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Beyond The Bridge - The Old Man and the Spirit CD (album) cover

THE OLD MAN AND THE SPIRIT

Beyond The Bridge

 

Progressive Metal

3.64 | 46 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

memowakeman
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Review originally posted at www.prog-sphere.com

A strong debut!

This new German outfit has entered to the musical realm with a debut album entitled 'The Old Man and The Spirit' which was recorded from 2008 to 2011, and finally released via Frontiers Records this January of 2012. The album consists of eleven compositions that make a total time of 69 minutes of very good prog metal. The band offers great instrumental passages, but contrasted and complemented by the ones with both male and female vocals.

It kicks off with 'The Call' whose first two minutes are the introductory instrumental ones, and then male vocals join with a powerful and emotional range. There is always a keyboard background, while guitars, bass and drums create the rhythm and structure. After four and a half minutes there is a major change, the music slows down, then spoken word appears and creates a nervous and thoughtful moment, then it vanishes and the music explodes with a powerful sound,

'The Apparition' is a wonderful track, I love the tension created and the sound reminiscent to middle east lands, here there is also spoken word and when it disappears, cool guitar riffs appear along with great keyboard notes. Just before the second minute the female voice appears for the first time in the album, it last for some moments and then the rhythm changes, helped now by male vocals that create a heavier and more powerful sound worth mentioning is that we can listen to backing vocals in the most part of the song, so here we have a very cool symphonic prog metal song. Minutes later we can listen to a great instrumental passage with acoustic guitar that put a Spanish flavor, so this song can take you to several places.

'Triumph of Irreality' starts with keyboards and later drums and strings join in order to create a friendly sound that reminds me a bit of some Ayreon's moments. A minute later female spoken word appears and then a new structure is being created, with faster keyboards that put the almost inherent symphonic sound of this band. The most of the track is instrumental, and great by the way. 'The Spring of it All' is the shortest track and probably the mellowest. Two minutes of a soft and catchy sound made by piano, drums and both vocals.

'World of Wonders' starts with the same soft and mellow sound created by keyboards, some seconds later acoustic guitar and female voice enter and continue with that catchy (but great) sound. A cool guitar riff comes later. 'The Primal Demand' is another short track, here we will have like a moment of reflection, with some far voices and a strange, tense and nervous sound made by keyboards for more than a minute, then guitars enter and do their job.

You may think you are still listening to the previous track, but then you will realize 'Doorway to Salvation' has started. The metal sound is back here with powerful guitars, later the music slows down and female voice enter for some seconds, but then male voice appears and put a heavier tune. I like here how both voices work and complement each other, both creating different colors and emotions. After five minutes we will have a feast of guitar and keyboard solos, that let us know the skills of the musicians.

'The Struggle' starts with male voice singing a repetitive but addictive line, later the music enters now with female voice and creates a soft and melodic metal sound. In this track we will also listen to some jazzy moments implemented by keyboards. There is a part I like a lot after three minutes, where both vocals join, each one sing the correspondent part, but create a wonderful communion, so the listener can actually listen, enjoy and understand what both say. 'The Difference is Human' is a longer track, that is a clear example of the type of music Beyond the Bridge creates. I like how it is progressing and adding elements little by little. I like the backing vocals and the intercalation between male and female ones. Cool rhythm and mood changes here, making a strong and solid track.

'Where the Earth and Sky Meet' has a softer sound with delicate male voice and a friendly keyboard background. The rhythm does not drastically change, actually it is practically the same during the whole song; the thing here is that the music is becoming more and more emotional, until at minute five reaches the climax with a disarming guitar riff. The final minutes are pretty great, emotional due to the backing vocals.

The album finishes with 'All a Man Can Do' which is the longest track. In spite of its duration, they don't surprise us with several or drastic time and mood changes. Here the song flows in its soft and mid-tempo sound, with some moments of intensity and emotion. This track can be a summary of Beyond the Bridge's sound.

A very good and strong debut, I am sure they will have recognition soon. My final grade will be 3 solid stars, almost 4.

Enjoy it!

memowakeman | 3/5 |

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