RPWL from Bavaria, Germany, have been around for about 12 years already with their art/progrock. After four successful releases, „Beyond Man And Time“ is their first concept album.The promosheet describes it as a travel outside Platon´s cave. The main character is travelling and meets characters on his trip, that have been adapted from Nietzsche´s Zarathustra, which help him realize things and find his real „I“. It´s about thinking different about lots of things, rethinking the value of everything etc. All in all, as you can guess by now, there is quite a complex story behind the whole album, that would for sure be to lengthy for this review. This story of course requires a complex and diversified musical implementation. They´re not trying to fit into a certain category or fit into what people are expecting of them. Rebellious thoughts for a calm band, but this is a rebellion without metallike guitars. The album contains 11 songs, all somewhere between 2 minutes and 9 minutes, with one song „The Fisherman“ being 16 minutes long. Not only are the songs pretty varied, but also the instruments used, you can hear oriental percussions, an Indian Sitar, which add a special atmosphere to the album as they really are used at the right time and in the right dose.
The overal atmosphere is pretty floydy, it has soft keyboards, melodies flow into your ears – clearly music to enjoy in a relaxed atmosphere.
It might´ve become clear, that not only because of the story, but also because of the music, this album requires some time to get fully into the whole concept. Give it a try and give it time!
For those, who want to delve into the whole topic even further, there is a limited bonus edition (2000), which contains an audio book, that connects music and philosophy (in German and English) even more. Along with this comes a map of the new world that´s being introduced in the album.
This is a must-check for all prog/artrock fans, but also metal fans, who are into calmer music from time to time can give it a try.