soaring guitars into a cacophonic prog explosion of sound. The lead guitar screams in pain at 6 minutes in and then is released to the main melody that is haunting. The diving guitar sustained notes are glorious, definitely a grand instrumental to savour.

The balladic River Down Below is absolutely mesmirising with Duda in fine voice and some heartfelt lyrics that sink to the depths of sorrow. It was a successful single for Riverside and has a lyric video that is very effective.

Wasteland has a raspy vocal and odd meter with guitars that follow the lyrics. There are some nice harmonies that add a depth to the layers, and eventually it merges into a heavy guitar riff with complex polyrhythms and ascending cadence. The discordant melody is joined by more complicated guitar riffs that interplay with the drumming. The glissando guitar reverb has a spacey feel that chills the atmosphere. There is some beautiful guitar picking and keyboards and it locks into a pretty melody. The distortion and riffs return towards the end and a few theremin spirals augment the ethereal soundscape. Riverside are definitely back at their best on this treasure.

The Night Before is another quiet ballad with sweet piano melodies and soft, raspy vocals. The dreamy atmosphere is enhanced by reflective lyrics and simple piano lines.

Overall, while this album is not a masterpiece by any standards it features some of Riversides most melancholic, infectious ballads and some masterful tracks such as Wasteland and The Struggle For Survival. The songs grown on the listener over time and it has a powerful atmosphere with gems such as River Down Below which is beautiful and will resonate with many who will be able to relate to it.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 4/5 |


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