(9/10) Riverside's newest album is a special one - from all perspectives. The Polish prog masters went through a very difficult year. It was in February 2016 when the band was all of a sudden confronted with the loss of their guitarist and founding member Piotr Grudziński. Such a tragic moment turns the world upside down and Riverside was thinking about the bands future and if it would make sense to go ahead without their beloved friend and band mate.
A few weeks ago Riverside announced that they will continue with the band and they will do it as a trio. This is good news for prog rock fans and it might help the band to get over the tragic loss.
Next to all this, Riverside released a new album that comes with 13 songs, spread out over two CD's. "Eye of the Soundscape" is an instrumental release, which was planned from the beginning as one being slightly different from the other Riverside outputs. A secondly it's the last album where fans can listen to the great guitar of Piotr Grudziński.
The songs on this new record have been written over the last years and some ended up as bonus material already earlier. And since they are really good ones, Riverside decided to put them all on this album.
"Eye of the Soundscape" is progressive, but it's at the same time less rock and for sure less metal. This longplayer builds on electronic sounds that sometimes reminded me of bands like Kraftwerk, revolutionists at their time and influential to this day. Therefore the title describes the sound very well since there are a lot of big soundscapes and the listener feels like sitting in the middle of them. There is a lot to explorer in each of the tunes, even in the 10 minutes and longer ones on the first CD.
The joy of this unorthodox album is the musical width that's included. Electronica, rock, prog and ambient fuse to soundscapes that are outstanding.
Again, it might be that you have to give this album some time since it reveals its beauty along the way. But as soon as you're pulled into it you can't let loose anymore.
To what extent this new release will act, as a transformation into a new Riverside sound is something future will tell. However, "Eye of the Soundscape" is an interesting release from all viewpoints, done by a band that dared to do a bold step in a situation that nobody should ever run into.
- Where The River Flows
- Rapid Eye Movement (2016 Mix)
- Night Session – Part One
- Night Session – Part Two
- Rainbow Trip (2016 Mix)
- Eye Of The Soundscape
Label: InsideOut Music
Genre: Prog Rock
Release Date EU: October 21st, 2016