Over the years Riverside has become one of my favorite bands in the progressive rock and metal realm. It’s not like they’re doing anything radically different or particularly revolutionary, but their music has this delicate melancholic touch few others have. The band celebrates its tenth birthday this year and in order to comemmorate this milestone they’re about to release a new EP, entitled Memories In My Head. Let’s see what it has to offer.
Whether it’s done on purpose or not, the material on their latest EP revisits the band’s Second Life Syndrome and Rapid Eye Movement days. This translates into three rather long tracks in the best Pink Floyd and Marillion tradition, but with the trademark Riverside touch of course. The emphasis is more on capturing certain atmospheres, with little need for a driving hard rock edge as they did on Anno Domini High Definition.
“Goodbye Sweet Innocence”, “Living In The Past” and “Forgotten Land” are clear examples of why these Poles are counted among the very best what progressive rock and metal has to offer today. All three compositions have an adventurous build-up and they’re all lavishly arranged with imaginative keyboard lines and soaring guitar leads in the best David Gilmour tradition. It gives Memories In My Head a distinct retro sound without sounding dated. That’s the greatest quality of this release. It strikes me again on how much Mariusz Duda’s vocals reminds me of James Maynard Keenan (Tool/A Perfect Circle) and Anathema’s very own Danny Cavanagh.
Memories In My Head is a splendid rendition of the immense musical potential that Riverside thrives on. The band doesn’t cover any new ground, but they never set out to do that in the first place. This EP is first and foremost a retrospective of what these Poles have done in the past ten years captured in three thrilling compositions. It’s the perfect appetizer of their new full-length album which is slated for a 2012 release. Stay tuned…