Review Summary: A well composed ambient album you can just sit and listen to.
Often times, foreign bands have a hard time getting publicly noticed, unless they're Rammstein. RPWL from Germany is also one of those bands, and to be honest, I can't see why. They create a tone of relaxation and peace while conveying an unsettling message at times. The first time I heard, I instantly compared RPWL to certain bands such as Coldplay and Blackfield. However, no matter how many times you try to compare, RPWL is unique in their constantly shifting sound.
The RPWL Experience is a fantastic album that was creatively structured as far as introducing songs with multifarious moods, while maintaining a supported foundation that keeps you wanting to listen to more. Yogi Lang's voice can range from a soft, relaxing, and harmonious sound as heard in "Breathe In, Breathe Out" to a partly harsh, quick-paced style like in "Silenced" and "Choose What You Want to Look At." Supported by Kalle Warner's guitar and Markus Jehle's keyboards, the three components form a brilliant, and at times, symphonic complete sound that captures you into a philosophic state of mind. With a simplistic backup of drums and bass, The RPWL Experience was baked with a recipe of many "just right" ingredients.
The album's opener, "Silenced", begins with an odd-sounding unique guitar riff. After a little percussion effect, and a rising backsound, the song instantly gains its identity in the distortion of the guitar, and the crashing symbols of the well-fitting drums. The song immediately transitions into the acoustic verse as Lang supplies his vocal melody, asking for peace in the modern world. A guitar chord is thrown in here or there to create an exciting song altogether. Not to mention, the intensely quiet interlude is thrown into the limelight with a great keyboard solo. Ten minutes of my time definitely worth spent listening to this song.
There are a few songs I commend most on this album when talking of creativity and variety. "Talk to the River" shows a great finger-picking guitar lead and a beautiful melancholic melody sung by Lang. I also appreciate the lyrics that drive this ballad towards tragedy. Next one I would keep an eye (or ear) out for would be "Masters of War." RPWL shows a great theme through this song. Simplicity is bliss. Too many times have I tried to listen to a band and have turned off the CD player because they try too hard to over-complicate everything and end up having no balance in their songs. However, RPWL can throw you off when listening to their songs as they change from one tone to another. While this looks like a negative statement on paper, it's not uncommon for many bands to throw together little "snip-its" that they wrote and turn them into songs. RPWL just seems to stick out a tad more when they do it.
In conclusion, any prog fan will appreciate The RPWL Experience just as I did. While it may not have too many catchy songs that will ring in your head all day, it's always nice to listen to on a calm day, as well as fun to play to on an acoustic. This album isn't for the easily bored, since RPWL can be a bit repetitive at times. Especially for a progressive band. Yet, this never stops me from sitting back, relaxing, and enjoying The RPWL Experience.