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(115 min DVD, Metal Mind Productions)
TRACK LIST: 1. Transformed 2. We Are What We Are 3. Beyond Man and Time 4. Unchain the Earth 5. The Ugliest Man 6. The Road of Creation 7. Somewhere in Between 8. The Shadow 9. The Wise in the Desert 10. The Fisherman 11. The Noon 12. Roses Extra material: Interview with Yogi Lang & Kalle Wallner The Band’s Commentary Transformed: Alternative langauge versions Photo gallery Discography LINEUP: Yogi Lang – vocals; keyboards Kalle Wallner – guitars Marc Turiaux – drums Werner Taus – bass Markus Jehle – keyboards
Prolusion. The German band RPWL started out in the late 1990's, initially as a Pink Floyd cover band but soon deciding that it would be much more worthwhile to explore material they made themselves. With Yogi Lang and Kalle Wallner as core members RPWL have steadily issued material since they made their debut with "God Has Failed" in 2000. "A Show Beyond Man and Time" is their third live DVD production, and was released through the Polish label Metal Mind in the fall of 2013.
Analysis. If you are a band and want to record a high quality DVD without having an extensive fortune to finance the project, the Polish label Metal Mind Productions should be fairly high up on your list of companies to approach. From their regular venue in Katowice they have recorded and released an impressive series of excellent live DVDs for some years now. RPWL has actually done this already, back in 2009, so a "A Show Beyond Man and Time" is their second live production that comes courtesy of Metal Mind. Image quality is one of the important factors that is always excellent whenever Metal Mind are in charge. The color quality is good and rich, the images as sharp, clear and balanced that you can get them in a challenging environment with colored stage lights without using equipment in the absolute highest price range. This DVD is no exception there, top notch quality according to what my eyes can decipher. The second important aspect is sound quality, obviously, and as usual the sound capture doesn't leave anything to be desired here. The mix is balanced and well defined, in this case with a subtle organic warmth to the sound, if my ears may be deemed trustworthy in this department. Image editing is important to make any live DVD enjoyable to watch. As usual Metal Mind has had several cameras in action, capturing shots from a number of different angles, but due to the peculiarities of this specific live performance they haven't used as great a variety of this footage as usual. Instead they focus on vocalist Yogi Lang quite a lot, and they have also chosen to highlight quite a lot of the effects RPWL used for this concert, especially the video backdrop is given great attention, frequently superimposing the shots of this on top of the full stage footage. This has been very tastefully done too, and in this case this most certainly elevates the experience of watching this concert. RPWL is on good form performing their material. I understand that this DVD was recorded at the very end of a tour, and the band is tight and secure in performance and stage presence throughout. If there are any faults or flaws at all here, I guess you'd have to be a band member to notice. The band as such isn't too much in the limelight here though. Instead, it is the video backdrop, supplemented with screens on either side of the stage, that has been set up as the eye-catching part of a stage show that stars Yogi Lang as he takes on specific roles for each song performed, the fairly simplistic costumes highly effective and entertaining ones because they have been thought out and are used to emphasize the conceptual story brought to life in this concert. If there is a weakness on this DVD it is just that I guess, that one exception aside this concert is all about performing the material from one specific album. Then again, those with an interest in the older material from this band's back catalog actually have two earlier live DVDs covering this band's past. The additional material is worth taking note of. There's a very nice interview with main men Yogi Lang and Kalle Wallner, and for those with a special interest in the theme explored on the album played out here. The opening track Transformed is featured in four alternative language versions, each of them then tied in to the main concert. Nice. Still, the main feature in the extra material, at least for those with a special interest in RPWL as a band, is what's credited as The Band’s Commentary. This is, in fact, the entire main concert all over again, but now with comments from Yogi Lang and Kalle Wallner. Partially commenting on the story, on certain technical details concerning the performance, some fairly internal band issues and humorous observations. Basically the main members of the band commenting on the concert in a fairly relaxed manner. It's not a running commentary, mind you, but they will break in here and there to state a fact or otherwise comment on some detail or other, sometimes with a short conversation between the two following. A nice and intriguing feature, excellently executed. One might note that the stated play time of this DVD of 115 minutes might as well have been set to 210 minutes due to this additional feature, as it will take you that long to watch all the material here.
Conclusion. Metal Mind is a guarantee for high quality productions, and in the case of RPWL's DVD "A Show Beyond Man and Time" all important aspects of a live DVD have been combined to perfection. High quality video and audio capture, a steady and inventive hand utilized for the video editing, and the band is having an excellent day both as musicians and performers, the video backdrops and effect screens further elevating the experience. As far as live DVDs go this one is a perfect one.
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