With the onset of February we are getting a little busier. 2nd, Protest The Hero, 6th Del Amitri, 9th Molly Hatchet, 14th Monster Magnet, 15th Dream Theater, 19th, Sons Of Icarus, 20th Skyclad, 25th Soulfly, 26th Cadillac Three

And maybe a couple more to be added.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

RIVERSIDE, Jolly, Dianoya @Leamington Assembly 17/3/13

Dianoya are a new band on us at RTM. Like tonight’s headliners they hail from Poland and also in common with Riverside they peddle a brand of metal that is best pre-fixed with the word “prog”.  Their roots are, perhaps, slightly more metallic, though. Guitarist Jan Niedzielski gives his tastes away with his sporting of a Pantera tshirt, for example. Their songs – most of which are epic in nature – are damn fine. “The Genius” lives up to its title, while “Far Cry” might borrow a title from Rush, but also shares sentiments with them too.

New York’s Jolly are next up and if ever a band is ironically named its them. Archly miserable and dark from the get-go there are precious few laughs in their 45 minutes. In fairness, singer Anadale explains mid-set that they were lucky to get their new album done at all, given that it was being recorded in the home of Louis Abramson, which was then destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. Their’s was an interesting rather than outright jaw-dropping set. “When Everything’s Perfect” is excellent track, but perhaps best of all was closing number “The Pattern” which saw the band cut loose and really lock into a groove.

“Into this world I came/ Full of fear/ And crying all the time” so begins the opening track on Riverside’s new “Shrine Of New Generation Slaves” album. That alone tells you that, like Jolly, there isn’t going to be many songs with the lyrics “maybe” and “baby” in there (although it does contain the immortal line “no, I don’t have a stomach ache, its just my face”). At this point RTM should probably declare bias as, since hearing the band for the first time late last year, we have basically fallen in love the four piece. “….Slave” is the best record of the year so far and if there’s a better one that comes out at all then we want to hear it.

All that remains, then, is for the band to deliver a gig of the magnitude we are hoping for. Are they going to let us down…not a bit of it!

After the “Into this world….” etc starts us off the band then deliver the next two faultless tracks from “….Slave” before pausing for breath. The first thing to notice is that they are not only much heavier live than we expected, they have also taken great care to get everything right as from the lightshow to the sound, the entire show is exemplary.

There is a stunning guitar solo from Piotr Grudziński in “We Got Used To Us” while arguable set highlight “Egoist/Hedonist” is quite marvelous, as is set closer “Escalator Shrine” with its blasts of Hammond Organ from Michał Łapaj

There are a couple of well deserved encores as “Left Out” and “Conceiving You” bring things to halt, but this has been 90 odd minutes to savour.

Riverside are a bit of a cult band at the moment, although it is easy to see them making the step up, particularly in the UK where the more Marillion type elements to their sound should win them plenty of fans. However, if they are to remain a cult, then get yourself in the know pretty quick, because these boys are just a little bit special. 

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