The second chapter of Riverside's frontman Mariusz Duda solo project – Lunatic Soul – serves as the continuation of the debut's concept, therefore further exploring the afterlife experiences of the central character, in a way that really takes the emotional status of the story to new levels of inner-self reflections and discovery.
Musically wise, the album also shows improvements in terms of construction and the capacity to create the best possible atmospheres that complement the concept. The music here complements the imagery of the travel itself, taking the listener to places where the eeriness and the hauntingly sparkled lyricism and vocalizations excellently merge with the sense of the compositions. While nostalgia and melancholy are taken into epic proportions within a mostly ghostly musicality that sometimes burst in tension and power, almost in a tribal or even primordial vibe and/or feel.
The folksy world music is also an extra add here. Some middle-eastern aspects are present, sometimes mixed with some eerie ancient Inca tones, resulting on the enriching of the quieter moments. Tapestries and atmospheres engulf the listener in a flight adventure while the more intense parts bring him back to earth. There is also a curious proximity to some David Sylvian approaches, Opeth's quieter moments, or even to Antimatter dark corners, but the result ends up being very personal and with a distinctive signature.
Lunatic Soul ends up being to Riverside as No-Man is to Porcupine Tree: totally different musical concepts that, still, share some recognizable characteristics, starting with some vocal aesthetics and the capacity to transmit emotions and to impose vivid imagery upon its listeners. Highly recommended!