Review Summary: A four song EP featuring the track "O2 Panic Room" from their upcoming album "Rapid Eye Movement". A good release to hold you over until the whole album comes out.
Riverside is a fairly new band from Poland. The most generic title to give the music they play is progressive rock or progressive metal, but there really is much more to them than that. They, at times, can remind you of anyone from Porcupine Tree
, Pink Floyd
or even Opeth
. They tend to mix up heavier moments with mellow almost bluesy interludes, along with some great rhythms creating a style that allows them to not really sound like they’re copying anyone else.
This EP consists of two versions of the song "O2 Panic Room" which will also be on their upcoming album Rapid Eye Movement
, as well as two songs that won’t be on the album. The original version of "O2 Panic Room" starts out with a mechanical sounding cymbal tap, and then a deep bass line comes in. Its right at that point that you can hear the first difference compared to their earlier stuff; the production is much better this time around. The bass guitar sounds full, deep and ominous. Shortly after that, the guitar comes in with a simple melody that anyone that’s heard them before will recognize as a standard Riverside signature melody. Overall, the song tends to remain ominous and laid back consisting almost entirely of that deep bass line from the beginning coupled with various effects and keyboard sounds, with the occasional guitar melody or riff cropping up. If this is the direction we can expect from Riverside’s upcoming release, than you can count me as a first day buyer. The remix of this song just replaces the drums and most the bass line for a drum machine-beat, and a deep synth line. It is also slightly faster paced than the original song and has dropped the guitars completely; not as good as the original but remixes rarely are.
The two songs that won’t be appearing on the upcoming full length are both instrumentals. Anyone that’s heard any of the "Reality Dream" songs from the first two full lengths knows exactly what to expect from the song "Lucid Dream IV". It’s riff heavy with keyboards providing flourishes and accompaniment, all backed up by the competent rhythm section. This song, like all their songs, never drops into the territory where it seems like they’re just trying to show off. Every part has a purpose and every part adds to the atmosphere of the song.
The second instrumental, "Back to the River" starts out much more mellow and dark, reminding me a lot of a band called The God Machine
. Once the introductory noise has passed the song loses a bit of the darkness it started with, and trades it for a somber feeling instead. It consists entirely of a mellow flowing bass line and a laidback guitar solo, while the drummer provides some interesting fills and rhythms helping to keep the song from bogging down in its own slow pace. The keyboards on the song are also worth mentioning as they are used to simply fill the spaces not being taken up by the bass or guitar player; this is a very classy song.
All three original songs are top quality, and the remix is an interesting take on the song, but at the end of it all this is still just four songs coming in at just over 18 minutes. Definitely recommended to anyone who is already into Riverside and owns their past three releases. For those just learning about them, though, I’d have to recommend Second Life Syndrome
as the best place to start or you could just wait until the new release comes out because if this EP (as well as their past quality) is anything to go by, it will be an awesome album.