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Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars

VINE VOICEon 3 June 2006
To call this prog metal seems slightly wrong, if it wasn't for the occasional slightly angry vocal delivery this would be considered prog rock, of the Pink Floyd/Porcupine Tree nature. After reading plenty of rave reviews saying how wonderfully creative the band are, how they draw influences from many bands I like (Floyd, Porcupine Tree, Tool, Pain of Salvation) and how good 'Out Of Myself' was, when this album came out I was eager to give it a try. The sheer beauty of the album, and most notably in Markus Duda's wonderful voice, absolutely floored me first time.

The band knows how to balance an album for one thing, the structure is perfect, flowing effortlessly. For those looking for the heavier side of progressive rock, with some metal moments, the thunderous 'Volte-Face' will certainly please. The chorus roars of 'how far is the light?' are executed perfectly and never become over-the-top. 'Still Conceiving You' is a touching piece, Duda's voice is soft and gentle, emphasised by the previous attack of 'Volte-Face'. `Second Life Syndrome' and 'Dance With The Shadow' the two epic pieces in the album, clocking in at 27 minutes when combined, are both absolutely stunning, both contain rich and beautiful melodies mixed perfectly with climatical heavier sections. 'I Turned You Down' is another fine ballad, once again the music is touching but never cliched, something this band can certainly pride themselves on. There are other fine moments I have not mentioned, simply the whole album is good, and these are just my personal highlights.

If you're a fan of progressive music in any form this is for you, the music retains the qualities of old prog but with a modern sound and sometimes a metal edge. Looking forward to their next album.
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on 15 February 2016
Bought Love and Fear album and it was stunning so I thought I would give this a go.Absolutely epic is what this is.Very heavy in parts but well evened out and nice melodic music.More than happy with my purchase
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VINE VOICEon 13 January 2006
This Polish band made quite a splash with their debut album, “Out Of Myself”. This second album follows on thematically from that and seems to be part of a proposed trilogy of linked albums. Now signed to InsideOut, this second album is much heavier and complex than their debut, but none the less impressive.
The title track itself is a sprawling 15 minute epic, where the band use the space to fully explore the style developed on their debut. That is, atmospherically charged contemporary rock with a solid prog metal element to it. On the surface these guys are from a similar stable as Porcupine Tree, RPWL, Opeth and Anathema and will appeal to fans of those bands.
The key instrument is the guitar of Piotr Grudzinski which is sharp and sustained. Singer Mariusz Duda is moody and sad. His bass playing is pretty impressive too, really to the fore on certain tracks. But for me the standout musician is drummer Piotr Kozieradzki. As this music is heavy you would expect the drumming to be pounding, but it’s not. It’s loose, restrained, detailed and thoughtful. Really gives the group an unusual depth to their sound.
Standout tracks are “Volte-Face” which is a real tour-de-force, the aforementioned epic title track with it’s Floydy opening guitar intro and the very catchy “Conceiving You”. Heck, the whole album is impressive!
The superlatives that have been bandied about for their debut and now this second album are very well deserved. This is modern, dynamic rock music of the very best and without doubt Riverside are destined for much bigger things in the future.
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on 4 August 2006
I have had this CD for a few months now, I was impressed with it from the very first listen and time has not changed my opinion. For me, this is probably the best album from any Progressive Band for the last 10 years, the only recent albums that come close are Arena's Peppers Ghost and The Visitor. In a better world where quality music was the measure by which bands were judged this would be destined to become a classic along albums such as DSOTM and Close to the Edge, sadly in these days of commercial pap it will only be enjoyed by a minority. There is not a wasted note or lyric on this album and there are no stand-out tracks - THEY ARE ALL BRILLIANT. This band deserve to make it big...only wish they would play in the UK !
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on 28 March 2007
Riverside are a band that may not appeal to the taste-buds of some heavy metal connoisseurs, as they so aptly fit into the mould of `thinking mans metal'. A number of years back the metal community would have dismissed the suggestion of an up and coming progressive metal band hailing from Poland. We have always envisaged the central focal point of progressive metal to be from Western Europe or the United States, not Eastern Europe.

Riverside has injected an element of freshness into their music, having a very original sound compared to the oversaturated and inert progressive metal market that has developed over recent times.

So what do we get for our money you ask; a band encompassing well-schooled musicians, incredible song writing skills with the aptitude to weave different moods, textures and time-passages into each song. There are of course a few influences from some noteworthy bands like Dream Theater, Pink Floyd, Porcupine Tree, Genesis and Anathema, but overall this is not a detraction from the mood of the album.

The vocals are sung cleanly with Mariusz Duda (vocals/bass) possessing a very graceful and well controlled voice with no hint of an accent, however some tracks have a slight, and only a slight, gruff vocal edge in places (dare I say tinges of death metal perhaps?) that only compliments the smooth flow of the music adding depth and warmth. The guitar work of Piotr Grudzinski is outstanding (no major shredding here!) choosing at times to take a more subtle approach to proceedings with David Gilmour being a major influence here.

The overall style of Riverside's music is very gentle, but has a tendency to pick up in places with some heavy guitar before things drop back and calm down again. The keyboards give the album a fuller sound with out being too over bearing. The production is just superb bringing out an incredible clarity, so if you want to embellish yourself in a rather extraordinary band then Riverside is a worthy investment for sure.
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on 20 July 2017
The shower rail was cheap, and feels it. It's plastic and there are a few sharp edges where the plastic was cut. The part you squeeze to move the shower head up and down also feels very cheap. It does the job for me in a bathroom that's rarely used, but I will eventually replace it.
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on 12 January 2006
In one word "awesome" Better than first album? No need to measure them as they are both superb and if you like the first album then you will love this as much.
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on 29 November 2005
I thought my recent discovery of Riverside's first offering 'Out of Myself' was pleasing enough, so I soon found myself typing in my credit card details for their follow up album 'Second Life Syndrome'. This band have managed to produce a sound and style which without any doubt sits firmly within the Prog camp, however it is very difficult to pigeon hole (thankfully). It has the instrumental symphonic grandeur of Opeth, the melodic guitar riffs and bass line groove of Jadis and the hefty metallic weight in many places of Threshold. Finally a sprinkling of Porcupine Tree thrown in for good measure and your well into Progster's heaven. If that aint good enough for you, the song writing is some of the best I have heard in many years, brilliantly crafted epics where one could be justifiably thinking that 'this might be what life is all about'! If you like Prog or in fact any type of original intelligent non commercial rock, then buy this album. You will then need to buy their first album as well, I can assure you! Enjoy.
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on 27 October 2007
This is a gorgeous album. Well written songs, wonderfully instrumented and brilliantly played: piano, washes of keyboards, superb languid and angry guitar playing, the rhythm section is ace too. Songs that shift in tempo and mood, great melodic lines - it just doesn't get any better than this!!

Points of reference for Riverside's soundscape are Pink Floyd and Porcupine Tree. For me their music is more enjoyable than Pink Floyd's because they develop it further in tempo and hard rock edge than Floyd, so that you reaaly do feel that you are listening to a rock band, which isn't always the case with Floyd. So they've taken that kind of progressive rock towards Porcupinte Tree's more recent heavier work but not quite so far, in that they retain more melody and more variety of song construction than the recent PT.

My favourite on the album is "Conceiving Me" but there really isn;t a weak moment.

Thoroughly recommended!
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 5 January 2013
Second Life Syndrome is the second full-length studio album from the Polish Progressive band Riverside. It was released in 2005 and was the second part of the story in the conceptual series `Reality Dream.'

If you listen to a lot of Prog you can pick out bits here and there that remind you of King Crimson, Van Der Graff Generator, Pink Floyd etc, as well as pieces of Pendragron, IQ, Marillion and there are touches that evoke the spirit of Opeth, Tool, Porcupine Tree and even tiny bits of Dream Theater too.

The thing is though, that Riverside seamlessly blend all the classic, mid-era and modern prog styles together and though a bit of a song here or there will remind you of another band, it still sounds like Riverside as opposed to that band and therein lies the band's greatest strength and truest appeal.

Riverside go a long way towards summarising everything that's good about the sound of progressive music without leaning too heavily on any one influence and without being too old fashioned for the fans who normally only like modern music or too metallic for the fans who can't normally stand metal.

As a Riverside album, Second Life Syndrome is a masterpiece. It is a masterfully executed and top quality example of how intelligent and interesting music can be without having to get so dense and impenetrable that its no-longer enjoyable, or oversimplify so much that it no-longer has anything to say. As to where it sits in the band's discography, stylistically this second album injects a few more metal moments into the band's sound when compared with their debut, but the song writing is a little grander and less condensed than on their third album. It sums up the band's signature sound really rather well and the standard of both song writing and musicianship is simply wonderful.

Mariusz Duda's voice and singing style is fantastically evocative here and manages to convey a great deal of emotion and information without really conforming to how a lead singer for this sort of music might usually sound. Tracks like `Volte-Face,' `Conceiving You' and the Title Track show off both his key, bass and vocal skills and how much ground the band can cover while never letting a song feel whacky or like a disparate collection of unrelated parts.

Overall; this is an immensely enjoyable record that I enjoy a great deal and which I'd whole-heartedly recommend to any fan of this sort of music. There is a brilliant sense of flow and a lot of variety, and crucially no song feels unnecessary or out of place.
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