Polish progressive metal band Riverside have been hailed as one of the best new bands of the genre since releasing their impressive debut album, Out Of Myself, in 2004. The band has since released three more equally impressive studio albums, along with this first concert DVD, Reality Dream, which has been in the works for nearly two years now, and has now finally seen the light of day.
Riverside's music showcases a variety of influences including Pink Floyd, Porcupine Tree, and Opeth (sans the horrible growling vocals). Although they are typically lumped into the Progressive Metal genre, they fall far closer to the Marillion, Porcupine Tree melodic-prog side of the tracks. Mariusz Duda's extraordinary vocals are what really elevate this band to the top of the heap. He can be both gently soothing and brutally powerful within the scope of the same song. Duda also handles the bass guitar duties, and I was amazed at how effortlessly he lays down intricate bass lines while simultaneously singing lead. I guess Geddy Lee isn't the only magician in town.
The rest of the band, Piotr Grudzinski (guitar), Michal Lapaj (keyboards), and Piotr Kozieradzki (drums) all have the required virtuosity of a top shelf progressive rock unit, and they play marvelously here. Reality Dream was filmed at the Toya Studios in Lodz, Poland, on May 17th, 2008, and it features material from the band's first three albums, Out Of Myself (2004), Second Life Syndrome (2005), and Rapid Eye Movement (2007) - collectively known as the "Reality Dream Trilogy."
The concert begins with the two lead-off tracks off Out Of Myself, "The Same River," and the title track, and they are two of the band's finest. "The Same River" begins with a long atmospheric intro that gains steam from Piotr Grudziski's hypnotic arpeggios and gorgeous Steve Rothery-esque guitar solos. This was about all it took for me to know that these guys are top-notch live performers and that I was in for one hell of a treat.