II is the second solo album from Mariusz Duda, the lead singer and creative force behind the post-progressive band Riverside.
The album follows on from the original Lunatic Soul album, which was released on Kscope to critical acclaim in 2008, and Duda has described the project as ‘a double album divided into two single ones by the period of two years’ anticipation.’
“There is a little fear that the listeners, seeing a white cover with the characteristic sign and logo ‘lunatic soul’ but without any ‘2’ or ‘II,’ will think that it is a kind of re-release of the first album,” says the author of Lunatic Soul. “That’s why I’d like to highlight that it’s going to be entirely new material, and the cover looks as it looks because since the beginning it was supposed to be a black and white diptych. Lunatic Soul is simply a double album divided into two single ones by the period of two years’ anticipation. And now there comes the time for it's second and last part.
“It’s still a story about the journey through the afterworld, and more specifically about a journey through a certain place that exists somewhere in-between. White doesn’t refer here to a literal return to life. The protagonist will still remain on the other side. White doesn’t mean that instead of dark sounds we’ll hear happy songs and nightingales singing, either. It will still be very characteristic, trans-like, and (as I like to call it) oriental-alternative musical journey. In many places maybe even a little more oriental and maybe more unsetting. For instance, in one of the songs the protagonist will find himself surrounded by four white naked walls, dressed in... a straitjacket. Of course I wanted to create a lot of “light” sounds, a certain kind of lightness, on this album. And I admit that in many moments—with the help of Robert and Magda—I’ve accomplished exactly what I was dreaming of. It will surely still be a blend of everything I like, from Dead Can Dance, Peter Gabriel from IV or Passion , through films and books about ghosts, up to my favourite Silent Hill, yet I can already hear that the second album, despite the continuation, will sound differently. I hope, though, that the sounds on it will not leave the majority of the lunatic souls indifferent.”
The majority of the instrumental parts are played by Mariusz Duda himself. However, the guest musicians appear this time as well, for instance already known from the previous album Maciej Szelenbaum (keyboards, flutes, quzheng) or Wawrzyniec Dramowicz from Indukti (drums).
Praise for I:
‘Beautiful, kaleidoscopic and at times breathtakingly forlorn...
brilliant.’ 8/10 Metal Hammer (UK)
Top albums of 2008 #6 Eclipsed (Germany)
‘an excellent release, worthy to stand alongside anything in the Riverside catalogue’ Progression (USA)
Lunatic Soul 2 Tracklist
The In-Between Kingdom
Suspended In Whiteness
Escape from ParadIce