November 3, 2019

Progressive Rock Review: RPWL-Live from Outer Space

Release Date:  November 15, 2019
Label:  Gentle Art of Music

German sci-fi prog rockers, RPWL is back with a collection of 14 live tracks that will lift you, launch you into hyperspace, and land you safely in your living room, inspired by the journey. The best live albums serve to showcase a band’s greatest hits stripped of any studio production varnish. This brings the music closer to reality and closer to the feeling that summoned the listener in the first place. Live from Outer Space is no exception. 

Since their modest beginnings as a Pink Floyd cover band in the late ’80s, RPWL’s sound has evolved into a sophisticated, accessible progressive sound. I wouldn’t say the influence is Pink Floyd as a whole, but more specifically, David Gilmour. Yogi Lang’s subtle yet menacing voice is similar to Gilmour’s as it seems to emerge with an enlightened authority, like a God summoning his followers from on high. Lang guides his passengers through the wonders of the universe, prophesizing on what might live beyond our understanding. Think of Pink Floyd’s post-Roger Waters years with a deep-space sci-fi undercurrent. 

Live from Outer Space marks their seventh live album compared to ten studio albums. RPWL is proud of their live work, offering reinvented versions only the unrestrained freedom of a live performance can bring forth. 

Live performances also bring forth the opportunity to craft setlists that flow together cohesively. RPWL weave in the narration, which intertwines the songs into a storyline of sorts. Admittedly, during “News from Outer Space,” I had to fight off the image from Spinal Tap of Nigel Tufnel waxing poetically about the little children of Stonehenge as a two-foot-high prop is lowered onto the stage. This is hardly RPWL’s fault as Spinal Tap ruined any attempt for legitimate bands of the future to attempt any dramatic narration on stage. 

Where others zig and zag, RPWL swerves and glides through the infinite vastness of space and time. A smoother ride than some of prog rock’s jagged journeys, RPWL delivers to their fans new takes on old favorites and provides new listeners an accessible entry point into prog rock. So, set your controls for the heart of the sun, RPWL will take you on a satisfying ride you’ll want to take again and again.  

Key Tracks Include: Not Our Place to Be”, “Roses”, “Hole in the Sky”, “Sleep”

Tom Endyke - Staff
October 25, 2019

Rate the Tracks

1.  A New World
2.  Welcome to the Freak Show
3.  Light of the World
4.  Not Our Place to Be
5.  What I Really Need
6.  Give Birth to the Sun
7.  Far Away from Home

1.  Hole in the Sky
2.  Sleep
3.  Masters of War
4.  Trying to Kiss the Sun
5.  Roses
6.  Unchain the Earth


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