Ever since their debut, Out Of Myself, in 2004 Polish progressive metal band Riverside have released fantastic albums that I’ve enjoyed. I had the pleasure to review their second album, Second Life Syndrome, released in 2005. After several more albums and solo project from lead singer Mariusz Duda called Lunatic Soul in 2008, Riverside decided it was time to put out a full length dvd. I should point out that the material on Reality Dream: Live is from a different source than the dvd portion of special edition of Anno Domini High Definition .Both are essential to their fans.
While Riverside's music is being called progressive metal, it doesn’t fall under a Dream Theater style, it’s closer to Opeth sans the cookie monster vocals. They have a melodic side that reminds me of Porcupine Tree and modern Marillion.
Reality Dream was filmed at the Toya Studios in Lodz, Poland, on May 17th, 2008, and it features material from Out Of Myself (2004), Second Life Syndrome (2005), and Rapid Eye Movement (2007) which has been known as the "Reality Dream Trilogy." It has two discs filled with some of the stirring emotional renditions of their songs You feel the music from the first note of "The Same River"(from Out Of My Head) to the final track on disc 2 “”Ultimate Trip” (from Rapid Eye Movement).
Personal highlights of this dvd are “Volte-Face”, “02 Panic Room”, “Second Life Syndrome” The Curtain Falls“ (which ends the main part of the concert). For the best viewing enjoyment, I would suggest watching the first disc in one sitting, if possible, to feel the energy of the beautiful complex music the band creates.
On disc two, there are two encore tracks, “Ultimate Trip” being my favorite. Then there’s the encores with seven tracks from various times in the band’s career, between 2006 and 2008. One good thing is none of the bonus tracks are repeated from the main concert.
On the special features portion of the dvd, there’s a 15-minute behind-the-scenes film titled "Behind the Curtain". The down side is the band didn’t talk about their live or studio experiences. I just think of it more as a slide show with music. The booklet included has 10 pages of band photos. Again, nothing being said by the band about this dvd.
In closing, I would recommend fans of the band to purchase this ASAP. I would also recommend those that are new to the band and have no idea where to start off, to get your hands on this 2 disc dvd set. Riverside is one of my favorite bands in this genre thus getting regular viewings. It also documents an important time in the band’s career (so far).
Reviewed by Ron Fuchs on June 23rd, 2010