Gentle Art Of Music – [Release Date: 17.03.14]
There are times, aren’t there, when something is musically so good, so in tune with your own ideas and philosophy, that somehow words don’t really do it justice.
I could leave this space blank – but this is so good it must have as wide an audience as possible, so here goes…
Fresh from last year’s astounding live concert release of RPWL’s ‘Beyond Man And Time’ album – ‘A Show Beyond Man And Time’, comes this latest offering from not only one of progressive music’s finest bands but also one of the genre’s most philosophically articulate.
Whilst ‘A Man Beyond Time’ reached deep into the world of Nietzsche and his ilk, ‘Wanted’ runs with the concept of a scroll of Plato’s, discovered by Garibaldi, in which he discusses a medicine found by Hippocrates that leads the human spirit into a real and absolute world free of all illusion – which Plato describes as ‘the gift of absolute freedom’.
Still with me?
The music sets out to hypothesise what would happen if mankind managed to distill this medicine – how the world would change for the better and how it would affect the prejudicial thinking of the world’s major religions.
It is a mind-blowing concept and could only be interpreted by a band at the absolute top of their game.
Fortunately for all concerned, RPWL carry this off with an album so imaginative and so diverse that an immediate second play is required to reassure yourself that yes, it really was that good.
Ten tracks in all and from the opening staccato beats of ‘Revelation’ to the classic rock fade out of ‘A New Dawn’ the band leave no progressive stone unturned.
There are the usual nods to the gods of yore – King Crimson, ELP, Pink Floyd et al, together with the contemporary comparisons to the likes of Porcupine Tree and their side project Blackfield but all the while sounding mostly like themselves.
There are stunning passages throughout – the sound of armies marching to the sound of a church bell on ‘Swords And Guns’, the blistering guitar solo on ‘Disbelief’, the transitional vocals and ELP keyboards on ‘Hide And Seek’, the pastoral guitar and cutting lyrics of ‘Misguided Thought’ – the brilliance just goes on and on.
For any fan of the genre, if you could have written your own album with all your favourite ingredients, this is how it would sound.
It is, in turns, beautiful, feisty, intensely articulate and sure-footed with the subject matter without being either pompous, pretentious or dogmatic, and issues a long overdue counterblast to the recent stream of religion-infested rock arriving, particularly from America.
Stunningly essential listening.
Review by Alan Jones
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