CD Title: Love, Fear and the Time Machine
Label: InsideOut Records (2015)
Rating: Great Stuff 4/5
Polandís Riverside came together in 2001 after a chance listening to some early Marillion. This is their sixth studio album and not surprisingly bears some uncanny resemblances to Hogarth era Marillion. Sometimes classified as a Prog Metal band this quartet is anything but that. These ten compositions ranging in length from three minutes to eight minutes deliver some stirring melodies and solid proggy riffs. The albumís opener ďLostĒ [5:52] is a spectacular piece which displays an absolutely hummable chorus line, Celtic influences and some solid guitar crunch. If an albumís opening track is supposed to capture your attention for the rest of the album, I was totally captured! The music on Love, Fear and the Time Machine, far from being heavy is more atmospheric, itís melodic, itís hooky, its plain delicious. All the right elements are in play; not only the vocals and guitars but the keyboards and rhythm sections as well, coming at just the right time with just the right intensity. The music of Riverside tends to convey a certain sense of melancholy that is most evident in the vocals which makes the music seem more serious or introspective. All the proggy elements are on display: changes in time and tempo, shifting song structures, layered arrangements and so forth making the music interesting given its ever changing nature. And yet throughout this Riverside are very adept at clinging to solid melodies that make the music memorable as opposed to just a series of notes played together. These are nice complicated little songs that have resilience. I will say Iíve never need a BIG Riverside fanÖup until now. This release has won me over and if like me youíve not paid much attention to the band itís time to change that. I highly recommended you check them out.