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Riverside - Voices In My Head CD (album) cover

VOICES IN MY HEAD

Riverside

 

Progressive Metal

3.59 | 210 ratings

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ergaster
3 stars 3.5/5

The second Riverside release, Voices in My Head, was offered as a sort of placeholder for the fans, after the excitement of the first album and while they waited for the next. It is brief, as befits an EP, presenting five new tracks and three live performances of songs from Out of Myself. It showcases the gentle, acoustic side of the band, and is notable for being the first studio appearance of their new keyboard player Michał Łapaj, who had taken over from Jacek Melnicki.

The new tracks on Voices in My Head are all ballads save one (which is exceptional in more than this), essentially acoustic and electric guitar, keyboards, and Duda's lovely voice. The three live tracks were taken from a show played in Warsaw in 2004, and maybe can be regarded as a road-test to see how well Łapaj was going to fit in.

Overall the EP is pleasant, the tracks short, beautiful, acoustic guitar and piano; but too many ballads in a row leads one to perhaps forget that this is (theoretically) a Riverside release and not a Mariusz Duda solo effort with guests. Still, these songs arrow straight for the heart, taking full advantage of the delicately intimate side of Duda's voice and lyrics, silky and yearning. "The Time I was Daydreaming" and "Acronym Love" (which would re-emerge a decade later as a somewhat re-worked live showstopper) are the best songs along that line.

And then...the remarkable "Dna Ts. Rednum Or F. Raf", with its too-clever-by-half backward title, charges headlong into the middle of this otherwise rather sedate set: a rocking, chugging track with a rumbling bassline and compelling hypnotic rhythm (no live drums, but drum machine), it thunders along powerful and unique, and remains one of the outstanding tracks in the entire Riverside canon. I don't know if it ever got played live, but it might be worth seeing -- this track at full bore has roof-raising potential.

Overall, Voices in My Head lacks the stylistic variety and signature sound associated with Riverside as a band; it seems more a Duda/Łapaj effort, with some Grudziński thrown in. I tend to sample this EP rather than listen to it through: "Dna Ts. Rednum Or F. Raf" has become a staple, and a couple of other tracks get play depending on mood. I think what we have is what it was intended to be: a collection of extra tracks assembled to help fans endure the wait between albums. It certainly does not have the status or quality of the band's other EP.

ergaster | 3/5 |

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