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Review: Riverside - Out of Myself
Out of Myself

Label: Laser's Edge
Year released: 2003
Duration: 53:18
Tracks: 9
Genre: Progressive Metal


Review online: March 15, 2010
Reviewed by: Bruce Dragonchaser
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Rated 4.38/5 (87.59%) (29 Votes)

One of the most talked about names in the field, Polish proggers Riverside produced a rare thing of beauty with their 2003 debut, and despite ratcheting up the aggression and heaviness on subsequent releases, the band's gentle first outing remains their strongest and most evocative to date.

There is a huge possibility that you've never heard anything quite like this, but will recognize its well of influence, which flows nicely through both the Progressive Rock and Metal spheres, unearthing elements from Pain Of Salvation, Porcupine Tree, Opeth, and Pink Floyd, pouring them through a dark funnel of atmosphere so thick you can breathe it in. Riverside aren't an easily understood outfit; it takes a lot of acclimatizing with them to understand just what they are doing. Their music is incredibly rich and varied, challenging and inventive. The sheer level of brilliance on tracks such as the brooding, slow-burning opener "The Same River" is an immensity to fathom, never mind the complex instrumentation of the rousing "Reality Dream" or the jazz-esque cool of "Ok".

Vocalist/bassist Mariusz Duda has a chameleonic voice that can be clean and tender (as on the beautiful "I Believe"), or acidic and harsh, as demonstrated during the title track's angry refrain. Duda is the star here, without question, but his emotional manifestos aren't the only draw; the keyboard work is especially arresting, being both melancholic and grand without vanishing into gothic territory, and the guitars (particularly at the beginning of the album) are very paranoid sounding, conjuring images of walking down a back alley at night, a place where even the shadows have shadows.

Out of Myself is a very dark album, one that takes a lot of listens to appreciate. But it lives up to the hype as an essential release in the prog catalogue, and unlike the albums that followed, you can dive deep into its atmosphere without fully resurfacing.

More about Riverside...
Review: Rapid Eye Movement (reviewed by Bruce Dragonchaser)
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