Friday, 6 April 2012

Review: RPWL

RPWL – Beyond Man and Time (Gentle Art Of Music)
German progressive outfit RPWL – their name doesn’t exactly run off the tongue – began life playing Pink Floyd songs. I won’t call them a tribute band, because I think it diminishes what they’re doing now, which is accessible widescreen rock, with a Floydian aspect - but with other influences also plain to hear, and a streak of originality to settle the doubters.

They contemporise and distinguish their sound in a number of ways. They incorporate alternative rock and Soundgarden-style dark pomp, U2 flecked guitars and epic soundscapes; the latter gets Radiohead fans very excited. Throughout, they fearlessly stretch both themselves musically and the length of their songs (“We Are What We Are” is just over nine minutes and “The Fisherman” lasts over quarter of an hour). “Beyond Man and Time” is a concept piece without a genuine narrative. Indeed, it’s more a series of character studies, and a reflection of how different people lead different lives. As with many of the better examples of the genre, the concept is often forgotten because the songs and their setting are so individually involving, and stand alone irrespective of supposed plot or storyline.

In prog circles “Beyond Man and Time” is being talked about in the highest of terms, words like “masterpiece” and “classic” are being spoken, which means there’s plenty of opportunity for crossover success. Put simply, if you’ve previously been discouraged by the “prog” tag, but are interested in bands who are ambitious, experimental but always musical, then there’s a lot here to like. Try their “Gentle Art Of Music” collection, too.
Simon M.

RPWL – Unchain The Earth (Official)

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