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Riverside - Anno Domini High Definition CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

4.22 | 1430 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars This album sets the bar high for modern progressive music, and not just prog metal. This album is a veritable tour-d-force of masterfully crafted musical passages sporting both tremendous technical proficiency and emotional depth. In short, it's an accomplished modern musical work of art.

"Hyperactive" is one of the absolute best album openers I've ever heard. The reflective piano intro is slowly overtaken by a crescendoing guitar and soon drops out of the mix as the 5/8, 5/8, 4/8 rises out of nothing and whips you through a myriad of anxious, high energy alternations between riffs, lines of text, and incredible instrumental breaks. This is one of the most intriguing tracks I've ever heard, and one of the shortest songs I've never had any reservation declaring as a masterpiece.

"Driven to Destruction" is a more laid-back track with tons and tons of subtle nuances one can continue to discover with each new listen. The technical ability present in the ghost notes on the drums is enough to make me say Riverside is one of the least-obvious most- talented acts in all of modern progressive music, if that makes sense. The variety in Mariusz Duda's vocal lines also keeps things interesting and fresh here.

"Egoist Hedonist" is a track that I wasn't blown away by at first, but that certainly is changing each time I'm spinning this album. That track has so many diverse textures and moods that you can't help but be fascinated by how it actually works as a cohesive track. It demonstrates aspects of their playing that at once capitalizes on their previous strengths and shows the listener that they always have a new trick up their sleeves.

"Left Out" is the most emotional track on the album, featuring alternations between more languished vocal parts and heavy blues-inspired riffs and instrumental breaks. Again, variety is key on this track. Many moods come together to turn this track that exceeds the ten minute mark into one that is over way sooner than you would expect, in a good way.

"Hybrid Times" is without a doubt the most challenging song on this album, and possibly of their entire musical output. It begins with an alternating 10/8 and 11/8 pattern with rapid piano figurations and harmonized vocals. Multiple frantic changes occur throughout the duration of this song; one might say that they intended to present a summary of every high- anxiety progressive music trick ever crafted up to that point while making them sound entirely their own and add a few more tricks to that list and you might not be too far off the mark. It indeed rips you out of your comfort zone in many ways and does not stop for anything. I don't know how one could digest this track in one sitting, and after multiple repeats I'm still trying to figure it out. All I know is it's one of their most challenging, yet exciting tracks ever, and I'm totally convinced it's a masterpiece track.

This album marked a notable difference in the direction of Riverside's writing. It's an album that shatters barriers and says exactly what it wants concisely and unapologetically. I am thoroughly convinced that it is their best, most accomplished entry into their discography from my point of view, and qualifies as a vital entry into the annals of progressive music history. This album is flawless from start to finish, and I cannot praise them enough for balancing such a high level of subtle, yet undeniable technical mastery with emotional strength. Highly recommended for anyone wishing to hear something that shatters musical boundaries and pushes the envelope without losing focus. Also recommended for fans of highly proficient musicianship. 5 stars, no question.

Neo-Romantic | 5/5 |


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