RPWL, German purveyors of traditional progressive rock, return with their first new studio album in several years, Beyond Man and Time. It's also, according to the band, their first attempt at a concept album.
Working off ideas in Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Beyond Man and Time follows a traveler meeting creatures of advanced intelligence as he reflects on his own values. To the music, expect more of RPWL's light and atmospheric melodic prog, in the classic tradition. In a first spin, it seemed that music was driven by an abundance of synthesizer play. But like any RPWL album, you can't explore the depths of their compositions without another, if not several more, listens. While the previous statement may still be true (lots of keyboards), there's also a premium on acoustic and electric guitar, and an ambitious rhytym section. All these elements are notable in The Ugliest Man in the World and huge opus The Fisherman.
Beyond Man and Time is a lengthy listen, which, on the face of it, adds a challenge to an album already bursting with intrigue. Yet with their sense melody and simple flow, RPWL keeps your attention for a entertaining musical journey. Very recommended.