Riverside
Shrine Of New Generation Slaves


4.0
excellent

Review

by Austin USER (41 Reviews)
February 8th, 2013 | 113 replies | 10,465 views


Release Date: 01/21/2013 | Tracklist


8 of 8 thought this review was well written

It would be fair to say that Shrine of New Generation Slaves is the “return to roots” album of Riverside’s discography. After Second Life Syndrome the band had been pushing a heavier direction with each album, and this unfortunately produced rather hit and miss results. They never made any serious missteps and both follow-up albums were still enjoyable, but the decline in quality was evident due to the downplaying of the melancholic atmosphere that made the band so great in the first place in favor of a more up-tempo and aggressive sound.

With Shrine of New Generation Slaves, Riverside has returned to what they do best. The band’s heavier moments were always the strongest when they were a compliment to the immersive atmosphere rather than on ADHD where they were the focus, and thankfully they’ve returned to the former style of songwriting here. The melancholy has returned in full force on The Depth of Self-Delusion and Deprived, and they’re two of the strongest tracks of the band’s career. Both tracks are reminiscent of Opeth’s Damnation in the best possible way, with Duda’s vocals at their all-time best as he delivers memorable, haunting melodies alongside active basslines and melodic riffs. Deprived shows that the band’s chemistry is as strong as ever, with a well-played instrumental interlude that builds to a striking saxophone solo.

The up-tempo tracks can’t match these tracks in terms of composition but they provide a great compliment to the serious, subdued nature of the ballads. Feel Like Falling and Celebrity Touch show the band finding the right balance between rocking out and maintaining the atmosphere. Although the latter has received mixed reaction since its release as the lead single, its punchy riffs and overall catchier sound are still effective, particularly in context to the rest of the album.

The key difference between Shrine of New Generation Slaves and the band’s previous work is that there’s more emphasis on the melodies this time around. While the instrumentation is as great as ever (particularly the guitar/bass interplay), the driving force of the album is Duda’s vocals, with less emphasis on lengthy instrumental sections. The only moment where the band ventures into progressive metal occurs part-way into Escalator Shrine, the album’s epic. Although the 13-minute centerpiece isn’t as immediate as most of the band’s previous epics due to its more understated second half, it ultimately reveals itself to be another strong composition, with engaging riffs, effective transitions, and well-thought-out melodies. It transitions seamlessly into Coda, a short but brilliant acoustic reprise of Feel Like Falling that concludes the album.

While Shrine of New Generation Slaves may not be Riverside’s most ambitious album musically, the maturation of their sound and varied and engaging songwriting make it a success. They managed to hold onto the elements of their sound that made them stand out in the first place while still adding a few new tricks that reassure listeners that they won’t remain stagnant. The band may not ever put out another Second Life Syndrome, but this album shows that they still have the goods to deliver quality progressive rock for years to come.



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user ratings (205)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
johnny of the Well (3.5)
Where quality and interest part ways...

Robert Garland CONTRIBUTOR (4)
Chances are, it will grow on you....

Greg Fisher STAFF (4)
The fifth Riverside album showcases the ongoing evolution of the outfit integrating a new set of blu...


Comments:Add a Comment 
tiesthatbind
February 8th 2013



7373 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Really loving this album right now.

toxin.
February 8th 2013



12162 Comments


Sweet review, ties. Concise but informative, easy pos

I listened to SLS and it really wasn't much of my thing, but that's not really much of a surprise.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
February 8th 2013



5974 Comments


Excellent review, it went down like fresh water, pos.

Digging: Lisa Gerrard - Twilight Kingdom

Storm In A Teacup
February 8th 2013



12687 Comments


Never heard of these guys but they sound extremely interesting.

johnnydeking29
February 8th 2013



9011 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Pos'd, ok album

Digging: Naked City - Radio

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
February 8th 2013



6986 Comments


Storm, put this on the top of your 'get list'

greg84
Staff Reviewer
February 8th 2013



7346 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Awesome review Austin. Have a pos.

Digging: Kimbra - The Golden Echo

mursu
February 8th 2013



254 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice review, pos'd. I like this band a lot. I need to get this album.

bloc
February 8th 2013



34730 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

About time I give this another listen and see if things done changed

Digging: Messiah - Choir of Horrors

ButtsweatAndTears
February 8th 2013



340 Comments


Pos'd because you like Alter Bridge....

Jethro42
February 8th 2013



12381 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I still hesitate between a 3.5 or a 4. Good review.

Emim
February 8th 2013



26570 Comments


Great review as always, man. Still need to check this out, all I've heard from them is Second Life Syndrome.

tiesthatbind
February 8th 2013



7373 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks guys.

I listened to SLS and it really wasn't much of my thing, but that's not really much of a
surprise.
Oh well, props for at least trying it out anyway.
Still need to check this out, all I've heard from them is Second Life Syndrome.
You will most definitely enjoy this if you liked SLS.

wonky
February 11th 2013



7 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Grown on me and getting better the more I listen.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
February 11th 2013



6986 Comments


It'll keep doing that.

Spag
February 13th 2013



1729 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Rawks

Digging: Power of Omens - Eyes of the Oracle

OmairSh
February 27th 2013



10829 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Should've rawked more

Digging: Paco de Lucia - El Duende Flamenco

aggelosm
March 14th 2013



470 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice music as always from riverside. But I really dislike the voice effect/distortion on this album. Especially in 'celebrity touch'. It's pretth annoying to me.

johnnydeking29
March 14th 2013



9011 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Haven't listened to this in ages

DarkSideOfLucca
March 14th 2013



3273 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Didn't it just come out a little while ago?



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