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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

3.73 | 46 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Warthur
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Beyond the Bridge play a brash and boisterous style of prog metal littered with technical flourishes but with tight enough compositions to avoid degenerating into tedious showboating. They may be all flash, but there's also a bit of substance to them, with Christopher Tarnow and Simon Oberender's keyboard interjections in particular managing to be simultaneously showing whilst remaining consistent with the mood the band are aiming for.

As the title implies, we're looking at a concept album revolving around an encounter between the titular old man and the titular spirit, who are played by vocalists Herbie Langhans and Dilenya Mar respectively. Mar's vocals, in particular, are a real treat, but both of them share the spotlight effectively and help get across the theatrical and narrative aims of the album. Apparently, Mar only joined the band in 2008, after they'd already been toiling away for 9 years (the first 6 of which under the name of Fallout), but she's clearly the missing link which made their sound really come together.

The band also show fine judgement in crafting the lyrics - rather than artificially working in lyrics for both singers in each song, instead each singer gets two or three solo songs each: Mar's solo songs consist of the Spirit's attempts to convey secret knowledge to the Old Man, whilst Langhan's take place before the Spirit arrives and after the Spirit abandons the Old Man to his fate. As well as showing sufficient maturity to allow the requirements of the music and narrative to guide their performances rather than demanding rigorously equal spotlight time, this also means that we get an idea of each vocalist's capabilities outside of the context of the more conversational songs. I don't know how the band intend to follow this up - will their next album feature another male and female character in conversation, or will they find a different way to exploit their dual vocalist situation? - but I'll be interested to see what they do.

Warthur | 4/5 |

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