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Riverside: Reality Dream- Live (DVD)

Metal Mind Productions have jumped on the fact that progressive rock & metal act Riverside are pretty hot right now with the release of Anno Domini High Definition, a release that scored very highly in many Best of 2009 polls.Reality Dream-Live features the band's hot performance from their 2008 show at Toya Studios in Poland, plus a selection of additional live songs performed at various locations from 2006-2008. A documentary, "Behind the Curtain", rounds out this excellent package.

The main set here from May 2008 is quite enjoyable, showing Riverside grow into their role as one of the more sophisticated and respected modern progressive rock bands. This is a band though that appeals to not just the prog crowd, but progressive metal fans as well, and it's not hard to see why after viewing this supercharged set. Spectacular camera work, sound, and lighting enrich the band's already strong performance, as they rip through such stellar tracks like "Out of Myself", "Second Life Syndrome", "The Curtain Falls", "The Same River", and many others. Lead singer & bassist Mariusz Duda has one of the best voices in the business, and he shows here a penchant for moody, emotional clean vocals as well as a more aggressive, harsh tone. Add in the stellar guitar talents of Piotr Grudzinski, Michal Lapaj's symphonic keyboards, and the able drum skils of Piotr Kozieradzki, and Riverside are a force to be reckoned with. Though you can hear influences from Pink Floyd, Porcupine Tree, and Dream Theater, those who have followed Riverside since their inception earlier in the decade know that they have slowly developed their own signature sound and style, and it really comes through in a live setting.

The additional live footage, mostly shot in Germany and Canada, really sweetens the pot here, making Reality Dream-Live a must have DVD for your prog collection. Kudos to Metal Mind for putting together a very attractive digi package here, complete with a colorful booklet packed with photos.

Track Listing
DVD 1:
1. Intro
2. The Same River
3. Out Of Myself
4. Volte Face
5. Rainbow Box
6. 02 Panic Room
7. Reality Dream III
8. I Turned You Down
9. Dance With The Shadow
10. Parasomnia
11. Second Life Syndrome
12. The Curtain Falls
DVD 2:
1. Before
2. Ultimate Trip
Live Performances:
3. Beyond The Eyelids (Unna, Germany 2007)
4. Loose Heart (Unna, Germany 2007)
5. Back To The River (Montreal, Canada 2008)
6. Conceiving You (Montreal, Canada 2008)
7. I Believe (Aschaffenburg, Germany 2007)
8. Lucid Dream IV (Fulda, Germany 2008)
9. Reality Dream II (Baarlo, Holland 2006)
Bonus features:
Behind the Curtain A Film by John Vis, Photo gallery, Credits

Added: August 8th 2010
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 3394
Language: english

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Riverside: Reality Dream- Live (DVD)
Posted by Jordan Blum, SoT Staff Writer on 2010-08-08 06:58:49
My Score:

Over the past few years, Polish quartet Riverside have been steadily earning much deserved revere and increased popularity within the progressive rock community. Formed in 2001, they've released four studio LPs, three of which are part of the Reality Dream trilogy, which deals with psychosis and related emotional devastation. While a bit derivative of influences like Pink Floyd and Porcupine Tree, they've certainly come into their own thanks to their ability to combine complex music with some really great songwriting. The Reality Dream trilogy honestly ranks amongst my favorite albums of all time; not a week goes by that I don't listen to some of it, and luckily, we now have an outstanding concert DVD to watch the band perform select songs expertly.

Just incase you're wondering, the packaging of Reality Dream is very nice. Housed inside the glossy cardboard tri-fold are the two discs and a small booklet, which is glued to the box. It's got some cool photos and is certainly a step up from your standard hard DVD case.

Obviously, the main attraction here is the concert, and it's incredible. If you're a fan of the music, all you need to do is check out the track listing and know that the songs are recreated almost identically to the studio versions, which is remarkable. If you've never heard Riverside (but you've heard of Riverside), you'll discover some of the best music the genre has ever offered. Period. They craft incredible progressive rock music as well as beautiful, touching melodies. It's almost redundant to suggest highlights since every track here is wonderful, but the schizophrenic complexity of "Reality Dream III," the melodically captivating "The Same River" and the pure genius of the epic, multipart "Second Life Syndrome" come to mind. All three albums in the trilogy are given equal exposure, which makes sense since it's really one album of 30+ tracks. Finally, and this is a very welcome exception to the norm, we actually see the band playing. On most concert DVDs I've seen, the director splits the action between the band and useless, annoying distractions like videos of nature or nonsense. There's none of that here, thankfully. We want to see Riverside playing their music and that's exactly what we get.

The second DVD houses bonus material. It begins with the encore from the main concert, which includes "Before" and "Ultimate Trip." They perform the songs just as well as they do for the rest of the concert. There are also a series of bonus live performances at from various locations and times. They're filmed a bit more amateurishly (from the audience at times), but they're still in top notch quality, and I suppose it's good that we can see the audience clapping along and showing support. The affective glory of "Loose Heart" and "Conceiving You" is replicated, as is the incredible technically of "Reality Dream II" and "Beyond the Eyelids."

There is also the short film "Behind the Curtain," filmed by John Via. Instead of being a typical documentary, it simply shows footage of the band back stage as they set up and rehearse, with Riverside-esque instrumental music playing (which is tranquil and captivating). It's an interesting piece for a single view, but since it's kind of a novelty instead of an informative piece (there's not interviews, etc), it'll probably be forgotten after it's initially watched. Finally, there's a photo gallery and credits. If those appeal to you, go for it.

If I have any gripe with Reality Dream, it's a very small one with the menu. The intriguing image on the DVD cover is also on the menu, and with it is a very annoying sound of static as the graphic is manipulated. It's not so bad if you're actually browsing through the disc for a selection, but if you leave the DVD playing and walk away, it will get on the nerves of everyone around the TV very quickly. Again, it's a very minor thing to complain about, but it's worth mentioning.

Reality Dream is the perfect DVD for Riverside fans. It houses a lengthy performance of some of the best material from the trilogy as well as a worthwhile and interesting selection of bonuses. Riverside is not as well known as some contemporaries, but they certainly should be. Fans of the genre, and especially followers of Porcupine Tree and Dream Theater, should definitely check out their discography and this DVD. They excel at creating brilliant music and first class songwriting, all of which is capturing exquisitely on this release.

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
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