Riverside - Anno Domini High Definition (CD + DVD)
After two years, Riverside return with an unbelievable masterpiece, that will go down in history as one of the best progressive metal albums ever.
Riverside's fourth album, released in 2009, finally showed me how progressive metal can penetrate your soul so strongly that you can't forget about it. Indeed, "Anno Domini High Definition" has become one of my favorite albums of all time, and it never seizes to amaze me for the fact that it's such a new and innovating album, and how it changed my life despite being released only one year ago.
I couldn't help noticing how this album was badmouthed by many Riverside fans, since it is very different from their previous efforts: the atmospheric Pink Floydish moments are practically gone, the sound is much crunchier, more crude, and of course heavier. It is a 100% progressive METAL album. Also, the song structures are more complicated in my opinion (it took me about seven listens to finally understand ADHD well), because of many time changes in and the number of tracks goes down to five, and, as a consequence, the length of the album is shorter than those 60 minute Riverside records released previously.
How come this album is a landmark in progressive metal history? Let's look back at the previous prog metal masterpieces: with "Operation Mindcrime" there is a introduction to epic concept albums, with Images And Words" the genre reaches mainstream success, with "Scenes From A Memory" concept albums start to become more concentrated on the music, making some mind blowing songs and passages, with "The Perfect Element" some more modern elements are introduced in the music, "The Human Equation" proved that mixing prog metal with many different styles of music is a definite winning formula, even with "Second Life Syndrome" there is a different approach to heaviness, using also some space/ psych rock moments. I could list more albums, but I think these are the really important ones. Anno Domini High Definition is important because it is indeed heavy, but there is no particular virtuosity from the musicians, there is no trash metal like riffs, everything seems like it's coming straight from the heart. There is also an unbelievable use of keyboards, which many times produce some computerized sounds that are truly innovating, or at least I have never heard anything like it before, not even from Jordan Rudess. And finally, even though not as much as "The Human Equation" by Ayreon, the album is very eclectic: metal, jazz, some spanish taste (only in "Egoist Hedonist" for something like thirty seconds), ambient, electronic, synth pop.
The opener is "Hyperactive", and it starts with a nice piano intro, atfer a minute it turns into a heavy song, with some crunchy guitars and with the computerized sound that accompanies the guitars. The melody is kind of med oriental like, which makes it really awesome. When singer Duda comes in all the music stoppes ad there is a fast alternation to the music and him singing. Later on there are many time changes during the song, and it goes by so fast. I love this song.
"Driven To Destruction" is another atomic bomb. After the few bass lines at the beginning of the song, the band goes on playing for about two minutes in an increasing climax, before the track explodes into a fantastic riff that reminds me of "Forty Six and Two" by Tool. Even in this song there is the alternation between band and singer, even though not as much as "Hyperactive". The song then becomes more complex, with a great spacey and calm mood, and with other heavy parts.
"Egoist Hedonist" is divided in three parts: the first one is calm, with a tense atmosphere, very keyboard driven, accompanied by the singer, but very beautiful and haunting. The second part is more enlivened, with the presence of some sax and some more heavy moments. After a while it becomes calm again, and, oh boy, I always get goosebumps every time I listen to it. Probably this is the best part of the album, so haunting and mysterious, played with such intense pathos, that it really blows my mind. Definitely one of the best Riverside songs.
"Left Out" is maybe the one I prefer the least, and it still is a fantastic song! The only song off this album that has a strong increasing climax: it starts very mellow, with just a bass line and singer, with a little bit of keyboards. When this part ends, the climax beings, and by the end of the song the atmosphere is strong and heavy. Still a fantastic song, especially the first mellow part. It is the song that I had to listen most times before acquiring it perfectly.
"Hybrid Times" starts with a fast piano accompanied by vocals, it then explodes into pure Anno Domini like song, heavy and with some crazy sounds, and with some wild guitar riffs and great vocals. The song is the longest of the album, eleven minutes, but these minutes pass by so quickly, and when 8 minutes pass, there is a spectacular ambient like mood, that ends the album in a terrific way.
You can't not like this unbelievable masterpiece, a radical album in prog history, I really hope that some of you agree with me.
|will be shipped within:||2-3 Tage|