The album is more experimental in ways and contemplates from different angles on the subject of identity. I love the typical Riverside ingredients like Mariusz’ bass and warm vocals and those long-stretched guitar solos, and the production is flawless again as well. So all in all just another high-class progressive album from this sympathetic band that deserves your spinning
The Polish progressive rockers Riverside recently released their eight studio album called ID. Entity. It’s been five years since its predecessor Wasteland, which then was the first album after the sudden passing of co-founder/guitarist Piotr Grudzinsky in 2016. For a while the band came to a halt after that tragedy, and took a lot of time to reflect and decide whether they would continue without their friend and his typical style of playing. It was decided they would go on as a band to keep honouring him through their music. Wasteland was a melancholic album that was written and recorded amidst the mourning process and ID.Entity shows the band is further in that process now, since it turned out less heavy-hearted and more uplifting.
I’m somewhere between a fan and (constant) follower/admirer where it concerns Riverside. Their debut album Out of Myself (2003) immediately pulled me right in with it’s great progressive compositions and most of all the magistral mood full of melancholy. It is still my favourite in their discography, but every release that followed scored at least a 7.5/10 and higher on my scale. This band is not capable of writing bad songs. All members are such class musicians and perfectionists, and they know how to put that into good, clever songwriting, so that every song that comes out is just top notch. All is subjective and a matter of taste of course, and I found myself more fan of their songs that are darker and emotional and more of a follower, and appreciative of the more technical and experimental ones.
And for me ID. Entity fits best in that last category. It’s another fantastic prog album where hardcore Riverside fans can go blind on. I am, and will be playing some songs over and over. Other songs are good but resonate less with me. On this album the band mixes more keys/synths and a 1980’s pop sound in their own typical sound. Opener Friend or Foe? Has a certain A-HA vibe to it and in the first two minutes from Big Tech Brother the sound of trumpets prelude a Sabbath-like riff. Progressive influences from for instance Rush or Camel are always nearby (like in Self-Aware).
It’s songs like I’m Done with You and especially Landmine Blast and The Place where I Belong that exceed the rest for me. Landmine Blast starts off semi-acoustic and then the typical guitar-solo, that we got to recognize since the debut album, comes in. New guitarist Maciej Meller did a great job approaching Piotr Grudzinsky’s distinctive David Gilmore inspired guitar playing. This song could have been written in the early days of the band. I Love it. The Place where I Belong is a thirteen minutes long wonderfully sensitive partly acoustic song.
In conclusion I can say I really like this new album and even love a couple of songs on it as well. The album is more experimental in ways and contemplates from different angles on the subject of identity. I love the typical Riverside ingredients like Mariusz’ bass and warm vocals and those long-stretched guitar solos, and the production is flawless again as well. So all in all just another high-class progressive album from this sympathetic band that deserves your spinning.