Riverside | Love, Fear And The Time Machine | Limited Edition 2 CD
Label: InsideOut Music
Release Year: 2015
Genre: Progressive Rock
Mariusz Duda – Vocals, Bass Guitar, Acoustic Guitar
Piotr Grudziński – Guitars
Piotr Kozieradzki – Drums
Michał Łapaj – Keyboards
When you talk about stronghold regions for progressive rock certain countries come to mind. You have the United Kingdom, the birthplace of progressive rock, Germany with the minimalist style of Krautrock and even the more hard rock based progressive rock from North America. However over the last 15 years Poland has set itself up quite well as a modern strong hold for progressive rock. The band that has held the banner and standard in this leading the way has been Riverside.
With seven studio albums and two live releases, Riverside have positioned themselves as a force to be reckoned with in the progressive rock and metal communities. This has strengthen the bands resolve especially with its newest offering Love, Fear And The Time Machine courtesy Inside Out Music in 2015. In this review I will be covering the limited edition 2 CD release. CD 1 being the actual Love, Fear And The Time Machine album and CD 2 being a total offering of strictly instrumentals.
Lost (Why Should I Be Frightened By A Hat ?) opens up with a ambient atmospheric vibe combining a ambient progressive instrumental with ambient style vocals. There are some minimalist elements with thick rhythms before the keyboard kicks in like neo prog and guitars take off with a heavy dark progression. The vocals are very dark yet illuminating. Mariusz Duda gets partially Floydian in his vocal.
Under The Pillow begins with a great semi electric guitar passage before Duda’a vocals kick in. Once again the band are playing with various layers and atmospheres. Once again they invite neo progressive keyboard passages with deep rhythm layers. Piotr Kozieradzki – drums and Mariusz Duda sound tighter than they ever have with the rhythm progressions. Piotr Grudziński – guitars, adds a beautiful layer with a guitar solo in the middle. The track contains a nice break that incorporates a nice bass solo.
#Addicted comes in with some heavy bass work followed by great rhythm guitar and deep drums. The drum work is less percussive and more instrumental. About the 1:28 mark there is some good backing vocal work. #Addicted is one of the heavier rhythmic tracks on the album with great atmospheric effects on the keyboard. Lyrically the song talks about the end result to addiction. Closing this track is a great guitar passage as a accent.
Caterpillar And The Barbed Wire starts with a seriously deep rhythm section passage. The deep heavy rhythms are likened to Yes’ Roundabout. The heavy rhythm section definitely carries the entire track. There are some great snare and cymbal combinations performed wonderfully by Piotr Kozieradzki. The guitar solo is subtle and creeps in adding more additional layers. You can clearly hear the growth and maturity of the band in Caterpillar And The Barbed Wire.
Saturate Me opens with a odd rhythm progression. This is followed by a series of dark and twisted time signatures going in and out trading off between the rhythm section and stringed section. About the 2:00 mark there are some lush vocals with good echoes for effects. It is as if the vocals are in a vacum somewhere bouncing off a very acoustic friendly warehouse. The keyboard has a ebb and flow of modern keyboard and hammond organ style from porg’s past. The ebb and flow of the keyboard will appeal to both the old school prog purist and modern just introduced to prog rock fan.
Afloat has a profound melancholic opening intro. The acoustic guitar gives it both a stringed and deep rhythm quality about it. Afloat has heavy krautrock minimalist elements while managing to satisfy the prog listener with old school elements in the vein of Camel and Caravan.
Discard Your Fear has a killer hammond/mellotron intro with it like in the vein of the legendary Jon Lord. Soon this is followed by some very intricate time signatures with fluid vocals. At the 3:23 mark there is some nice rhythm breaks with isolated vocal tracking for accent and flavour. Towards the end there some nice drum fills.
Towards The Blue Horizon opens up with some great finger fret work on the acoustic guitar that reminds me a lot of Kansas’ Dust In The Wind. Another highlight to come from this track is the very detailed snare, cymbal, tom tom work by Piotr Kozieradzki giving this one a very unique sound. The bass also has a very unique sound as if the strings are strummed instead of plucked. Michał Łapaj – Keyboards, really laces old school hammond organ flare in many areas as effects. The vocal melodies are very warm and inviting on the listener as well.
Time Travellers seems like the band have intentionally wanted to open tracks on this album with acoustic vibes and working the listener into the track gently. Time Travellers contains a very heavy folk background both instrumentally and lyrically. On the lyrical end of the spectrum it is a track of looking back and reflection on life. Time Travellers can serve as a great single for the band off the album and is probably the most commercial sounding track Riverside wrote for this album.
Found (The Unexpected Flaw Of Searching) starts with some great finger fret work compounded quite nicely with vocals that are both vocal and instrumental in nature. Once again the band really allows the guitar solo work to stand out. A lot of this track reminds me of 2004’s Pain Of Salvation’s 12:5 which in fact was a total acoustical live set. Found (The Unexpected Flaw Of Searching) has a vibe as if the band did it together live in the studio instead a piece tracking and engineering it on the back end.
Heavenland definitely has a minimalist intro with minimal keyboards and chants. Michał Łapaj – Keyboards really has a heavy atmospheric presence. Heavenland is a track where one can float off and lose themselves in melodic immersion of the senses. The guitar serves like more of a chime effect on this one.
Return has a intro much like a church service that completely has a mood all its own. At the 1:00 mark it appears to be a detuned bass and guitar serving as special effects as the keyboard and slight drum cymbals and beats carry this one. This a heavily ambient based track. Return is a track that the psychedelic listener can identify with as well.
Aether is another ambient offering. It reminds me of early Floyd. Mariusz Duda starts to really establish himself among the best of his peers like John Myung – Dream Theater, Nick Beggs – Steven Wilson, IONA, Lonely Robot, or even Mike LePond – SymphonyX. Aether sees some big bass drum work wonderfully crafted by Piotr Kozieradzki . Riverside fit more notes, effects and passages in the 8:44 time frame than some prog bands do with a 15-20 epic time frame. Aether is certainly a atmospheric jam.
Machines opens up with with heavy krautrock like keyboard atmospheres. The keyboard passages remind me a lot of early Kraftwerk. In Machines the band have manage to manipulate the drum to sound like a electronic drum.
Promise ends the epic limited edition with a great guitar intro. Promise is much like Aether and Machines before it. Riverside have a high experimental quality.
Riverside’s Love, Fear And The Time Machine is a true ambient progressive rock journey full of spirit and emotion. It contains a lot of old school progressive rock elements with a lot of modern sensibility about it. Although not as heavy as their previous works, Love, Fear And The Time Machine still adheres to the darker atmospheres Riverside have come to be known for. I give this a 4/5.
RIVERSIDE – Found (The Unexpected Flaw of Searching) (OFFICIAL VIDEO). Taken from the album “Love, Fear and the Time Machine”. Inside Out Music 2015.