Beyond the Bridge
The Old Man & The Spirit

01.The Call
02.The Apparition
03.Triumph Of Irreality
04.The Spring Of It All
05.A World Of Wonders
06.The Primal Demand
07.Doorway To Salvation
08.The Struggle
09.The Difference Is Human
10.Where The Earth And Sky Meet
11.All A Man Can Do

Herbie Langhans - Vocals
Dilenya Mar - Vocals
Peter Degenfeld - Guitar
Christopher Tarnow - Keyboards
Dominik Stotzem - Bass
Fabian Maier - Drums
Simon Oberender - Keyboards/Guitar




Released 20/1-2012
Reviewed 4/1-2012


It is an ambitious project this german band offers us for in their debut, a story-line of an old man meeting a female spirit to sort out some issues of life and learn about it all. It sounds like a big subject and it is told on one album as far as I know, I have not really immersed myself in the lyrics of the songs so I cannot be sure. But this band of seven make an album that in theory would be very interesting, operatic concept album with a male and female singer doing the characters of the story, the cover artwork is quite good looking as well and it all looks very promising in theory. They are marketed as progressive oriented, they are said to have been working with this album for quite some time, even the name of their band before they split up many years ago and not really doing anything anyway is mentioned for some reason. As long as they do not have any history releasing albums, the biography I think is mostly a waste of time to read so I just say that these guys have been working long on this, in between the irrelevant facts I found info that seemed to point towards that at least.

Their music is complicated, POR one might describe it as, progressive oriented rock that range from rock to metal and back again, taking detours into a lot of stuff, even the audiobook genre in some parts. Complex, varied, melodic, instrumental masturbation, the ways to describe this band are many and as we don’t want a review that is too long to read I just say that is is the things I just said. The thing you will probably notice the most anyway is the two vocalist, the male and the female and how their voices interact through the album, sometimes making conversations and everything. To say that they sound like no other band I have heard is not an exaggeration, they do not sound like any band I have heard before. This complex creation consists of eleven tracks and it is one hour and seven minutes long, that makes it a rather long album which is something that is common practise in the progressive genre as those albums are often varied enough to get away with that long albums. Sound is modern, clean and good, nothing else was to be expected as it is progressive music.

For starters I was into giving this album a rating of five because of the brilliance, especially in the dynamics of the vocalists which is the real high point of this album. Both singers are also really good, especially the female one. But there were also lots of stuff that caught my attention, but as I played the album more this opinion started to waiver as I noticed more issues, like many parts where the music becomes very static and how it loses the flow and sort of just dies down many times which is something that I think is a common problem in the progressive genre. It seems like many progressive musicians focus so much on writing stuff as complicated as possible and many times that kind of music becomes static and says nothing to the listener and the only one who is happy is the masturbator who laid the guitar lines or keys down. This thing also seems to be a common problem amongst progressive newcomers, it seems like they think that the more complex our instrumentation and song structure, the better our music become but that is not a fact, look at the biggest ones in the genre, Dream Theater who are melodic in their starting point and they become progressive for their atypical song structure and skillet instrumentation but listen to songs like Pull Me Under or Awake and you will realise that the greatness is not in the complexity, it is in making the complex sound easy and that is something only the best progressive bands manage. Beyond the bridge makes the complex sound complex and because of that their music becomes fragmented and static and it sounds like many newcomers to the progressive scene.

I would say that we see flashes or brilliance in the album and if we for instance look at the brilliant ending song there is also proof that this band actually can make the complex sound easy which is what progressive rock/metal is all about, along with great songs and melodies of course. So it is clear that the band has the skills and the knowledge to do it but this album seems to have become too complex and too ambitious, it did not reach what they were hoping in my opinion at least. They should ditch about 37 minutes of the album because had they made a 40 minute album where they had all the fragmented stuff and the static stuff removed, they would be amazing.

In the end I think that Beyond the Bridge does an adequate debut album, it is alright but it lacks that air of skill and confidence that the best ones in the genre show in their music and therefore it becomes a good album, nothing more, nothing less.




Label: Frontier Records
Three similar bands: Dream Theater/Aina/Avantasia
Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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