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Riverside: Out of Myself

Drum roll please...once again, leave it to Ken Golden of The Laser's Edge to find another previously unknown band and thrust them on the scene, knocking many of us on our proverbial asses in awe. Riverside, an exciting four-piece group from Poland, who bridge the gap between Porcupine Tree, Ozric Tentacles, Opeth, and Pain of Salvation, creating an utterly urgent yet floating cauldron of sounds that is as fresh sounding as it is familiar.

Comprised of Mariusz Duda on vocals/bass/acoustic guitar, Piotr Grudzinski on guitar, Piotr Kozieradzki on drums, and Jacek Melnicki on keyboards, Riverside sound awfully English for a Polish band. Duda's vocals are extremely melodic and strong, which perfectly complement the bubbling keyboard work of Melnicki, who adds a nice space-rock vibe ala Pink Floyd or Ozric Tentacles to the CD's nine cuts. On the atmospheric opener "The Same River", these elements merge with the searing and emotional guitar work of Grudzinski to produce a wonderful beginning to this mesmerizing release. The mysterious title track reeks of early Porcupine Tree , with hushed vocals from Duda that quickly turn to violent rages, spouting lyrics of hidden inner turmoil, while huge burst of heavy guitar chords crash through the mix. "I Believe" is a haunting acoustic based track, dripping with melancholy, which segues into the complex prog-metal instrumental "Reality Dream" a real highlight for Duda on the bass, as well as featuring intricate guitar & keyboard lines from Grudzinski and Melnicki.

The song "Loose Heart" brings to mind some of Opeth's more symphonic material, with heavy, saturated guitar riffs, tons of orchestral keyboards, and gruff, anguished vocals. Another highlight is the anticipated intensity that brews throughout the song "The Curtain Falls", a brooding number that slowly builds with tension thanks to a steady rhythm, liquid guitar lines, and chirping keyboards, before the mammoth guitar riffs bludgeon your eardrums with sonic fury.

One can only imagine Riverside on stage, with a intense light show to go along with their equally forceful and atmospheric music. This is a powerful and varied statement from a band that has huge potential. Fans of space rock, prog-metal, and gothic sounds need to hear this collection of brooding and powerful songs, and quickly.

Track Listing
1) The Same River
2) Out of Myself
3) I Believe
4) Reality Dream
5) Loose Heart
6) Reality Dream II
7) In Two Minds
8) The Curtain Falls
9) OK

Added: September 12th 2004
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Riverside's Website
Hits: 23428
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Riverside: Out of Myself
Posted by Murat Batmaz, SoT Staff Writer on 2005-07-12 13:56:41
My Score:

I meant to check this album out a lot sooner, but unfortunately never got around to it. The band hailing from Poland with direct references being made to awesome bands such as Porcupine Tree and Opeth made me even more curious; eventually I managed to pick this disc up and I can safely say the album lived up to the hype and met my high expectations.

Riverside's eclectic brand of progressive metal draws from a variety of influences including 70's prog rock, folk, experimental rock, blues, and even some electronics. The old school influences of the band that come to the fore are Pink Floyd and some Camel. From the current scene, however, I hear a good dose of Porcupine Tree (or should I saw Steven Wilson?), Opeth, and Judgement-era Anathema. Speaking of Anathema, their impact shows better in the way the vocals are delivered and arranged in the mix. Other than that, the music abounds with brilliant moments we hear on Porcupine Tree and Opeth discs along with the undeniable Floydian psychedelia.

What I like best about this album is the way Riverside, while mainly employing a minimalist approach to their songwriting, generates heaviness by use of fierce riffing. There are quick shifts in dynamics, from fragile acoustic passages to crushing riffage. The first track, also the longest one with 12 minutes, "The Same River", builds a dense atmosphere through repeated melodies and minor key changes, but seven minutes into the track, vocalist/bassist Mariusz Duda enters the song with his soft, mid-range vocals and gives way to a forceful rhythm guitar attack that really gives the song a lot of character. There are more keyboards on the album than Porcupine Tree (and obviously Opeth) with a stronger emphasis on claustrophobic soundscapes. The title track, albeit only 3:44 minutes, similarly displays Duda's subtle bass guitar, clear vocals, and powerful guitar riffing in its closing.

The band's undeniable Opeth influence particularly shows in "I Believe" and "In Two Minds" in the way Riverside uses pastoral acoustic guitars (though not as dark as Opeth's, I must add) along with more evident modern Anathema vocal melodies. The two instrumental pieces, "Reality Dream" and "Reality Dream II", are the album's main aspect as there's plenty of electronics involved in the intro of the first track. The thrashy rhythm work is further developed in both instrumentals amidst waves of white noise. As the titles suggest, the songs begin with the ticking of a clock before erupting into a chaotic musical experiment and stopping with the alarm clock going off, similar to the one on Fates Warning's "Part XII" on A Pleasant Shade of Gray. The second part of the instrumental piece relies on dense legato playing with some bluesy guitar lines thrown in the mix and an intricate melodic improvisation.

Aside from the first song, I also dig the second longest tune, "The Curtain Falls", for its atmospheric attitude and the great guitar solo that slices through the soundwall displaying a dramatic counterpoint to the heavier parts. Out of Myself is a promising debut from a promising young band. Thanks to Ken Golden at Sensory Records for signing this band. Travis Smith's fitting artwork and the colour, yet opaque, photos in the booklet complement the 'coldness' of this album. I have to point out that I personally like both Porcupine Tree and Opeth let alone Pink Floyd better than Riverside, but I also have to give credit to this band for putting out something so consistent even though it's merely a debut album.

» Reader Comments:

Riverside: Out of Myself
Posted by Anonymous on 2005-02-05 11:37:25
My Score:

Fabolous! These guys kick ass. If you like Porcupine Tree, buy Riverside!

Riverside: Out of Myself
Posted by flo on 2005-01-18 06:26:54
My Score:

sounds a little too much neometal, but quite not bad globally

Riverside: Out of Myself
Posted by visual cliff on 2005-01-09 07:08:41
My Score:

very cool!
its sounds like chroma key, liquid tension experiment and the gathering
very good album

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
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