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RPWL - Beyond Man and Time CD (album) cover





3.89 | 460 ratings

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4 stars If "World Through my Eyes" showed the world the potential of RPWL, then "Beyond Man and Time" shows us the potential turned into reality. While there is still an underlying Pink Floyd feel to them, they have finally come into their own.

Vocalist Yogi Lang adds a breathy vocal to a spacy atmosphere punctuated by Kalle Wallner's acoustic backing on the first real song, "We Are What We Are". After a relatively standard song build up, we get the first opportunity to hear Yogi's keyboard styling's. (I credit Yogi with the solo as the style is similar to that of the title track to "World Through My Eyes" of which Yogi was the only listed keyboard player, verified by live Youtube performances). His solo at the five minute mark highlights the unique style that he adds to the band with just the right combination of melody and noodling.

"Unchain the Earth" is one of my favorite songs of the year. Despite my earlier statement that they've found their own sound, this particular song could have easily been found on "The Division Belle". It's a poppy (seven minute) song chock full of riffs and lines that stick to you like macaroni and cheese on a cold Tuesday in Boston.

"Ugliest Man on Earth", is a nice bit of alternating acoustic and heavier bits with a killer 'wall of sound' that hits you out of nowhere, another example of chaos materializing into the perfect chord. We do get a blistering Hammond solo towards the end of this song, which I'm attributing to Markus Jehle (again, verified by youtube) as the style is noticeably different from Mr. Lang's.

One negative about RPWL is their sparing use of backing vocals. This is especially noticeable on "The Wise in the Desert", the chorus feels like it needs a little more. My belief is that the band needs to add capable backup singers. I'll hearken back to "World Through My Eyes" which is my favorite song by RPWL, it has a killer chorus with multiple layers of Mr. Lang's voice creating a series of harmonies that are absolutely fantastic and possibly the defining character of the song. The problem though was especially apparent on "Start the Fire", their live CD that came out shortly after "World Through My Eyes". "World Through My Eyes" the song that I loved so much absolutely did not translate well to a live setting, the backing vocals were missing and it was really disappointing. Sorry, that was a lot of words to say that 'needs more backing vocalists'.

While we're going off on tangents, I've never been to Boston.

"The Fisherman" hearkens back to the Indian sounds of (again) "World Through My Eyes", which gives a unique and exotic flair to the epic before going on a tour of vintage sounds. This leads directly into a nice airy guitar solo by Mr. Wallner over a tight 15/8 back beat punctuated by bursts of screaming Hammond only to trade back to the lofty guitar solo. The song even has a sprawling, Roine Stolt style epic ending . . . but wait, rather than the expected big finish we get a whirlwind tour of the epic, summarizing it nicely before a last verse to send us off to the previously expected grandiose ending.

All in all, RPWL is another spacy band somewhere between Pink Floyd and Porcupine Tree. The keys are fantastic through and through while the rest of the band is pretty good as well. "Beyond Man and Time" is easily one of their best and a solid four star CD. If you like good production, atmosphere and a spacy vibe, check this one out.

Roland113 | 4/5 |


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