Riversea is a fresh sounding, new 'song' based musical project out of the U.K. specializing in the delicate, softer sounds of modern post-progressive rock. Consisting at present of three musicians, vocalist / guitarist Marc Atkinson, guitarist Paul "Q" Cusik and keyboardist Brendan Eyre, The Demo EP is a sneak peak towards a full length release scheduled for 2009.
The true test of a songs strength and emotional impact is how well it holds up when stripped down to its purest state. Judging by the results on The Demo EP it's apparent that not only do these five compositions pass that test with flying colors, but what's equally remarkable is the three tracks which claim to be demos sound pristine and ready to go just as they are.
Opening track "All Around The World" kicks things of in majestic fashion as Eyre's plaintive piano serves as a perfect musical backdrop for Atkinson's equally poignant vocal delivery. Set against a rather minimalist percussive arrangement, Cusik's atmospheric guitar textures provide splashes of color in all the right places. Next up is an acoustic run through of "Lift Your Soul" which lyrically is a positive and uplifting song that takes flight immediately with an absolutely stunning melody and soaring, layered background vocals. The bittersweet moments continue into "Eden", another standout track that finds Atkinson digging deep into his soul, channeling the heartfelt emotion into the performance of his life. Eyre's shimmering piano once again acts as the backbone and Cusik contributes a resplendently melodic solo reminiscent of Hackett-era Genesis. The disc concludes with the two demo tracks "The Great Divide" and "Out Of An Ancient World". Accompanied only by Eyre's graceful piano playing and a slight symphonic element this track is another perfect vehicle for Atkinson's rich and soulful voice, as well as a prime example of just how strong a composition can resonate even after being stripped down to nothing more than its bare essentials. "Out Of An Ancient World" closes things out and operates along the same lines as "The Great Divide" with just trace amounts of electronic percussion, acoustic guitars and more lush piano and keyboards to get the message across.
The Demo EP is an absolutely radiant jewel from beginning to end, and it only took one run through of these five 'tasters' to have me yearning for more. The material is top notch all round and the skills of each musician are highlighted equally. I have no idea how they plan to improve upon these five stellar compositions, which as I mentioned sound great just as they are. How and what they decide to add to these songs remains to be seen, but one thing is certain, this EP demonstrates that they've already got the groundwork firmly laid for what should be a very promising future.
1) All Around The World (demo)
2) Lift Your Soul (acoustic)
3) Eden (acoustic)
4) The Great Divide (demo)
5) Out Of An Ancient World (demo)