Although I’m very much into prog rock/metal I find the excessive guitar and keyboard duels of many bands pretty boring after a while. I prefer bands who manage to find the right combination between solid song writing, a fair amount of originality and musicianship. Porcupine Tree, Threshold, Oceansize and Pain Of Salvation are great examples of the latter. Riverside from Poland fits the bill as well. Last year they released their fourth album, entitled Anno Domini High Definition. Let’s take a closer look.
After a calm piano piece the album starts aggressively with Hyperactive. Believe me, that song really lives up to its name. It also sets the pace for the rest of Anno Domini High Definition. Driven To Destruction and Egoist Hedonist are a bit more subtle, but still contain heavy guitar parts. The keyboard parts are also more in the forefront, giving the aforementioned songs a nice seventies vibe.
Riverside are clearly influenced by Porcupine Tree when it comes to song arrangements. Tool is another influence, especially in the more upbeat and percussion driven parts. Guitarist Piotr Grudzinski obviously knows his David Gilmour (Pink Floyd) classics, which shows in his tasteful guitar antics. All of the above comes together in Left Out and Hybrid Times.
These Poles are not afraid to show their influences and they really know how to implement them in the typical Riverside sound. I can appreciate this kind of honesty and it does give Anno Domini High Definition a distinct familiar feel.
Production wise the album has a warm and organic sound. This really enhances the listening experience.
I really like the upbeat and direct approach of Anno Domini High Definition. It features great and memorable songs and it’s a worthy purchase for every lover of intelligent and thought provoking music. Great!
written by Raymond Westland