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Riverside - Rapid Eye Movement CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.79 | 878 ratings

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4 stars When this album was released I really disliked it. Small wonder I did, the classic prog rock and metal was not my cup of tea at that time! A few years later, after digging into Riverside' music, getting their albums, falling in love with SECOND LIFE SYNDROME and ANNO DOMINI HIGH DEFINITION I had to check if the worst (so I was told) Riverside' album still doesn't appeal to me. I've changed my mind almost completely. I really appreciated that record after a few listens, and counted it among great prog metal efforts. Obviously, it's not as good as SLS but it's not a bad one too. And what's more, I didn't find it unoriginal compared to the previous releases, as many reviewers have claimed. Sounds too sweet? Don't worry, there will be blood.

RAPID EYE MOVEMENT starts with "Beyond the Eyelids" which is a decent but at times boring song, followed by modern blues/prog rock (?!) "Rainbow Box" which is not even decent and shouldn't be there at all. Don't take a dislike after these two though, since the remaining part make up quite good musical creation. Any details? Well, first of all flaws. It is much less consistent than two previous works from Riverside. The band tries to create a hybrid of two first albums, while making it more psychedelic and dreamy and adding some space rock accents. That's why the album sounds a little bit like a musical puzzle, especially at the very beginning. The most innovating pieces - "Army of Me"(by Björk) of prog metal, that is "Panic Room" and great "Schizophrenic Prayer" which could be a soundtrack to an ecstatic dance around the fire - don't harmonize with prog metal songs like "Parasomnia" or "Ultimate Trip". The ballads are actually one of the strongest sides of this release - captivating "Embryonic" and soothing "Through the Other Side" make the album more appealing. In the end, we've got a little bit chaotic collection of songs with plenty of good ideas, but with a few longeurs too.

To be honest, even if I know that this record is far from perfection, I still like it a lot. Riverside's innate charm is what matters here. That's where emotional prog metal meets psychedelic and space rock elements combined with a few crossover experiments and oneiric lyrics. The last part of the trilogy is a creation with great merits and serious flaws, but with such songs as "Schizophrenic Prayer", "Parasomnia", "Embryonic" and "Cybernetic Pillow", RAPID EYE MOVEMENT succesfully defends Riverside' good name.

It's a good album - 3,5 rounded up to 4.

bartosso | 4/5 |


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