Rating:
7.3
Beyond The Bridge - The Old Man And The Spirit
20 January 2012


01. The Call
02. The Apparition
03. Triumph Of Irreality
04. The Spring Of It All
05. 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
12. All A Man Can Do [Orchestral version] [Japanese bonus]


Release dates:
January 18, 2012 (Japan)
January 20, 2012 (Europe)
January 24, 2012 (North America)


Beyond The Bridge gives the impression to be just another Dream Theater copy, which isn't completely untrue. However, though the influences are fairly obvious, it doesn't seem like the band is trying to sound like its idols and offers a satisfying concept album with this debut.

The Old Man And The Spirit tells a great story involving the two characters mentioned in the album title. The concept is worked out well; the music fits the lyrics fine and the two characters are represented in a very credible way by the use of two vocalists of different gender. Regrettably, there are also simple talking voices representing the characters, which can get very annoying, mostly because they are used to such a great extent. Sometimes I find myself screaming at the talking Old Man to just SING! Luckily, it's not so bad that it ruins the experience.

So, taken as a whole, the concept is great, but what about the songs? Well, there are two ways you can perceive them. You can pick a random track and listen to it as an individual piece of music. Then you will probably be disappointed. The focus here lies in the concept and therefore the album as a whole really grabs the listener, but the songs independently are not very interesting. So it makes sense to listen to the album as a whole and follow the story and everything. Then you will have a good or even great experience, depending on how you like the ending. To me, the ending is a big disappointment and one of the biggest flaws the album has. Musically, the build-up towards the end begins around the eighth or ninth track. Unfortunately, there is no epic/dramatic finale. Even the last song seems to head towards a climax it never reaches. The album feels incomplete because of the lack of closure. When you focus mainly on the story, then make sure you end with a big bang! It's the least I'd expect after investing more than an hour into listening to the album.

Overall, The Old Man And The Spirit is very typical progressive metal done right. The album is brilliantly written in relation to the story. And even though that does take away from the songs individually, I am pleased with The Old Man And The Spirit, however big the disappointment of the ending and some of the flaws might be.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 6
Production: 7


 


written by Zaphod | 17.06.2012


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

Staff review by
Milena

Rating:
N/A
In loving memory of Simon Oberender

Even though Beyond The Bridge's debut has been out since the beginning of the year, I didn't check it out until this month. The thing is, while all reports on The Old Man And The Spirit promised a proggasm, the words such as "epic" and "ambitious" popped up in every single one and that was a bit off-putting. Mr. Epic and I have had nothing but bitter arguments for a long while because I can't put up with his tediousness anymore. Now he puts salt in my coffee when I'm not looking, and I only make my side of the bed. I was too leery to approach him again.

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published 28.09.2012 | Comments (12)



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Milena - 18.06.2012 at 11:08  
All these "flaws" you're mentioning - naration, songs that only work as a part of a larger context - sound like normal traits of a normal concept album to me I've heard both good things and bad things about this one, so I'm curious to know how will it measure up when I get a chance to hear it.
Zaphod - 18.06.2012 at 14:48  
Written by Milena on 18.06.2012 at 11:08

All these "flaws" you're mentioning - naration, songs that only work as a part of a larger context - sound like normal traits of a normal concept album to me I've heard both good things and bad things about this one, so I'm curious to know how will it measure up when I get a chance to hear it.

I think a good concept album is an album that works both ways; as a whole and as individual songs. Albums that have this in my opinion are Iced Earth's Night Of The Stormrider and Mastodon's Crack The Skye, to name two completely different ones. I'm also aware that narration is used often in concept albums and it rarely doesn't annoy the shit out of me. This review just serves as an opportunity for me to express my hatred towards narrating voices I suppose .
BynersA7X - 19.06.2012 at 07:18  
Is it bad that I liked the "struggling" in the music The Sturggle? God, I don't even know why I liked that so much. Personally, it's my fav album of the year.
Zaphod - 19.06.2012 at 08:05  
Written by BynersA7X on 19.06.2012 at 07:18

Is it bad that I liked the "struggling" in the music The Sturggle? God, I don't even know why I liked that so much. Personally, it's my fav album of the year.

Why would that be bad. It's kind of what I meant in my review, the music works perfectly with the concept .
Evil Chip - 27.09.2012 at 20:57  
The voice is annoying but the music is great.

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