Review Summary: Chances are, it will grow on you.
Riverside’s Shrine of New Generation
Slaves holds the listener hostage, trapping the senses and enveloping the subconscious. Thankfully, the ropes are fluffy and the prison door is made of rubber. From Warsaw, Poland, Riverside play an interesting brand of progressive rock that branches out into to atmospheric melodies and even the occasional metal stereotype. Crooning vocals take center stage allowing the listener to be caressed by some of the best floating melody lines of modern progressive rock. Often described as a combination of Pink Floyd, Opeth, Dream Theater and Tool it is easy to be transfixed by how hard this would be to pull off successfully in the shadow of these well-known and for their part well established groups — yet Riverside achieve what they set out to do. Shrine Of New Generation Slaves
is one of the most promising releases of early 2013 and for good reason. The albums beauty comes in the shape of its haunting musicianship and even vocal phrasing; clean tones and picked guitar strings complimented by some minimal riff passages and intelligent soloing make this release the interesting listen that it is. The album is a journey at just over fifty minutes long – but this doesn’t mean that the journey is burdening; in fact it’s quite the opposite.
As this release is the band’s fifth studio record, Riverside have found an established formula in their soundscapes. The album builds off the previous record Anno Domini High Definition
(2009) in the best of ways. The transition between the two releases is near flawless and as a result Shrine of New Generation Slaves
sounds polished, not only in terms of production but also in its well-rehearsed musicianship. Melodies interweave, with vocal lines and pitch direction complement each phrasing (see “Deprived (Irretrievably Lost Imagination)”) as the guitar and keys builds with the vocal pitch and back again showing the creative flair that Riverside has largely perfected throughout their career, complimenting each different instrument and bringing the maelstrom together in such a satisfying fashion.
As a whole this album highlights the start of the year in a spectacular fashion. Highly melodic, well-thought out and at times inexplicably catchy. Shrine of New Generation Slaves
makes for an interesting, foot tapping listen, building off the band’s previous record and adding to Riverside’s catalog in a very positive manner. At just over fifty minutes Riverside’s 2013 release never outstays its welcome but neither is the record too short to be fully absorbed by the listener. If you’re a fan of this kind of music this is more than worth your time. Riverside has presented an album with staying power that is well executed and full of some near perfect material.