Fireworks

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A rather good debut album.

It’s refreshing when one discovers a new name scene and their debut album then turns out to be rather good; Riversea fit that category very nicely indeed. This album has been in gestation for over five years, although to be fair the members aren’t full-time musicians and ‘real life’ got in the way. Riversea was originally conceived as a song-writing project with the protagonists working separately and combining their input by swapping files but you’d never guess, because the album sounds cohesive, fresh and far from being sterile like some project albums.

The trio of Brendan Eyre (keyboards), Marc Atkinson (vocals) and Paul Cusick on guitars began the journey with the latter dropping out along the way to concentrate on making his solo albums under the Q moniker. They have managed to obtain the services of some notable and significant guest players such as various members of Mostly Autumn; they even got the renowned Ed Unitsky to do the art work.

Musically the band come across as an extremely pleasing amalgam of Pink Floyd, Mostly Autumn, Jadis, Steve Thorne, Believe and Hogarth era Marillion, without any of those influences overwhelming the band’s own character.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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Taking the track ‘Freeze the Frame’ as an example it opens with a Mostly Autumn vibe, the keyboard solo has overtones of ‘Wish You Were Here’ Pink Floyd and the guitar solo is pure David Gilmour; it’s a truly wonderful song; but so is every one of the twelve on offer so picking specific highlights isn’t easy as I could go through every song, in depth. Prophetically the album opens with ‘In the Beginning’ which uses a latter day Pink Floyd feel initially before the vocals kick in and remind me of Thorne. ‘The Song’ has a delightful melody, a beautiful vocal arrangement and lovely guitar solo. ‘Is That What God Wants?’ starts out languidly with piano and vocals before bursting into a wonderful chorus that has the guitars ramped up nicely. I defy the listener not have the chorus going round inside their head after just one play. ‘The Fallen’ has the Jadis feel while ‘Still Home’ has a fine beat and another memorable refrain. ‘Falling Stars’ has a sparse feel with a programmed rhythm, a wash of keyboards and multi vocal arrangement. That is until a brilliantly executed change into a heavy instrumental finish. The guitar solo from Adrian Jones is a delight.

‘Wiser’ is a favourite track of mine, the refrains and melodies are rather special, but so is the guitar work from Ashley Mulford (Sad Café/Mandalaband), it recalls Marillion before they went ambient. The title track rounds out proceedings in fine style. A plaintive piano and vocal piece is gradually joined by other instruments in a splendid arrangement. The keyboard work that builds during the song is terrific as is the guitar from Liam Davison (Mostly Autumn) and Mark Rowen.

Let’s hope Riversea don’t keep us waiting five years for the next instalment.

Gary Marshall

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