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In January the mighty Polish heavy neo-prog group Riverside returned with another tour de force. All the ingredients that make the band so popular are there of course: power chords galore, but the choppy organ stabs in ‘Post-Truth’, and the synth solo reveal another side to Riverside rooted in classic prog ,vying with the best of the melodic prog bands in delivering strong ‘tunes’ amidst the crunching guitar - a nice piano coda here as well. Before that the perceptive lyrics of ‘Big Tech Brother’ will strike a chord with many. The most fascinating track for me was the 13 minutes of ‘The Place Where I Belong’, which starts oh so quietly before a wonderful heavy rock bassline ups the ante with some jazzy Hammond flourishes, answered by effervescent guitar. Yes, “anger is coming from every corner”! And, “We don’t have equal chances, and everything does not depend on me, stop saying that” totally hit the spot with me - it is easy to identify with this music, about not always having to be the best, under pressure all the time; instead just being allowed to be yourself- oh, what a precious gift that would be! An acoustic section gives way to an anthemic and reflective denouement with another pining guitar solo, as we are left to ponder the wise words that preceded it. I cannot recall a piece of this length passing so quickly before! The final track ‘Self-Aware’ is also the most ‘poppy’, sounding a like a revved up Biffy Clyro, witha Police type reggae riff; this is no criticism, the playing is as always superlative, and the final bass riff and dreamy synth bring us back into more of a hypnotic space rock realm: they should try more of

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