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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unsung but brilliant
Riverside

Best yet? I love this band. The Polish Progsters tick all the right boxes and everything from King Crimson, ELP, Yes, Pink Floyd etc, etc can be seen as influences here. So the danger is obviously that Riverside may be seen as derivative and offer nothing new. Wrong! Just as the old style prog groups drew on classical influences and brought them up to...
Published on 4 July 2009 by Big Jim

versus
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Riverside stops flowing
Riverside are well known in the progressive rock and metal industry for their Floydy textures and crunching arrangements, but most will be surprised by the band's latest album "Anno Domini High Definition" which has taken a slightly heavier twist.

You would be forgiven for thinking that the Polish band would have adopted many ideas from their contemporaries...
Published on 26 Feb 2010 by D. Boyles


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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unsung but brilliant, 4 July 2009
By 
Big Jim "Big Jim" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Anno Domini High Definition (CD+DVD) (Audio CD)
Riverside

Best yet? I love this band. The Polish Progsters tick all the right boxes and everything from King Crimson, ELP, Yes, Pink Floyd etc, etc can be seen as influences here. So the danger is obviously that Riverside may be seen as derivative and offer nothing new. Wrong! Just as the old style prog groups drew on classical influences and brought them up to date, Riverside do the same with old time prog and then some. I know they are likely to get lumped in with Dream Theater and Porcupine Tree but these two groups are just the better known end of this genre and Riverside do many things differently and dare I say it better. I don't know if it's a deliberate ploy but this album's 5 tracks, get successively longer as the album progresses and each track tends to start quietly and finish with everything including the kitchen sink being thrown at it. This is an old trick but is used to great effect here and there is so much going on that the album rewards repeated listens
BTW, this album has been available at a well known record store (think dogs and loudspeakers) for a couple of weeks.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Technical progressive: Anno Domini, 27 Aug 2009
By 
Many reviewers tend to compare Riverside to bands such as Pink Floyd and Porcupine Tree, this, to my humble opinion, is not a very accurate comparison. Riverside, on this album at least, has more similarities to Symphony X and especially Dream Theater, a band whom they thank in their 'Thank you-note'. In other words, if you like bands such as Pink Floyd and Porcupine Tree, you might not automatically like this album. On the other hand, if you bands like Symphony X and Dream Theater you really should give this a try.

Anno Domini is a heavy, metal influenced listen. The rhythms are challenging, the melody lines complexly crafted: different musical sections interweave, spin out and return later in the song with the vocal section as its guiding line. This is not music to be easily put up as back ground music, 44 minutes, 44 seconds and 'only' 5 tracks should give a clue to the average length and complexity of the songs.

1) Hyperactive: is the shortest track on the album with 'just' 5 minutes and 40 odd seconds. It is a great song, with a raw aggressive tone and it is a good introduction to the rest of the album.
2) Driven to Destruction: is a long song with and interesting brass section in it. I wasn't expecting this so I was surprised but it must be said that Riverside make it work, it adds a nice touch to a great song and it adds to the progressive genre.
3) Egoist Hedonist: a song that apparently consists of three parts. Somehow I found the lyrics a bit lacking and the three parts do not come across as 'seperate' sections, they seem to form one consistend whole with not variation on its musical theme - at least not unlike the other songs on this album -, but at this point I'm nitpicking. Riverside are a talented band and this song is still a haunting tale, with a strong keyboard driven line.
4) Left Out: starts out as a relatively 'mellow' song, but with enough tension and surprises - such as a Hammond Organ - to make it work brilliantly.
5)Hybrid Times: the last song on the album, and like Hyperactive was a great opener, Hybrid Times is a great closer. The shouting segments I found oddly distracting in this song. On a whole it is very comparable to Hyperactive.

All in all a great album from a talented band, recommended if you like metal influenced and/or just a tad more complex progressive music.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent, 9 July 2009
This review is from: Anno Domini High Definition (CD+DVD) (Audio CD)
Either Prog is getting more metal (Pendragon Pure), or metal is getting more Prog (Opeth)

Either way, this offerring by Riverside sits firmly in the middle of both camps.

This is not an album to draw conclusions from on first listen. For a start the first track is on first listening extremely heavy, and may well set a tone in the listeners ear that will either put them right off or create the wrong expectation for the rest of the album.

However, back to track 1 later.

It is also true to say that if you approach this album expecting a Floyd album, then think again. Floyd influenced yes, but not a floyd album by any means.

If you have not already listened to this album, for a more realistic appraisal I'd recommend starting with track 3, them 4, then 5, then 2, the back to 1.

After listening to the entire album about four times now I feel I can review it with more of a general overview.

To me it is closer to Opeth / Porcupine Tree / Pink Floyd than Dream Theater.

By Floydish I mean "Animals" period floyd. The keyboards are very floydy (organs / piercing synths / trancy sounds)

The guitar work reminds me of floyd influenced Opeth mixed in with Metal (complete with squeaky acoustic).

The drum and bass sound is deep as the deepest ocean and utterly brilliant.

Musically it's tinged with Eastern sounding scales, with very proggy influences, and a LOT of metal sounding riffing, but not exclusively so. Think Careful With That Axe Eugene, but metal style explosions.

Vocally it sounds a bit like Proc Tree, and the singer sounds like he has been getting English elocution lessons from Sophie Ellis Bexter.

In short, don't be put off by that first track. On 4th listening, although metal, it is very prog.

My one criticism is that it feels like track 6 is missing.

Brilliant. More please.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Makes you go "Ooooooo!", 18 July 2009
By 
Big Red - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Anno Domini High Definition (CD+DVD) (Audio CD)
For those new to Riverside, they're a Polish progressive rock band with mostly laid-back Pink Floyd-like influences. They get heavy when they need to, pick the best moment to chill, even freak out sometimes; the timing is impeccable and everything flows brilliantly. They also really know how to use electronica well.

Their main strength is to hook you with repeated rhythms and melodies, and then suddenly go somewhere different which makes you go "Oooooo!" Once familiar with the music, I find myself thinking "yes, here it comes, coming up now... ooooooo". Words can't describe how good this band is. Like other reviewers I prefer them to Dream Theater and Porcupine Tree but to be fair they are different even if they get lumped in to that category.

You'll have to make up your own mind regarding singer Mariusz Duda. Some say he has an obvious Polish accent, some say he sounds English. Whichever, he fits in very well with the music, being able to sing well at all volumes. I think he sings with a slight accent but that in no way detracts.

ADHD is their fourth album. I didn't want to rush in to a review as Riverside albums take a while to sink in, so I've left it a couple of weeks and many many listens. Compared to the first three CDs this sounds like an EP of left-over songs which don't contribute to a greater whole. It's only 45 minutes and like another reviewer it feels like there should be one more track. It's certainly not as good as the mental-illness trilogy of the first three albums.

To me it sounds as if they decided to re-invent themselves and then half-way through decided against it. After some half-hearted attempts at metal and thrash on the first couple of tracks, the CD settles down to what we fans have grown used to. The opening track is a low point for the band; apart from the piano intro which starts the CD off well, it is mostly below their standard. But ADHD is still brilliant, it's still all prog, and it still deserves five stars.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Riverside stops flowing, 26 Feb 2010
By 
D. Boyles "danjamboy" (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Riverside are well known in the progressive rock and metal industry for their Floydy textures and crunching arrangements, but most will be surprised by the band's latest album "Anno Domini High Definition" which has taken a slightly heavier twist.

You would be forgiven for thinking that the Polish band would have adopted many ideas from their contemporaries Porcupine Tree, Opeth and Dream Theatre, but they have built on the classic "Rapid Eye Movement" and "Lunatic Soul" to form a very coherent and recognisable sound.

The album opens with the scorching "Hyperactive", the shortest piece on the album, with a simple piano introduction and quickly builds to a crescendo of keyboards and guitars. Immediately, the drums are more noticeable than on previous releases and help drive the music forward through changing time signatures and lighter and darker passages.
For me the second track "Driven to Distraction" is a little repetitive, however "Egoist Hedonist" follows up with some of the best moments of the album, diving and rising with some amazing drumming and guitar work.

"Left Out" could have been brilliant and initially it is. The opening guitar and vocals followed by a beautiful, yet slightly predictable, guitar solo are soothing and offer some respite from the heavier first half of the album. Indeed, this is the more recognisable Riverside sound. But after building up with the recurring melody for the first 6 minutes of the 11 minute song, it all dies down and the song doesn't seem to know where to go. You are made to feel there is something huge coming at the end, but it never arrives and the following song "Hybrid Times", all 12 minutes of it, does nothing to restore the fact that this album could have been so much better than it is.

I honestly think that a lot of people will be turned off by the heavier aspects of this album, although it is hard to deny that the production is simply superb compared to that of their previous releases.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than Floyd or Porcupine Tree, 26 Jun 2009
This review is from: Anno Domini High Definition (CD+DVD) (Audio CD)
You can see what I think of it from the title. This is not a great progression from Riverside just a slight one, it is slightly heavier but their music has always had that heavy touch. The keyboards sound great and the guitarist comes up with some wonderful touches but it is the quality of the composition that really does it for me.

All the titles are wonderful but the best is saved for the last two tracks, they are amazing. The more you listen to this album the more you'll want to play it.

What do they sound like, well maybe you could say they are a heavy Pink Floyd with lots of originality. As good as Porcupine Tree if not better but listen with an open mind they are moving forward and like real progressive music, changing. So if your stuck in 1979 you may find this album hard to get into.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A new direction. And a pretty good one..., 27 July 2009
By 
Per Lundberg "Perperov" (TYRESÖ, Sthlm Sweden) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Anno Domini High Definition (CD+DVD) (Audio CD)
I first heard Riverside in 2005 (ie via the "Second Life Syndrome" CD). I've bought most of their stuff since then, and finally saw them live in Stockholm at Kägelbanan in 2008.

I really enjoy their older stuff, but my first reaction to the latest CD wasn't a positive one. Too much jazz rock, too chaotic, I thought... After a few more listenings to "ADHD", though, I've come to really enjoy their new musical direction and sound. 'Hyperactive' and 'Hybrid Times' are two stand out tracks in my opinion, and I like what they've done with the rhythm section (the drumming is more to the front here and so on).

The live gig on CD 2 is perhaps a bit short, but a very nice "bonus" experience!

The discussion about Porcupine Tree vs Riverside is not that important to me, since I enjoy both bands - perhaps from two different (musical) points of view - and I make no further connections between the two. OK, they're both regarded as Prog, but so is IQ (and I'm a fan of their new CD "Frequency" as well), and finally it probably just boils down to questions of personal taste and opinion as to why one likes this group more than that group etc etc...

I'm happy over the fact that, finally!, there are so many good groups out there for us Prog heads to enjoy!!! :)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Riverside - Anno Domini High Definition, 16 Jun 2012
By 
Gentlegiantprog "Kingcrimsonprog" (England) - See all my reviews
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Anno Domini High Definition is the fourth full-length studio album by the Polish Progressive Metal band Riverside. It was released in 2009 and is their first full length-album that isn't part of the conceptual series `Reality Dream.' The album consists of five tracks, arranged from shortest to longest, beginning with a five-minute track and ending on an almost twelve-minute one. It went gold in Poland and was surrounded by a considerable hype and expectation around the time of its release.

The album moves a little outside the band's established sound (even the style of artwork is a different from the band's established tradition) and the music is a little funkier, more bass driven and a little more Deep Purple influenced than any of their other releases. There is less of a focus on texture and more of a focus on musicianship. The songs are still slow building, proggy and diverse in a way, but this is a notably different way than on their earlier albums.

The fourth track `Left Out' for example is a slow and brooding key driven song that brings to mind Led Zeppelin's `No Quarter' as much as it does the softer sides of Camel, Pink Floyd, Opeth and the likes at the beginning at least, until of course it kicks into a metal section at the four minute mark, but then again even that is overlaid with Deep Purple sounding keys. By the nine-minute mark the songs sounds equal parts Tool and Dream Theater, while also having a sort of Pink Floyd's `One Of These Days' or `Sheep' feel to it. These sonic references are only loosely reminiscent though, not actual sound-alikes. All the music sounds like Riverside to one degree or another, which is part of the album's strength.

It is difficult to really pick a favourite song or album highlight when you consider that there are only five songs and they are all great and that they are paradoxically similar in their diversity. They all mix metal moments with prog sounds, are instrumentally impressive, cover a lot of different moods each and all feature the same vocal style. Some tracks add Saxophone or Theremin and some feature less vocals than the others, but everything is of the same high quality, with about the same level of immediacy and about the same level of experimentation.

Everyone's personal opinion is different though, and of course each and every one of them is as valid as the next. Some fans who liked the band since their early days feel that the record is too much of a departure from their established sound and some people who came to the band for the first time with this album also believe that it doesn't live up to the hype. Personally, I like the album an awful lot.

Overall, Anno Domini High Definition is a superb album of diverse and musically impressive material that keeps me interested from beginning to end and I would strongly recommend it if you usually like this sort of thing.

*** If you can get it for a similar price, try and get the version which comes with the Live In Amsterdam 2008 DVD.

This is a professionally filmed 40-minute show consisting of seven tracks from the band's earlier works. The tracklisting is: 1. Volte-Face 2. I Turned You Down 3. Reality Dream III 4. Beyond The Eyelids 5. Conceiving You 6. Ultimate Trip (shortened) 7. O2 Panic Room .

They band are tight, focused and play on a good stage production (lights, camera movement and screens) to small but very an appreciative audience. It's a very enjoyable extra, especially if you are a new fan. ***
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Riverside for Progressive Nation 2010!!!, 5 Jun 2010
By 
James Murphy "Student" (England) - See all my reviews
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It saddens me to see all of these 2 star reviews from people who claim to have been Riverside fans from the beginning. I sincerely hope it's just because they havn't given the CD sufficient listenings and have passed a premature judgement. People exclaim "where are the Floyd influences of old?", and sitting here listenting to Egoist Hedonist right now I wonder how they even came to imagine that this album lacks old style prog influences. The album is littered with slower and complex passages, as well as a good use of the e-bow in certain bits. One of the best things about this album are the harmonies between guitar and keyboard- these parts seem to soar and uplift your mind. The use of synth in and of itself is exceptional as well, with some brilliant and unexpected patches/instrumentation coming through as well as solos that seem to scream and wail. The CD also showcases the lighter side of Riverside well with "Left Out" especially, although admittedly this side is not seen as much on this album as on previous offerings, but I would argue that this doesn't detract from their skill nor the album's brilliance. So in short, an awesome album by a brilliant band that flows extremely well (better than the previous 3 concept albums imo), invokes a wide range of emotions and really captures the essence of modern prog- that being neither too heavy an emphasis on metal nor the pretentious prog of old. Hope this helps!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best album yet, 10 Aug 2009
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This review is from: Anno Domini High Definition (CD+DVD) (Audio CD)
Despite Riverside's brilliant past, this is, in my opinion, their best album so far.

They have become heavier and more urgent and the music is more spontanious and suprising.

Influences are still clear but the quality of the music here speaks for itself.

I understand why some fans are disappointed at the change in sound but i think they have opened the door to a much larger fan base with this superb album.

Highly recommended to all prog fans. And fans of Tool!
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Anno Domini High Definition (CD+DVD)
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