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RPWL - God Has Failed CD (album) cover





3.44 | 152 ratings

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4 stars For me, originality comes in many degrees. A cover band that only plays songs from the band they are covering clearly lacks originality, although they can take the original arrangement and modify it to their liking. Would that be slightly more original? How strong do influences on a band need to be before its music is considered unoriginal? There are probably a wide array of opinions on this and it is this issue that surrounds RPWL's debut God Has Failed (much like Starcastle's, Anekdoten's, or Mangala Vallis' debuts).

RPWL began as a Pink Floyd cover band in 1997 and this is who they've been compared to on God Has Failed to the point of being labeled a "clone." There is no doubt in my mind that this is their most obvious influence, sometimes to the point of being a copycat. Vocalist Yogi Lang often sounds like a young David Gilmour and guitarist Karlheinz Wallner does a fair imitation of Gilmour. However, Wallner's imitation only shows its face from time to time, whereas Lang's voice often sounds like Gilmour. To me, it is clearly these two gentlemen who give God Has Failed that clone-like impression. The rest of their sound is obviously neo prog, kind of giving it a more Ayreon feel with a slight Beatlesque-ness.

There are two songs that are almost rip-offs. In Your Dreams sounds very similar to Pink Floyd's Sorrow during the verses, but oddly during the choruses resembles Calling All Stations-era Genesis. It isn't a direct copy to me, but the bass and guitar are suspiciously similar to Sorrow during the first verse. As you listen further into the song, it clearly loses it's Floydness. Again, is this unoriginal, or just a strong influence? The second song that sounds like a rip-off is the title track. The acoustic guitar in places sounds like a slower version of Floyd's Pigs on the Wing. Lang's vocals are an almost perfect impression of Gilmour's on this song. Aside from these two songs, the remaining eleven tracks are a mix of Pink Floyd/Ayreon influences and neo prog, again with Lang's Gilmour-like vocals.

So, the question you have to ask yourself is: "Is originality a big issue for me?" If the answer is yes, you probably will have problems with this release and should avoid it and consider getting one of RPWL's later releases as they've shed most of their Floydian influences over time. If the answer is no, then you'll really enjoy this if you're interested in Floydian neo prog. The musicianship and production are extraordinarily well done.

For me, just because a singer imitates another singer, it isn't enough to distract me from enjoying the music. Remember the Gabriel-like vocals of Fish, Cyrus, and even Peter Nicholls? There are a lot of guitarists influenced by Gilmour out there and that doesn't bother me either. I'm slightly suspicious of the two songs that closely resemble Pink Floyd songs noted above, but again, it's not enough to persuade me to simply dismiss this band as a "clone" and give it a low rating when there is more than enough other material on the album that is original. Further, with most neo prog bands showing Genesis and Marillion influences, it's somewhat refreshing to hear one that takes a Floydian approach to neo prog. Overall, four stars (with the caveat on originality).

progaeopteryx | 4/5 |


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