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Lunatic Soul

Crossover Prog

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Lunatic Soul Lunatic Soul album cover
4.02 | 440 ratings | 22 reviews | 36% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2008

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Prebirth (1:10)
2. The New Beginning (4:50)
3. Out on a Limb (5:27)
4. Summerland (5:00)
5. Lunatic Soul (6:47)
6. Where the Darkness Is Deepest (3:57)
7. Near Life Experience (5:27)
8. Adrift (3:05)
9. The Final Truth (7:34)
10. Waiting for the Dawn (3:36)

Total Time 46:53

Line-up / Musicians

- Mariusz Duda / vocals (2-5,8,9), voices (1-4,7,10), bass (4-8), acoustic guitar (2-5,8), keyboards (3,5,10), kalimba (5), percussion (2-4,10), effects (1,6,7,9,10), co-producer

- Maciej Szelenbaum / keyboards (2,6,7), piano (7), flute (2,10), trumpet (1), quzheng (10), effects (6)
- Michał Łapaj / Hammond organ (5,9), keyboards (9)
- Wawrzyniec Dramowicz / drums (3,5,7-9), percussion (3,9)
- Maciej Meller / e-bow (8)
- Anna Maria Buczek / crying sound (3)

Releases information

Artwork: Rafał Buczek

CD Mystic Production ‎- MYSTCD 064 (2008, Poland)
CD Kscope ‎- kscope112 (2008, Europe)

2LP Kscope ‎- KSCOPE887 (2015, Europe)

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and to projeKct for the last updates
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Buy LUNATIC SOUL Lunatic Soul Music

LUNATIC SOUL Lunatic Soul ratings distribution

(440 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(36%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(43%)
Good, but non-essential (17%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

LUNATIC SOUL Lunatic Soul reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars LUNATIC SOUL is the solo project of Mariusz Duda, the singer and bass player for RIVERSIDE. I didn't know he was such a multi-instrumentalist as he plays acoustic guitar, percussion, bass, keyboards, kalimba and effects.This is a concept album where Duda gives us his version of life after death. It's dark, ambient and atmospheric with a World Music vibe. No electric guitar in this one. Duda has stated that ULVER and DEAD CAN DANCE among others were his insprirations. We have the drummer from INDUKTI here, as well as RIVERSIDE's keyboardist. Mr.Meller from QUIDAM plays e-bow on one track. Oh, and it's 47 minutes long, just right.

"Prebirth" is the short instrumental intro track with effects and whispers.This is dark with some trumpet sounds. "The New Beginning" opens with gentle guitar as percussion comes in. It's still dark as flute comes and goes in a haunting way. Vocal melodies are softly sung. We get vocals 2 minutes in which are almost speaking. Very cool track. "Out On A Limb" is my favourite. For the first time you can actually tell it's Duda singing. Love his voice. Guitar plays along as synths join in around a minute. We get the heaviest sound yet on the album 2 minutes in,joined by a steady beat. Drums come pounding in after 3 minutes with synths. It calms right down as we can here this female crying. It's quite emotional and then the drums and synths kick back in. "Summerland" brings CHROMA KEY to mind with the piano and atmosphere. Reserved vocals join in as well. I really like this one.

"Lunatic Soul" opens with keys as acoustic guitar then vocals join in.Very mellow and beautiful. It kicks in after 3 minutes, nice bass. Great sound ! The vocals are passionate before 5 1/2 minutes and we get some Hammond organ too. "Where The Darkness Is Deepest" is an instrumental with lots of effects with some deep bass lines, and keys before 2 minutes. "Near Life Experience" is almost pleasant with drums and some vocals before 2 minutes. Piano follows. "Adrift" opens with strummed guitar as drums then vocals join in. The vocals sound so good here. Gorgeous soundscape 2 minutes in as the e-bow comes in. "The Final Truth" opens with percussion as vocals then organ arrive. Drums 5 minutes in and passionate vocals after 6 minutes. "Waiting For The Dawn" features synths that pulse slowly as sounds come and go including flute. Percussion before 2 1/2 minutes. An atmospheric hum ends it.

Just because your a RIVERSIDE fan doesn't mean you will like this one. This is very different from their style of music. Excellent release.

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A highly fascinating solo project from Riverside member Mariusz Duda.

Fans of his main band may not appreciate too much of this album though; as the similarities between this creation and the highly popular band Duda's a member of aren't too many; a few ballad-like compositions and the general mood and emotion conveyed the two major similarities.

The first half of this album consist of compositio0ns with many ambient textures, rhythms and sounds from folk music in general and eastern folk music in particular adding nuances and textures, and generally dark; complex soundscapes with lots of details and a massive sound - even if no harsh or hard elements are utilized.

A jazz tinged affair, a ballad and a haunting long song carried by Duda's vocals over a drum and organ foundation follows; before the album ends with an eastern-tinged atmospheric piece ending with a brooding, threatening electronic sound engulfing everything else.

Dreamy, dark and haunting music with elements of ambient, folk and progressive rock - extremely well made - are the contents of this production; and those who find the above descriptions intriguing may fall in love with this CD. Recommended!

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Lunatic Soul is the self-titled debut full-length studio album by Riverside vocalist/ bassist Mariusz Dudaīs project Lunatic Soul. The project also features members of other notable Polish progressive rock acts like Indukti and Quidam in addition to Mariusz Dudaīs fellow Riverside collegue Michal Lapaj on Hammond Organ.

The music on the album is quite different from the heavy, melodic and memorable Riverside songwriting style and it seems that Mariusz Duda has focused on a more simple, introvert and dark style on this album. The style also happens to be ambient and repetitive at times which is a feature in the music I donīt enjoy much. The melodies can also seem a bit too monotenous to my ears and thereby the songs lose some memorability IMO. The instrumentation on the album is pretty organic with no electric guitar, lots of percussion, acoustic guitar, flute, piano and organ. Mariusz Duda is a great singer but he doesnīt show much here IMO. His approach is rather subdued compared to his usual style. All the bickering aside the songs are well written and professionally performed I just donīt enjoy the style of music much.

The musicianship is overall excellent and the album is very well produced which means that it has a very warm and pleasant sound.

Lunatic Soul is not as impressive or exciting as I had expected and I canīt help to feel a bit disappointed. Itīs probably unfair to compare the music on this album with the high quality progressive rock/ metal on Riversideīs albums, but as Lunatic Soul features half of the lineup from that band itīs hard not to do just that. Lunatic Soul deserves a 3 star rating from me as I acknowledge that it is a quality album that just doesnīt suit my taste.

Review by ProgBagel
4 stars Lunatic Soul ? Lunatic Soul 4 stars

Mariusz Duda describes this sound as 'oriental alternative'. Not sure, but with a debut album as good as this, you can call it whatever you want sir!

A comparison to Riverside will have to be necessary since just about anybody that knows about this is probably a Riverside fan. The eponymous debut would be the roots of this album. In other words, a very soft musical journey, but it lacks the electric guitar, making this a very mellow and laid back album, with strings and ambience aiding the cause. The songs remain a powerful combo of ethereal soundscapes and acoustic work that are backed by tribal rhythms. Even Mariusz's voice backs some of the songs up with chanting or pushing them forward with his growling aggression.

This was a pleasant surprise and one of the better albums released in 2008. Any fan of Riverside should definitely check this out and if you like softer Riverside should find no reason to be disappointed. I feel this to be a sister album to Riversides 2009 album 'ADHD'.

Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I suppose it's either some kind of obsession to hear Steven Wilson everywhere, or he's just too influental. Anyway, it's just one of the feelings I have about this album. Second though is that is uses familiar, yet new tunes, sounds, or whole composition of songs at all. Blending ambient music with mostly darker sound, our Poland brothers keeps proving that they're great as nation of prog. There's one thing about melodies I like (yes, ambient, but this ambient elements are switching sides with melodic part often, far quicker than (almost) I can watch it.

This is simply great thing, very promising (and fulfilling these promises), and I'm feeling better and better with every listen. That's fine I suppose, it's very eclectic album, as I understand meaning of this word as having a lot of sources, influences and styles. Even with great outro song with feeling of orient.

4(+), or should I say yet another superb (and super in different way than the rest) Polish prog band ?

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Lunatic Sould is the solo debut of Riverside's singer Mariusz Duda. It represents a softer side of Duda that sounds even more in debt to Anathema then Riverside already did. Also the ambient melancholy of Nosound's Lightdark from the same year comes to mind but Lunatic Soul isn't nearly as good.

Duda is one of my favourite singers of recent years but here he doesn't use the full capabilities of his versatile voice. Instead he sticks to a softer approach. While this works on whatever song you randomly chose to listen to, the album as a whole suffers from the one-sided gloomy vocal approach he takes. Add to that the sparse instrumentation and standard rock balladry songwriting and as a result you get an album that sounds too similar all the way through.

Still, it's an entirely pleasant affair of mildly melancholic mood music that will work excellent to accompany your Sunday morning breakfast. It's almost 4 stars but when putting some perspective on it by comparing it to Riverside's albums it will have to do with 3 stars.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars RIVERSIDE's vocalist, MARIUSZ DUDA, has astounded me with a very well-crafted, amazingly well-recorded/engineered album in which the band plays an amazing array of the instruments--many of the from the "world music" realm of indigenous instruments. This is an album of great sounds in which the world instruments are treated with highly unusual effects, great--often haunting or very atmospheric--mixes, outstanding recording and engineering. It is also an album of disappointment in that no song really develops 'laterally' or 'directionally;' instead each song begins with a theme over which layer after layer of interesting instrumentation and effects are added and yet there is rarely any 'change'--tempo, key, thematic, etc. And Mariusz's wonderful voice--or rather, the one we're familiar with from his RIVERSIDE performances--is heard surprisingly little.

1. "prebirth" (1:10)
is a collage of world music instruments setting up the album's predominantly somber, sometimes eerie mood. 8/10

2. "the new beginning" (4:50)
begins with more exotic world instruments. It has very nice guitars and vocal in the first two minutes and a great mix, mood throughout. I just keep waiting for the change, the shift, the excitement. 7/10

3. "out on a limb" (5:27)
has Duda singing in his RIVERSIDE voice. There is a very nice climax to fade in the fourth minute. 7/10

4. "summerland" (5:00)
is a pretty enough song--with nice CHROMA KEY vocal and melody. The build is nice--especially after the 3:15 mark. 7/10

5. "lunatic soul" (6:47)
begins with kalimba, keys, and acoustic guitar in a very PORCUPINE TREEish sound--even/especially when the organ and drums are added. 7/10

6. "where the darkness is deepest" (3:57)
has a very modern, computer age/PORCUPINE TREE sound to it until the piano comes in at the 3:00 mark. 7/10

7. "near life experience" (5:27)
is the most developed song (thus far) though still sounds like a CHROMA KEY song. Unfortunately, this one is an instrumental; it's just begging for some vocals! 8/10

8. "adrift" (3:05)
begins with a very spaced-out acoustic guitar, which is then joined by drums, a second acoustic guitar, and a vocal. At 1:00 bass enters with a nice FRIPP-y guitar solo. 8/10

9. "the final truth" (7:34)
is a nice vehicle for a great voice and vocal. I t keeps building and building, adding layer after layer, but ultimately goes nowhere. 8/10

10. "waiting for the dawn" (3:36) is the world music outro bookend to the album's "prebirth" intro. 7/10

Overall a very nice album which sounds great but lacks the interesting musical constructs to bring one back again and again. (Though I keep going back again and again--thinking that I might have missed something--that the twists and hooks are there, I just wasn't listening closely.) This 'band' certainly has great chemistry and talent, but they need more ambitious songwriting/er.

3.5 stars marked down for monotony.

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Well, I got Lunatic Soul II before I got the debut; nattily titled Lunatic Soul I, which only proves that I can still function according to all cardinal points I guess. Mariusz Duda needs no introduction to any of us and his solo project reflects the diversity that most artists aspire to, which proves that his cardinal points are still functioning. Nothing worse than being pigeon- holed in a style and then, like Harry Houdini strapped in an underwater coffin, struggling to be free of the chains, straps and ropes of market demands. There are few mainstream artists that can get away with side projects that diverge wildly from their claim to fame, but in our wonderful world of Prog, the artistic autonomy is encouraged with often brilliant results ( Porcupine Tree/Steve Wilson/Bass Communion/IEM being a good example or The Tangent/Transatlantic/ TFK/ Karmakanik community). The premise behind Lunatic Soul is the emergence of a sonic palette that is way more ethereal than Riverside, full of luxuriant ambiance and forlorn melancholia, introducing instruments that would never fit in the 'harder' mould: Tibetan bells, soporific voices, massive swaths of flute ripplings and mellotron waves and Asian percussives. The tracks sort of bleed into one another as if one long suite, perfect evolution of sound as if motored by some sonic dream. 'The New Beginning 'dives straight into the dark matter of fragile brooding proving that menacing does not have to be harsh and growly. 'Out on a Limb' starts out gently before exploding into a savage thump that suddenly introduces audible and fraught crying (tears), a moment where things get quite agonizing and desperate. Duda has mastered the contrast between lament and exaltation, his hushed voice often downcast but occasionally flashing a glimmer of relief. 'Summerland' is this window of sun, preparing for the epic title track, nearly 7 minutes of aural experimentation with the kalimba , also known as the thumb piano but exploding into a bass rumble that would make Squire blush as the blazing fire of Michal Lapaj's Hammond sweeps emotions in the backcourt , this is seriously fine music. The torment becomes quickly visceral (the organ knows how to perform that task) but Duda's angered vocals evoke the inner rage of his anguished soul to perfection. This is a composer on top of his game. 'Where the Darkness is Deeper' is outright creepy, like an outtake from a horror movie, growling dissonance and echoing pings of menace combine to elicit doom and despair, the mellotron strings and the slippery synths fluttering among the unfathomable valleys of peril. This is perhaps the best track here, totally unexpected but deliciously evil. The amusingly and cleverly titled 'Near Life Experience' is another twist in the paranoia, the acoustic guitar cutting an almost Saharan swath, jangling piano mirages and discordant drums give this a very Avant-jazz feel , the wobbly bass providing the only anchor as Arabic-styled wailing serenades the arrival at the oasis. Weird, man! 'Adrift' is a heartrending ballad that has tinges of ELP's 'C'est La Vie', a gorgeous hymn to loneliness and despair, featuring Quidam's Maciej Meller on e-bow, a thoroughly expressive song with a deep sense of painful resolve. The longest track here is 'The Final Truth', a miraculous vocal from Mariusz that expresses all the pain of a life's existence, the Hammond gently caressing the bubbly drums. The lyrics deal with the human condition, asking what is our existence all about, the unfocused blur between life and death. This is ideal funeral music when you think about it, the perfect sonic backdrop to the unavoidable moment where we all must pass on to the next universe. But the 'why?' needs to be answered first, which is why the finale 'Waiting For the Dawn' takes on such great significance. The Chinese plucked zither (Quzheng) takes us into the Himalayan heights of consciousness, far way from the mundane and regimented routine we call life. As Khalil Gibran wisely stated 'And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb'.

Wow, what a ride this was''. Sad music can be uplifting and inspirational, the 2 albums (I and II) certainly aspire to those lofty heights

4.5 madcap spirits

Review by siLLy puPPy
3 stars Mariusz Duda is best known for his role as bassist and lead vocalist of the Polish band Riverside which has been quite successful in creating a more metallic take on Porcupine Tree's heavier space rock style. Having enjoyed a good run with Riverside's first three albums, Duda did what many musicians due after a hectic touring schedule and a commitment to the never-ending world of rock stardom, namely decided to take a time out and do a solo project that would allow another perspective of the creative process to come through.

The result was the new project LUNATIC SOUL which started out as a mere self-titled album release but has since become quite a steady solo career with seven albums to date. This debut was released in 2008 after the "Rapid Eye Movement" album from Riverside and found Duda handling most of the project alone only with the help of a few lineup musicians on various instruments. The album featured ten tracks and hovered around the 47 minute mark making this one a bit shorter than some of those lengthy Riverside albums.

This album is a concept album that deals with the subject of death from different perspectives even taking things as far as featuring the song "Summerland" described from the vantage point of a deceased person. The album is dark and like Riverside albums fueled with an atmospheric haze that sounds more like a lighter version of Riverside when all is said and done which is impossible not to make comparisons considering Duda's vocal style is exactly the same as his main band. The main difference is the absence of electric guitar and thus any metal bombast. In many ways this LUNATIC SOUL debut sounds like an unplugged version of his main band.

The instrumentation is rich with Duda playing the usual bass, acoustic guitar and various percussion. Joining Duda from Riverside is keyboardist Michał Łapaj along with several others. Like Duda's main gig Riverside, LUNATIC SOUL reminds me way too much of Porcupine Tree and not really in a good way. While i love Steven Wilson's unique voice and psychedelic swirls around his pop infused hooks with the extra mojo of heavy rock, LUNATIC SOUL and Riverside for that matter just seem to rub me the wrong way. Firstly Duda's voice is not very interesting to my ears and the derivative nature of the production just makes me want to listen to a much more interesting Porcupine Tree album.

Add to that this kind of stuff is just too airy faery and sounds insincere. I'm really not sure why this light and fluffy style of crossover prog is so popular but i call this "teddy bear prog" because it's safe and secure and like some sort of emotional security blanket for those who are afraid of the dark. Don't get me wrong. There's nothing really horrible about LUNATIC SOUL's sound here but on the flip side of the coin there's not really anything to get excited about either. It's all very predictable with Duda's flirtation with Chris Isaak-like crooning that just doesn't float my boat. Riverside i can handle in small doses especially the first couple albums but LUNATIC SOUL comes off as the easy listening section of the prog superstore where even neo-prog seems more daring in comparison.

Latest members reviews

3 stars Lunatic Soul is a Polish musical project that features two Riverside members: singer/bass player Mariusz Duda and keyboardplayer Michal Lapaj (he plays in two songs with his Hammond organ). Because of Mariusz his melancholical moods and fascination for madness I didn't expect 'In Dulci Jubilo-li ... (read more)

Report this review (#1949450) | Posted by TenYearsAfter | Wednesday, July 18, 2018 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I always keep away from music made by members of a group I like. Not all the times It plays well (I am looking right at You Peter Gabriel), but also can be said of Ian Anderson, Steven Wison and all the members of The Clash. So at first I was esceptical of Lunatic Soul (no lead guitar, really?) ... (read more)

Report this review (#1370232) | Posted by steelyhead | Wednesday, February 18, 2015 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Mariusz Duda, as leader of Riverside, is outstanding in different aspects: he has a wonderful voice that ranges from melodic to aggressive; and, he plays the bass incredibly at Riverside. It was time for him to probe his composition side in a solo project. Working with some guest musicians, he ... (read more)

Report this review (#1036041) | Posted by Memo_anathemo | Monday, September 16, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I'm always interested to hear an artist from a favourite band moving into the solo realm, especially when it's something quite different from his or her previous work. This is what we're given with Mariusz Duda's 'Lunatic Soul'. Here we see the frontman from Riverside moving to arrangements ce ... (read more)

Report this review (#946173) | Posted by bonestorm | Thursday, April 18, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars In my opinion the best release from Mariusz Duda, it appears in my CD player far more than the other Lunatic Soul albums and indeed those from Riverside. With respect to the so called white album and 'Impressions', this album seems somewhat more urgent and also exhibits more coherence; while s ... (read more)

Report this review (#815840) | Posted by Hnrz | Thursday, September 6, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Lunatic Soul is a side project by Riverside bassist and vocalist Mariusz Duda, who handles most instruments himself on this production, as well as writing most of the music and lyrics. The self-titled debut album by this project was issued towards the tail end of 2008. To do away with this on ... (read more)

Report this review (#381814) | Posted by usa prog music | Monday, January 17, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Wow! I heard this album long months ago but I wanted to left behind the passion, emotion and surprise of the first moment to write a review more rational... But I can't... Mariusz Duda's first solo project is nos just for prog metal or Riverside fans. Duda plays and mix several prog genres in ... (read more)

Report this review (#301779) | Posted by progadicto | Sunday, October 3, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars 3,5 rounded up. Mariusz Duda, founder of Lunatic Soul is a hardworking musician. As soon as he finish a tour or recording session with Riverside he hides in a studio and start with something else. However, whereas other artists often ape their main band' releases, he decided to do something compl ... (read more)

Report this review (#299619) | Posted by bartosso | Saturday, September 18, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Lunatic Soul is the solo project of the lead singer of Riverside; Mariusz Duda. Do not expect to hear anything like Riverside or anything metal for that matter. This is experimental music it may not even be considered prog outside the fact that prog is experimental in its self. There are no el ... (read more)

Report this review (#289933) | Posted by kawkaw123 | Sunday, July 11, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Lunatic Soul's debut record is really something special, by any standards. It creates chilling, hypnotic, and ambient music in a way that will really move you. The music is extremely organic, but it has a hypnotic, processed feel to it that gives it a sort of beckoning and foreboding characteri ... (read more)

Report this review (#260405) | Posted by dtismajesty | Monday, January 11, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Well, at the first listenings to this album I was quite upset of this new project of one of my favourite artists: Mariusz Duda Riverside's singer. But this is one those albums that needs time to understand and appreciate. I can now say that Mariusz Duda did it again: he astonished me! This tim ... (read more)

Report this review (#228700) | Posted by victor73 | Tuesday, July 28, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This one is really growing on me. I'm not even that big a fan of Riverside, but on this album Duda really shines. Moody, atmospheric ... just that little sense of mystery that can make a record unforgettable or unbearable. I've even put at the start of my playlist so that everytime I mistakenl ... (read more)

Report this review (#218264) | Posted by cronholm | Monday, May 25, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Soundscape masterpiece with dreamy, mysterious atmosphere. Lunatic Soul is the new solo project by Riverside frontman Mariusz Duda. Supported by musicians from other Polish bands including INDUKTI and QUIDAM, he created the album being unique journey through the dark soundscape. As Mariusz ... (read more)

Report this review (#213061) | Posted by Marcin | Thursday, April 30, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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