13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on June 29, 2011
This EP sees Riverside returning to their first label The Laser's Edge to commemorate their 10th anniversary. They had started out with The Laser's Edge before moving onto Inside Out for their following three albums. At this point, I don't know if this is a one-off album with The Laser's Edge or not, but whatever it is, Memories in My Head is a fantastic release.
Though some have claimed that it is a return to the sounds of their debut, I beg to differ. While many fans will agree that the three songs here (at nearly 33 minutes) revisit the moodier and spacier side of their first disc, the songs involve more of the songwriting aesthetic that bridged their second and third albums, especially the latter. This is primarily because of keyboardist Michael Lapaj who has a totally different approach to composition than the original keyboardist. Lapaj's melodies develop more thoroughly, and he covers a broader spectrum of sound colours in his playing. From his use of quiet synth bleeps that evoke Porcupine Tree to denser explorations that tread the delicate line between vintage analog synths and more modern vibes, Lapaj achieves atmospheres like no other keyboard player in the genre. He leaves his sonic imprint on all three songs, recalling the more mood-intensive passages on Rapid Eye Movement with his frequent use of 'vertical' melody injections. At one point, he even exchanges a great unison solo spot with Piotr Grudzinski on "Living in the Past" which is not only the best track on this EP but also one of the finest in their entire catalog.
Vocalist Mariusz Duda leaves aside his more aggressive vocal style in favour of a smoother, calmer delivery (and definitely see them live if you can cause his live voice is exactly the same as on the album). Except for climaxing moments during the 'choruses' (like the 'I'm not going to live like everyone!' part on "Living in the Past"), he adopts a wonderfully melodious tone, employing his unique vocal emphasis at the most emotive points only. With that noted, his bass playing has reached a completely new level here. His style weaves Geddy Lee's incredible melodic sense with Geezer Butler's incorporation of bluesy elements into metal, and yet he plays the bass a bit like Steve Harris, with forceful guitar-like riffing. The whole chord progression on "Goodbye Sweet Innocence" is built around his bass before the Middle Eastern-scaled synth and guitar solos roll into the mix respectively. The guitar work is still admirably restrained, revealing passionate Floydian licks and powerful themes attached to each composition more vividly with each listen.
Travis Smith's artwork is again fantastic. I love all Riverside albums in terms of artwork, but this is one of their best. By the way, I recommend the US version of the album as it comes in a jewel case while the European version is a digipack. This EP is probably going to be the best EP of the year.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Well, even though there have been only two other reviews thus far of Memories In My Head, it is hard to add anything useful to the hosannas that have already been sung. This is especially true whenever The Turk has weighed in with his always well-considered and knowledgeable opinions. So it should suffice to say that I am in his amen corner.
This teaser of an EP doesn't take me back to their earliest days as some industry touts have promised, it has me looking forward to the full scale album that is sure to come! Though the whole album is excellent, I especially like the prog-metal extravaganza Living In the Past. If you are a fan of Riverside on any level, don't pass this one up.
The CD comes packaged in a standard jewel box and is accompanied by a booklet featuring all pertinent album info, the lyrics, and a nice two-page photo of the band. Enjoy!
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on June 28, 2011
This beautiful EP is a delicious treat to hold us over till Riverside's next album. These three songs (rather lengthy ones, at that) are a beautiful symmetry between their masterful trilogy and their latest release, ADHD. It marries the 70's vibe (especially in the keyboards) found in the latter with the highly melodic guitar work of the previous. One thing that surprised me here was that the drummer is starting to come out of his shell. Don't get me wrong---I love the simplistic drums. They are refreshing. However, I'm dying for a Riverside album with a little more of a technical side in the drumming---I think this EP could be an indication of great things to come.
With all of that said, my favorite track is Living in the Past. I love the melodic guitars and the beautiful voice-work. However, Forgotten Land is a close second because it is completely unique and wonderfully written. As you can probably tell, I am really anticipating their next album, especially if it is anything like this amazing EP!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 9, 2012
This album is quiet, contemplative, and not prone to loud and quick sonic changes. I wasn't looking forward to reviewing this as my favorite album (and new find) of 2011 was Riverside's ADHD. Someone described that as "progressive rock ecstasy" and I'd have to agree. As ADHD was my first experience with Riverside I immediately set about picking up other albums by them. Firstly "Second Life Syndrome" and now their newest EP MIMH. While I enjoyed SLS I knew it was earlier Riverside and that they had changed between then and ADHD. I also had read a review that MIMH was more of a throwback to their earlier sound. Still, I figured there would be some remnants and adventure also of ADHD. Not so much. While I'm not familiar with the rest of their catalog this does appear to be a throwback. It is an overall quiet affair without any blaring guitars, double-bass heavy loopiness, and rapid time changes. After 3 listens I wasn't very favorable to this EP. It wasn't until I listened for the fourth time with headphones that this began to work for me. The first of the three songs has the closest spirit to anything on ADHD and is probably my favorite on this CD ("Goodbye Sweet Innocence") due largely to some nice guitar and keyboard blended parts later in the song. For the Riverside fans that like their band to rock you may just be disappointed. Put on a set of headphones and give it a spin. It will work itself out a bit better.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on August 15, 2011
For this EP, released to celebrate their 10th anniversary, Riverside have deliberately gone back to the sort of music they were playing when they first started - more mellow and atmospheric, although with some elements of their more recent sound. There are only three tracks on this album, though all are around 10 minutes long. They're all reasonably strong songs, but none of them really stand out, and there's a bit too much atmospheric filler. The album is probably best for fans of the band who want a complete collection; if you're looking for an introduction to Riverside, you're better off buying Out of My Head (for their mellow/atmospheric side) or Anno Domini High Definition (for their heavier side).
on April 29, 2012
2011 marked the 10th year of existence for the Polish progressive metal outfit Riverside, and they celebrated with a "Jubilee year" tour of Europe, the release of the 6-cd Trilogy Dream box set (combining the first three albums with additional material), and with the promise of a new album. Early in the year they also released this three-song EP of new music, presented as a reflective wind-up of their first decade.
Clocking in at a shade under 33 minutes, the music on this EP is much more evocative of the Trilogy Dream material, with the vast, cinematic soundscapes that is the signature of this foursome. It is lushly atmospheric, driven by Piotr Grudzin'ski's hallmark melodic winding guitar themes, and Mariusz Duda's powerful, leading bass and fine vocals. The previous studio release Anno Domini High Definition had introduced a harder edge to the band's music, but Memories in My Head looks back to the more expansive, less metal-driven sound of their origins.
The three tracks--"Goodbye Sweet Innocence", "Living in the Past", and "Forgotten Land"--merge seamlessly into each other musically, and the first two tracks at least are also united by a lyric thematic arc: a combination of nostalgia for the past and a desire to break from it/eyes to the future, evoked by Duda's characteristically introspective yet outward-reaching lyrics: "Life happened to us" he sings, "we are not the same/but we've managed to survive". Indeed.
However, the EP does suffer from a bit of a lapse: the third song, "Forgotten Land", doesn't quite fit lyrically, breaking the continuity set by the first two. It was used as the soundtrack on a video promo for the PC/console game The Witcher 2 (and perhaps was written for that purpose). It is a fine song, but it is clearly the odd man out. Nevertheless, Memories in My Head is an excellent release, an outstanding introduction to the band if you have never heard them, and a welcome snippet of new material for established fans.
I want to end with an observation. Having listened to the entire available output of Riverside/Lunatic Soul (some 9 albums/EPs altogether so far), it occurs to me that these guys are the most remarkably consistent bunch that I have ever encountered, in over 30 years of collecting and listening to music. All their albums are of exceptional quality, hovering around the 4 to 5-star mark--but that's not the point. The point is this--there is not one single track, across all the combined group/solo releases, that I am indifferent to, or would choose to skip over. Not one. No other artist in my experience, and certainly not in my collection, has managed to accomplish that trick. And the more I think about it the more astonishing a feat it becomes--not one mediocre track. Either Mariusz Duda produces so much material he has the luxury of choice, or he is one hell of a songwriter. This is a man - and a band - not to be ignored.
on January 12, 2013
2011's Memories In My Head EP by the Polish Progressive band Riverside is a three-track installment of new material released to commemorate the band's ten-year anniversary.
Stylistically, its probably their least Metal sounding effort since their debut, and it drops a lot of the Deep Purple colour from ADHD, so much so that some people have called it a return to the sound of their debut. The material is fairly slow building, understated and spacey. It isn't the most exciting or dynamic material that the band have ever produced, but it's a nice little half-hour addition to the band's overall catalogue for fans who just want a bit more Riverside.
Even though the band have released better and more interesting music than this, Memories In My Head is by no means a poor effort. It's a grower, and may take a few listens to get the most out of. Its slightly more atmospheric, restrained and reflective than the last few albums but there's certainly some interesting music on offer if you give it a chance.
Overall, this isn't an absolutely essential purchase and I wouldn't recommend that it be the first Riverside release you pick up (go for a full-length studio album instead) but if you're a big fan its definitely worth picking up.
on October 6, 2011
Ill start out by saying I love this group. They possess a sound unlike other bands, much to the fact the main elements circle around a bass guitar! All the musicians show off their talent however. This outing contains 3 songs of about 10 minutes average length. Similar in design to their previous release "Anno Domini High Definition" each song will offer a different feel.
All the songs maintain the quality and creativity one expects from Riverside.
If you enjoy this group, you will love this CD. My only complaint is the albums length, 3 songs totaling roughly 30 mins. The songs are great...so call me greedy; I want more!
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 2, 2011
"Memories In My Head" EP
This is the moment I so longed to come. After A.D.H.D., last studio album of the polish progsters RIVERSIDE, I immediately felt that I wanted to hear something new again. Yes, I don't deny that that's called addiction. During June you can once more get ready for your next spiritual journey. The ticket will contain the departure place: Poland; destination: your soul, your spirit and all these senses that only RIVERSIDE know how to touch, excite, hurt and heal. It's a mystical dialogue between the band and the listener, between two friends, between a couple.
"Look, after the release of A.D.H.D. till now, much have passed and I want to tell you all about them, share them with you to see that even though I felt absent, I was indeed here, living in parallel roads with you, with all of you out there and I was writing about all that which hurt, torture and trouble me, decisions and thoughts from the partitures of my mind in "Memories In My Head" EP / CD".
The first outburst, 10.40', in "Goodbye Sweet Innocence": "Life happened to us, We are not the same, But we've managed to survive, Stuck at the crossroads of time, Between future and past, Diverse worlds under the same sky". The recognition at the oblivion of feelings, starting with amazing space and industrial sounds that make the song to sound bittersweet. I fall, I die and I am reborn, because that's the cycle.
"Living In The Past", overview of the past in 11.12' where Grudzinski has his honors in the guitar, making past seem so much lyrical. "I don't care if those times are over, I'm not going to live like everyone, I don't care if those times are over, My future is living in the past" I change and always stay there. Mariusz Duda works so well with the bass here, they speak to your soul. Mid tempo with heavy references to the good times when the classic progressive was at its best, no other than the `70s. "Art is a form of revolution" as Picasso had one said and RIVERSIDE prove it elaborately once more. Passing on to the third part of this memory, Duda will make me adore the bass even more! From behind follows in the dark a Grudzinski & Lapaj music dialogue with the calm company of Kozieradski.
"Forgotten Land", 9.57', a piece with the amazing lyrical vocals of Duda, telling about human poverty, surpassing our true destination in this world, breaking any limit and obstruction, losing everything. "People felt strong and powerful, Proud of their wealth, All of them believed they were kings of the whole world, They started to take more, And crossed the borderlines, Called themselves gods above everything and everyone, Oh, listen to them now... Listen intently, Souls are crying, This is the song of the forgotten land". Amazing atmosphere that upon reaching the end, gets you back at the beginning. To the Never-ending Journey.
Truly it's something else, different. In its whole, about 32 minutes, and if you consider that there are many studio albums lasting that long, I am very happy that these three wondrous songs don't belong somewhere in an album. That way I had the pleasure and the time to enjoy them. Riverside we thank you that for once more you made your art our immediate need.
on February 26, 2015
No surpise...this is great from a really great band. I find this short recording as the point where Riverside transition from their find progmetal sound to something even more remarkable. Much more music, atmosphere, and creative complexity is coming!