Riverside – Rapid Eye Movement

By Mike Maher 

Rapid Eye Movement is the third full-length release from Polish prog-metallers Riverside.  The band’s previous two releases, Out of Myself and Second Life Syndrome were critically acclaimed and have given the band a strong following.  Rapid Eye Movement shows us that the band has continued to develop their progressive metal sound, supported by bassist Mariusz Duda’s vocals.  Duda’s voice comes across as searching and lost at times yet hopeful at others.

Rapid Eye Movement features 9 tracks and does not disappoint.  The opening track, “Beyond the Eyelids,” is melodic and heavy, and Duda sounds great.  The music is haunting and mysterious and I can’t help but like it.  It’s so unusual that I cannot think of another band with a similar sound right off the top of my head.  These guys are great musicians, and the guitars do a superb job of highlighting the mood.  I think that vocals are almost an afterthought for these songs, because they could easily be instrumental songs that would keep the listeners attention.  “Rainbow Box” is the one song on the album that I didn’t like too much and I don’t really know why.  I just want to skip over it all the time.  “02 Panic Room” was the band’s first single and this song is my favorite track.  The keyboard sequences are great and flow perfectly with the guitar riffs.  “Schizophrenic Prayer” has some odd vocal effects like someone panting, but the strong rhythms make this another standout track.  “Through the Other Side” and “Embryonic” are both slow tracks with more great singing by Duda, but they also feature an awesome acoustic guitar sound.  “Cybernetic Pillow” has some great solos and “Ultimate Trip” is a 13 minute long, keyboard filled monster of a song that showcases what this band is all about.  I want to highlight the playing by Piotr Grudzinski; I just love this guy’s style and the unobtrusiveness of the guitar in the song.  It just gels into the rhythm sections so well!

Fans of heavier prog rock and prog metal will like this album.  If you haven’t checked this band out yet, I encourage you to do so.  If you are familiar with them, you probably already have bought this album and you don’t need me to tell you how good it is.

For sound clips and for more information go to: http://www.riverside.art.pl/eng/main.html