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Riverside - Rapid Eye Movement CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.79 | 878 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
3 stars Shine On Riverside You Diamond!

The darlings of Poland, Riverside, are a band that I have grown to love over the years and they have produced some masterpiece work such as the recent "Anno Domine High Definition". This album "Rapid Eye Movement" is certainly not without some outstanding moments but it is also not as heavy as they eventually became. The symphonic sounds dominate, and very heart felt performed vocals. The vocals are similar to Steven Wilson's style. Mariusz Duda on lead vocals plays bass and acoustic guitar; Piotr Grudzinski is the guitarist; Michal Lapaj excels on keyboards and Piotr Kozieradzki is the drummer. The band capture a range of emotions and always produce quality music, though on this album not as consistent as others.

One instance is the powerful lead break in the acoustically driven 'Embryonic'. The song is brimming over with serenity including wind howling and intimate vocals, perhaps the band in their most gentle mood.

'Parasomnia' features a heavy infectious riff and a crunching instrumental break. '02 Panic Room' is the single that stems from this album and features in their live set often. The rhythmic pulses and swathes of synth are reminiscent of the 80s such as Human League or Depeche Mode.

'Beyond the Eyelids' features one of the great basslines of Duda. 'Through the other side' has very ambient textures, layers of synth and spacey nuances. There are some killer riffs such as the metal distortion of 'Cybernetic Pillow.' This track also has a sustained string sound on the keyboards and inventive lead work very much like Porcupine Tree.

The lengthy epic 'Ultimate trip' is a 13 minute standout track. The lead break is incredible, and the consistent metal riffing is a terrific augmentation. The structure takes on dark and light passages of musicianship par excellence. Duda's vocals are hypnotic over the spacey music sections. Grudsinski's guitar soars and sings beautifully.

The bonus disc is a worthy addition with a dreamscape of mellotron on 'Behind the Eyes' with its captivating space prog. The guitar work on the instrumental 'Lucid Dream IV' is masterful and in a sense reminded me of Alex Lifeson's style. The odd fractured time sig and Hammond organ sound are embellishments that lift the sound to a crescendo. The synth and metal guitar trade of wonderfully in a Dream Theater fashion. This is one of the definitive highlights of the album. 'Back to the River' has an ethereal outer space drone, then a 6 note phrase that locks in as a lead guitar chimes over, very similar to Pink Floyd's 'Shine On'. The lead break on this instrumental is exquisite sounding like Gilmour, or Steve Hackett. This even finishes with the 'Shine On' riff becoming a cover version of the classic, so the obvious influence is now evident.

No doubt this is a solid Riverside album but I was not as blown away by this as "ADHD" or "Second Life Syndrome", nevertheless it is great to hear these tracks live and to return to some of the songs as part of the Riverside catalogue.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 3/5 |


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