RIVERSIDE – Memories In My Head [EP] (2011)
“What a great debut” said hundreds of people around the world in 2003, when the first Riverside record came out.
This progressive rock band from Warsaw, Poland was founded in 2001 by friends Mariusz Duda, Piotr Grudziński, Piotr Kozieradzki and Jacek Melnicki, who shared a love for classic progg acts.
Since then, they have released a series of both critical and public acclaimed albums that can be described as a stylistic blend of atmospheric rock and neo-prog elements, resulting in a sound similar to Pink Floyd, Porcupine Tree and the very first Marillion.
On the last album, the band’s sound has morphed into a more commercial prog-metal style.
For their 10th birthday the band have prepared a special release which will be available during the forthcoming tour.
The EP entitled “Memories In My Head” will be a pleasant surprise for those who have missed the specific kind of melodies and space known from the band’s early releases. Riverside consciously gone back to their beginnings to create a certain kind of a circle.
This mini-album contains three long compositions resembling those from their first two albums.
The result is a quite interesting, spacious, film-soundtrackish, nostalgic, and most of all rock mixture, summing up the band career’s first decade quite well.
Riverside makes dynamic and alternating progressive rock with one key element: Emotion.
From mellow and melancholical climates (wonderful vocals) to the compelling Gilmourian-drenched prog rock atmospheres, each track is so diversified and has so many tempo and mood changes and technical highlights, that this seems a full length album than an EP.
The colouring of the compositions with the keyboards is amazing, so tasteful and varied, from tender piano and soaring strings to sumptuous organ floods and some spectacular synthesizer sounds.
Vocals are more Porcupine Tree’s Steve Wilson-esque than anyone else, are dreamlike and impossible not to appreciate. Mariusz Duda even dips into the Hogarth (Marillion) vocal style, without the gimmicks.
The bass is very deep, played and mixed pretty separated with a distinctive sound (a real Bass-Guitar), and drums are elaborated and complex, especially the cymbals patterns. Both instruments are essential part of the band’s sound.
Pink Floyd was probably the most evident influence of Riverside, since the whole EP have that space rock feeling, that gloomy and quiet desperation that Floyd translated so well in their music, with moody / spacy keyboards and guitar melodies filled with emotion and feeling.
Riverside offer pristine art of the very highest caliber here, a must have for every serious progg fan out there.
The concerts at which it will be possible to buy this minialbum and hear the new songs live will begin on 5th of May in Prague (CZ) and finish on 29th of May in Warsaw (PL).
1. Goodbye Sweet Innocence 10:40
2. Living In The Past 11:59
3. Forgotten Land 09:57
Mariusz Duda – vocal, bass, acoustic guitar
Piotr Grudzinski – guitars
Piotr Kozieradzki – drums
Michal Lapaj – keyboards, hammond organs, theremin