Riverside
Eye of the Soundscape


4.0
excellent

Review

by TalonsOfFire STAFF
November 21st, 2016 | 50 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Riverside emerge from tragedy with a collection of past experiments and new creations, for fans and newcomers alike.

Riverside have been thrown into major transitions during recent years. 2015 saw the release of their most successful album yet, Love, Fear, and the Time Machine, displaying their most melodic and accessible side beautifully. They were subsequently prepared to participate in tours across Europe and the U.S. These long-deserved triumphs for one of the finest modern progressive rock bands only add an extra layer of sadness to the passing away of guitarist Piotr Grudziński earlier this year. Riverside's remaining three members responded by pouring their hearts into what we now have here, the sprawling Eye of the Soundscape. The band have emerged from tragedy at the height of their popularity with an epic, diverse compilation of instrumental explorations that pay tribute to their fallen brethren while looking ahead to the band’s future.

The remaining trio has stated that they will continue onward as a band without replacing Grudziński. Interestingly, they seem to have left their guitar-driven brand of progressive rock behind, at least for now: …Soundscape being a blissful journey of ambient meditations and dreamy atmospheres. This is the only posthumous album to have Grudziński’s contributions, which are surprisingly at a minimum. Instead, ambient textures using keyboard and synthesizers are emphasized throughout. Previously released bonus songs and new compositions are included, making for an essential listen for those wanting the band’s recent experiments all in one place. The electronica bonus tracks of Shrine of New Generation Slaves and Love, Fear, and the Time Machine are all included, as well as new remixes of "Rapid Eye Movement" and "Rainbow Box." These two prog rock epics are now treated with an electronic coating and arguably surpass the originals.

As if all of this content wasn't enough for a tantalizing compilation, four new tracks are also present. Two of them, "Where The River Flows" and the title track, bookend the album, all four comprised of atmospheric textures with a notable absence of progressive rock or metal flourishes the band have become known for. Overall, this makes for an eclectic collection of old and new experiments that show an ever-present but previously subdued side of the band, essentially their spacier and more electronic explorations. The minimal showcasing of guitars here may disappoint fans, but Piotr Grudziński is still honored, just in a different way than one would assume. His contributions are noticeable and add appealing flavors to various moments of … Soundscape, particularly in "Shine." The guitars and keys work together to harness a subtle, dreamy quality that recalls the more thoughtful Riverside compositions.

Where Riverside will go from here is anyone’s guess. They’ve been together for fifteen years now, formed by friends with a shared love for all forms of progressive music. They’ve been through much in the past year, and nearly ended with Grudziński’s passing. He will always be a part of Riverside, and the band have responded with a confident reassurance of who they are, in unexpected musical results. Eye of the Soundscape serves as a fitting sendoff for Grudziński while transitioning the band to new horizons. As an intriguing reminder of the band's ever-shifting musical qualities, as well as a tantalizing glimpse into their future, this compilation should not be missed by followers of Riverside.



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user ratings (55)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
November 20th 2016


16797 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

The first two tracks, both original songs and among the best on here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBTZJLXOptM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=poAk9XgK7Cs

Thanks to Jom for proofreading.

Digging: Tame Impala - Currents B-Sides & Remixes

Gyromania
November 20th 2016


23437 Comments


Terrible band

Good review

Emim
November 21st 2016


27546 Comments


Great band.

Good review.

ProjectFreak
November 21st 2016


2175 Comments


Thank you for reminding me to listen to Love, Fear and the Time Machine again. I remember enjoying it a lot last year, back when I still listened to albums semi-regularly.

Flugmorph
November 21st 2016


17436 Comments


well i may check this then after all.

Digging: Converge - The Dusk in Us

TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
November 21st 2016


16797 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Yes this went pretty unnoticed on here, anyone with even a passing interest in this band should at least give this a shot.

smaugman
November 21st 2016


4444 Comments


wow nice going gyro
i thought this album was released in october

TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
November 21st 2016


16797 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

That is correct yes

BeyondCosby
November 21st 2016


1763 Comments


So there are only four new tracks on this?

FullOfSounds
November 21st 2016


15578 Comments


Really pretty cover

TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
November 21st 2016


16797 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Really pretty cover [2] Made it my desktop background not too long ago.

So there are only four new tracks on this?


Yes, they equate to 30+ minutes of brand new material, and the remixes sound pretty different to the originals as well.

guitarded_chuck
November 21st 2016


13666 Comments


pacman

OmairSh
November 21st 2016


14338 Comments


The two "singles" they released were good, especially Shine. That song is refreshing and tasty.

RIP Piotr

bloc
November 21st 2016


44292 Comments


Omg this is out already? Feels like it was not that long ago the last one came out.

Digging: Beastmilk - Climax

TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
November 21st 2016


16797 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Yeah Shine is sweet. And that's right bloc; the 2nd disc of this includes bonus tracks of Love, Fear... and of New Shrine....

I'm guessing that they did the four new songs and the remixes just over this past year or two.

Riverside is almost Steven Wilson level with sheer volume of music they put out.

AtomicWaste
Moderator
November 21st 2016


2714 Comments


Enjoying this quite a bit.

Digging: Benjamin Clementine - I Tell A Fly

OmairSh
November 21st 2016


14338 Comments


"Riverside is almost Steven Wilson level with sheer volume of music they put out."

Mariusz is very prolific indeed. He just released an album with a new trio he formed and is currently working on a new Lunatic Soul album

teamster
November 21st 2016


2031 Comments


Gyro - terrible band? Are you a prog metal fan ?

Digging: Foscor - Les Irreals Visions

TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
November 21st 2016


16797 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

True that Omair, I've been looking forward to those. I'm also inclined to get this on CD, as well as their new book, but I'm hesitant to order it until I found out it's in English haha



@teamster: don't mind Gyro, he's become a rampant contrarian in recent times.

bloc
November 21st 2016


44292 Comments


Aye, let him go. He's having a bad year.



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