Rapid Eye Movement
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Rapid Eye Movement
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Poland's Riverside are undoubtedly THE buzz band of the current progressive rock scene. Their dark, moody, atmospheric sound - which has been compared to both Pink Floyd and Porcupine Tree - is mixed with modern metal elements to create something both unique and authentic. Fans and critics alike warmly embraced their last CD, Second Life Syndrome with gusto and enthusiasm, and tours with bands such as Dream Theater have helped to launch what is certain to be a long and productive career.
The initial version of Rapid Eye Movement will be limited to 4000 units. It will be housed in digipack format and will feature 3 bonus tracks. The band are currently looking at touring possibilities for North America this autumn, stay tuned...
- Product Dimensions : 5 x 5.5 x 0.31 inches; 3.68 Ounces
- Manufacturer : Inside Out Music
- Item model number : 3359660
- Original Release Date : 2012
- Run time : 56 minutes
- Date First Available : August 31, 2007
- Label : Inside Out Music
- ASIN : B000TQAF8C
- Number of discs : 1
- Best Sellers Rank: #242,910 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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1) Beyond the Eyelids: The opener brings in the rock quick and boasts some great percussion work. It soon fills out and offers itself, really, as a sample of what you will hear throughout the album with differentiating synth and guitar interplays and Duda's soothing vocals becoming strained at the end of musical moments. "If I were myself I would be someone else"
2) Rainbow Box: The bass guitar provides the musical motif for this song and dominates all throughout making the song feel, at once, very simple though it distracts from the playful and more complex keyboard parts. "White is for my health/ Blue for happiness/ Thanks to Red I live/ With a shade of smile on my face" While the themes on this album deal with personal identity and the mind, and emotional repurcussions to doubt and fear, could the lyrics here possibly have a double meaning referencing the U.S.A. (the Red, White, & Blue of the pills)? I doubt it but it is an interesting thought.
3) 02 Panic Room: With a fun distorted and heavy bass beat kicking this song off it quickly dissolves into some menacing, aggressive heavy guitar sounds juxtaposed against light, almost playful synth-work that swirls, buzz, and sometimes blips. The sounds work opposite of each other to create a calm tension (yeah, how about that?) that is melodious and soothing but still not safe. This echoes the lyrical content very well. Also note that this song is in two parts with the second movement being very distinct (as if an entirely different song), carried on the back of some acoustic guitar work. Duda's vocals really shine on this song; beautiful, melodic, and almost ethereal.
4) Schizophrenic Prayer: Duda makes use of hums, controlled forced breaths, and sounds close to yodels on the probable lyrical heart of this album. "So afraid of rejection/ Hide inside ourselves/ Acting like strangers to avoid the pain// We collect our phobias/ Our sicknesses/ Feel so good only when we can complain// In your arms/ Feels like a better us/ In your arms" The retreat into our own minds, the withdrawal from important connectedness with others out of concern over fear of rejection or other emotional pains, leaves the social animal isolated and increasingly without the context of the greater world outside of ourselves and so grasping for anything that can dull our internal pain, doubt, emptiness and fear. Quite chilling.
5) Parasomnia: Out of all of these songs I think that "Parasomnia", with all that it has going on in it, best presages their album "ADHD". There is some very nice guitar work (solos) on this piece and also some nice drum and percussion work. Lots of mood due to changes in mucisal signatures and motifs, like someone trying to struggle with pulling a heavy block uphill only to encounter more obstacles such as the incline incrasing or a rut or fence; the music evokes some struggle going on. Nice use of echos and delays and some whispered, almost ghost vocals.
6) Through the Other Side: a quiet, soft, moody and short song (it feels short due to the previous song's length and the sustained gentle acoustic guitar refrain that is put down in the mix). "So welcome to the No Man's Land/ Where you can finally face yourself/ Fear of feeling something real/ Is your friend now/ There's no need to run"
7) Embryonic: Perhaps not a good choice to follow "Through the Other Side" simply because both songs are so relatively quiet with a heavy use of a quiet acoustic guitar and slow, enunciated singing that it kills the flow of the album and makes it drag a bit. The song itself is fine boasting some nice vocals again and clear lines from both acoustic and electric guitars playing clearly side-by-side in the latter half of the song. Still, it was good for the music to pick up in intensity again after these last two songs.
8) Cybernetic Pillow: CP brings the rock back and moves into some heavier sustained moments (good organ on these!). The guitar work is finding some nice and varied tones. I like the way Piotr Grudzinski plays out some of the lines, halfway but not fully, at times on this song for short portions. It adds a distinct quality to the song and makes the fuller lines feel even more thick. Great guitarwork on this one (eh, great bass too).
9) Ultimate Trip: Closing out the album "Ultimate Trip" maintains its strong melody line within a thick, muscular bass and repetitive guitar line. It kicks up some dust and finds Duda's sympathetic vocals being stretched out. The longest song on the ablum clocking in at 13:13 there is, as you can imagine, a lot that goes on over the course of this one. There are bountiful moments of heaviness but with dashes of delight conveyed by the type of instrument used, such as the light touch of some high piano notes, thrown inside the meat of the music. One of my favorite moments is when the song breaks into a beatiful synth solo that sounds much more like a guitar piece than synth work. The pace and mood of the song is like that of a person going in for a day at the zoo and quickly finding that someone is going on with the animals; a lot of them are agitated and pacing their cages, some are throwing raucous fits (like you're in the monkey house), and some are frozen still staring you down. There are a lot of hushed vocals toward the end of the song.
I will say this: if this is a take on the Jekyll-Hyde story then at the end of this story it is unclear both which character has been trapped inside and which character succeeds, if either, in overcoming their psychotica ("And now you will be my soul mate/ I'm going to make you up again.../ It's ok now, but.../ I don't know how long it needs to last/ Sooner or later/ I will need you to come and get me out of here"). Other's insight?
Under the leadership of lead singer and lyricist Mariusz Duda, the Polish power prog group Riverside has become just the kind of quality band that should make a lasting mark on the music history of the early 21st century. Rapid Eye Movement is their third full-length album and establishes Riverside as one of today's best progressive rock groups. The dark atmospheric sound with vocals eerily reminiscent of the Moody Blues and music often compared to Pink Floyd and Porcupine Tree, Riverside sounds like its set to bring progressive rock back to its former prominence.
There isn't much that could be said about this CD that the reviewer from Istanbul didn't already say so eloquently, so I will just get into his amen corner. The Special Edition of this CD, which is the edition I recommend, offers the listener just over 70 minutes of great music. It comes with a booklet containing the lyrics and some interesting images that reflect the mood induced by the music. Just one reading of the lyrics should convince you of Duda's brooding and introspective genius, and English isn't even his native language! Think of Joseph Conrad, another Pole who wrote masterfully in his adopted tongue.
Its difficult to say what I like best since most all of this is so good. If I had to pick, I would choose Beyond The Eyelids, both mixes of 02 Panic Room, Cybernetic Pillow, and the bonus cuts Lucid Dream IV and Back To The River as my favorites. Those fans of Riverside who have not yet heard Rapid Eye Movement may find this to be a bit "heavier" than previously releases. No complaints from me on that score, I like the band's deft integration of modern metal elements with their core prog fare.
If you are one who likes inventive music, darkly intelligent lyrics, and have not yet heard Riverside then now is the time. I recommend not only this CD, but all of their other releases as well.
Top reviews from other countries
Did I say stunning? Yeah, I guess I did.
Ok, having listened to this one and Memories In My Head today, just emphasized what I already knew: this is one of the top five bands ever!!! SUCH sonic sensuality, and complexity just the right side of, to some, inaccesibility, forming an ocean of music so grand, so suggestive, that it almost defies description. Yeah, I REALLY like these dudes.
As a prog fan it is impossible not to fall under the spell of this band, where almost every note seems to be the perfect note, where the grandiose never derails into pomposity, but always stays on the right side of bombast, and where one always feel welcome.
Please never fold. Ever!
The album starts dramatically with a sound that could easily fill an arena, and immediately informs the listener of what they are about to experience is something special.
"Beyond the Eyelids", the first track is an intricate eight minutes containing some catchy hooks, searing guitar solos, and a thumping chuggy rhythm to boot, and sets the mood that continues throughout the whole album.
High moments include "Panic Room" (the single), "Ultimate Trip" (the final track) and particularly "Parasomnia", and are likely to be fan favourites. While "Through the Other Side" and "Embryonic" are far more mellow contributions which offer a respite and a chance to reflect on what surely could end up being a strong contender for Progressive Metal album of the year.
If you have enjoyed any of Riverside's other work, this will please. If not, give them a try, as this is possibly the most accessible album to date.
The two takes on "02 Panic Room" aren't commercial swizzery, but a good example of what can be done with arrangements to achieve different ends. Choose which you prefer - I like both. This is not boys' music, these men are mature and the music is considered and highly competent.
I think I hear Eastern European influences here - maybe even the Middle East. Poland and points East have much to offer the open mind, all wrapped up in a very familiar package. Ignore this music to your cost!