RPWL • Crime Scene

Yogi Lang (vocals, keyboards) and Kalle Walner (guitars), the co-founders of the band RPWL and incidentally the L and W of the acronym, continue their road and offer us the ninth album of the formation, Crime Scene.

This time, a new bass player, Markus Grützner, is included. The drummer of the previous years, Marc Turiaux, is also always present. If the first album God has failed (2000) flirted with the cult band Pink Floyd with a little too much insistence, the following one has rather bet on a sought-after and evolving prog crossover. Four years after Tales From Outer Space (2019) and a trying pandemic, we were obviously more than ready to discover a new version of this beloved band that we appreciate so much, and that, for almost 25 years already.

If the whimsical lyrics of the previous opus displayed a baroque touch, it is quite different with this one, the texts are sometimes morbid, bordering the madness and the darkness of the human soul while it is about perversion and serial killers. Lang thus returns to a dark and raw content, a universe he knows well. His musical signature, recognizable among thousands, continues to surprise by its prowess and its many surprises.

The quartet continues to alternate, as usual, the sung and instrumental parts with an almost metronomic regularity. The notes, chords and harmonies are without weakness and always of a surgical precision. The 8 min. introduction Victim Of Desire, already announces, by its originality and its sought-after melodies, an album which was probably polished. The balance takes us back to familiar territory with its varied themes, well-balanced rhythm, Yogi Lang’s soft and expressive voice , complex and multidimensional keyboards, Walner’s stratospheric guitar, which realistically reproduces every emotion, and the harmonic ensemble always perfectly in tune.

No doubt, the music of RPWL is precise and efficient. Nothing is left to chance, Germanic mentality obliges! The epic sequel King of the World which lasts 13 minutes is of a rare beauty and brings us back to the most classic confines of progressive rock. It starts with a long bass introduction, accompanied by jazzy tones to, finally, give itself to the full in sought-after symphonic sonorities. With a complex and thorough architecture, Crime Scene, comparable to the best albums of the series, is the reflection of a mature, serious and evolved band, which will continue to gracefully mark the progressive scene for many more years to come!