Second Life Syndrome is the sophomore release of Polish prog band Riverside. I unfortunately was not able to catch a spin of their debut album but if it sounds anything like their sophomore; it is a must own! Second Life Syndrome is a concept album and from what I have read, takes off exactly where “Out Of Myself” (their debut) left off. They have one album left to complete the trilogy.
Riverside is as progressive as they come, yet they stay very focused within the tracks. They have their share of guitar and keyboard meanderings but they are perfectly placed and never seem to take any attention away from Mariusz Duda’s vocals and lyrics. This album is one of the most ‘well thought out’ albums I have come across. It creates hooks and leads that dive and weave into countermelody only to reappear later in the track or even the CD. They have a Porcupine Tree sound with an Arena styled album. Duda has a clear voice, and wields it with intensity. It grooves, rocks, and makes you think. What more can you ask of a prog album? These guys have slipped in under the radar and thank goodness for The Laser’s Edge for picking them up and bringing them out into the light. It is a moving listen. I haven’t heard their debut album but ordered it upon hearing this one. I can’t wait until they complete the trilogy.
Riverside have put together a great finesse album. It has great contrasts and the added bonus of being a concept album. I, myself, am a sucker for concept albums and was immediately sucked in by this one. If you are familiar with Arena, Porcupine Tree, or Opeth and enjoy them than you can hedge your bets that you will also enjoy Riverside. Great harmonies, intricate melodies, and an ingenious album design make this a CD a must own!