Riverside - Out Of Myself

Year of Release: 2004
Label: The Laser's Edge
Catalog Number: LE1039
Format: CD
Total Time: 53:11:00

Someone is trying unsuccessfully to tune a cheap radio. You know that sound - fuzz, then a half-second vignette of a morning show runs by the tuning dial, then more fuzz, a half-second of music, fuzz, a commercial. Then a deep, ominous bass rumble looms up from behind, and gives way to a mournful, soul searching guitar solo ? and you just know this is going to be good! And by the time it plays out you'll be exclaiming that this can't be a debut album! It's too mature, too sophisticated, too darned good for a debut!

There is nothing new about Riverside's music, but they've taken existing formulae and executed them perfectly and with refreshing imagination. That opening guitar solo sounds like something from any one of a handful of Pink Floyd albums. Then Mariusz Duda starts singing around 7 minutes into the first track, and you've forgotten about Floyd. Those mid-range, crystal clear, well enunciated vocals with a hint of reverb recall a Polish-accented version of Porcupine Tree's Steven Wilson. There are references to Damnation-era Opeth (there's that Steven Wilson reference again). The twin instrumental tracks "Reality Dream I" and "Reality Dream II" made me think of a marginally lighter version of Dream Theater's "Stream Of Consciousness" on Train Of Thought. And on the ballad "In Two Minds," you'll swear Radiohead, or perhaps Steve Hogarth from Marillion, had put in a guest appearance.

In no way is this music derivative, though. These comparisons are here only to give you an idea of the sound you can expect: Heavy symphonic progressive rock with one foot firmly in the metal camp and enough Floyd sonics to lend a hint of psychedelia. And it's also important to note that if you are not a fan of Dream Theater, Porcupine Tree or Opeth, the chances are you'll still find a lot of merit in this CD.

Out Of Myself tells a story of the success and failure and perseverance of someone struggling to defeat inner demons. The tone is dark, the music is deeply introspective, and the Travis Smith cover art matches the broody theme. The progressive elements are here in spades. The deep emotional content, perfectly managed tempo shifts, the complexities and rich textures, and the 9 tracks that work together to form a single body of work. It is very melodic and the compositions develop long and variously repeated themes that are carried equally by keyboards, vocals and guitars.

Riverside came out of nowhere. Two relatively unknown musicians, a sound engineer and a drummer from a death metal band. Yet right out of the blocks Riverside has secured slots in ProgPower Europe and NEARfest, and a number of positive reviews, and they've been the talk of the discussion forums. And with the success of their debut album, they have created a tough challenge for themselves: How will their sophomore record top their debut!

The Same River / Out Of Myself / I Believe / Reality Dream / Loose Heart / Reality Dream II / In Two Minds / The Curtain Falls / OK

Mariusz Duda - vocals, bass, acoustic guitar
Piotr Grudzinski - guitar
Piotr Kozieradzki - drums
Jacek Melnicki - keyboards

Out Of Myself (2003/2004)
Voices In My Head (2005/2006)
Second Life Syndrome (2005)
Rapid Eye Movement (2007)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin PL

Added: October 4th 2004
Reviewer: Duncan N Glenday
Artist website: www.riversideband.pl
Hits: 1027
Language: english


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