RPWL - Wanted

(CD 2014, 61:51, Gentle Art Of Music / Soulfood Music)

The tracks:
  1- Revelation(5:30)
  2- Swords And Guns(9:02)
  3- A Short Cut Line(3:02)
  4- Wanted(4:39)
  5- Hide And Seek(5:19)
  6- Disbelief(6:24)
  7- Misguided Thought(6:20)
  8- Perfect Day(6:32)
  9- The Attack(11:31)
10- A New Dawn(5:43)

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Beyond Man And Time (2012, see review), the previous album by the German prog band RPWL, was a record that contained great progressive rock music. The album got many excellent reviews. Wanted is the title of their new CD and again it's a prestigious and ambitious concept album, dealing with the ultimate liberation of the human spirit. The line-up of RPWL still exists of Yogi Lang (vocals, additional keyboards), Kalle Wallner (guitar), Markus Jehle (keyboards), Werner Taus (bass) and Marc Turiaux (drums). On receiving the promo of this new album, I was wondering if these prog rockers would be able to top their magnificent predecessor. Musically speaking there's a lot to enjoy on this new album, as RPWL focus on the artistic side of prog rock. The ten songs on Wanted are all varied and worthwhile listening to.

The album starts with the rather 'weird' instrumental piece Revelation featuring a lot of percussion, heavy riffs and hooks. This track almost sounds cinematic to me. Swords And Guns is a typical RPWL track with a catchy chorus and a long Manfred Mann- like keyboard solo. The next track, called A Clear Cut Line, is a total mystery to me since it only consists of soundscapes. As the album progresses the songs get better and better. Take for instance the magnificent pieces Disbelief and Misguided Thought, which are filled with superb guitar playing by Kalle Wallner in the vein of David Gilmour, so other musicians may eat their hearts out! Especially the breathtaking, melodious solo in the middle of Misguided Thought is worthwhile mentioning. Bravo Mr. Wallner!

The Attack is the longest track on Wanted which is again dominated by the guitar work of Wallner, although the final section of this piece is rather boring containing only sounds and loops. The final song A New Dawn belongs to my favourites, since I really like the lyrics. Musically this is RPWL at its best as this song is a kind of power ballad with beautiful melodies and again - I'm sorry to repeat myself - breathtaking guitar playing. So, if you liked Beyond Man And Time, and I think you should, then Wanted is a must have as well. These guys are really great. As far as I'm concerned they are the future of modern prog rock and they're certainly no Pink Floyd clones!

If you want to learn more about the content of Wanted read the interview I had with band leader Yogi Lang (see interview). He has some interesting views on society, religion and the human spirit.

**** Martien Koolen (edited by Peter Willemsen)

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