Power of Metal.dk Review

Out of an Ancient World
Style: Progressive Rock
Release date: 21 July, 2012
Playing time: 64:55

Let's keep this rather short and sweet. So much can be said about Riversea's debut album "Out of an Ancient World", but I feel that this would all be in vain. One must experience this album in order to appreciate its greatness.

Riversea is a two man band that features a broad and eclectic range of guest artists. Brendan Eyre (keys) and Marc Atkinson (vocals and acoustic guitar) started Riversea as a pet project, but it has matured into something truly special. Musically, this album is neo-prog: In other words, lots of synth, wonderful melody, a slow to medium tempo, and influence from the likes of Marillion, etc. Riversea perfectly balances these components and even masters them. Marc's voice is rich and warm, and is one of the best voices I have ever heard. Period. On the other hand, Brendan's keys soar and pierce through the rather melancholy atmosphere to produce emotional highs and lows. Finally, the guest artists provide a range of excellent drums, awesome guitar solos, and backing female vocals. Each and every song is a masterpiece that you will be singing to yourself later: I cannot even pick a favorite because they all fall into place so well. This is definitely an album to listen to in one sitting. Overall, the music is rich with layer after layer of beauty and emotion and masterful composition.

Yet, I'm not so sure all of this is what makes Riversea's debut album so great. Riversea has crafted some of the best neo-prog I've ever heard, but that is not what makes this album so addictive. The addiction comes from the theme. This is a concept album that, in the words of the men themselves, is a spiritual journey. However, I cannot begin to tell you where this journey leads. "Out of an Ancient World" starts out with one of my favorite songs ever, called "In the Beginning": a truly remarkable piece about the existence of God before He created us. The album then goes on to speak about the God-given connection we all have; how we are all part of the song of God. Yet, the world is a dreadful place sometimes, and Marc's emotive voice captures the feelings so well when he begs "Take us back to Eden". We are all Fallen Stars that have forgotten how valuable we are; how blessed we are; and how interconnected we are. In all honesty, I'm still analyzing the last few tracks, but this concept intrigues me greatly (not to mention that I completely agree with it).

Riversea has presented a debut album that truly tugs at the spiritual and emotional strings of my inner being, and Marc's voice and Brendan's keys are the perfect vehicles for their message. I cannot possibly give any higher praise to this absolutely incredible work of art, and I have faith that Riversea will not disappoint with their next release. Until then, I will still be pondering, "Is that what God wants"? Buy this album.

01. In the Beginning... (4:28)
02. The Song (7:31)
03. Is That What God Wants (6:13)
04. Halo (5:40)
05. The Fallen (3:40)
06. Eden (5:54)
07. Still Home (5:42)
08. Falling Stars (5:39)
09. Wiser (5:20)
10. Freeze the Frame (6:33)
11. Still Home (Reprise) (1:19)
12. Out of an Ancient World (6:50)
Label: Independent
Buy the music: Bandcamp / Riversea-band.com
Reviewed by: Jason Spencer
Date: 24 March, 2013
Website: www.riversea-band.com