Progressive in the truest sense of the word, Riverside have never felt the desire to plunder the sounds and slants of the 70s prog rock behemoths, preferring instead to evolve into a far more original proposition. Heavier than their earlier albums, Anno Domini High Definition is a concept piece written for “people who know they need to speed up or they’ll be left behind” and addresses the daily struggle to survive. It’s a proposal that’s reminiscent of the type of heavyweight subjects that Porcupine Tree have examined, and musically there are a few nods in that band’s direction. Yet those similarities are fairly superficial and a more accurate description would include such influences as Tool, Dream Theater as well as the soulfulness of modern Marillion.
Hyperactive, is as the name suggests, an energetic and dazzling display of their aptitude but it’s on the longer tracks that Riverside have the breathing space to truly shine. The nine minutes of Egoist Hedonist is an almost faultless display of how modern prog should sound and is dripping with gorgeous keyboard and guitar motifs. The similarly expansive Left Out and Hybrid Times are also mesmerising musical adventures and proves that this is unquestionably their most endearing album to date.
This review originally appeared in issue 10 of Prog Magazine.