Anno Domini High Definition - Prog-Nose

Publication: 10 June 2009
Note: 9,5/10

The fourth studio album of the 4-piece Polish group called Riverside Anno Domini High Definition (4 words) lasts exactly 44:44, enough ingredients for a good deal of symbolism. And although this release may not be considered as a real concept album, there is a common theme in all the songs. The title already indicates it, ADHD, or how human mandkind looses themselves in a materialistic world full of stress and agitation. Those melancholy themes were already present on previous albums, I was also curious about the musical interpretation. And it must be said, these Polish musicians have once again managed to surprise with a strong and also innovative album.

From the first track it is already clear that the keyboards play a more important role than on previous albums. The subdued piano work in "Hyperactive" is soon followed by heavy guitar riffs and ditto synth outbursts together with that typical voice even reminds me of System of a Down. Mariusz sings at the end "It's just another day in my life, his days must be pretty hectic. When you are waiting for the dreamy guitar patterns, you will love 'Driven to Destruction ', although it becomes a lot heavier afterwards and even glimpses of Dream Theater comes in sight. Another of those typical dark songs, typical for Riverside, not at the least due to occasional screams and grunts of Mariusz.

But the most surprising song is 'egoist Hedonist', with a mix of different styles, the known Riverside rhythms combined with seventies Hammond sounds and dance rhythms of the eighties, around the 3 minute line you suddenly hear a funky rhythm with horns, and it is still quite successful, too. Towards the end of the number it becomes clear again how important the drums and bass are in the overall sound of the group. ‘Left Out ' sounds more laid back and the early Floyd influences come back. Beautiful guitar, sung emotionally, a captivating atmosphere, rhythm changes, a lot of Hammond: a progressive masterpiece. 'Hybrid Times' sounds often chaotic perfectly in line with the theme of the CD, you feel like you are in the middle of a busy city. But once again, the musicians demonstrate their technical talent, this is progressive metal at its best.

Maybe this is one of the strongest albums of the group and it leans more to progressive metal than to progressive rock, despite the prominent presence of keyboards. Maybe ‘Rapid Eye Movement’ was not really at the same level of its predecessor, but ADHD is a winner and therefore ‘incontournable’. This album will be released with a DVD of a concert in Amsterdam, something you can’t miss either.