Riverside- Out of Myself (The Laser's Edge)
review by Jim Clark

Track Listing

1. The Same River
2. Out Of Myself
3. I Believe
4. Reality Dream
5. Loose Heart
6. Reality Dream II
7. In Two Minds
8. The Curtain Falls
9. Ok



If you’re one of those people that liked Opeth’s Damnation release but aren’t too crazy about the death metal and Cookie Monster vocals on all of their other albums, I may just have a disc for you.

Out Of Myself, the debut by Poland’s Riverside, is an excellent release that combines some of Opeth’s heaviness with the dynamics of Porcupine Tree. Lead vocalist/bassist Mariusz Duda sounds quite a lot like Mikael Akerfeldt (minus the growling) and a bit like RPWL’s Yogi Lang while guitarist Piotr Grudzinski’s playing seems influenced by David Gilmour, Porcupine Tree’s Steven Wilson and Akerfeldt. Keyboardist Michal Lapaj adds the necessary atmospherics to Out Of Myself while drummer Piotr Kozieradzki can pound away on the skins or play quite subtly, depending on the track.

Out Of Myself starts with its longest track, the 12-minute “The Same River.” And what a way to start! The song features an extended, Floydian intro with some tasteful guitar, understated drumming and swelling mellotron. Duda also shows that he’s no slouch playing bass. The pace quickens and the tone darkens as some metal chords work their way slowly into this incredible buildup. Some synthesizer briefly shares the lead with Grudzinski’s guitar, all the while being driven by the solid rhythm section of Duda and Kozieradzki. Things calm down as bass takes centerstage, backed by mellotron and some bass drum and percussion. Only after seven minutes do the vocals begin. These are kept sparse and add largely to the dark mood, as does the chilling mellotron. Grudzinski closes the piece with a great, extended solo.

The title track follows with some repeated bass and Duda’s vocals. The tune turns quite heavy, as does Duda’s singing, which nearly borders on growling territory. Churning guitar and some cool synth flourishes add to this solid track.

“Out Of Myself” leads straight into a party-like sample that starts “I Believe.” Duda gives a brief spoken vocal over this sample before the song becomes a lovely, Damnation-like number. His singing is great, as is the production, which layers lots of vocals in the background.

This leads into the instrumental, “Reality Dream,” which begins with the ticking of a stopwatch. Once the instruments kick in – heavy drumming, fast synthesizers and slick guitar solos - the tune sounds a lot like Dream Theater.

“Loose Heart” has a bit of a Marillion or RPWL feel to it, just darker. Some classy guitar solos are intertwined with Edge-like repeated guitar while Duda delivers a very emotive vocal. With about a minute left in the track, the mellowness disappears as Duda starts screaming, backed with metal chords.

The disc’s other instrumental, “Reality Dream II,” begins with a sample of an off-the-hook telephone and a steady bassline. This piece is probably heavier that its first part.

Acoustic guitar makes its first appearance on “In Two Minds” as Duda’s distant, processed voice is backed only by gentle guitar strumming. Other instruments soon enter to excellent effect. This tune is also quite reminiscent of some of the tracks on Opeth’s Damnation, especially the vocal delivery.

“The Curtain Falls” has a Porcupine Tree feel to it, notably the guitar playing and extended instrumental passages. One of the disc’s many highlights.

A drum loop starts out “OK,” the disc’s laid-back closing track. And this track, with its calm instrumentation (including trombone) and Duda’s soothing vocals, is a very effective way to end a great disc.

A self-produced effort, Out Of Myself is a great way to start a recording career. And it’s definitely making me look forward to the band’s sophomore effort, Second Life Syndrome. Highly recommended to fans of Porcupine Tree, Opeth, Anathema or Pink Floyd. On second thought, highly recommended to fans of good music, period.

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