Review RIVERSIDE ‘ID.Entity’

Riverside started in 2001 and hail from Wasaw, Poland. The progressive metal outfit premiered with ‘Out of Myself’, an album that was independently released and led to a deal the band inked with Inside Out Music.

The band was on a successful journey through the hemisphere of multi-layered music and unleashed pretty successful records. Then came 2016, a year that changed a lot. Founding member and guitarist Piotr Grudziński passed away at the age of 40. This was a shock for band and fans, followed by a period of uncertainty if to continue or not. After a period of grief, Riverside decided to continue as a trio and it took them till 2020 to add a forth member. Maciej Meller joined the band on guitar and is part of the newest longplayer ‘ID.Entity’.

Work on the new album started with bandleader Mariusy Duda aksing himself a few questions – personal ones, question about the current times and also about the band. The two main strengths of Riverside are melodies and performing live. Now, the latter wasn’t that much possible during the last two year and so the band decided to give their newest album a live feel, reflecting the dynamics of live performance. What comes with this ambition is the fact of ‘ID.Entity’ being less melancholic and dark compared to some of the latest releases of the band.

‘ID.Entity’ is a kind of fresh start for the band, leaving the dark days behind. Together with strong lyrics the seven songs on this album are a stellar example for excellently crafted multifaceted music. Riverside shows their best and it all starts with ‘Friend or Foes?’. Bigger soundscapes and the interaction of keyboards and guitars is a great example for contemporary music with style with lyrics that symbolize an unreal world in which nothing seems to be as it looks like.

‘Landmine Blast’ takes a similar road before ‘Big Tech Brother’ brings another topic into the spotlight. The spoken word consent notes that start the songs, reminds of the pop-up windows on every website and heralds a song about the ignorance and naivety towards the digital world that surrounds us.

Lies and truth, that is what the band thematize on ‘Post-Truth’. The music underlines the message of the songs with the band focusing on their ability to create complex music that sounds, by the help of great melodies, easily accessible. This gift also creates the platform for ‘The Place Where I Belong’. The song clocks in at 13 minutes and is the musical centerpiece of this longplayer.  This epos combines all Riverside trademarks, resulting in a great composition, which is a treat for ears and mind.

‘Self-Aware’ is the last song on this album and it’s another delight. I felt a bit reminded of bands like Rush when I heard the track. Again, it’s hooks and melodies that create the common threat of this song, that varies when it comes to details. There are constant twists and turns which adds excitement on the listeners side since there is constantly something new happening.

‘ID.Entity’ is a fantastic album of a band that kind of re-started after a period of darkness and grief. Riverside in 2023 is as strong as in the early days and put their sound on a next level. The quartet proves that progressive music isn’t only about the capabilities of musicians. It’s about how to us this savvy for writing and performing excellent songs. Riverside are masters in this craft, making their newest longplayer to a real highlight.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

Tracklist:

  1. Friend or Foe?
  2. Landmine Blast
  3. Big Tech Brother
  4. Post-Truth
  5. The Place Where I Belong
  6. I’m Done With You
  7. Self-Aware

Label: Inside Out Music

Genre: Progressive Metal

Release Date EU: January 20th, 2023

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