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Riverside - Second Life Syndrome CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

4.25 | 1672 ratings

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4 stars Yay! Second album from the prog geniuses that are Riverside. Can it live up to the first one?

After starts off with some heavy accenting dialogue, with some 2112 like ambient noise backing it up. This becomes this vocally lead tribal rhythm, which is mega cool on every level. This leads eventually into some guitar effects near the end. This song is guilty of being amazing. (9/10)

Volte Face starts out with the creepy alien FX, then with the horribly mic-ed drums. Oooh, what a concept! This leads in to some, very Porcupine Tree influenced music. VERY. Prominent organs make this song all worthwhile. The guitar lines are quite intense as well. The difference, from what i'm hearing so far, from their first album; Time signatures. They're more obvious and complex in this record. This then morphs into this amazing bass driven section with great guitar playing. So far, this is way better than its predecessor. More intense, more raw. In come the vocals. Not as powerful and present as on the first. With the vocal harmonies; Porcupine Tree really rubbed off on these guys. I noticed something. The music gets more intense every time Martiusz screams and exerts his vocals. NOW. I must say, the drumming on this album is far more superior. In fact, during the piano break, the drummer is doing something I've been doing for awhile, way before hearing these guys. Something I picked up from Jason Rullo of Symphony X. The guitar solo is amazing as usual. The bass break is interesting, with the organs creating that irresistible atmosphere. I like the line And those dream less nights. This album sounds much more metal than the previous one. Proof? Double bass line at the end of this song. Not once on Out Of Myself did I hear double bass other than for a quick fill. Awesome song, but the ending sounded somewhat sloppy. (9/10)

Conceiving You is a piano driven ballad. Something about Watching You (?). To be completely honest, I don't know the story behind these records, I don't care either. The music is good that's all that matters for me. The bass line is very nice and the guitar playing is excellent. Most of Riverside's shorter songs surprise you near the end with a weird time change or style change. This one didn't. Bummer. (8.5/10)

Second Life Syndrome! The title trask, a fifteen minute monster. I can't wait.

PART I - From Hand to Mouth

Very Floydian opening, reminds me of Shine On You Crazy Diamond. So far so good, the bass line is constant and intense, the drumming is tasteful. The guitar soloing is very interesting. With the organs again. Woah, was not expecting that time change. Jesus....what is that time signature??? I can't even wrap my head around it. I love the synth in the background. This song is FLAWLESS so far. Very awesome chorus, great singing. The instrumental sections are really amazing, i'm still completely stunned by that time change. It's so out of this world.

PART II - Secret Exhibition

Slow moving and heavy at the same time. Genius. The mellotron in the back is really emotional. Great singing, top of its class. I can't stop praising this. I could go on forever about this song, but I won't, because my girlfriend is IMing me. Just a flawless masterpiece of progressive music from start to finish. (10/10)

Artificial Smile, sounds TOO much like Porcupine Tree. It's really awesome though. The pre chorus is so well written. Great song with a great instrumental section. (9/10)

I Turned You Down, is not all that interesting. It's the obligatory filler song on any Riverside record. (8/10)

Reality Dream III, the third in the saga. Starts off with a nice bass line. Now, all the Reality Dreams share common traits. Bass lines, drumming. So forth. So I felt a little bored when listening to this. I think they use too many traits, and It just sounds sort of crappy. (7.5/10)

Dance With The Shadow, starts off very atmospheric, like the last album. Then the voice pops out and reminds me a little of a video game I used to play. Then the sweeping synths come in. I can tell this will be epic. Then it rams you with amazing drumming and great keyboards. This is REALLY prog metal at it's finest. Then with the vocal breaks AGAIN. This song however, gets amazingly intense and crazy after the 5 minute mark. It becomes this relentless circle of soloing from all factions of the group. These guys deserve a medal or something, because this stuff is nothing short of epic. Then, it gets amazing again at the 9 minute mark. This song is just relentless in every way and keeps you begging for more. Best song on the album. (10/10)

Before, another great ender. Althought they mix it up and add some thrashing near the end, instead of a minute of silence. Nice ender. (9/10)

Overall I found this album to be a small letdown from the awesome atmospheric experience of Out of Myself. It was still very solid though, just heavier than what they first made. Worthy of heavy recognition.

4.5 Stars

High Points: Dance With The Shadow, Second Life Syndrome

Low Point: Reality Dream II

Treasure | 4/5 |


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