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Riverside - Shrine Of New Generation Slaves CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

4.07 | 959 ratings

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Second Life Syndrome
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Much has been said about this album, so I won't waste anyone's time with more raving about each track. However, I do want to mention my perspective on this album. Riverside has proven once again that they are in world all their own: they do what they want. It's as simple as that.

"Shrine of New Generation Slaves" is a perfect example of this fact. SONGS has been correctly described as being somewhere between the Reality Dream trilogy and ADHD. Yet, I cannot shake the feeling that Mariusz Duda's solo project, Lunatic Soul, has influenced this new album immensely. Whether it be the spacey xylophone, the slow moody segments, or the signature song structures; Lunatic Soul is found throughout the album. In fact, the bonus disc Night Sessions tracks (excellent editions, by the way) seem like they are straight off of Lunatic Soul's "Impressions". While some may complain about this, I welcome it immensely. It seems that Riverside is becoming slightly more eclectic, less metallic (why are they listed under progressive metal?), and even more original.

As to the musicianship, SONGS delivers. Duda wows with his vocals and especially with his intense and intricate bass lines. The keyboards also really shine on this album as they range from a 70's texture to piano passages to more neo-prog styles. As usual, the guitar work is also phenomenal, and this is just as varied as the keyboards. I've never heard Piotr perform such soulful solos as on SONGS. Lastly, the drums are well done (I was very impressed in a few spots), but I still would love to see them taken up a notch or two.

Finally, I think my favorite thing about this album is the theme. Themes and lyrics are very important to me, and Duda really outdid himself here. The theme of new age slaves is riveting as we see first world citizens that are chained mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. Slaves to religion, to broken relationships, to materialism, and to other issues are all emotionally explored. This album is nothing short of powerful. "We never talk when we fall apart"...

Currently, I would have to say my favorite tracks are "The Depth of Self-Delusion", "We Got Used to Us", "Deprived", and the epic "Escalator Shrine". Yet, I know this will shift as I discover this album more and more. Overall, Riverside has delivered a game changer once again, and I encourage everyone to join the ride.

Second Life Syndrome | 5/5 |


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