Riverside have announced that guitarist Maciej Meller is now a full-time member of the band. The guitarist has been guesting with the Polish prog rockers for the last three years, following the death of Piotr Grudziński in 2016.
"Dear friends, this is an incredibly important moment in the history of our band. From the beginning of February 2020, Riverside are officially not a trio any more, we are a quartet," the band announced on their Facebook page earlier today.
"He's been with us for over three years. He let us recover from the tragic loss we have all experienced, he helped us survive and become, from year to year, a better and better live band. He has been our friend and our brother. We are welcoming him in our midst with great joy, in which we hope you will also share.
"Being a good guitarist and loving music is one thing, but being able to fit in with your personality, incredible modesty and humility, that's an incredibly important thing in our band. Maciej meets all the criteria and we are truly happy that he wants to continue our journey with us."
The band also announced that they would be entering the studio to begin work on a follow up to 2018's Wasteland once they complete February's run of European live dates.
"Piotr Grudziński will always be in our hearts, we all still love him and we will never forget him," the band continue. "But we have to move on. We are on a journey, they are waiting for us. There is more to create in this life, more to see, more to know, more to save. We hope that you will decide to stay with us again and that you will let us help one another through all of this."
The announcement comes days after Riverside mainman Mariusz Duda announced plans for his own solo career beyond Riverside and Lunatic Soul.
"Recently, I turned 44, so I think it's high time for another music world," he announced on his official Facebook page. "One might ask, why do I need another solo project if I have Lunatic Soul? And why did I need Lunatic Soul if I had Riverside? You might not know it but the artists who have not fulfilled their desires, dreams and ambitions are the most frustrated people out there.
"So if one has a chance to fulfil one's plans on multiple levels, then, as long as one's wellbeing and climate changes allow, one should enjoy the possibilities. This time, however, I'm not going to play with any nicknames and I'll simply sign my work with my own name and surname."
Duda states his plan is to release "individual songs recorded with the help of my friends and colleagues," the first of which will be released in March.
He also announced his intention to return Lunatic Soul to the sound of the band's earlier albums, stating the "two separate worlds have come dangerously close together."
Of Riverside, he also announced that "no matter how much I keep denying it and making fun of it, will always be marked with the stamp of 'progressive rock'. And so let's have long tracks, elaborate guitar solos, concept albums and the like.
"Riverside will go back to playing the kind of music you know from the first four releases, but in a refreshed form forged in the last decade."