I’ve been a fan of RPWL since “Trying to Kiss the Sun.” They’ve always written great songs and I do enjoy the Floydian vibe that comes with being a former Pink Floyd cover band. Over the years, the members have changed but guitarist Kalle Wallner and vocalist Yogi Lang have remained. So the core has been there.
“A New Dawn” is a fascinating live show. To call the show elaborate would be an understatement! The band fused the concept from their last album “Wanted” with the previous studio album “Beyond Man and Time.” The result was a special show that included guest vocalists, costumes, knights with flaming swords and actors. In some ways it reminds me of Marillion’s production of “Brave.” To a lesser extent, maybe Dream Theater’s “The Astonishing” though this is far more elaborate.
One oddity for me, being someone who does not speak German, was the narrator and actors having their voices dubbed in. It reminded me of those old Godzilla movies. I appreciate that the band did it so we non-Germans could understand it but it looked really weird! Some of the “terrorism” content was a little misguided too. I get the joke they were going for (the band being terrorists) but we live in some very troubled times.
Performance wise, the band sound amazing. Wallner is one of the most underrated guitarists on the planet! Lang still sounds like David Gilmour which works for me! I give the band credit as there were moments when they stepped out from behind their instruments to be a part of the scene that was taking place. But with all the people and movement, there were so many people on the stage that the cameras couldn’t always find the people needed.
It was a bonus to have backing vocalists and even guest musicians (along with the aforementioned guest vocalists). It was VERY ambitious which is what prog is all about. I won’t give away the plot, you’ll need to buy the video and figure that out for yourself! RPWL took a risk with “A New Dawn” and while this could have gone the way that “The Astonishing” did, this was actually quite astonishing at times. Now, record some new music!!
Recorded live at Luitpoldhalle, Freising, Germany on October 31, 2015
Release date: July 14, 2017