Album review: RPWL: God Has Failed – Live And Personal

RPWL - God Has Failed: Live And Personal

Gentle Art Of Music [Release date: 30.04.21]

RPWL started life way back as a Pink Floyd tribute band, and, rather like Marillion and their relentless (and wrong) “Genesis Clones” soubriquet, struggled early on to free themselves of the PF comparisons.

Twenty years on and with ten studio and seven live albums behind them, they have deservedly put that issue to bed and are now hailed as one of the foremost progressive rock bands in Europe.

And here is where it all began.

The band was fully rehearsed and all set to embark on on a multi-week, multi-country tour to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of their debut album ‘God Has Failed’ before the pandemic intervened.

So, rather than let all that work go to waste, and similar to Katatonia with their “Dead Air’ album, they assembled in a concert hall in their home town of Freising (Germany), played the whole thing live in front of an imaginary audience and filmed it for posterity.

And it’s interesting to listen to a band play an album in its entirety with twenty years more musical experience on the clock.

It was a great debut album anyway but this is a step-up and sounds much fresher and more muscular in the live setting.

Although there are recurring themes throughout, ‘God Has Failed’ is not really a concept album per sé. There are love songs, songs about the state of the world (yes, even then) and songs about loss, all pulled together with outstanding musicianship and, as is always the case with RPWL, an articulate and challenging libretto.

You WILL hear the odd ‘Floyd trope here and there (which progressive rock album is completely devoid of them?), but this is RPWL’s own sound and set a precursor for the exceptional albums that were to follow.

The descending riff of the three parts of ‘Hole In The Sky’ is the touchstone for the album and it keeps showing up here and there to keep the flow.

Kalle Wallner’s guitar work on ‘Who Do You Think We Are’, ‘Spring Of Freedom’ and ‘In Your Dreams’ is just sublime, there’s nice acoustic on ‘What I Need (Pts.1 & 2)’ and a six string blow-out on ‘Hole In The Sky (Pt.3)’ – but overall this is a collective effort where everyone plays a key part in making it sound as good as it does.

Strangely, despite the album title, the songs are not as acerbically anti-religious as you would think, but certainly laid down a template for the recurring atheistic theme of subsequent work.

So, a great debut album given new life and, if you’ve never heard RPWL (shame on you!), as good a place as any to begin to appreciate one of the finest prog bands out there.


Review by Alan Jones



Josh Taerk’s latest Sunday Session was streamed on Sunday 20 March 2022 at 21:00 GMT (16:00 EST). Josh’s next session is Sunday 22 May.

Check out previous videos here:

David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 GMT, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 8 May 2022.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020 and 2021 Finalist) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 GMT as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 3 May 2022.

How to Listen Live?

Click the programming image at the top of the page (top right of page if using desktop)

Listen via Windows Media Player. Click or tap here and “open file”
Listen via other media player (eg. VLC) Click or tap here and “open file”

Get Ready to ROCK! Radio is also in iTunes under Internet Radio/Classic Rock
Listen in via the Tunein app and search for “Get Ready to ROCK!” and save as favourite.

More information and links at our radio website where you can listen again to shows via the presenter pages:

Power Plays w/c 16 May 2022 (Mon-Fri)
FLOYA The Hymn (Arising Empire)
VEXES The Dream Disease (indie)
NEAR DUSK The Way It Goes (Iron Head Records)
IN SEARCH OF SUN Make Me Crazy (indie)
WALLNER VAIN Deceive Her (indie)
MARATON Non-Euclidean Heart (Indie Recordings)

Featured Albums w/c 16 May (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 TERRA NOVA Ring That Bell (Lion Music)
12:00-13:00 FOZZY Boombox (Mascot)
14:00-16:00 MICHAEL McDERMOTT St.Paul’s Boulevard (Pauper Sky Records)

Popular (last 30 days)

This entry was posted in ALBUM REVIEWS, ALBUM REVIEWS (Mobile) and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply