ID.Entity by RiversideRelease date: January 20, 2023
Label: InsideOut Music
From the moment ‘Friend or Foe?’ begins, you get a sense of looking through some of the unearthed mix tapes John Hughes had done during the making of his 1985 classic, The Breakfast Club. There’s elements of A-ha, Simple Minds, and Eloy’s Inside-era, rolled into one. For Riverside, moving from heavier guitars and walking into the territories of ‘80s synth-pop, it makes a big leap to prove listeners that they’re more than just a metal band.
Following-up to their seventh studio album Wasteland, the first as a trio after losing co-founder and guitarist Piotr Grudziński in 2016, ID.Entity is one of the band’s engines revved up and ready to ignite the whole world on fire. Mariusz Duda, who has an appreciation of electronic and ambient music with his solo project Lunatic Soul since 2008, he has brought the vibes once more to Riverside’s doorstep on the band’s latest release.
Alongside the opening track which details the person’s decision to trust this person or not, ‘Landmine Blast’ returns to their metallic roots once more with a flamenco-like loop and Duda’s crossover between acoustic and electric guitars, followed by the slapped bass sounds, he gets down to business. And to be allowed to have Maciej Meller, who follows in Grudziński’s footsteps, he fits right in by adding more fuel to the fire in the midsection that has a cat-and-mouse chase sequence.
I can hear elements of Les Claypool’s arrangements, Zappa-sque textures, and Peter Hammill’s lyrical structures from the In Camera sessions while Duda sings in the styles of ‘Gog’ in the chorus. ‘Big Tech Brother’ becomes a harsh reality check of the big corrupted politicians taking over the whole society.
For Duda, he’s already portrayed the scenery as if Orwell’s vision has come to life with Big Brother running the whole show. When you hear this song, you think of the so-called social media stars from TikTok, YouTube, OnlyFans, etc. they are hitting the big time and acting like a bunch of damn fools in front of the camera.
But once the big techs take over, you have to be on your phone, PC, and Mac, 24/7, until you become massively insane by the enormous technology that’s handed to you. And there’s no chance in hell of getting out of this zone that the big corrupter’s have taken over the entire world, by ruling with an iron fist.
Meanwhile, ‘Post-Truth’ punches you in the gut with a hardcore punch. It becomes a ticking time-bomb between Duda, Kozieradzki, Lapaj, and Meller, detailing the elephant in the white room whose about to reveal to the public on who this person really is, and how he has destruct the entire city in one full swoop.
You have the heavier attacks, alternate textures, and pounding organ approaches that comes crawling under your spine. The 13-minute piece, ‘The Place Where I Belong’ has a heartfelt arrangement.
It goes from acoustic, helicopter-like sceneries as the mood changes by transforming itself into a Uriah Heep-like attack from the late, great Ken Hensley’s exercise with The Magician’s Birthday, followed by a ZZ Top approach. The last two minutes sees Riverside entering the folky warm-like sun, coming over the horizon as they turns with their improvisation.
It gives them leeway and carte blanche to make it towards the finish line while closing it out with ‘I’m Done With You’ and ‘Self-Aware’. This is where they bring in the big guns by going from Italian prog, ascending staircases, train-chugging lead sections, and going electro on yo’ ass!
All in all, Riverside’s new album brings everything to the forefront. It’s a roller-coaster ride that is all down to the bone, and adding that extra spice by making it delicious and having your bellies full for a wonderful home-cooked meal that the band have unleashed with ID.Entity.