Riverside’s “Love, Fear and The Time Machine” came out in 2015. It’s riddled with quirky songtitles like “Lost (Why Should I Be Frightened by a Hat?)”, “#Addicted” and “Caterpillar and the Barbed Wire”. I didn’t really get into it at that time. I think the reason is that I simply wanted my progressive metal to be more serious. This lead me to mainly confine myself to Riverside’s first four albums for quite some time. The first three albums represents their classic progressive metal days, while album four to six are more free and fleeting in style.
Maybe my late obsessions with Rush and Pink Floyd helped, because I changed my mind about this album over time. After warming up to it, the quirkiness feels playful and honest. Riverside aren’t limiting themselves in scope and style at all. It does make the album feel less comprehensive, but it also makes every song a different experience.
“#Addicted” and “Discard Your Fear” are rocking and driving. “Towards the Blue Horizon” harkens back to “Out of Myself”, as the finetuned acoustic balladry smoothly turns into a progressive jam. My favorite is probably opener “Lost (Why Should I Be Frightened By a Hat?”. It’s a very pleasant song, driven by light vocal and guitar lines.
“Love, Fear and the Time Machine” tracklist
1. Lost (Why Should I Be Frightened By a Hat?
2. Under the Pillow
4. Caterpillar and the Barbed Wire
5. Saturate Me
7. Discard Your Fear
8. Towards the Blue Horizon
9. Time Travellers
10. Found (The Unexpected Flaw of Searching)
As I said earlier, every song feels like a separate entity. This is for good and bad. I liked how tightly knit the themes of “Rapid Eye Movement” and “Anno Domini High Defintion” were, but this provides a completely different take on the Riverside sound.
Mariusz Duda shines
The playing and production is top notch as usual. The varied songwriting allows Mariusz Duda’s vocals to shine. He’s truly one of the most talented vocalists in rock today, and his voice can handle any type of song with ease. Considering all these positive aesthetic factors, maybe it’s simply the more lighthearted mood that doesn’t fully resonate with me. I tend to like Riverside’s darker songs the most, like “02 Panic Room” and “Out of Myself”.
A solid addition to the Riverside discography
“Love, Fear and The Time Machine” is a solid album, but I don’t think it’s comparable to “Out of Myself” or “Rapid Eye Movement”. I admire their will to experiment with different styles. No matter which album, Riverside’s discography only consists of quality music. It will be interesting to see where they go next.