Album: Beyond Man and Time
In 2008 I noticed an album called The RPWL Experience getting a bit of buzz, but ended up never checking it out. Now, 4 years later, I’ve come to regret that decision. The band’s newest album, Beyond Man and Time offers a very fascinating listen.
Much of the time I would say the best word to describe the band is enchanting, as lush and gentle sounds are wonderfully presented to captivate the listener. If that’s not enough, tracks like “Unchain the Earth” deliver some fantastic vocal melodies and hooks that help draw the listener back for repeated listens. Although I hate to call the music simple, the delivery on much of the album is far from going over anyone’s head. More often than not songs end up being a great collection of good ideas blended together very well. This is well seen on tracks like “Beyond Man and Time” and “The Shadow” which make great use of available space that allows the tracks to breathe wonderfully. While I don’t think the band sounds too much like Pink Floyd, it’s in this trait that their genesis as a Pink Floyd cover band becomes clear.
“The Fisherman” is the only track on the album to cross the 10 minute mark, and by a healthy margin at nearly 17 minutes. As with their shorter songs one tends to get lost in the atmosphere and not notice exactly how long the song is. While this attempt at the classic prog epic is very good, I wouldn’t say it is the premier piece of the album as many of the shorter tracks tend to get as much done in less time. Examples of this include “The Ugliest Man in the World” and “The Road of Creation”, both of which sum up what is great about this band.
While I would say the album has grown off me slightly over time, there is no denying there was a big pull from them initially, and that was caused by something different in the core of their sound that really grabbed me. If I had to compare them to another act I’d say you’d be looking at times at a German version of Beardfish that maintains a slightly more mainstream sound. At others times your simply hearing a bunch of great neo-prog influences rolled up into a neat and tidy ball of RPWL.
Nick's Rating: 9/10