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Riverside - Memories In My Head Review

by Matt Hensch

I'm in the dark when it comes to Riverside, but this Polish squad has apparently won the hearts of prog fans everywhere, creating a colossal following in the meantime. "Memories in my Head" is my first exposure to this band, and I'm satisfied, but certainly not blown away. I can't comment on Riverside's discography (obviously) or compare it to another release of theirs, but overall the EP generates a simple scheme of emotive progressive rock centered around a melancholic semblance. There are only three tracks, each lasting around or over ten minutes in length; nothing too out of the ordinary, but it doesn't work for Riverside entirely. In fact, one song can make the difference on sides both good and bad, as Riverside finds out.

The EP opens on a pretty sour note. "Goodbye Sweet Innocence" starts the release and lasts for nearly eleven minutes. The musical endeavors are pretty basic in the realm of progressive rock, using the snazzy keyboards and mystified instrumentality similar to most of the genre's frontrunners. Nothing too special, and that's precisely what the track turns out to be; it's quite the forgettable and monotonous tune, and eleven minutes is way too long. No thanks Riverside, I'll pass. "Living in the Past" is a big step-up, however, with all the hooks and dazzling riffs to make it an enjoyable cut, and "Forgotten Land" flat out rules. Mariusz Duda's voice synchronizes with the atmospheric chilling of instruments excellently, and the guitar work is filled with memorable slices; the tune's encompassing ideas are executed to a head-turning level. Very pleasing.

With the exception of the first track, this EP is pretty interesting. Not a whole lot goes beyond the bar of intriguing material, but the concluding anthems are still gushing into genuine territory. Alas, "Memories in my Head" works well for progressive rock addicts and firmly packs a solid punch during the quick fix of instrumental feasting. I'd say this is probably an essential purchase for Riverside fans, and maybe the occasional prog nut, but it's not a mandatory experience. Still maybe an item of interest for the musically ambitious and those considering a brief escape from metal.

Riverside - Memories In My Head


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