Riverside — Rapid Eye Movement
(Inside Out Music IOMCD-283, 2007, CD)
by Paul Hightower, Published 2008-01-01
Riverside's new one consolidates their position at the forefront of Polish prog bands and convincingly encapsulates what makes this quartet so effective, with few of the hamstrings that can weigh down modern prog metal. Rapid Eye Movement finishes off the "Reality Dream" trilogy, which won't win any award for conceptual originality, plus I find Mariusz Duda's lyrics functional at best, though this doesn't stand in the way of what this collection has to offer. He may not have much to say, but it's how he says it that makes Duda's vocals work, mixing raw-throated, and visceral power with plaintive fragility. At times, as on "Rainbow Box," the band sounds like Steven Wilson fronting Dream Theatre, though I find the prog metal side of Riverside the least interesting. They're capable of much more than crunchy riffing and speedy unisons and this is where the band excels. For the most part, the album tips into the realm of modern prog with an edge pioneered by Porcupine Tree and Tool. The band are playing at their best with nice power trio work from Duda, guitarist Piotr Grudzinski, and drummer Piotr Kozieradzki. Michal Lapaj's keyboards are largely atmospheric, and put to good effect on songs like "Schizophrenic Prayer." Occasionally the music even slips into acoustics, as seen on "Through the Other Side" and "Embryonic," which reveals a side of the band that could stand a lot more exposure. With this album cycle put to rest I'll be very interested to see where Riverside goes from here.
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more