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Riverside - Shrine of New Generation Slaves CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

4.05 | 1042 ratings

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Prog Metal Team
3 stars 4 Years after their impressive "ADHD", Riverside returns with an album that tries to bridge the Prog Metal rocking energy of "ADHD" with the more melodic approach of their earlier albums. The result has been received with loud rounds of applause from most fans and I'm pretty sure this must be a safe purchase. Unfortunately for me this turned out quite a disappointment. This is a dull listen with plain and safe songwriting and that rarely goes beyond recycling old ideas.

Most of the songs are built around poppy ballad fluff, with some hard rock clichés, boring retro sound and unnecessary distorted vocal effects thrown in for good measure. There are few interesting solos or instrumental sections (at least not on the main CD) and bar a few unexciting 'rockers', all songmaterial is ballad based. RIVERSIDE do that with a certain flair but they've done this much better before. This album really leaves me hungry for something really exciting.

It takes till halfway into the 6th track until there's something that stands out from the wallpaper Prog that preceded. "Deprived" has a short prog-electronic inspired instrumental passage that shows the ease and confidence with which this band can produce some wonderful Prog. The instrumental themes of this song are further explored in the instrumental CD2 that comes with the special edition. Yes, when RIVERSIDE shake off their song conventions and go all-instrumental and trippy they show how good they still can be. Also "Escalator Shrine" is not without merits but still below the longer tracks from previous albums.

RIVERSIDE's career has never been marked by great originality or daring explorations but they always had an excellent ear for a good tune and they executed that with heart and soul. Now in this album I can't hear that. The wide gap of quality (and style) between the actual CD and the extra disk only confirms my misgivings, this band has much better in store but they've settled for the path of least resistance Conclusion: Uninspired band retreats into comfort zone. 2.5 stars, maybe 3 with the extra disk.

Bonnek | 3/5 |


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