Voices In My Head

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Originally issued in 2005 in the band's native Poland and quickly deleted, Voices in My Head was a follow up to the band's debut full-length, Out of Myself. The original EP is here augmented by three live tracks and a video for the song "Acronym Love." Newcomers may be surprised by the lush approachability of Riverside's sound; the band is generally assigned to the prog/metal category, but the only apparent reason for that is the general sense of grandiosity that informs its music. For most metal bands, grandiosity is bad news, taking what might otherwise be salutary noise and turning it into giggle-inducing silliness. But for Riverside it's a sonic principle rather than a posture, and it works very well. The hideously named "DNA TS. Rednum or F. Raf" ("Far from Understand"?) is dark and gorgeous, with acoustic guitars and tastefully wielded electronic rhythm loops; "Time I Was Daydreaming" is dreamy and lush, with synthesized strings and more electro rhythms. "Stuck Between" is less interesting but still quite pleasant, and the three live tracks, unsurprisingly, are all a bit more hard-edged and rock-ish, particularly the energetic "Out of Myself." Highly recommended overall.

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