Rating:
9.0
Riverside - Anno Domini High Definition
6 July 2009


Disc I
01. Hyperactive
02. Driven To Destruction
03. Egoist Hedonist
    1 - Different?
    2 - Hedonist Party
    3 - Straw Man Dance
04. Left Out
05. Hybrid Times

Disc II [Limited Edition DVD Live in Amsterdam]
01. Volte-Face
02. I Turned You Down
03. Reality Dream III
04. Beyond The Eyelids
05. Conceiving You
06. Ultimate Trip
07. 02 Panic Room


This is it! This – this! – is the Riverside that I've been waiting for ever since I heard their first album Out of Myself. This – and not the two albums released meanwhile – is the most worthy successor to the album that had me hooked for weeks and weeks. Not that I have anything bad to say about Second Life Syndrome or Rapid Eye Movement. On the contrary, those were good Riverside albums. But those didn't shine like the first one. Or like this one does. Fresh. Sharp. Bright.

I think there's actually a perfectly natural explanation to all those emotions and feeling about this album. Most likely the key point is that with Rapid Eye Movement Riverside concluded their Reality Dream trilogy and made a brand new start. Not music-wise but concept-wise for, you see, the music hasn't changed all that much. If you'd heard almost any part of this album without introductions, you wouldn't have any trouble guessing the band if you are familiar with Riverside's music at all.

However, it's all in those little details that make this album so excellent. There are three more prominent areas in which you'll notice changes. First, Anno Domini High Definition is a more heavier album than its predecessors. It has a more metal feel to it, although, if you listen closely, it still is somewhere in-between prog-rock and prog-metal. Second, this album feels quite a bit faster than the rest. It's as if they've switched to the next gear and found the drive that I think was missing on two albums before. This one definitely has the drive and it captures you in the rapid currents of the music. Thirdly, there's a change in the keyboard sound that I dig so much. Maybe it's the mellotron. Maybe it's the dirty sounding keyboards. But it was the first thing that, although unconsciously at first, I felt that I enjoyed so much.

As I mentioned, the band started with the new lyrical concept. However, concept being new the motif still remains revolving around social matters. In short, it deals with the fast pace and chaos of the modern life. Reflecting on the subject you'll find that the title couldn't be more fitting, as this modern social chaos did indeed appear with modern technology, symbolically designated with High Definition. And if you reflect more on the subject, lyrics and the music that you hear, you'll find that this whole bundle is very coherent and tight-fitting package. The gloomy, somewhat cold and depressive atmosphere, the fast paced structure of the changing music, interludes of false calm in-between, the feeling of hyperventilation and the sense of having your heart in your mouth. What better band to come up with all this than Riverside? Either one fits the other like a glove.

Riverside is like a knife, possibly a Polish analogue of the Swiss army knife, that has gone through sharpening. They were excellent to begin with and created a brilliant debut album Out of Myself. Then they released two other albums while the blade was good. You can hear that it's very good but it ain't as sharp as it was. Maybe Second Life Syndrome had a better cut than the debut, it didn't have the same edge to it, though. Maybe Rapid Eye Movement was more uniform, it lacked the same spark, however. But now this knife is sharp again. Razor sharp. Possibly this knife is even better than it was brand new. And this is why Anno Domini High Definition has turned out to be so excellent. This new start has definitely taken Riverside's music quite a bit forward.


Band profile: Riverside
Album: Anno Domini High Definition


 



Written on 08.07.2009 by
Ivor
I shoot people.

Sometimes, I also write about it.
More reviews by Ivor ››



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BloodTears - 08.07.2009 at 23:31  
This is a great review I think. You certainly have your point of view and still compare it to the previous releases, which is a good thing for the fans.

I'm not gona speak a lot about the album per se at this point, I only listened to it once. Let's just say it has the potential to wow me. Also saw the DVD, very enjoyable indeed.
Elio - 08.07.2009 at 23:50  
Yeah man, good review. You managed to explain well why this is album is so good: it's different, and in a good meaning of the word.

And surely the mellotron gives a lot in terms of awesomeness to this release.
Ag Fox - 09.07.2009 at 02:51  
Totally agree with the review. you did the album justice
jupitreas - 09.07.2009 at 04:19  
I saw them playing a short show in a music store to promote the release of this album. They were selling advance copies of the album after the show.

Unfortunately... they were so boring live that I didnt feel compelled to pay money for the album at all.
Introspekrieg - 09.07.2009 at 04:49  
Quote:
Maybe it's the dirty sounding keyboards.


Yes! I can't get enough of those... the kind that you find yourself hearing in your ears ringing hours after listening. Great review, it's like you expressed everything perfectly.
Dane Train - 09.07.2009 at 17:52  
Even if I didn't like the album I would still say that this is one of the best reviews I have read in a very long time. The last paragraph was just so well written that it summed up everything so well and was still witty.

By the way, I love this album. I still can't figure out where to put it on my list since I got into Second Life pretty hardcore when it came out.
Darkside Momo - 09.07.2009 at 21:46  
I'm discovering Riverside with this album, and at the second listen (at the time of writing I've past the first minute of Driven to Destruction) I'm totally digging it!

And yes, very great review Ivor

With the Kalisia, Dream Theater and Riverside albums, 2009 is great for prog indeed!
BloodTears - 09.07.2009 at 22:26  
I would agree Darkside Momo, great year for prog. It'll be a tough battle when we have to vote for the best lol
Darkside Momo - 10.07.2009 at 03:56  
Written by BloodTears on 09.07.2009 at 22:26

I would agree Darkside Momo, great year for prog. It'll be a tough battle when we have to vote for the best lol

Ah, I've already decided, and it'll be Kalisia for me! Even if it's the 6th time I listen to Anno Domini today (and it's the day I discovered it)...
tea[m]ster - 10.07.2009 at 15:35  
I can summon up what the reviewer means to say in one sentence - I have said it all over this website - this is the best studio produced album of the four BY FAR. Finally some commercial success has brought them more money = they can spend more on production. Very simple.
Resurrected Wolf - 10.07.2009 at 15:54  
OHHHHHHHHH.... I SHOULD GET IT!
RIVERSIDE REALLY ROCKS
BloodTears - 11.07.2009 at 16:43  
I don't know about you guys but "Left Out" is my favourite song so far. It's so Riverside, if you know what I mean.
Harlequin - 14.07.2009 at 11:42  
Very enjoyable record, again. But to name Riverside and Kalisia in one sentence is like comparing a diamond with a plastic bubble..
K†ulu - 27.07.2009 at 17:55  
And all the good things you mentioned, Ivor, this album isn't too long. It's 44 minutes long (44:44), and it has five songs. It's just perfect for digesting unlike DT's new offering for instance.

Oh and the cover art is amazing and reflects the theme of the album.
Elio - 27.07.2009 at 17:58  
Written by BloodTears on 09.07.2009 at 22:26

I would agree Darkside Momo, great year for prog. It'll be a tough battle when we have to vote for the best lol


lol no way the only good release among those is the new Riverside
BloodTears - 27.07.2009 at 18:17  
Written by Elio on 27.07.2009 at 17:58

Written by BloodTears on 09.07.2009 at 22:26

I would agree Darkside Momo, great year for prog. It'll be a tough battle when we have to vote for the best lol


lol no way the only good release among those is the new Riverside


It'll be easy for you. I have inner struggles. But I'll have time to choose. So far, I actually think that Riverside wins the prize. I mean, what a album. I didn't see that coming.
*!* - 29.07.2009 at 03:49  
Best album by riverside nd a total masterpiece 3 songs deserves 10 out of 10 no doubt but the other two (Driven To Destruction,Left Out) are'nt on the same level for me this album deserves 9.6 easy, nd definitely should be on the top 100 IMO m/
MeloDeathViking - 29.07.2009 at 16:56  
Written by BloodTears on 09.07.2009 at 22:26

I would agree Darkside Momo, great year for prog. It'll be a tough battle when we have to vote for the best lol


Yeah, this is definitly true, and once Between the Buried and Me's album comes out, I think the race for no. 1 is gonna be even more crowded.
thehamburglar - 15.08.2010 at 21:32  
Written by BloodTears on 08.07.2009 at 23:31

This is a great review I think. You certainly have your point of view and still compare it to the previous releases, which is a good thing for the fans.

I'm not gona speak a lot about the album per se at this point, I only listened to it once. Let's just say it has the potential to wow me. Also saw the DVD, very enjoyable indeed.

ok good but don't get carried away now
thehamburglar - 15.08.2010 at 21:33  
Written by tea[m]ster on 10.07.2009 at 15:35

I can summon up what the reviewer means to say in one sentence - I have said it all over this website - this is the best studio produced album of the four BY FAR. Finally some commercial success has brought them more money = they can spend more on production. Very simple.

this is true
BloodTears - 16.08.2010 at 00:14  
Written by thehamburglar on 15.08.2010 at 21:32

Written by BloodTears on 08.07.2009 at 23:31

This is a great review I think. You certainly have your point of view and still compare it to the previous releases, which is a good thing for the fans.

I'm not gona speak a lot about the album per se at this point, I only listened to it once. Let's just say it has the potential to wow me. Also saw the DVD, very enjoyable indeed.

ok good but don't get carried away now


What was I carried away with?
thehamburglar - 16.08.2010 at 11:32  
Uh your mom
K†ulu - 20.03.2013 at 10:49  
Re-read this review, and, you know, this is exactly how I feel about their discography. Indeed ADHD is similarly special to Out of Myself. I only wish I knew their previous material before listening to his one, so that I could say, "This is it! This - this! - is the Riverside that I've been waiting for ever since I heard their first album Out of Myself."
Strawberry - 10.01.2014 at 20:17  
I quite like this more 'heavy' sound of Riverside.
Strawberry - 10.01.2014 at 22:33  
Written by BloodTears on 11.07.2009 at 16:43

I don't know about you guys but "Left Out" is my favourite song so far. It's so Riverside, if you know what I mean.


Left Out is the best song!!
BloodTears - 11.01.2014 at 11:02  
Written by Strawberry on 10.01.2014 at 22:33

Written by BloodTears on 11.07.2009 at 16:43

I don't know about you guys but "Left Out" is my favourite song so far. It's so Riverside, if you know what I mean.


Left Out is the best song!!


Wow, you quoted me from 2009! Ahah I must say that after so long, it's still my favourite song on the record
Strawberry - 12.01.2014 at 09:11  
Written by BloodTears on 11.01.2014 at 11:02

Written by Strawberry on 10.01.2014 at 22:33

Written by BloodTears on 11.07.2009 at 16:43

I don't know about you guys but "Left Out" is my favourite song so far. It's so Riverside, if you know what I mean.


Left Out is the best song!!


Wow, you quoted me from 2009! Ahah I must say that after so long, it's still my favourite song on the record


Heh, yea I saw that and I was like 'well this place seems like dead let's post something'!
I'm a little behind when it comes to Riverside !
Having previously only listened to Second Life Syndrome, I listened to the whole discography a while ago and I have to say I like Anno Domini High Definiton the most ^_^! Although all their albums are very very good, Riverside doesn't make anything bad lol!
Still I mean these guys are very underrated not many people know or even like Riverside.

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