There isn't too much demand going around for such a zen style of Metal, at least not compared to most of the other genres. As much as Riverside differentiates itself from all of the other conformative styles much like Power, Death, and especially Black and melodic Death Metal. They seem to nevertheless fall into that stereotypical surreal, non-asociative sound that most if not all Progressive Metal bands have. However, because this is not particularily their fault, the enjoyment of this album is not ruined by the many other similar bands that we have all heard before like Tool (despite the fact that Riverside is, hands down, much better) and Devin Townsend (yet, not nearly as heavy).
Due to the bands that have such similar sounds to Riverside mostly have lyrical themes that deal with depression and inferiority, it will bring a smile to the faces of many to for once hear something progressive that doesn't render one sensitively charged. The lyrical atmosphere that Riverside creates is very transcending because listening to the entire album is the musical equivilant to an Outer Body experience.
Musically, the album is rather well achieved. Yet, one can state that they do not seem to have any sense of direction which is, of course, excusable because they are Progressive (and I will give them the benefit of the doubt and assume that they did this intensionally). There are wonderful moments in the album whereas their Vocalist will end his common singing contribution and scream in the areas where the music is heavy (or "Heavier"). His sining voice is quite well developed and there is nothing about it that one could find repulsive. Much the sam way as his screaming that is omni-present, however, this is sad due to how excellent he is. He has a screaming texture to his vocals that should be used in more Melodic Death Metal bands, it is neither annoying or unwanted, or even reluctantly received by the listener. I could be so boastful to proclaim that you [the listener] will if anything, want more - as I did!
It has been mentioned previously that the Guitarist of Riverside is not often heavy, however, is still gleefully accepted into the elements. The Guitarist is responsible for the zen, cadence-like sound that Riverside spawns. His entrancing styles and acoustic riffs are without a doubt superb. Yet, one can't help but wonder why this band is even considered Metal. As heavy as they have the historical potential of becoming, they rarely ever throughout the album recreate it, and the wieght of the album regarding music is lost. However, it has regained itself many a time when Riverside dominates the listener's attention. The Guitarist's solos are performed greatly also. But not as intense as most metal solos, Riverside possesses solos that are very influenced by the likes of Pink Floyd, and other Blues/Rock bands that have since passed their prime and are now only faded memories.
The keyboardist is as omni-present as the band's heaviness, only coming into play during the intros, outros (most of the time being audio samples) and unexpectedly during the tracks in musical departures that suite Riverside very well.
Percussion is not at all what they would want you to focus on, but that does not necessarily suggest that the Drumming is bad. The Drummer is quitessencially just the backbone of Riverside's career. It is not at all poorly performed, and it is not given any particular spotlight. Credited as such, they do deserve one more little blurb of congradualtions with the insertion of the punctual Double Kick that is not even anticipated to have an inclusion at all in such a genre.
To summarize, this album is an excellent source of spiritually influenced Rock/Metal that defies space, time, and any hint of poor musicianship. However, it must also be noted that they do not possess a heavy quality to their sound and therefore would be dismissed by many as Tool wannabees (even though many bands could not even add up to Riverside's integrity). Only are they useful when one simply does not feel in the mood for anything energetic or fast, heavy. Only then could a generic Metal fan enjoy this quasi-genius contribution to the Metal scene.