Riverside - Out Of Myself
InsideOut Music
Dark Progressive Metal
9 songs (53:16)
Release year: 2004
Riverside, InsideOut Music, Out of Myself Details and Concept
Reviewed by Boris
Archive review

I stumbled upon Riverside thanks to a recommendation from Amazon.com while I was purchasing some other progressive metal albums, and boy am I lucky I did (how often do you really say that in reference to an Amazon rec?). Out of Myself is the debut full-length album from this Polish quartet, and the first in their “Reality Dream trilogy.”

The trilogy is a highly personal and emotional exploration of someone struggling to deal with the modern lifestyle. You can read the concept behind Out of Myself on their website (link above).

Opener The Same River is the perfect demonstration of what you are getting into when you decide to listen to a Riverside album. It is an exercise in patience, starting off calm and building to a logical musical climax but not before throwing some tricks in along the way. The music is indicative of what Dream Theater could have sounded like had they chosen to explore their darker and emotional side as opposed to the technical aspect to their music. It is not until almost four and a half minutes in that the song is in full force, and not until eight minutes in that the vocals come in. And when bassist/vocalist Mariusz Duda starts singing, it is as if he is providing clarity to the chaos that has just ensued (controlled chaos, of course—there is no point at which the song descends into just noise). The beautiful melody in which he sings, “As you know I have always, I have always loved you and I will always…” pulls at the heartstrings of anyone with a soul. I re-listened to this one 30 second clip over and over again because I just couldn’t get over how amazing it was.

The album continues with some shorter songs, Out of Myself and I Believe, both which keep up the quality set by the opening track. The title track is more aggressive and industrial, and features Mariusz changing into a sort of growl mid-sentence. His aggressive vocals are so raw with emotion that they send chills down my spine anytime I hear them. This is, of course, thanks to the way they compliment the music backing them.

Reality Dream and Reality Dream II are both instrumentals, separated only by the beautiful Loose Heart, and they both show off the band’s technical abilities, but in a way that does not seem too flashy. Reality Dream is a welcome change of pace, immediately bursting with energy and proggy goodness, while the second part follows the formula of The Same River in that it logically and patiently ascends.

The next two tracks are the least interesting—though that’s not saying much—and it’s only because by this point in the album, you pretty much know what you’re going to get. As I said, this doesn’t say much because In Two Minds has some of the most haunting vocal melodies on the disc. The album closer, OK, is a good focused conclusion to an album that switches from hopeful to depressed to angry in a matter of minutes. It is, strangely enough, very robotic and reminds me a little bit of Chroma Key.

When this album came out, all the way back in 2004, many progressive rock fans hailed it as one of the best prog debuts ever. I’ve always felt that just Riverside’s metal sensibilities have been downplayed, but this album, when its rocking hard, is definitively metal, and encompasses what I think metal does better than any other genre—articulates raw human emotion through awesome interesting means. Any fans of any kind of prog-metal as well as of bands like Porcupine Tree and Opeth should fall in love with this band as I did.

Killing Songs :
Every Single One of them!
Boris quoted 93 / 100
Other albums by Riverside that we have reviewed:
Riverside - Anno Domini High Definition reviewed by Boris and quoted 98 / 100
Riverside - Rapid Eye Movement reviewed by Boris and quoted 87 / 100
Riverside - Second Life Syndrome reviewed by Boris and quoted 94 / 100
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