Although the genre of Prog Rock generally gives artists a much greater license for innovative and alternative techniques, it is clear upon listening to LOVE, FEAR AND THE TIME MACHINE, Riverside’s 6th studio album (due out on 4th September 2015) that the Polish Prog Rockers are continuously pioneering and progressing both lyrically and musically and their sound here reflects this and has morphed into something notably mellower. None of the tracks could be described as particularly heavy and although this is, in my opinion their best album to date, I feel their full potential has yet to be unleashed.
Their arrangements sound as though they are drawing inspiration from many different classic influences; however, as the song writing is both inspiring and original, I feel it unfair to name comparisons.
Time Travellers starts out as a beautiful raw acoustic track and culminates with an excellent but interesting medley of guitar sounds, while the whispered backing vocals on #Addicted sound distinctively ethereal and taper off into perfect melody.
Afloat is quite a dark, emotive song – the mood being set primarily by the guitar. The stunning vocals and gentle guitar riffs on Found (The Unexpected Flaw of Searching) with just the right amount of percussion added halfway through demonstrate the massive talent of these musicians and make it a great optimistic track to end on.
The overall feel of this album is one of intangible melancholy – but it all works. Every track makes for easy listening but the unquestionable highlight for me is the strangely titled opener – Lost (Why Should I be Frightened by a Hat?), a lengthy atmospheric epic which features fantastic changes of tempo and could be described as profoundly haunting.
This release is sure to be well received by classic Prog fans but may not cut it with those who like a heavier edge to their music – (as featured in Riverside -Anno Domini High Definition); this seems to be lost here. Some bands should never stray from the formula while others can get away with vast experimentation – but isn’t that what Prog rock is about after all? Genre classification can sometimes become too rigid.
If you like Prog, but not exclusively, and like myself, you have a different style of “Rock” for every mood, this would make for perfect sombre listening after a night of heavy duty head banging. A superb, reflective, otherworldly album for deep thinkers!