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Riverside - Rapid Eye Movement CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.79 | 877 ratings

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4 stars Polish Prog Metal four piece, Riverside were totally unknown to me until the release Rapid Eye Movement, their third studio album. I'm certainly glad to have discovered them though as it's turning out to be one of my favourite 2007 releases in an already great year in the Progressive Rock genre. Like Porcupine Tree I think that Riverside could appeal to music fans outside the Prog field as they have a fairly modern take on their Prog Metal and there's certainly plenty of moments where it would appear that they have been influenced by them.

The album gets off to an impressive start with Beyond the Eyelids and we get a good three and a half minute (nearly) instrumental workout before the vocals come in. Rich Keyboard sounds compete with heavy riffing, a bit Dream Theater-ish in places, although this comparison is not prevalent throughout the album. The interplay between the band is excellent which is complimented by the very good vocals of Mariusz Duda who also doubles up on Bass.

It would be unfair to describe Riverside as a purely Prog Metal band as much of the material has a Psychedelic sound too leading to more Porcupine Tree comparisons, Schizophrenic Prayer being a prime example. Don't let the Porcupine Tree comparisons make you think that Riverside are a copy band though, they have many of their own characteristics which give them their own sound.

Incidently, the album is split into two parts, Part one being titled Fearless and part two, Fearland. Fearless is certainly more immediate and stronger but not taking anything away from the four songs that make up Fearland; it's still very good. We get some nice acoustic moments in Through the Other Side and Embryonic before getting back to full throttle for Cybernetic Pillow and thirteen minute closer Ultimate Trip, which is well titled due to the trippy mid section which slowly builds to close the album.

On the strength of this release there's no doubt that I'll be buying their previous albums. It's also worth shelling out a few more bucks for the limited edition which contains a bonus disc featuring material from the O2 Panic Room ep plus another two tracks.

Nightfly | 4/5 |


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