RPWL - God Has Failed

Year of Release: 2000
Label: Tempus Fugit
Catalog Number: 20487
Format: CD
Total Time: 61:54:00

God Has Failed is the 2000 debut release from RPWL. And while for the most part the band sound like latter period Pink Floyd ?- they did get their start (as Violet District) as a PF cover band --, it is Genesis that I think of during "In Your Dreams," which could easily have been a track on We Can't Dance. It has a similar feel and texture and musical scope as "No Son Of Mine," and "Driving The Last Spike," though vocalist (and keyboardist) Yogi Lang doesn't sound like Phil Collins? but rather, he sounds a bit like Ray Wilson here (and with that, think also of "Alien Afternoon" from Genesis' swan-song Calling All Stations). At various points as well I thought of Marillion, mainly in the chiming guitar solos from Karlheinz Wallner.

But all that aside, God Has Failed is a lush, mellow, progressive rock work that is both intimate (the acoustic -- or partially acoustic -- "Wait Five Years," "What I Need: Part 1? Leaving" and Part 2?What I Need," and "God Has Failed," which closes the album) and epic ("Hole In The Sky," "In Your Dreams," "Farewell," elsewhere) all played with a slightly gauzy haze that gives the whole work a dreamy, at times ethereal feel. But it's Wallner's guitar phrases that cut through this to the heart, making the line between dream and reality heartbreaking.

"Hole In The Sky" sets the tone with a darkly atmospheric opening, including sound effects, before exploding open with sweetly singing guitars (the effect once vocals are added is rather like Brave-period Marillion playing in Floydian manner). It is a open and airy piece, yet, as befits the theme, doesn't quite take off. That is, reality grounds you to the surface, as much as your spirit wants to soar free. That grounding comes from the bass of Chris Postl and the drums of Phil Paul Rissettio. While this leads into the softer, floaty instrumental "Part 2? Crawl To You," Lang's keyboards shred the dream with a few quick razor-sharp slashes. "What I Need" remains a mellow and melancholy piece that wraps itself around you like flannel, made achingly beautiful by those arching guitar leads from Wallner. "Crazy Lane" bridges both the intimate and epic, the verses a mix of subtle string effects, plucked acoustic guitar, and vocals ? the choruses kicking it up a notch with restrained percussion and bass. A piece that is always on the verge of breaking free. The band bring this same rhythm, electrified by Wallner's guitar, into the track that follows, "Fool."

The band mix it up with the upbeat and poppy "It's Alright." Sure, it does have thoughts of Oasis coming to mind and chirpy Brit-pop (RPWL are German, however), and yet there is something a little more about this track that keeps its head above the line of being arch. There's more aching angst in it than bubbliness, and in the context of the other pieces, will have you pleased with the results. And speaking of Oasis, who took their inspiration from the Beatles (which isn't to be faulted), you'll find something a little Beatles-esque (latter day) in "Who Do You Think We Are," even while it hints at PF. "Fool," too, seems a little Beatles-esque at times? and in all cases, closer to the Lennon aspect of the quartet.

And for further contrast, there's "Spring Of Freedom," which is flinty, darker, and denser than almost anything else to be found here (though this does carry over to the first part of "Farewell"). Of course, the whole album has a melancholy feel, so you'll be disappointed if you think you'll find a bright and sunny album. With a title God Has Failed, though, you wouldn't really expect something sunny, now would you? (I suppose there would be some instances, but?).

It is very easy to see why this album was voted "Debut of the year 2000" ? there's a lot to find in its accessible arrangements and rhythms as something deeper lurks within. And while flight is a main theme (the word "fly" appears a lot, as well the sound of chirping birds), it is never flighty. A strong, excellent debut that makes you glad there was, and is, more forthcoming.

Hole In The Sky (8:22) ? Part 1 ?Fly ? Part 2 ? Crawl To You / Who Do You Think We Are (4:15) / Wait Five Years (3:00) / What I Need ? Part 1 ? Leaving (1:56) ? Part 2 ? What I Need (5:19) / In Your Dreams (6:47) / It's Alright (5:21) / Crazy Lane (4:43) / Fool (5:27) / Hole In The Sky (2:39) ? Part 3? The Promise / Spring Of Freedom (5:52) / Farewell (5:50) / God Has Failed (2:16)

Phil Paul Rissettio ? drums
Chris Postl ? bass
Karlheinz Wallner ? guitars
Yogi Lang ? vocals, keyboards

God Has Failed (2000)
Trying To Kiss The Sun (2002)
Stock (2003)
World Through My Eyes (2005)
Live - Start The Fire (2005)
The RPWL Experience (2008)
The RPWL Live Experience (2009)
Gentle Art Of Music (2010)
Beyond Man And Time (2012)
A Show Beyond Man And Time (2013)
Wanted (2014)
RPWL Plays Pink Floyd (2015)
RPWL Plays Pink Floyd - The Man And The Journey (2016)
A New Dawn (2017)

The RPWL Live Experience (DVD) (2009)
A New Dawn (2017)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin DE

Added: January 11th 2004
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website: www.rpwl.net
Hits: 1916
Language: english


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