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Riverside - Love, Fear And The Time Machine

Love, Fear And The Time Machine
by Kai Naiman at 19 September 2015, 9:03 AM

RIVERSIDE are back with their most recent record to date, “Love, Fear And The Time Machine”, which simplifies the band’s notorious atmospheric sound, which easily make it the most mature RIVERSIDE release so far. Considering the quality RIVERSIDE’s music is usually made with, it’s easy for RIVERSIDE to either fail or succeed with this release. A major promotional effort, that included releasing three teasers, has been made to attract fans to this record. Was it worth it? The short answer is, yes.

The music you’ll hear throughout the 60 minutes, is unlike anything you’ve heard from RIVERSIDE so far. It honestly feels like RIVERSIDE’s music have reached its puberty; every song delivers a new element to their familiar sound, and it is such a dilemma trying to comment on the album as a whole. Every song has it’s own lot and it’s own twist to the plot.

The opener, “Lost (…)”, for instance, is a terrific example for the “evolved sound” theory. In the first minute, you can understand how this entire album will sound. “Lost (…)” also welcomes the familiar, almost-schizophrenic voices, which were typical of RIVERSIDE to make in their debut “Out Of Myself” album, almost thirteen years ago. The guitar work is absolutely dead-on in accuracy, and Mariusz Duda’s voice is better and clearer than ever. Following “Lost (…)” is the witty “Under The Pillow”. At first, it sounds like the Polish lads had decided to imitate NICKELBACK, with a more modern façade. But don’t let it be a concern, as “Under The Pillow” is one of the heaviest, if not the heaviest, track in “Love, Fear And The Time Machine” - good news to the expecting fans of “Anno Domini High Definition” part two.

You’d do good to find a lot of “Shrine Of…” in the third track, “#Addicted”. In all honesty, it is probably the least expected song on “Love, Fear & The Time Machine”, and with that in mind, it is the turning point of the album, easily making it the peak. It is comfortable to write songs about this generation’s flaws, but it takes a special kind of resilience to write such a direct, in your face, kind of song. RIVERSIDE don’t spare their words of anger. To me, it makes it the best song in the album. The forthcoming track, “Caterpillar And The Barbed Wire”, proves as the most honest form of RIVERSIDE on the album, almost like a pseudonym to the band name. From atmospheric vocal melodies, to the most edgy-sounding guitar and keyboard combination the band has reached thus far, this track will satisfy any RIVERSIDE fan, not before the even more progressive “Saturate Me” embarks from the shade. This track is Michał Łapaj’s chance to shine in the dark. Most of the instrumentation on this song is a sapient keyboard exercise. The song’s restrained lyrics make it the dissonance following the earlier “#Addicted” presence. Speaking of presence, “Afloat”, the next psalm in the ritual of “Love, Fear And The Time Machine”, disperses all the momentum previously narrated. It is a lowly, emotional output, in contrast of the rest of the album, and Mariusz’s vocals cannot be heard clearer, in its full depth.

I’ll go a step forward, and combine “Discard Your Fear” and “Towards The Blue Horizon”, as they cannot present without one or the other. This odd dual, that starts with the most commercial RIVERSIDE ever sounded (which is not a bad thing), and ends with a more profound attitude, is engraved as the joyride and the tremble effect. Quite reluctant, this change, in all ways, is the end of the album as a RIVERSIDE release, and welcomes a new, substage perhaps, of a more STEVEN WILSON feel. It is where you should bite with vigor onto the onset of “Love, Fear And The Time Machine”, and let the dissolution of anger to begin, as “Time Travellers”, perhaps Mariusz Duda’s best performance to say, engages with “Found (…)”, the least familiar sounding RIVERSIDE to the fans’ ears.

All in all, we get what we expected, an evolved, less threatening RIVERSIDE release. It is understandable why RIVERSIDE have grown so popular among metal fans. They are an icon for atmospheric rock nowadays, thanks to their versatile hard rock approach, which combines elements from the entire metal genre, and “Love, Fear And The Time Machine” is a flawless example for that. A masterpiece in an addicted generation era.

5 Star Rating

1. Lost (Why Should I Be Frightened By A Hat?)
2. Under The Pillow
3. #Addicted
4. Caterpillar And The Barbed Wire
5. Saturate Me
6. Afloat
7. Discard Your Fear
8. Towards The Blue Horizon
9. Time Travellers
10. Found (The Unexpected Flaw Of Searching)
Mariusz Duda - Vocals, Bass, Acoustic Guitar
Piotr Grudziński - Guitars
Piotr Kozieradzki - Drums
Michał Łapaj - Keyboards
Record Label: InsideOut Music


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