RIVERSIDE — ID.Entity (review)

RIVERSIDE — ID.Entity album cover Album · 2023 · Metal Related Buy this album from MMA partners
4.5/5 ·
Kingcrimsonprog
January 2023 saw the magnificent Polish Progressive Rock band Riverside release their eight full-length studio album on InsideOut records, ID Entity. It is their second album since the passing of late guitarist Piotr Grudziński and first with Maciej Meller as an official band member.

Sonically, the album is a delight. The production is superb. Crystal clear, brilliantly balanced, perfectly recorded.

Lyrically, the album seems to either be a concept album or at least heavily themed about modern society in the age of questionable truth in the media, social media enraging the public, and a divided society. The lyrics are very blunt, direct and barbed compared to most previous Riverside albums (not to dissimilar to Pain Of Salvation’s Scarsick album). They could come across as a too bit on the nose if you just read the lyrics, but when you hear it with the vocal delivery and over the excellent music it seems almost profound (eg. “unsubscribe the ones who make us hostile” doesn’t seem particularly epic when written down here, but the part of that song when this lyric gets repeated is absolutely massive!).

Stylistically, the album is varied. There are moments that remind me of the more note dense 70’s prog influenced parts of the previous album Wasteland, mixed with the more ‘80s influenced parts of Love Fear And The Time Machine but it is also in many ways unlike any of the band’s previous material most of the time.

Therein lies the charm. Riverside are the most consistent band in music, and yet never make the same album twice. Constant evolution and change, but unshakable quality-control. A few days ago I tried to make a “Riverside Albums Ranked” list, and I really couldn’t do it, all albums were equal, all joined first… and I don’t mean that hyperbolically. I mean that stone cold literally. In terms of full-length studio albums at least, the band have a perfect discography to date, including this new record).

I usually make a list of standout songs in my reviews, but this album is such a brilliant journey from start to finish, and such a great album experience, that I almost don’t want to mention individual tracks. There is also absolutely no filler. Even the songs themselves have no weak parts. There is nothing skippable on the whole album.

In summary; as if you can’t tell already from all this gushing praise, I wholeheartedly recommend this album (and band if you aren’t into the band yet).
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UMUR wrote:
1 year ago
I have to get into a Riverside listening flow again. I´ve missed the last couple of albums, but I actually used to listen to them a lot.
adg211288 wrote:
1 year ago
I really like this one. I've always liked Riverside before while never being 'that' into them if you know what I mean, but this one is immediately striking a chord.

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