RIVERSIDE - Shrine Of New Genration Slaves

Riverside - Shrine Of New Genration Slaves

8 songs
50:55 minutes
***** ****


Riverside from Poland have been firmly established in the international prog rock scene for many years. Their last two albums Rapid Eye Movement and Anno Domini High Definition left already a good impression on me, but their newest effort Shrine Of New Generation Slaves is once again a huge step forward. Maybe that’s due to the fact that they had been working on it for four years.

Actually the album has a rather inconspicuous start with New Generation Slave, which starts quietly with guitar and vocals before offering in its second half traditional prog rock reminding of the early Porcupine Tree. This is followed by The Depth Of Self-Delusion, a mellow piece which is well done and never resorts to kitsch elements. In fact Riverside have worked hard to strip their sound of any metal components. The keyboards have an organ sound that reminds of early Seventies hard rock. The band has also opted for a jazz influence which works really well for them. Especially the twelve minute long Escalator Shrine and the eight minute long Deprived take advantage from that new orientation. There is even a saxophone part which would have been unthinkable in the band’s past. These longer tracks are definitely the centrepieces on the CD. But the remaining material isn’t bad either. The single Celebrity Touch and my favourite song Feel Like Falling never lack suspense and are brimming with refined harmonies. Other prog rock bands may have done similar things, but I do like Riverside’s new direction, and they have a real trump up their sleeve with their magnificent vocalist. Even though the album has turned out quieter than their preceding ones, their fondness for experimentation still makes it a very rewarding listening experience.

Has anyone noticed that the number of words in Riverside’s album titles increases by one per album? I wonder if their next CD will have a six word title. If they can keep up their high quality level, they may very well become one of the hottest progressive bands around.

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