Riverside - 2004 Out Of Myself

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ARTIST: Riverside
ALBUM: Out Of Myself
LABEL: Lasers Edge
SERIAL: LE1039
YEAR: 2004

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: image

LINEUP: Mariusz Duda - vocals, bass, acoustic guitar * Piotr Grudzinski - lead and rhythm guitars * Jacek Melnicki - keyboards * Piotr Kozieradzki - drums, percussion

TRACK LISTING: 01 The Same River * 02 Out Of Myself * 03 I Believe * 04 Reality Dream * 05 Loose Heart * 06 Reality Dream II * 07 In Two Minds * 08 The Curtain Falls * 09 OK

RATING: image

Background

A highly appreciated band today, Riverside probably wouldn't have reached their stardom position in modern progressive rock if it weren't for the strength of their debut album.

While originality wasn't the very ace up their sleeve, a modern approach to the classics of the genre and an ear for trends elevated them from numerous copycats.

The Songs

'The Same River' is, pure and simple, a 12 minute lesson in how to create a Floydian, trippy soundscape, and how to utilize a few vocal lines to their maximum potential, which is evident when you consider the fact they were re-used on later albums, several times.

'Out Of Myself' is a contradiction, a calm statement of unrest, where a few moments of unrestrained rage coloured the entire rest of the album and set the dynamics in an impressive way.

While 'I Believe', 'In Two Minds' and the brilliant ending piece 'OK' are rather placid, pastoral statements of unrequited love (is it unrequited? is it love?) I will direct the people interested in the concept of this album trilody to an excellent Mariusz Duda interview, where it was sort of explained (conducted somewhere in 2010 I believe).

They also have some creepy undertones that balance them out, and it does not take a genius to guess that the two 'Reality Dream' instrumentals deal with something far too twisted to translate into lyrics.

'The Curtain Falls' is another Floydian exercise, and 'Loose Heart' is probably my favourite piece on the album, seeing how the power dynamics in 'Out Of Myself' are at work within it once again, going from calm to spiteful.

In Summary

Fluid, non-showy lead guitar playing, undemanding and pleasant, smokey vocals, a strong bass/drums surface to build on and relatively unobtrusive keyboards - which prog band could ever brag of a lineup of musicians so efficient with so little flash?

'Out Of Myself' is a gem of a debut, even more so when you consider how ambitious it is to start off your career with a trilogy of concept albums, and mandatory for fans of Porcupine Tree and Pink Floyd.


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