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Riverside - Anno Domini High Definition CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

4.22 | 1336 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Excellent Evolution of an Already Great Band

With ANNO DOMINI HIGH DEFINITION (ADHD), Riverside made decisions to regroup after the relative letdown of RAPID EYE MOVEMENT. REM was solid enough, but seemed to many to be a bit of a retread of the previous two albums rather than the climax of a trilogy that it was intended to be. Under a new producer, recording in a new studio, the band upped the prominence of the keyboards and electronics while simultaneously getting heavier. (Yes this seems backwards, but it is accurate.) They also injected a little more frantic energy, consistent with the ADHD title and album theme. The result is excellent, and I think that the album is probably their best work.

What I've always loved about Riverside is that they have this slight 80's flavor that I've found a little hard to pin down. Some of it has to do with tone, with the reverbs and delays they use. They also have a vibe that just reminds me of some of Queensryche's dark rainy night scenes. On ADHD, the keys definitely continue this trend, but introduce some new sounds we've never heard on a Riverside record before. The band does a great job of treading the fine line between modern precision and live feel. While the production is very up front, I can imagine every bit of this record being performed live.

The sound continues in the Anathema meets Pink Floyd meets Tool mold with influence from Queensryche and Pain of Salvation. In my opinion, they continue to clearly separate from the Dream Theater crowd both in Mariusz Duda's goth rock vocal tone and the general lack of wankery. I do, however, hear alot of Kevin Moore influence on this record which in my opinion is a great thing. The album begins with a slightly anxious piano interlude, clearly preparing past fans that something new is coming. Even when the full band comes in at 1:30, the lead element is almost 70's prog synth.

As the album progresses, we get more of the typical Riverside sound from previous albums, but by that time, this listener has already shifted my expectations. The songwriting has also improved a bit, I think. The melodies are more compelling, the transitions from section to section are better planned. The album simply holds interest much better than even the wonderful Second Life Syndrome.

At the same time, this album lacks those few "holy moly" moments that makes me yell "Awww heyall yeah" at the speakers. Every masterpiece album has a few of those sections that just send shivers down the spine.

4.5/5 star album rounded down simply because of that lack. One of the best albums from the last 5 years in our straight prog metal category.

Negoba | 4/5 |


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