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Riverside - Love, Fear And The Time Machine review




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Reviewer:
9.0

289 users:
8.36
Band: Riverside
Album: Love, Fear And The Time Machine
Release date: September 2015


Disc I
01. Lost (Why Should I Be Frightened By A Hat?)
02. Under The Pillow
03. Addicted
04. Caterpillar And The Barbed Wire
05. Saturate Me
06. Afloat
07. Discard Your Fear
08. Towards The Blue Horizon
09. Time Travellers
10. Found (The Unexpected Flaw Of Searching)

Disc II [Day Session] [double CD bonus]
01. Heavenland
02. Return
03. Aether
04. Machines
05. Promise [vinyl bonus]


Riverside's sixth studio album is a more acoustic-driven affair, but with the same high standard of songwriting established on previous albums.

Polish progressive rock/metal band Riverside have been one of the most consistent groups of their kind, who are yet to release a bad or even disappointing album. Love, Fear And The Time Machine continues the stylistic trend starting from Shrine Of New Generation Slaves, with an even less metal and more acoustic rock approach.

Although Riverside arguably hit their creative peak with 2005's Second Life Syndrome, their sixth studio album is nevertheless an impressive addition to their discography. The opener, "Lost (Why Should I Be Frightened By A Hat?)," immediately sets the mood for the album, triggering feelings of nostalgia from the distant past.

As with Shrine Of New Generation Slaves, there is less distortion in the guitars, with the keyboards and acoustic guitar more predominant than ever. Michal Lapaj provides a variety of organ and other synth effects to maintain a fresh and interesting sound, and frontman Mariusz Duda shines with both his bass and vocal abilities throughout. "#Addicted" features a distinct bass riff and a chorus somewhat reminiscent of The Cure, resulting in one of the album's more memorable tracks.

The closing few tracks of the album exhibit some of its more emotional moments. "Towards The Blue Horizon" begins with an exquisite acoustic section, transitioning into a heavier section which borrows from Porcupine Tree to a fair extent. "Time Travellers" is a beautiful anthemic ballad, probably Riverside's best acoustic song since Out Of Myself's "In Two Minds".

The production on Love, Fear And The Time Machine is near flawless, though some may be disappointed by the reduced instrumental layering and more minimalistic sound, when compared to the grit of earlier releases. However, the crystal-clear mix compliments the tranquil nature of album very nicely, along with the beautiful album artwork. Overall Riverside fail to disappoint, releasing one of the better rock albums of 2015.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Production: 9

Written by Boris_Pembroke | 01.01.2016




Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.


Comments

Comments: 7   Visited by: 123 users
01.01.2016 - 23:05
Pimeässä
Pimeässä
9 ?!
me:
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Production: 8
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02.01.2016 - 12:54
Rating: 8
musclassia

The review is well-written and backs up well enough, so good job. However, as a strong fan of almost everything Riverside has done, this album was a notable letdown for me. Funnily enough, most of the songs you picked out as highlight tracks (Addicted, Towards The Blue Horizon and particularly Time Travellers) are amongst my least favourite songs on the album - Time Travellers is particularly grating and compared to most of their other short softer songs is a long way off any of them. On the flipside, Lost is good (although sounds better on live videos), Caterpiller and Barbed Wire is decent and Saturate Me is a really fine song, and absolutely the standout track from the album for me. Averaged across the album, I actually probably prefer the bonus disc to the main one. Still, bad Riverside is still good music, just a way off pretty much everything that's come before it. The scores Oggy posted above are probably closer to what I'd give if I reviewed it, although I might knock another point off one or two categories.
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03.01.2016 - 03:08
Rating: 9
Boris_Pembroke

Written by musclassia on 02.01.2016 at 12:54

The review is well-written and backs up well enough, so good job. However, as a strong fan of almost everything Riverside has done, this album was a notable letdown for me. Funnily enough, most of the songs you picked out as highlight tracks (Addicted, Towards The Blue Horizon and particularly Time Travellers) are amongst my least favourite songs on the album - Time Travellers is particularly grating and compared to most of their other short softer songs is a long way off any of them. On the flipside, Lost is good (although sounds better on live videos), Caterpiller and Barbed Wire is decent and Saturate Me is a really fine song, and absolutely the standout track from the album for me. Averaged across the album, I actually probably prefer the bonus disc to the main one. Still, bad Riverside is still good music, just a way off pretty much everything that's come before it. The scores Oggy posted above are probably closer to what I'd give if I reviewed it, although I might knock another point off one or two categories.


I can agree that this isn't among their strongest albums, however I respect that they've been bold and imaginative enough to not just release Second Life Syndrome over and over again. And as you said, even the weaker albums of a band of Riverside's calibre are still going to be pretty damn good. I should point out that Riverside are quite possibly my current favourite band, so I tend to like anything they (and Lunatic Soul) put out (at least so far). Though judging by the album's lower rating and vote count than previous releases, it does seem to be a minor disappointment among some fans.

I agree that "CatBW" is one of the album's better songs, I'm starting to wish I'd given it a mention in my review, ah well... On the other hand, I actually consider "Saturate Me" (along with "Afloat") to be one of the album's most bland and forgettable songs, though by means terrible. Anyhow, thanks for your comment - while we disagree on a few points I can obviously respect your opinions.
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05.01.2016 - 10:54
Rating: 7
Daniell
_爱情_
Written by Boris_Pembroke on 03.01.2016 at 03:08

I can agree that this isn't among their strongest albums

At first I thought "if it isn't, why a 9?" Then I saw that you gave all Riverside albums 10's or 9's.

Riverside is developing all the time, but my impression is that they're losing their identity in the process. There's too little Riverside in this Riverside, so to speak.
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06.01.2016 - 02:45
Rating: 8
tea[m]ster
Au Pays Natal
The more I listen to this, the more I am liking it. No, it's not "old" Riverside but the songs are still catchy. My fav: "Discard Your Fear".
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rekt
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29.01.2016 - 22:22
Rating: 7
Metren
Dreadrealm
Went and listened to this album again for the first time in a long time and I still find it rather mediocre. I do appreciate this review, however. You do a good job of describing the album and also, backing up your opinions on it. I disagree with you on the album being good, but I like your points and the clarity with which you make them.

On the topic of prog, I feel that the genre as a whole has fallen on hard times lately. Dream Theter have been disappointing for years, Circus Maximus and Seventh Wonder's latest albums are not anything too great, Porcupine Tree is pretty much over and now Riverside have become very generic too with this album. Prog being my 2nd favorite genre, this is pretty sad.
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My one-man project's Bandcamp with free downloads: https://dreadrealm.bandcamp.com/
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04.07.2020 - 18:42
Rating: 8
BlankFile

Not their best, but a very good effort aswell. I think it has great moments, and others a little bit forgettable. Riverside raised the bar too high. Songs like "Lost (Why Should I Be Frightened By A Hat?)", "Addicted", "Saturate Me", "Afloat" and "Discard Your Fear" are for me the best songs of the álbum.
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