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Riverside- Rapid Eye Movement

Label: InsideOut
Format: CD
Released: 2007
Reviewed By: Kevin Alba


Bored out of my mind is really all I can say after listening to this two disc album of progressive…. Can you really call it metal? I guess it has some elements but for the most part I cannot classify this. At some points it is rock and at some points it is really just nothing to me. I was looking forward to finally checking out a band from Poland that was not associated with black or death metal. I’ve been checking out a lot of great progressive bands recently and becoming fans of more and more so I had high hopes here as I have heard many great things about them and also saw that they were playing ProgPower 9 in Atlanta this year.

 

After listening to this I learned that this is truly death metal, to me. Now I am not talking like Vader or Behemoth but I am talking like it made me want to jump in the nearest river and drown myself. Hate to be so harsh but this band did not really mesh well with me. “Schizophrenic Prayer” is possibly the most bizarre thing I have ever heard in my entire life, and I have heard some pretty weird shit. The rest of the songs show hope at some points and that hope just gets crushed again as dull and boring arrangements creep back in.

If I were attending ProgPower this year I would surely use Riverside’s set time to drink massive amounts of alcohol and shop for metal merchandise among the great vendors. When it comes to progressive metal I will stick with Dream Theater, Symphony X, and Pathosray.


Reviewed By: Rich Catino

On occasion you may see more than one person submit a review for a disc just to give readers a different perspective. Then it is out of our hands and all up to you to judge for yourself. I have heard good things about this band called Riverside so I gave their fourth release a listen.

Riverside could be seen as your prototypical progressive band as the general layout of the music does take various twists and turns within a song/composition. Right from the start comparative names Pain of Salvation, Porcupine Tree, and Dead Soul Tribe came to mind.

The opening track “Beyond the Fields” I found interesting as while it follows some of the usual Dream Theater fair as bass and guitar follows some linear scales that is the only place you will hear it. Riverside have a somber delivery to their music (“Embryonic”) and the tone of their music is not upbeat or metallic like many. Effects on the vocal, clean and acoustic guitar leads, accenting keys, passages and planes of different sound gives Riverside’s music a more abstract artistic quality. It all comes together and is presented rather dark and introspective. You can see the painter working at his canvas as the album plays on. And not saying arrangements are overly complex because throughout there is a song sensibility like for the more up beat “Ultimate Trip”. “Schizophrenic Prayer” focuses on the haunting vocal harmonies with the hard guitars absent and the keyboards setting the primary mood accompanied by some percussion.

Riverside is different and will be an acquired taste to some. I like some of this and could find myself in the mood for it at times.

 
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