Views, Fears and Stories is a bit of a confusing album, for the release of the album says 2018. However, the cover features drummer Mika Korkeamäki, who died in 2015. Does it mean initiator and sole survivor Toni Jokinen; alter ego: Tony Riveryman, has been working for years to finish the album, or is he releasing four years old material?
Without accompanying info, nor related information in the booklet I will not be able to answer this one. But let's just focus on the music of Riveryman, which is basically a one man band now, since Tony Riveryman is responsible for the vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards and piano on the album. Drums came from the aforementioned Mika Korkeamäki and guests are Esa Fors; vocals on Messenger Of God and Alex Argento from Icefish, who provided the keyboard solo in Generation Of Corruption.
When I began to listen to the album, the first impression was one of utter fear. No, please no Yngwie Malmsteen related speed monster on the guitar, but the opener Passing The Chamber Of Insanity combines the mindless speeding with fine progressive and even fusion style playing. Not bad so far. Vocals begin, or better, spoken words are used to emphasize the music. There it starts to go down the drain for me and then we sink into the rabbit hole. After the short View To A Forthcoming, the music turns into a combination of neo progressive rock; the vocal style, including pretty nice drums and on the other hand we are treated with some neo classical guitar laden parts; you guessed right, Yngwie style. Although during the solo elements, From.Uz guitarist Vitaly Popeloff's style comes to mind. But during the more vocal initiated parts; Messenger Of God, Generation Of Corruption, I wished Tony had used the years since his friend died, to hire a decent vocalist instead of wanting to do everything by himself, like a certain Swedish guitar hero decided to do as well and ruined his career.
OK, something positive them? Yep, Flower Of The Future and When The Stars Unite are a nice acoustic compositions, just a guitar, no vocals.
Riveryman presents us a weird combination of neo progressive rock combined with over the top neo classical guitar playing. Topped off with poor vocals, makes this not the most interesting album I have heard this year, Perhaps next time, with another vocalist and more modest guitar playing.
**+ Pedro Bekkers (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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