Fireworks

RPWL - 'Beyond Man And Time' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/f7/20/e1/2369_rpwlbeyondmanandtime_1340018090.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     June 18, 2012    
 
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Their finest achievement to date.

German melodic proggers RPWL return with album number five that sees them fully embrace the concept album across an ambitiously weighty seventy five minutes. Pink Floyd, inevitably the Mothership for a multitude of contemporary European prog acts, are the obvious starting point for RPWL who themselves began life as a Floyd tribute act before moving on to do their own thing. Somewhat curiously the band have sought to distance themselves from the “prog” label, preferring to be described as art rockers and once even going so far as to record a song titled “This Is Not A Prog Song”…which of course is precisely what it was. Without delving too deeply into the concept the broad basis for the narrative is derived from the first line of Nietzsche's 'Thus Spoke Zarathustra'; "6000 feet beyond man and time..." The protagonist is embarking on a journey into embracing a new way of ideological thinking, meeting such inspirational figures along the way as the scientist, the creator and the ugliest man in the world, each of which is reflected across the songs titles. For those wanting the full-on experience there is also a limited version of this album that comes with a spoken word CD and topographic map that goes even further into the story of Beyond Man and Time.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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Expansive, spacey soundscapes, lush melodies and sustained atmospheric passages combine to make this a glorious example of modern progressive rock. Guitarist Kalle Wallner invites latter day Gilmour comparisons with his laid-back and relaxed style whilst the mellow and rich vocals of Yogi Lang perfectly suit the brooding and melancholic mood. Adding more to the overall effect the band also incorporate some exotic elements such as the use of oriental percussion and sitar that takes the music into more experimental areas. The majority of the songs are between five and ten minutes, keeping the narrative moving along at a reasonable pace, until it all culminates with the fully blown, explosive experience that is the sixteen minute “The Fisherman”. Broken down into three parts this is a sprawling epic, the kind of thing that graced all of the classic prog albums of yesteryear, carried along by the washes of keyboards from Markus Jehle as he and Wallner offer some exquisite touches, revisiting some of the earlier themes and adding a new twist.

With its overall length and somewhat convoluted theme there was a real danger that RPWL could have been guilty of over indulgence here but thankfully they avoid the pitfalls and have released what has to be considered their finest achievement to date.

Dean Pedley

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