RPWL - 'A Show Beyond Man And Time' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     January 09, 2014    
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This release doesn't do it for me; I'll stick to the audio version.

Truth be told I have been avoiding committing my thoughts to the keyboard when it comes to this review. Why? Because I feel conflicted; on the one hand I am very partial to RPWLs Pink Floyd-infused music, whilst on the other I'm not a fan of concert DVDs which use special effects or what I call arty shots. This release has both of those in abundance. Any of you as old as me will remember the Director Mike Mansfield who was notorious for his flamboyant way of filming bands; this is redolent of his style.

Also, this DVD is a straight reproduction of the band's most recent studio album ('Beyond Man and Time'), bar the final track, with vocalist Yogi Lang doing the Peter Gabriel thing of dressing up in a different costume for each song and although I'm not averse to a bit of theatricality, here it's so literal (a blindfold for 'Beyond Man and Time (The Blind)', a lab coat and a smoking flask on 'Unchain The Earth (The Scientist)') as to be a bit uncomfortable and faintly embarrassing. I'd have preferred a mixed set of songs from across their canon of work rather than a rendition of the one album.

Clearly, a great deal of effort and thought went into the creation of the show, its graphics, visuals and so on, and as always with a DVD from Metal Mind the quality is very high, the staging is great and lighting superb so it's a surprise that the footage wasn't edited better, because many times you see the boom camera right in the middle of the shot or cameramen running around on stage; this is distracting and dare I say unprofessional.

Musically I don't have any issues as the band are hot (they should have been on the basis this was the final show of the tour) and deliver the songs in fine style; they know how to write decent hooks and memorable choruses, although I can imagine some people might wish they they'd get out of second gear and ramp up the pace and power more often. Guitarist, Kalle Wallner is a particularly fine player and his solos are extremely tasty; all substance and very little unnecessary or superfluous flash.

Former Stiltskin and Genesis singer Ray Wilson makes an appearance on the final track 'Roses' and adds a little bit of sparkle to proceedings as a consequence and the usual extras of an interview, photo gallery etc are also present.
Sorry; this release doesn't do it for me; I'll stick to the audio version.

Gary Marshall

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