23/3/16 – Piotr Grudzinski – 15th March 1975 – 21st February 2016 /Riverside – Schizophrenic Prayer – 2007

Piotr Grudinski B:W picMost of my knowledge of Polish bands is confined to a series of Polish Jazz albums that came out in the seventies and even though I own some of that series, I’d be hard pressed to actually name the artists. One band that has made an impression in the moody, Prog Metal genre is Riverside. Sadly they have recently lost their guitarist Piotr Grudzinski as he unexpectedly died of a heart attack in February at the age of 40. The band has cancelled all dates for the rest of the year as they reassess their position and mourn the loss of their friend and founding member of the band.

If you are a fan of Porcupine Tree/Steven Wilson or Alice In Chains you should investigate Riverside’s catalogue. They were formed in Warsaw in 2001 and have made six studio albums to date. Schizophrenic Prayer is from their third album, Rapid Eye Movement. Although their debut album Out Of Myself (2003)  failed to chart, their second album Second Life Syndrome (2005) made it to No.22. Rapid Eye Movement (2007) was the beginning of regular visits to the higher echelons of the Polish charts as the album  reached No.2. The following album, Anno Domini High Definition (2009) made it to No.1. Shrine Of New Generation Slaves (2013) and Love Fear And The Time Machine (2015) both reached No.2.

The band is led by singer/bass player Mariusz Duda. Duda also has a really interesting moody solo project called Lunatic Soul that has released four albums. Riverside’s other founding member is drummer Piotr Kozieradzki. Keyboardist Michal Lapaj replaced Jacek Melnicki in 2003

With the future uncertain since the sudden death of Grudzinski, the band have announced a new collection of ambient and instrumental pieces. Love Fear And The Time Machine had been their most successful album outside Poland. RIP Piotr Grudzinski. Condolences to friends and family.