Shrine of New Generation Slaves impressions. As you may have heard, the album was intended to be more progressive rock than metal, and that's very true. I'm a huge Anno Domini fan, so even though I like prog rock I was expecting to be somewhat disappointed... not so. It was pleasantly surprising, and though quite a departure from their past work it was still unmistakably Riverside. The album seems to go back and forth between two different places; a slightly-less-heavy version of older Riverside material and a much lighter prog atmosphere (where it stays most of the time). So if you're used to hearing the other albums, it will ease you into the new style. And I have to say, I wasn't too fond of the heavy portions of this album. Mainly this was just because of their severe overuse of pentatonic riffs. It's a cool sound, but there's only so much you can do with it before everything starts sounding the same from using it so much. The rest of the had some really cool rhythms with great drumming, though.
Vocals and bass playing were at an all-time high, by far. Duda puts down some serious groove with the drums on Deprived, which is something that can't really be accomplished with metal. And the singing is just fantastic. Guitar work was on par with previous albums, as was the keyboard work. The only times I was impressed with the keyboardist were his organ parts during the metal sections, and I really wish he would have used organ sounds throughout. The rest of the keyboard parts are good, but he only truly shines in metal. Production was also the best I have heard from them yet. Clipping was present as expected, but the record maintains a clear sound for its entire length. I don't have the vinyl yet so no comments there.
Overall it's a great listen that takes you from exciting heavy prog metal sections to fascinating gentle melodic parts and everywhere in between. If you listen to Duda's side project, Lunatic Soul, you already have a good idea of what some of this album sounds like. 8.7/10