Artist: Beyond The Bridge
Old Man And The Spirit' started in 2008 at Gate Studio, Wolfsburg,
Germany. Nonetheless, it was a very long way from completion in
2011, and the band is very proud to finally release this piece of art
with Frontiers Records in early 2012.
the story of Beyond The Bridge the band started way back in 1999, under
the Fallout moniker. This incarnation of the band parted ways as
its members went their separate ways and started university studies and
professional careers. It wasn’t until 2005 that guitarist Peter
Degenfeld-Schonburg decided to revive the band, with a project he had
entitled 'The Old Man And The Spirit'.
the next five years he and keyboardist Christopher Tarnow worked on the
story and the songs for the concept album. Along the way the band itself
formed, drummer Fabian Maier and lead vocalist Herbie Langhan joined the
ranks, as well as long time friend bass player Dominik Stotzem, but it
wasn’t until vocalist Dilenya Mar joined that the last piece of the
jigsaw was in place and Beyond The Bridge was complete.
that’s the history behind the band, so what about the album itself,
well if a predominantly Melodic/Hard Rock label like Frontiers Records
signs a Prog Metal, then there must be something special about not only
the band, but also the music as well, and that’s exactly what Beyond
The Bridge and their 'The Old Man And The Spirit' is, something
special. This Prog Metal opus tells a story, but also has hooks
the listener in with its infectious tones and haunting melodies, right
from the opener ‘The Call’, through to the last note of closer
‘All A Man Can Do’.
opener 'The Call' is the first chapter of the tale and lays down the
very foundations of the story, with Herbie Langhans taking on the role
of the Old Man in his quest, as he deals with the polarity of human
sensuousness and superhuman awareness. While Dilenya Mar is The
Spirit, she is the personification of all wisdom and awareness that is
unachievable to mankind, however, lacks she of the ability to feel.
album is musical story telling at its conceptual best, the twists and
turns of the album from the all out metal to the progressive and at
times symphonic tones, take you on this magic carpet ride that unfolds
the heady tones of ‘The Apparition’ to the majestic ‘Triumph Of
Irreality’, to the sonic ballad ‘The Spring Of It All’, with Mar
delivering one of the finest female vocals I’ve heard in this genre
for a long, long time, as she delivers a tremendous duet with Langhans.
majestic tones of Mar really show their head with the fantastic ‘World
Of Wonder’, before the semi narrative wonderment that is ‘The Primal
Demand’, as this one unleashes the guitar wizardry of Degenfeld and
the monstrous tones of the rhythm section of Stotzem and Maier, into
‘Doorway To Salvation’.
album really enters the realms of Jazz Rock fusion with the massive
‘The Struggle’, a real bombastic overture that highlights the almost
mystical tones of the band as a entity. This acts as the intro
into melodic ‘The Difference Is Human’.
album builds into a monumental ending with the simply stunning ‘Where
Earth And Sky Meet’, with Langhans producing one of his finest vocals
of the entire album. You can almost feel the insecurity of the
character as he questions man and his being.
The album closes with ‘All A Man Can Do’, featuring another titanic overture that highlights the musicianship behind the band, and closes what is a quite stunning album. I don’t know how it would work out live, but you have to admire the work that Degenfeld and rest of the band have put into the project. This ranks as one of the best concept albums I’ve heard in ages and I can see why Frontiers have taken the band on board.
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