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Riverside - Memories In My Head CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

4.13 | 293 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
4 stars 32 minutes of solid gold atmospheric prog metal!

I own all of Riverside's albums and it has been a while between listens but it was an absolute pleasure to return to their inimitable style on this new EP. Immediately the Riverside sound is there on 'Goodbye Sweet Innocence', with a squealing feedback sound over a throbbing drone. It is pitch dark and atmospheric, gaining volume and power until the drones fade and a backwards guitar is heard. Finally a clean guitar breaks in and feedback slashes across the sound, allowing room for the quiet vocals of Mariusz Duda. The lyrics are based around the trials of life, the regrets of the past, and the changes we experience; "stuck in the crossroads of time". The lead break of Piotr Grudziński is delightful. The violin sound section is effective, and the strong keyboard solo, making this one of the most atmospheric of Riverside's repertoire. A great start.

Next is 'Living In The Past', not a Jethro Tull cover, but a very well structured song about what we leave behind as we move through life's difficulties and overcome them. The effects of keyboard swirls adds an ethereal quality. The guitar solo at the beginning is beautiful, haunting and passionate. The blasts of organ and guitar complement one another, and there is a very Pink Floyd like vibe to this. The vocals are fresh with lyrics that are memorable; "cancel all light, I'm not going to live like everyone, and I don't care if the signs are over, my future is living in the past." The little riff in the next section sounds Arabian. Eventually the song bursts into a heavy distortion and lengthy instrumental break that pounds along with sensational keyboards. Another terrific song highlighted by an inventive structure and very bold instrumentation.

Lastly, 'Forgotten Land' begins with minimal bass pulses, echoes of high pitched guitar, pounding drums come in, then the vocals; "there was a kingdom here a city full of lights". The lyrics focus on the ancient days of a lost civilisation where gods were believed, the Greek mythology perhaps, they "Call themselves gods above everything and everyone" and then the song talks about how the people build monuments to their deities, "faster and faster, higher and higher, great temples of gold glitter in the sun, the gods assured of themselves never lost their pride." The track builds gradually into some powerful soundscapes of emotionally moving guitar and vocals. "How quickly they die! How quickly they turn into dust," is sung with venom and is a phrase that is memorable on this song. The instrumental section that follows is absolutely mesmerising, chilling effects and ambient keyboard motifs and guitar swells.

On this new EP, Mariusz Duda is very good on vocals, at times aggressive and then passive and melancholy. His bass and acoustic guitar work is well executed. Piotr Grudziński has a chance to shine on some incredible lead breaks. Piotr Kozieradzki is an accomplished drummer who knows when to crash down and when to hold back on gentle hi hat work. The real treasure of the musicscape is Michał Łapaj who is a wizard on keyboards.

If this is a sign of the next Riverside album, we are in for a real treat. This is a sensational EP, it grows on you with every listen, and every track is offering amazing high quality progressive metal.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 4/5 |


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