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RPWL - 'A New Dawn' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/60/4a/61/rpwl-a-new-dawn-54-1516394996.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     January 19, 2018    
 
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I can't see this album opening up a new market for the band, but their existing fan base will undoubtedly love it.

To be honest, I've struggled with the DVD element of this multi-format release which is not just a concert but a one-off play, multi-media event featuring dialogue and fifty actors/extras. The aforementioned dialogue has been dubbed from German to English which is both off-putting and rather cheesy for my taste. With people dressed as knights, I couldn't help but think of Monty Python's 'Holy Grail' movie, but without the comedy element, indeed it's quite the opposite as they seem so earnest. For me, it doesn't flow like a proper Musical; there are so many lengthy pauses or set-up sections so it all feels a bit amateur dramatics. Consequently, I found it all rather challenging. For the record, the DVD has a 'Making Of' documentary, but for the purposes of this review, I'm concentrating on the CD version which fans of RPWL will find to their liking.

The show pulls together elements of their two most recent albums, 'Beyond Man And Time' and 'Wanted', around which they have developed an elaborate and obscure concept piece.

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It is hard not to refer to Pink Floyd and Kraftwerk when reviewing an RPWL album which is not surprising when one considers they started life as a covers band of the mighty Floyd and that much of Yogi Lang's vocal delivery wouldn't sound out of place on a Kraftwerk album. One need look no further than the opening track, 'Revelation', where the female backing vocalists "aahs" are pure Floyd, or 'A Clear Cut Line' which is clearly RPWL's take on 'The Great Gig In The Sky'; it must be said that the contributions by backing vocalists Conny Kreitmeier, Bine Heller and Julia Schröter are a highlight across the show and serve to break up Lang's rather lifeless and monotone delivery.

It goes without saying that Kalle Wallner's guitar work, and particularly his solos, are magnificent, not least on the extended version of 'The Fisherman'. His playing on 'Disbelief' and 'The Attack' is pretty special too, and there's a touch of Steve Rothery (Marillion) about his phrasing on 'Still Asleep' which opens the second disc. Along with the backing vocalists, he is, for me, the star of the show.

I can't see this album opening up a new market for the band, but their existing fan base will undoubtedly love it. However, approach the DVD with care.

Gary Marshall

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