One thing I’ve always noticed about Warsaw’s Riverside: they are a bit creepy. Granted, they have some very good tunes, and they are always on my radar (though I would have to confess not purchasing any of their CD’s since Rapid Eye Movement, I do have an mp3 or two). However, Riverside is not a band for the feint of heart. When I first stumbled upon them back in the day, I actually thought they were a bit frightening. I always recall the Fixx’s mental twister “Outside” or just about anything by Staind. I’m not saying Riverside is a band that wears their influences on their sleeves, either – they are definitely their own band. They have their own sound, their own signature style, and their own singular way of scaring the crap out of listeners.
There is variation on this collection of tracks as well. The plaintive piano and vocal whisper letting of Guardian Angel, the straight-ahead (more or less) riffing and song structure of Acid Rain and Vale of Tears, the acoustic sturm and drang of Lament, etc. It’s all here – their reputation precedes them, and they do not disappoint. If I were to have anything negative to say, it would be that they have become a bit more commercial over the years. If they are shooting for FM radio, then they might have a shot at some of the modern channels. This is NOT straight metal, folks – nor is it straight hard rock, or classic rock – Riverside is Riverside. They are an enigma, and nobody else sounds like them, at least exactly. They are in their own little world. This, dear readers, is a world that I would love to visit.
If your thing is soundscapes, or prog metal, then you have a taste of that as well. The title track and The Struggle For Survival are about as close as you’re going to get to prog with Riverside. The shorter numbers are just as interesting as the longer numbers, you’ll find. Enjoy. I know I am.
1. The Day After
2. Acid Rain
3. Vale of Tears
4. Guardian Angel
6. Struggle For Survival
7. River Down Below
9. The Night Before
Mariusz Duda - vocals, bass guitar, acoustic guitar /
Piotr Kozieradzki - drums /
Michał Łapaj - keyboards
Past members: Piotr Grudziński - guitars