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RPWL - Beyond Man and Time CD (album) cover





3.89 | 440 ratings

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4 stars While not counting the compilation 'The Gentle Art Of Music' it took four years to present a new studio album. The founding core is reduced to WL, speaking of guitarist Kalle Wallner and singer Yogi Lang, now that bassist Chris Postl recently left the band in order to concentrate on other duties, for example his project Parzivals Eye. No reason to panic though as they've found valuable replacement. Austrian Werner Taus is the new bass player and keyboarder Markus Jehle as well as Marc Turiaux (drums) are aboard for several years in the meanwhile.

Musically the band stays on the usual run here for the most part. That means, besides Sylvan RPWL still are a real trademark when you like to ask for catchy progressive rock from Germany. As one can expect 'Beyond Man And Time' showcases some slight Pink Floyd references here and there, however less excursions into popular fields on this occasion, in favour of a distinctive neo prog style, yeah! While guitar solo attempts are rare Kalle Wallner acts like a restrained team player more than ever in my opinion. Additionally Markus Jehle convinces with interesting keyboard/synth contributions all the way through.

You can smell the longtime song-writing experience. Worked out as a concept album with philosophical approach Nietzsche and his opus magnum 'Also Sprach Zarathustra' serves for the necessary background. This sounds rounded, compact overall, comes like one epic. No heavy breaks, the songs blend into each other basically, outfitted with a lovely atmospheric ambience overall. Yogi Lang's smooth vocals are very present of course. Some songs feature longer instrumental passages though - like it is with the exceptional We Are What We Are which evolves from an ambient intro with oriental percussion to a nice grooving exemplar including excellent moog contributions.

The title song is a polished ballad bearing melody pure, followed by Unchain The Earth showing subtle Pink Floyd undertones. With The Ugliest Man In The World and The Road Of Creation they turn into a more tricky and powerful direction. Highlight by all means is the epic The Fisherman - a great exploration starting relaxed with oriental sentiment. Later varied keyboards, including mellotron, care for a symphonic touch in the vein of Genesis or Big Big Train ... and then finally Kalle Wallner acquires time enough to unfold his guitar skills. Kudos! Definitely one of their best songs ever.

'Beyond Man And Time' is brimfull of atmospheric and melodic moments. Another great RPWL accomplishment which deserves your attention. Straight compositions, relaxed vocals, playful keys and guitar - finally I won't miss to mention the very solid rhythm branch. I'm really curious to see them in Hannover during their European tour presenting their new album live. Fans of charming progressive rock shouldn't miss that album.

Rivertree | 4/5 |


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