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Riverside – Out of Myself (Reissue)

Riverside
Out of Myself (Reissue)
by Eric Poulin at 23 February 2021, 6:45 AM

RIVERSIDE is a progressive rock/metal that started in 2001 and hails from Warsaw, Poland. This is a reissue of their 2003 album “Out of Myself” which was the band’s first official full-length release. The band is now signed to Inside Out Music. I have only been vaguely familiar with the band, even though for the last 20 years they have been a household name in the progressive rock and metal spheres. This is essentially the first time I listen to one of their albums, let alone review one.

The opener “The Same River” starts off with some radio songs (someone clearly doing some channel surfing), only to go into a very David Gilmour style in the guitars (to a certain extent you could think of “Momentary Lapse of Reason”. The song starts off slowly relying on the keyboard introduction and the repetitive bass lines in the background. The drums have somewhat of an electronic sound to them, but it fits with the overall sound. Having been in a PORCUPINE TREE mood over the last month, I can see the parallels in the psychedelic and hypnotic natures of this type of progressive music. The heavy distortion used on the guitars at time is very close to the early material of ELDRITCH.  As most bands who play this type of music, the bass lines are often very audible, which has been a trademark of the genre for the last 50 years. The vocals of Mariusz Duda have some very space-like effects at times, but when they are perfectly clean, they sound rather unique and I do not really have a comparison in mind.

What follows is the title track “Out of Myself”, which is much more straight-ahead than the epic opener, has some flamenco elements in the guitars played by the lead singer (who is also the bass player). There is a gothic rock side to this song, and while I do not consider myself an expert in the matter, the 1980s aspect to the song really shines on this one. “Reality Dream” is completely different with its off-tempo and eccentric drum/bass patterns. It has some rather heavy parts too, and while the structure is not new to me, the sound actually is and again very difficult to pinpoint other bands that have this exact sound. The closest I can think of is SYMPHONY X when the songs get really “proggy”.

“Loose Heart” sounds like a heavier TEARS FOR FEARS, as odd as that may seem to most progressive rock fans out there. There is a very nostalgic aspect to the notes and compositions that rely on the essence of the 80s and as some would say; the innocence that was present at the time in how bands expressed themselves musically. We have a second instance of “Reality Dream II” filled with phone sounds and probably the most voyage-like moments on the album. If you enjoyed RUSH in the 1980s, you will hear some of those influences on this number (you can go back to “Hold Your Fire”). The guitar sound is clearly heavier though than that period of the band. There are some memorable melodies on this track that show the high level of musicianship of the project’s members.

The album closer is a really odd one and just oozes saxophones and a smoke-filled bar. If you remember the album “Voyage 34” from PORCUPINE TREE, this is the material that just makes you drift off and completely forget there is music playing in the background. Knowing so little about the band coming in helped and me having to pay attention to every little detail to this album. Considering this was their first album, it is very impressive, because there is a cohesiveness to the songs, very polished structure and sound, and most of all, a unique approach to the genre in the early 2000s. If you enjoy some of the bands I have reference in this review, I think you would enjoy this band, and having a reissue of a band’s early works is always a great starting point.

Songwriting:  8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. The Same River
2. Out of Myself
3. I Believe
4. Reality Dream
5. Loose Heart
6. Reality Dream II
7. In Two Minds
8. The Curtain Falls
9. OK 
Lineup:
Piotr Grudziński - Guitars (Lead)
Mariusz Duda - Vocals, Bass, Guitars (Acoustic), Lyrics
Piotr Kozieradzki - Drums
Jacek Melnicki  - Keyboards
Record Label: InsideOut Music
     


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