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RPWL - Beyond Man And Time CD (album) cover

BEYOND MAN AND TIME

RPWL

 

Neo-Prog

3.88 | 405 ratings

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Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer
4 stars RPWL, who seem to be a perpetual underdog in the prog world when compared to some of the big hitters, have created a wonderfully crafted and artistic rock experience with Beyond Man and Time. From start to finish this album gives us excellently composed songs that are soulful, compelling, and engaging.

One thing I especially like about Beyond Man and Time is the fact that the band strengthens a unique sound beyond the Floydian influence that everyone seems to brand them with. Above me, there are 10 reviews of this album, and the word "pink" shows up 24 times... that's how much people like comparing RPWL's sound to Floyd. I think this is bogus, because the band is great regardless who they take inspiration from, and have a identity and tone that is unique. Beyond Man and Time shines with class and nuance and electric energy that is very different than Shine on You Crazy Diamond!

The album opens very strongly with "We Are What We Are," a great piece of prog with features a complex song structure that shifts between dramatic instrumentals, hook-filled vocals, ambient breaks, and slinky grooves. RPWL brings the total package here, and it sounds great.

In the songs that follow we're given numerous extended tracks and variety. "Beyond Man and Time" emphasizes guitar textures and soloing, "Unchain the Earth" an immensely uplifting and catchy melody, "Ugliest Man in the World" a heavy, driving riff, etc. There isn't a dud in the entire album, and I'm very impressed by the overall groove and feel

Instrumentally the band takes a nuanced approach that almost feels like less-is-more. Wallner's guitar is smooth and effective, stepping into the background frequently to let the band as a whole create a lush sound to the songs. There is a ton of variety to his playing. His soloing, when it occurs, is typically short and sweet. This also goes for Jehle's keyboards, who is also largely responsible for giving Beyond Man and Time it's classic prog feel. Bandleader Lang does a nice job with his vocals and bass duties as well. His voice is rich and emotive though doesn't have a dramatic range.

So where does Beyond Man and Time fit into the band's library? The top. It's very near a 5-star release, and a great example of modern art-rock. Recommended!

Songwriting: 4 - Instrumental Performances: 4 - Lyrics/Vocals: 4 - Style/Emotion/Replay: 5

Prog Leviathan | 4/5 |

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