Riverside – Rapid Eye Movement (2007)
“Riverside is a way of expressing reflections, dreams and fantasies through music. It is an idea for exposing emotions, for an escape from the grey or unnaturally overcoloured reality. It is a music inspired by a time, a place, a thought and a word, a figment of their own and other people’s imagination. It is joy and sadness, a whisper and a scream.”
This statement, showing how the musicians describe their own music, can be found on Riverside’s official website (link below). So slapping a genre label on Riverside is not easily done. Their unique sound is at times reminiscent of Dream Theatre, while at others it would be best described as a mixture of Anathema, Antimatter and Katatonia. I guess it could be best described as a progressive, alternative rock album with a melancholic sound peppered with aggressive tendencies.
Rapid Eye Movement is, when compared with its predecessor, a much harder record but still manages to keep a strong melancholic note. The funky bass guitar gives the album more drive and groove, which the second song of the album “Rainbow Box” with its groovy baselines and psychedelic keyboard backline perfectly illustrates. Even though every song has a different feel, the album has a very homogenous sound. Nothing feels out of place in this monolithic composition.
The album deals with the effects of medication on the human mind and is thematically split into two parts. Part one includes the songs one to five and is labeled “Fearless”. “02 Panic Room” is the first single release of the record and probably the song that might find the most general acknowledgment among audiences. The biggest risk factor on the record is probably the song “Parasomnia” which starts out with a purely vocal intro that slowly develops into a complex masterpiece. It demonstrates the extremely high potential of the four Polish musicians. These beginning songs are all on the more energetic side, while the last four musical pieces are a bit mellower and form the second part of the album labeled “Fearland”. The final epic-length song thoroughly combines all of the diverse elements from the previous pieces and constitutes a flawless ending track for the record.
I got my hands on the special edition digi-pack which includes a second CD with some alternative versions of the songs “Behind the Eyelids” and “02 Panic Room” and 3 bonus tracks.
Riverside is one of the best bands you have never heard of. Give them a try, you will never look back.