Dario | Nov 22, 2023 | 0
Riverside – ID.Entity
Riverside from Poland have been around for over 20 years. Although they are not a household name, they are known and respected by many. They describe their music as “too heavy for art-rock and too delicate for progressive metal.” So, they have stamped out their own style and identity in the world of progressive rock.
In 2016 tragedy struck when their guitarist Piotr Grudziński, died. It wasn’t until 2020 that a new guitarist, Maciej Meller was recruited. Three years later they have released the first album featuring him as an official band member, entitled “ID.Entity.”
Although I have not had much experience of Riverside, I have always regarded them as a class act. With that in mind, this new release piqued my interest. It is a little mellower than my preferred listening, but a band of this calibre deserves the respect that they enjoy.
As you can probably deduce, the loose concept within the album relates to identity, primarily that of the band itself. Opening track ‘Friend or Foe?’ is obviously asking a question about who someone really is. For a song with slightly sinister lyrics, it has an upbeat pop rock feel to it. This doesn’t come over as correspondingly sinister. Never fear though, the presence of heavy chords signal that it is definitely a rock number.
Riverside – “Friend or Foe? (click here if the video does not play)
Moving more to the progressive rock style, and slightly staccato in style, ‘Landmine Blast’ discusses the downside of social media. The negative aspects that pitch people against one another. This is something predicted by David Bowie back in 1999 when the internet was in its infancy. This is further explored in ‘Big Tech Brother’ which starts with a spoken message inviting you to agree to terms and conditions. This is done in a tongue in cheek fashion and the track launches into a heavy jazzy introduction. The song continues in a most agreeable manner, alternating between quiet and heavy sections.
It is becoming increasingly difficult to believe a lot of things on the internet. This is the subject matter in ‘Post-Truth’ as it powers through heavy and at times angry, sections. A guitar solo and a closing piano piece serve to calm things somewhat. There are hints of Rush within the composition of this track.
A progressive rock album wouldn’t be complete without a nice long track. This comes in the form of ‘The Place Where I belong.’ At over thirteen minutes long, it takes you through a musical journey of multiple moods and styles. Mariusz Duda’s vocals are crystal clear, and you can make out every word. Lyrically it describes the doubt and mistrust in social media that has inevitably crept in. The way that the algorithms mine our information and try to monetise it is particularly worrying.
Personally, I use Facebook less than I used to and I’ve never subscribed to any of the other platforms. ‘I’m Done with You’ captures the objection to the invasion of privacy. This may lead some people to conclude that it is wiser to reject social media altogether. The vexation is expressed with heavily fuzzed guitars and occasional angry (but clean) vocals.
Riverside – I’m Done with You (click here if the video does not play)
Another long track guides us to the end of the album. ‘Self-Aware’ explores the fact that once you have something, you can’t really do entirely without it. This includes the internet and social media to some extent. The retro sound of this track is kind of indicative of this fact. There’s a reggae Police style section and then it chugs along with atmospheric keyboards gently easing you to the end.
Riverside – Self-Aware (click here if the video does not play)
This marks a new chapter for Riverside, and I’m sure fans will welcome this after a five-year absence. The new guitarist seems to have fitted in well, so onward they go. Here’s hoping that this new lease of life continues, and we see more excellent releases from these guys.
- Friend or Foe?
- Landmine Blast
- Big Tech Brother
- The Place Where I Belong
- I’m Done with You