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




Progressive Metal

4.07 | 1039 ratings

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5 stars 10/10

I know it's early to determine what the best album of 2013, but I also know that at the end of this year this album will be among the "top 10". Shrine of New Generation Slaves is the name of the newest offering of polish band Riverside. Four years after the masterpiece Anno Domini High Definition they release an album quite different in terms of ambition and composition, but as bright as a brilliant work that just shows that this band is one of the best in the field of modern progressive metal .

Limiting this album just the genre of progressive metal is a serious mistake. Where ADHD was heavy and futuristic Shrine is milder and classicist, although its theme is quite modern life and the complexities and hypocrisies of this. There are heavy songs, ma sound here is quite melodic, with clean vocals and a dynamic equilibrium between the members. Influences here are diverse: as there is always a lot of Pink Floyd and progressive rock, but a good dose of hard-rock seventies and pinches of electronic music are also present. Mariusz Duda continues to shine with her ​​beautiful voice and mature, and I like that he prefers clean vocals (except for short screams in Celebrity Touch); Piotr Grudzinski melodic solos gushes makes electric and acoustic guitar, while Piotr Kozieradzki does work as measured as fantastic on drums. But again the laurels go to keyboardist Michal Lapaj, which presents us with Hammond organ solos and synthesizers, keeping the futuristic trends of the previous album. It may not appear as in ADHD, but continues to be the highlight of the group and one of the best keyboard players of today.

It opens with New Generation Slave, blending vocals contained in Duda with a strong guitar riff combined with atmospheric keyboards before to debunk a song of pure progressive metal. Then comes The Perfect Depth of Self-Delusion, a beautiful song that reminds me of the progressive rock of the seventies. The acoustic guitar work is simply out of this world, and combined with the clean vocals of Duda makes me think of Opeth - at least I can notice some similarities. One of the highlights of this immaculate album.

Celebrity Touch is the heaviest track on the album, but it is not pure progressive metal: sounds more like a good old hard-rock (the body of work of course reminds me of the late master Jon Lord), coupled with a sound Porcupine Tree-esque. Highlight for Grudzinski's solo, very Gilmour-esque! I advise listening to it in its full version: a four-minute edited version barely caught my attention (thankfully not let myself be influenced by it). I also recommend the clip that perfectly conveys the message of the song. It is followed by We Got Used to Us, which functions as the ballad of the album. One more song driven by piano, she has a beautiful chorus of those you can not forget. In contrast the next track, Feel Like Falling, is heavier, but it opens with one of those keyboards oitentistas, and also features a sticky chorus well, and synthesized guitars through (or are synthesizers? Ah, whatever).

Most people are inclined to say that Escalator Shrine is the magnum opus of the album, and I agree with them ... but considering that this album also contains Deprived (irretrievably Lost Imagination), I tend to change my mind. This could be the best song I've ever heard from the band so far. The way it unfolds, starting with a structure typical verse-chorus-verse- chorus until the fourth minute it begins to fade in electronic effects that I love. And five minutes a new theme is introduced, and oh God! As it is beautiful! The sax solo then? This beauty in music is what makes me feel accomplished, translates into extra sensory experience for me. The song ends with the chorus repeated in deep stillness and beauty ...

It would not be an album of Riverside without an epic central and Escalator Shrine makes this role. The first four minutes are a slow, reflective blues-rock (the opening song reminds me of the opening theme of Second Life Syndrome), where there is also a beautiful Floydian solo Grudzinski, until the song starts to grow and a strong instrumental section is played, with reminiscences of Dream Theater. When the vocals come back, do it in deep splendor. A new section is introduced, with more subdued vocals and Lapaj again showing why he is the master of the Hammond today. The song ends in an absolutely epic end with vocals played in the background while the instruments perform a powerful theme - and I have the impression that a horn section is also played here. It ends with the background vocals, before moving to short Coda, which is basically a guitar and Duda in action - but without forgetting the magnitude and beauty of this magnificent work that is Shrines Slaves of New Generation.

Five stars complete. A masterpiece guaranteed with your name in the pantheon of metal and progressive rock.

voliveira | 5/5 |


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