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RPWL

Neo-Prog • Germany


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RPWL biography
RPWL (Risettion Postl Wallner Lung - the band members) is a German progressive rock band. The band was formed in 1997 as a Pink Floyd cover band. After three years they started to make their own music based on their influences from their cover band era. Their debut CD, God Has Failed was met with international enthusiasm, praise and excellent reviews in all the major progressive rock music magazines.

The band wanted to make a statement with Trying To Kiss The Sun in 2002, which relied more on the band as a creative entity and less on their influences. Their 3rd studio album, Stock was released in 2003. It was formed of the tracks that didn't make it onto the first 2 albums, plus a cover of Syd Barrett's "Opel", which the band used at shows as a soundcheck.

In 2005 they released their 4th studio album World Through My Eyes. This was received well by fans and off it their first single was taken- "Roses" sung by former Genesis and Stiltskin vocalist Ray Wilson.

Later that year, the band released their 1st live album Live- Start The Fire. The double disc album contains the whole of the band's Rockpalast concert, again featuring Ray Wilson on lead vocals for "Roses" and one other track this time, "Not About Us", which is from Ray's one and only album with Genesis entitled Calling All Stations.

In 2007, saw the release of 9--a compilation including 5 previously unreleased live songs and 4 brand new solo songs recorded together by the band. Those studio-tracks are representing the different influences in the band. 9 was released in a limited edition of 999 CDs and was only available from their website.

In February 2008, they released a new album called The RPWL Experience, which diverted greatly from previous efforts. Martien Koolen of DPRP writes, "The southern German prog rock band certainly explores new musical horizons on this album as some songs even sound raw and unpolished."

Eric Walker (USA)

RPWL official website

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Buy RPWL Music


Wanted (Cd+Dvd edition)Wanted (Cd+Dvd edition)
Gentle Art Of Music 2014
Audio CD$18.44
$12.22 (used)
Beyond Man And TimeBeyond Man And Time
AFM Records 2012
Audio CD$10.00
$15.97 (used)
A Show Beyond Man And Time (Double LP Gatefold)A Show Beyond Man And Time (Double LP Gatefold)
METAL MIND 2013
Vinyl$26.46
$47.56 (used)
StockStock
Tempus Fugit 2011
Audio CD$12.99
$8.99 (used)
Trying to Kiss the SunTrying to Kiss the Sun
Import
Imports 2013
Audio CD$12.63
$12.35 (used)
The Gentle Art Of MusicThe Gentle Art Of Music
AFM Records 2010
Audio CD$11.63
$11.41 (used)
WantedWanted
Import
Imports 2014
Vinyl$32.65
$77.48 (used)
World Through My EyesWorld Through My Eyes
Inside Out U.S. 2004
Audio CD$18.99
$12.87 (used)
The RPWL Live Experience (Ltd. edition)The RPWL Live Experience (Ltd. edition)
Import · Limited Edition
Metal Mind 2009
Audio CD$12.15
$19.78 (used)
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RPWL shows & tickets


  • Summers End 10 (SE X) on 26 Sep 2014
  • Prog The Castle on 8 May 2015

RPWL discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

RPWL top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.40 | 96 ratings
God Has Failed
2000
3.55 | 115 ratings
Trying to Kiss the Sun
2002
3.66 | 169 ratings
World Through My Eyes
2005
3.46 | 129 ratings
The RPWL Experience
2008
3.92 | 354 ratings
Beyond Man And Time
2012
3.65 | 119 ratings
Wanted
2014

RPWL Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.76 | 46 ratings
Start The Fire Live
2005
4.38 | 29 ratings
The RPWL Live Experience
2009
4.40 | 26 ratings
A Show Beyond Man And Time
2013

RPWL Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.51 | 29 ratings
The RPWL Live Experience
2009
4.89 | 28 ratings
A Show Beyond Man And Time
2013

RPWL Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.11 | 69 ratings
Stock
2003
4.16 | 48 ratings
The Gentle Art Of Music
2010

RPWL Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.41 | 18 ratings
9
2007
4.00 | 4 ratings
Rarities
2010

RPWL Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Beyond Man And Time by RPWL album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.92 | 354 ratings

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Beyond Man And Time
RPWL Neo-Prog

Review by Gatot
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars One can easily mention the characteristics of legendary prog music , for example the music of Genesis or Yes were considered as being symphonic and melodic; Gentle Giant was complex with great choirs while Pink Floyd was considered simple but great with their "feel" as well as soundscape. RPWL has been pigeon-holed by prog fans as a Pink Floyd- influenced band and many like the band very much. What I can say about RPWL is the simple side of Pink Floyd as RPWL has not so far demonstrated the "feel" part especially with Gilmourian style in playing guitar. Occasionally I know also the music of Cold Play and I would say the music of RPWL is somewhat similar as well with Cold Play even though RPWL is less poppy compared to Cold Play.

You will find this album full of joy while you spin it as each and every individual track has been nicely composed and it flows naturally from start to end with practically regular beats and tempos producing nice grooves. The only exception is the opening track that basically an ambient opening to the album and sets the overall tone of the music featured in this album. You will find some guitar work here and there but it's thinly mixed and not extremely exposed beyond the surface like typical Pink Floyd with stunning guitar solo and feels. It's probably by design as today's youngsters are not quite keen with harsh or heavy guitar solo but they'd like the thin sound instead. You may refer it to the music of Cold Play which basically no exposure with guitar solo.

From the second track "We Are What We Are [The Keeper]" (9:33) you can find right a way how nice the music is especially with its combined melody through the vocal line and the rhythm section that lends itself from the Pink Floyd platform. "Beyond Man And Time [The Blind]" (6:42) provides the nuances of Division Bell's sort of sounds with some guitar solo that makes the music really nice."Unchain The Earth [The Scientist]" (7:19) flows slowly with good ambient as opener plus some guitar fills, moving in crescendo with good soundscapes. The upbeat tempo The Ugliest Man In The World [The Ugly] (8:09) might be of interest to you as it has quite straight forward structure combined with some breaks using acoustic guitar and vocal line. There are some harder parts with a bit of exploration on guitar work. Most of you who adore prog music might want to digest the tenth track "The Fisherman" which has an approx 17 minutes total duration in three movements: High As A Mountain [Part 1], The Abyss and return back to High As A Mountain [Part 2]. One of the reasons could be the use of mellotron-like soun that reminds us to the hey day of progrock in 70s. I also like this epic as it flows nicely from start to end with nice soundscapes.

Of course you would not get something in the nuances of Pink Floyd's "Dos" or "Pigs" or "Have a Cigar" in this album by RPWL. But for sure you can get many things in the vein of Division Bells all along the entire album here. It's a very good album especially for those of you longing for Pink Floyd. Keep on proggin' ...!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

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 Wanted by RPWL album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.65 | 119 ratings

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Wanted
RPWL Neo-Prog

Review by Progrussia

3 stars The grubby mug-shot cover is almost a deliberate contrast with pretentiousness of Beyond Man and Time. But how is it musically? Well, its still an accessible mix of heavy prog and Pink Floyd and U2 influenced pop-prog. There's an attempt to make it sound modern by adding a dash of electronica. Lyrically it's angry, but musically rarely so.

It's more of a summing-up of the band's strengths kind of album rather than a leap forward. But if you think you could weasel out of listening the entire catalogue by getting just this, I'd still recommend listening the back catalogue. Because for all their good ear for melody, there's no song here that would stand out, like Silenced on RPWL Experience, for example, or the entire Beyond Man and Time.

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 Wanted by RPWL album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.65 | 119 ratings

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Wanted
RPWL Neo-Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars German band RPWL, led by vocalist Yogi Land and guitarist Kalle Wallner, is fast approaching a solid veteran status with a history going back 17 years or thereabouts. During that time they have issued just about a dozen of releases, live albums, DVDs and compilation discs included. "Wanted" is their sixth studio production, and was released through Lang and Wallner's Gentle Art of Music label in March 2014.

RPWL as of 2014 is a band that appears to focus on two aspects of their repertoire that perhaps are slightly at odds with each other: accessible but sophisticated compositions, listener friendly songs with plenty of them well suited to mainstream and classic rock airplay but still maintaining the use of multiple themes and contrasting sequences. As this is the second album in a row that explores a conceptual story, and these are the only ones RPWL have made that do just that, it would appear that this is a second focus area for the band, which at least for some will be somewhat at odds with the aforementioned accessible and radio friendly description. Those fond of accessible progressive rock explored within a conceptual context are the obvious key audience as seen from the perspective of this website.

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 A Show Beyond Man And Time by RPWL album cover DVD/Video, 2013
4.89 | 28 ratings

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A Show Beyond Man And Time
RPWL Neo-Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars German band RPWL started out in the late 1990's, initially as a Pink Floyd cover band but soon deciding that it would be much more worthwhile to explore material they made themselves. With Yogi Lang and Kalle Wallner as core members RPWL have steadily issued material since they made their debut with "God Has Failed" in 2000. "A Show Beyond Man and Time" is their third live DVD production, and was released through the Polish label Metal Mind in the fall of 2013.

Metal Mind is a guarantee for high quality productions, and in the case of RPWL's DVD "A Show Beyond Man and Time" all important aspects of a live DVD have been combined to perfection. High quality video and audio capture, a steady and inventive hand utilized for the video editing, and the band is having an excellent day both as musicians and performers, the video backdrops and effect screens further elevating the experience. As far as live DVDs go this one is a perfect one.

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 A Show Beyond Man And Time by RPWL album cover Live, 2013
4.40 | 26 ratings

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A Show Beyond Man And Time
RPWL Neo-Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars German band RPWL has been around in one shape or another since 1997, and from 2000 and onwards they have made a name for themselves with their brand of melodic, atmospheric progressive rock. Initially with clear tie-ins to their past as a Pink Floyd cover band, but in later years they have appeared to increasingly find a sound less easy to place directly within such a context. "A Show Beyond Man and Time" is RPWL's third live album, and was released in the fall of 2013 as the audio only alternative to a DVD production.

Any band that has been a going concern for some time feel the need to release a live album, and in the case of RPWL they now have three such productions in their catalog. And at least in the case of this latest production, it is a very satisfying experience too. A nice and pleasant studio album is transformed into a more vital production here, with a stronger and more distinct nerve and tension elevating the material covered quite nicely. While I found the DVD version of this concert an even more satisfying experience, this double live CD is one well worth checking out too, with existing fans of RPWL and those with a soft spot for neo progressive rock as the likely key audiences.

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 Wanted by RPWL album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.65 | 119 ratings

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Wanted
RPWL Neo-Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

5 stars Never judge a book by its cover, they say! Funny dat, as the golden prog-rock era of the 70s was all about Hipgnosis, Storm Thorgerson and Roger Dean artwork, seducing the unsuspecting vinyl purchaser to fork out the dollars and take a risk on some Topographic Tale, venture out to the prism of the lunar Dark Side, hoping the music would rate as high as the arty gatefold cover. German prog stalwarts RPWL keep progressing beyond their initial Floydian roots and as tasty and grandiose as their previous epic release, Beyond Man and Time was, this new chapter showcases a radical departure in terms of sound as well as the gory artwork they have chosen for "Wanted", a dead or alive poster for the general public to be aware of and report any sightings to the local authorities. 5 unshaven mugs of slightly deranged, hung over and perverted German musicians, as if they were Baader Meinhof remnants that Interpol has forgotten to arrest! These prog convicts have dropped any hint of playing it safe, by simply tackling their craft with a new found urgency, raising the theme of" is modern man, being the evolutionary creature that he is, ready for absolute freedom " , incorporating modern beats into a harder edged sound, especially evident in guitarist Kalle Wallner's carnal tones blending with a vast arsenal of spirited synthesized sounds that trickle into the experimental areas that purely define their progressive roots, forging an altogether more virile direction. RPWL are now prog terrorists wanted by the thought police for crimes of opinion. To quote their website " These Bavarians have established a back story full of fantasy. In it RPWL and their friends aim at granting the world access to the product of the secret formula ? disguised as a homeopathic drug against mental fatigue that goes by the name of "Veritas Forte." Considering the true intention of the operation the fact that the wrath of the churches of the world religions is unleashed at the band rather sooner than later is understood. And so, consequently, they are forced to go underground. That, however, is where RPWL continues to organize ultimate liberation from all oppression through the machineries of illusion run by religions and sects. RPWL are Wanted."

The first few seconds drop vivid flares as to how this music is going to dazzle the listener. "Revelation" is proof that is not going to be a prog-lite affair (sorry, mate to disagree with you ) , dealing with complex subject matter that will not endear the zealot believers out there, risking disdain or worse, excommunication or fatwa! Religion the opium of the masses, the spiritual pillow that disguises social control. Also the easiest sales pitch ever, induce fear of the all mighty and you will cower! Funny but Mommy Nature is almighty and yet a benevolent reality, with no corporate head office, no company logo and shareholders waiting to cash in on their options! RPWL shoulder a heavy cross (pun) to bear, daring to challenge the supreme ayatollahs, popes and other such powerful lobbies that lead us seemingly to a nowhere land of broken promises and misguided ideals. On the militaristic and smarmy "Swords and Guns", the mood becomes tragic, grey and stubborn , with buzzing revolutionary guitars and binary drum onslaught, left/right insanity and reptilian bass revulsion. Cartesian, square and steamrolling, the march goes forward inexorably towards some kind of sonic apotheosis. The sound is raw, intense and brash, as unkempt and frazzled as the cover art wanted ad, big bustling bass flushed forward, marshaling drums and gritty guitar, while the extended Manfred Mann-inspired synthesizer solo continues to sprinkle its spiraling genius, deep into the interstellar night. The boys have opted to forge a rockier edge which, I must state, is a brilliant move.

"A Clear Cut Line" is a fine yet brief sonic instance, highly reminiscent in its utter simplicity (tchak-tchak beat, windy effects, whoosh and undeniable charm), guileless notes smartly engendered, winking at the vaunted Berlin and Dusseldorf schools of electronic music. The tracks flow nicely, mostly upbeat and slightly more aggressive that previous RPWL fare, yet their ability to carve titanic anthems is still quite apparent as on the title track , a clearly accessible sing-along sizzler, with Wallner, drummer Turiaux, bassist Taus and ivoryman Jehle kicking hard at their instruments. Hunted, haunted and wanted, this is a RPWL classic!

Childhood memories of playing in the park, content and carefree appear on the hypnotic "Hide & Seek" , a playful clash of contrasts between na´vetÚ and harshest reality. Jehle's furious organ solo slashes through dense wickets of organised sound, very rock and very cool, showing off some profound 'purple' influences and crowned by Yogi Lang's conclusive vocal. Acoustic guitar shows us the exit! Bravo!

Hey, you wanna hear some heavy guitar riffs? Like Foghat, Trapeze or Blue Oyster Cult? Kein problem! Never have the lads played so 'schwer', at times quirky as Lang even dares some "Austrian rock singer Falco" ?like lines before delving into softer pools of meditative singing before plunging back into the depth-charged rifferama , with a wah-wah drenched guitar solo that will knock your wurst! "Disbelief" is exactly that, unbelievable and ballsy!

"Misguided Thought" is a well-earned pleasure ride, a soft ballad that shows their true colors, obviously Meddle-ed to the fullest, a joyful exercise in gentle serenading , Yogi's sexy voice crooning delightfully 'truth is just a breath away" . As far as anti-religious rants go, this is a daring display of polite critique, the words harsh and the mood airy, prophetic and thoroughly enchanting, palpitating and exalted by a soaring guitar explosion.

The urban and bouncy buzz-saw that is "Perfect Day" should initiate an immediate smile on any listener's face, lush with energetic sizzle and electro-pulse. Cinemascope and hopeful, the message is not all gloom and doom, eternal damnation and the need to humbly kneel at the altar. Evolution and revolution that is the solution, "a perfect day with nothing more between us". How refreshing, a band with a powerful worded and musically supported message, just like in the hippie days. Groovy, baby!

The beastly , virulent and almost Zeppelin-esque rumble of "The Attack" makes you aware right away that this is not a wimpy affair, sugar-coated prog-pop with little or no substance. It's a muscular, jugular 11 minute assault on the senses, confronted with misty illusions of past tenets and the desperate pain caused by human folly. The mid-section becomes adventurous and floating, like some inflatable doll in a residential swimming pool (Hello, Roxy!), gaudy imagery and all. Wallner pulls on his axe with trepidation and flair, taking the arrangement into depths that defy logic, as the instrumentalists forge new sounds and textures. Amazing track, once again!

So what will tomorrow bring? Keine ahnung! (No idea) but " A New Dawn" is a fitting finale , with a na´ve and fragile disposition, challenging new thoughts and new realities, questioning our past virtual allegiances built on social obedience and imposed norms of conduct, control, control and silly control. Whether you agree or not is not the point, life needs constant reflection, unending questioning of what and who we really are, as individuals and sadly, as a society that still has found little answers in the art of coexistence. "Too much fear that makes us blind, I call that religious", oh my "God"!

All in all, as a fan who owns almost all their albums (Stock being the rebel misfit) , I warmly applaud RPWL's leap of faith(pun again), as I was getting antsy about their overtly glossy production , as Beyond Man and Time was such a sprawling affair (both the album and the live DVD) , wondering how they could hope to top that! They just went back to the rockiest basics and created a more organic sound, while keeping the classic elements that make them such a special band, capable of such immense creativity. I suspect that some naysayers who have written RPWL off as prog fluff will be stunningly surprised at the level of sheer blood and blatant guts displayed here.

5 DOAs

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 Wanted by RPWL album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.65 | 119 ratings

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Wanted
RPWL Neo-Prog

Review by aapatsos
Special Collaborator Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams

3 stars In "Wanted" RPWL borrow a Greek-antiquity concept of the "gift of absolute freedom" and create a new philosophy on how this might apply to the modern world and especially in the context of how organised religion and being religious (in the modern sense) may hinder the individual from reaching this state of "freedom"; regardless of whether Plato had that in mind when talking about Hippocrates' methods or not, RPWL, "Wanted" by the world religion churches, go on a conceptual journey (or mission) in this album (and finally succeed) to free the world from the "blindness" and "intolerance" of religion.

"The RPWL Experience" was my first with the band, from which I remember the music hovering about a more toned-down Porcupine Tree approach, having little to do with Neo-Prog as such. Almost the same could be said musically about this release: the album's sound is closer to what we would call "Crossover Prog", with a strong resemblance to late 70's/80's Pink Floyd and especially the warm tone of David Gilmour on vocals and guitars (especially on the middle section, see 'Hide And Seek', 'Disbelief', 'Misguided Thought'). When the band decide to add some distortion, they do so by mixing a heavy-blues sound with Porcupine Tree ('Disbelief', 'The Attack') that certainly adds points in terms of variety. Disappointingly, there is a large amount of mainstream pop-prog ('Swords and Guns', 'Wanted', 'Perfect Day'), which certainly curtails the efforts for originality and innovation, revealing the "Achilles' heel" of this release.

The Hogarth-era Marillion-balladry style of numbers such as 'A New Dawn' left me initially with a general feeling of disappointment about "Wanted", but on subsequent spins the musicianship got me convinced of its credentials, with the instrumental interesting opener 'Revelation' and the dark-ish 'Hide and Seek' and 'The Attack' standing a bit above the others. The keyboard passages, when apparent, certainly give a note of innovation and variety and would certainly have liked to have more of it in this album.

A good, solid release from RPWL, but not as exciting as it promises to be, "Wanted" would appeal to fans of "lite", melodic prog.

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 Wanted by RPWL album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.65 | 119 ratings

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Wanted
RPWL Neo-Prog

Review by Evolver
Special Collaborator Crossover & JazzRock/Fusion Teams

4 stars This album is my first experience with RPWL. I had heard of them as they were once a Pink Floyd cover band that had extended into origin music, but I never explored them as such. I hobtained a Yogi Lang solo album at one point, and noted the strong resemblance to David Gilmour's music. So while I love Pink Floyd, I never ventured into RPWL, as I just expected a clone.

But clone this is not. Sure, Lang's voice has that Gilmouresque tone, as does Kalle wallner's guitar. And a few tracks do have more than a passing compositional nod to the Floyd roots. RPWL has expanded on this base, mostly into more deeply progressive waters, with very successful results.

The opener, Revelation, is a powerhouse instrumental heavy prog track. In a vague way, it reminds me of Rush, as they were incorporating electronics into their sound in the late 70s. Swords And Guns follows, with a chanted vocal track, and middle-eastern sounding scale. This is another strong track that compares favorably to Opeth's "Heritage" album. All of the other tracks are wonderful, with styles ranging from light and folky to a Deep Purple-like jam. Special mention must be made for The Attack, which climaxes the album in a multi themed, very progressive piece.

Lyrically, the main theme of the album is the tyranny of religion. As a lifelong atheist, this strikes a chord with me. While the words are definitely defiant and controversial (to some), the target does not seem to be the faith of the religious, but the misuse of the power and authority by the religious organizations. And in my not so humble opinion, they are spot on.

I have been unable to stop listening to this album over and over, and cannot wait for this long cold winter to end, so I can share it with the world from my car stereo, with the windows down.

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 Wanted by RPWL album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.65 | 119 ratings

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Wanted
RPWL Neo-Prog

Review by bhikkhu
Special Collaborator Symphonic Prog Team

3 stars After the name was put in my face countless times a few years back I gave RPWL a try. It left an 'okay at best' impression and faded into the reference only section of my library. I always like to give artists another chance so I enthusiastically accepted the assignment of reviewing their latest release 'Wanted.'

The techno beginning of 'Revelation' was very encouraging, especially with the entrance of the fuzz guitar and mellotron. Good prog groove all around leading to a more traditional middle and then bookending with the techno and mellotron. Not bad, not bad at all. Second song starts out interestingly with chugging guitar and bass adding a low register chant. Okay looking good' until the chorus. What happened? This cool dark rocker is suddenly invaded by radio friendly pop rock. Square peg in a round hole anyone? The extended 'jam' portion of the song does not play off what was started and only covers typical prog territory. Therein lies the problem. Just when I thought I might change my mind about RPWL, the reason I brushed them aside returns. To be fair quite a bit of 'Swords and Guns' did hold my attention, as did sections of other songs. Sadly the mundane tends to overshadow the innovative.

As often seen in other reviews of RPWL the music does contain a heavy David Gilmour influence. When complimented by their more creative elements it works very well. The unfortunate fact is most of the time these ideas fade before they are fully developed. Take for example the closer, 'A New Dawn.' Beginning in an intimate, minimalistic and decidedly non- Gilmour approach until then they swell up into the same ol' same ol' we have heard many times before by other bands. There are some areas that are satisfying and do work. 'The Attack' and the aforementioned 'Revelation' are outstanding tracks. 'The Attack' utilizes all the strengths of what they are known for and is the best song on the album. Otherwise the music is pretty generic and even at times puts me in the mind of soulless 80's rock. Not saying that's what it is but the connotation is there. Hey even some of our heroes, and most likely the band's, got absorbed into to that (Steve Hackett, Jeff Beck). I think I recall hearing something released by one of those guys back then that sounded a lot like the title track. Which by the way is surprisingly the weakest song on the album.

The preceding lines may be perceived as a slam on this talented group of musicians. To clarify, the music is not bad. The album is very listenable but lacks a distinct personality. To illustrate how subjective musical tastes are, one of my colleagues said the exact opposite in a review. He lauded RPWL for how much personality they have. I had not read his review before that word entered my mind. So like anything else it's really up to the individual to decide. 'Wanted' doesn't do enough to change my mind on the band or recommend the album very highly. If RPWL's focus had been on the things I did enjoy you would be reading an entirely different review. As it stands my music dollars would be better spent elsewhere. Who knows though, 'Wanted' could be your album of the year.

H.T. Riekels

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 Wanted by RPWL album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.65 | 119 ratings

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Wanted
RPWL Neo-Prog

Review by Second Life Syndrome
Collaborator Post/Math Rock and Crossover Teams

4 stars Some albums are challenging to review. RPWL's new album "Wanted" is certainly one of these. It actually sparked a discussion on my Facebook page "The PROG Mind" about the ultimate meaning of lyrics and about how a reviewer should consider them. More on that later.

RPWL have so much personality. Their music definitely leans on Pink Floyd stylistically, but I don't feel that they are derivative or a clone. Their music, while built on a specific foundation, is lively, varied, and extremely interesting. The music gets your attention so well through layers and layers of different sounds. In fact, on first listen to "Wanted", I was immediately gripped.

The band mixes a Gilmour-esque guitar structure with awesome bass lines and equally awesome keys. Kalle Wallner on guitar is magical with his excellent solos and his driving, distorted licks. Werner Taus on bass is perfect with his funky and truly inventive bass grooves. His rhythms work their way in and out of the music with wonderful results. Yogi and Markus on keys are probably my favorite, though. The keys range from awesome synth and organ to piano and electronic passages. The keys not only provide atmosphere and solos, but they are also a method of transition between sections. There are loads of sound effects present, too, that I personally like. I'm not sure what others think of sound effects in the music, but I find they create a unique and memorable experience. The rest of the band are excellent, as well. Marc Turiaux on drums may be the unsung hero here, though. His excellent rhythms and fills complete and drive the music well. Yogi on vocals has a mellow voice, delicate and rather emotional, too. His message that he is pushing is definitely felt from his heart.

The music, in a nutshell, is like Pink Floyd on steroids and with a funky pop twist. It's rather upbeat at points, dark in others, and definitely features a progression from dark to almost atmospherically light. It's as if the end of the album represents an epiphany musically. I really like the thought put into this structure and into the personal touches and subtleties that stand out throughout the album.

Lyrics are important to me, though. I can't rate an album without first understanding and considering the lyrics and their content. However, I also realize that lyrics represent their writers' thoughts and ideas, and I have respect for differing views. Again, however, as a critic, it's my job to provide information. "Wanted" is basically about the paradise and unity that would result if religion were to be eradicated. Religion is seen an illusion, and those that adhere to it as blind, intolerant sheep. Now, I'm not going to go into this, even though I could. But, I will say that the lyrics are very well written. They are challenging and written in a mature manner. I respect that. But, in my opinion, they are ultimately uninformed about history and reality.

Overall, though, this album is excellent. No, it's more than excellent. It's stunning. The musical personality on display here is top tier, as are the composition skills and execution. The band is certainly playing like a well-oiled machine, full of ideas and out-of-the-box thinking. This album is the the first must-hear of 2014.

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