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RPWL - Beyond Man And Time CD (album) cover





3.89 | 433 ratings

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4 stars Review originally written for

A new and great album!

German outfilt RPWL has returned with a new studio album, two years after the release of their 10-year anniversary 2-CD 'The Gentle Art of Music' compilation, which by the way, is one of my favorite compilation albums ever. Now they bring us an excellent original album in which we will find RPWL's music at its best; and though the album is actually long, it is really, really good.

'Beyond Man and Time' is its name, it features eleven songs that make a total time of 75 minutes.

It opens with 'Transformed' which is a two-minute instrumental track that works as the album's introduction. It leads to 'We Are What We Are' which in the other hand, is the first long track here with almost ten minutes length. The vocals appear here for the first time in the album, the song has an inherent electronic element that makes a very nice background, perfectly accompanied by repetitive guitar notes. This song is very good, and a true taste of what this album is about: excellent instrumental moments, laid-back passages, several changes, great keyboard tunes and complexity.

'Beyond Man and Time' continues with that delicious mid-tempo rhythm, that actually makes this music gentle. The sound is really clean, well produced, and the compositions are well structured and crafted. Here we have a kind of 'light' prog, however, it is easy to appreciate and love, without being necessarily catchy. 'Unchain the Earth' has a great start with keyboards and electronic elements; after a minute guitar appears and produce a sound which reminds me to some 80s moments, it also has an attractive rhythm. The Pink Floyd reference is obvious here due to the vocals (of course) but also the guitars and the keyboard background.

'The Ugliest Man in the World' has a rockier sound, different from the previous tracks, more dynamic, intense and even heavier in moments, though when we are enjoying the powerful instrumental intro, they all of a sudden make a drastic change where vocals and acoustic guitar play in a soft mood for some seconds; later the song returns to its original rhythm, until 2:40 when the chorus appears accompanied by a great guitar. In 'The Road of Creation' the appreciation of the bass is clearer, and here the drums are also a strong point that it is not that noticeable in previous tracks.

'Somewhere in Between' is the shortest track of the album. It has a delicate voice and a keyboard background at first, later guitar joins and creates a dreamy and atmospheric sound. 'The Shadow' is a nice song though I must admit it is probably my least favorite of the album, it simply did not click with me in spite of the cool guitar riff after two minutes, I am sorry. 'The Wise in the Desert' has a calm rhythm and voice complemented by a gloomy atmosphere, the wind chimes and one can see images, like a film scene while the instrumental music sounds. After three minutes the intensity increases and the music becomes much more emotional. Great track.

Now the longest track comes with 'The Fisherman', a 17-minute track full of colors, changes and nuances. It starts with a kind of mid-eastern sound which later is complemented by guitars, drums and vocals. The music perfectly flows here, the keyboards are sweet and share a charming sound during the most of the track, sometimes working as pure background, sometimes with some lead solos; after four minutes there is a great instrumental part which take us to the RPWL realm, in a good trip to another dimension and another world, you just have to let the music do its work, then you will realize you've been in different place for some minutes. Later there is a sweeter and calmer moment for a minute, and then voice reappears and a new structure is being built up. It keeps flowing until all of a sudden those 17 minutes have passed.

The album finishes with 'The Noon', a catchy, warm and charming song with a delicious and relaxing sound. Not the best track of the album without a doubt, but the best they could have chosen as the last track, it is an excellent finisher. So well, this RPWL album is really strong, well crafted and enjoyable from last to first, some people have stated this is their best album so far, and I must say I agree. My final grade will be four stars.

Enjoy it!

memowakeman | 4/5 |


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