RIVERSEA – Out Of An Ancient World (2012)

RIVERSEA - Out Of An Ancient World (2012)

thanx to Progmeister


“Out Of An Ancient World” is the debut album from RIVERSEA, a joint project between Nine Stones Close bandmates Brendan Eyre and Marc Atkinson.

Joined by a team of seasoned musicians from the Prog sphere (including excellent Sad Cafe guitarist Ashley Mulford) they have crafted an album with a (mostly Prog) music that has to be some of the most beautiful you have heard in a long time.

Marc’s velvety vocals and Brendan’s amazing compositions are without doubt the key to the albums success. The atmosphere created on many of the songs is the result of allowing space, depth and breadth in the soundstage.

This is not an album for lovers of their prog replete with keyboard and guitar excursions and twenty five minute operettas. Instead Riversea have created something rich in sophistication which will appeal to both traditional Prog fans and lovers of more traditional forms of rock.

Production is first class and the opening gambit “In The Beginning” sets the scene for what is a musical journey packed to the gunnels with emotion, excitement and finesse. Brendan Eyre’s powerful and rock steady keyboards drift into Marc Atkinson’s lilting voice before thundering into a powerful statement aided and abated by Nine Stones Close axe-man Adrian Jones.

Indeed Riversea seem to have a guitarist for every occasion, “The Song” enlists the skills of Mark Rowen who lends a sweet yet treated inflection into this hope filled piece. The track is brought to a crescendo by the amazing vocal talents of Olivia Sparnenn who finishes things off rather nicely.

On “Is That What God Wants?” I find it amazing how Marc’s voice trips from the sweet lilting balladeer to the all-out rock singer in the space of a few bars reminding me very much of Chris Thompson. This really is an amazing piece of music which is a credit to the keyboard abilities of Brendan Eyre and the writing talents of his band mate. To finish of such a tsunami of a song Adam Dawson nailed the concluding guitar solo to the wall. Absolutely breathtaking tune.

“Halo” is yet another song that forces the listener to reflect. From the beautiful tranquillity of the opening and closing piano through the massive orchestration to Bryan Josh’s wicked comfortably numb guitar lick this is yet another diamond in a crown of aural jewels.

However, if it’s a bit of good honest prog with its associated drama then look no further than “The Fallen”. This really is a balls to the wall rejection of complacency with an injection of true grit. The Mellotron and strong guitar are brutally beaten into submission by Alex Cromarty’s deft of hand with the drum sticks.

Scale is something that Riversea seem to major on and a perfect example of this is “Eden”. A massive and apocalyptic message is delivered in a civilised way and yet again Marc’s finely penned words really prompt the listener into deep thought and although very bleak paints a huge picture.

To lighten things up a little with some heft and imagination is gritty “Still Home”. Adrian Jones guitar adds just the right amount of bite and darkness to Brendan Eyre’s crisp keyboard textures. A short reprise of this song later in the album featuring Tony Patterson (John Hackett band/re-Genesis) and the eerie backing vocals really makes this a ghost-like tale.

One of my favorites songs should be “Falling Stars”. It lures the listening into thinking it is going to be a lilting ballad with soft and almost pleading vocals accompanied by piano until fifty seconds in it turns a bit more sinister. For those of you with large speakers I would suggest you proceed with caution. There are some very deep frequencies on this track, so much so it may actually fragment kidney stones. Adrian Jones’s nightmare guitar and a mean synth solo make this a compelling listen.

Allowing the dust to settle for a while the fore mentioned ballad happens along in the rather beautiful “Wiser”. Ashley Mulford (Sad Cafe, Mandala Band) adds impetus to this lilting and sad song. Ashley’s passionate blues licks are simply stunning and Brendan Eyre’s organ playing reminded me of Camel.

To conclude the album is of course the all-important title track and it is no disappointment. The now tried and tested formula of tranquil beginnings to the songs and finishing grand, utilises fully every weapon available in Riversea’s arsenal. Mark Rowen yet again blinding the listener with another great guitar contribution this time joined by Mostly Autumn’s Liam Davison.

This CD is pearl, beautifully hand-crafted by the talents of Riversea’s core force Brendan Eyre and Marc Atkinson.

Though credit must be given to its many contributors, it is the quality of the writing and composition that puts “Out Of An Ancient World” head and shoulders above some of the present wave of self-purporting progressive artistes.

There is something for most people on this album, whether you are a traditional Prog lover or just enjoy quality rock.

Buy with confidence but don’t leave it too late though because I have a feeling this album will sell out pretty quick once it gets some air play, as only is available at Riversea’s website.


01 – In the Beginning

02 – The Song

03 – If That What God Wants

04 – Halo

05 – The Fallen

06 – Eden

07 – Still Home

08 – Falling Stars

09 – Wiser

10 – Freeze The Frame

11 – Still Home (Reprise)

12 – Out of an Ancient World

Marc Atkinson – vocals, acoustic guitar

Brendan Eyre – piano, synths

Alex Cromarty (The Heather Findlay Band) – drums

Dave Clements – bass

Tony Patterson (Regenesis, So Gabriel) – flute

Bryan Josh, Liam Davison (Mostly Autumn) – guitars

Paul Cusick, Adrian Jones (Nine Stones Close) – guitars

Mark Rowen (ex Breathing Space) – guitars

Adam Dawson (Stolen Earth) – guitars

Ashley Mulford (Sad Cafe, Mandalaband) – guitars

Olivia Sparnenn, Janine Atkinson, Benn and Louise Dawson – backing vocals



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