When I first heard the beginning notes to Crime Scene, I already knew it was special. I quickly jumped into asking for an interview because I simply needed to know more. You can find my interview with Yogi here. RPWL had previously already created a name for themselves in the music world with their Pink Floyd influences and soulful musical elements. They have a knack for pulling those heart strings to soaring heights and taking you on an incredible journey. Crime Scene is like nothing I have ever experienced, and I felt like they were taking me gently by the hand and guiding me through this intense, yet poetic and enlightening path of humanity.
RPWL is a progressive rock band from Germany who began in 1997 as a Pink Floyd cover band. They have since developed their own musical voice and it is just as breathtaking. Members; Yogi Lang (vocals, keyboards), Kalle Wallner (guitars), Markus Grutzner (bass), and Marc Turiaux (drums), have outdone themselves with this release. I came out of review hiatus specifically for this album, since I could not stop thinking about it. While I press you to even attempt to find one bad RPWL song, because it simply doesn’t exist, I even more urge you to buy this album, turn it on full speaker volume, close your eyes, and really embrace the experience.
“Victim of Desire” is the first track and has the most bizarre affect on me, every time I listen to it. I feel my heart swell with that first guitar sound and almost feel like I am flying throughout the entirety of it. It is difficult to explain because it is something I rarely, if ever, have felt. I became so engulfed in the soundscape, that when I payed more attention to the lyrics, I was almost horrified at my complete obsession and fascination with the feeling. After speaking to Yogi, my mind was more at ease with realizing the importance of trying to understand all humans at a human level in order to help these troubled souls. I am a psychology major, of course this is an important topic for me, and should be for everyone. When I saw the video for the first time, I had another experience as I felt I was part of the scene, part of the story. Between the music and the video, RPWL have a unique ability to bring you into their world, but safely.
“Red Rose” is an almost romantic song and story in my mind. While the message is a little alarming, it is really kind of sweet. The song is more uplifting because of this, and the melodies bring that theme to a stronger emotional response. One of my favorite lyrics on the entire album, “The world outside is acting strange”, only makes it that much more thought provoking. I am actually choking up right now thinking about it. I don’t know how they speak so strongly to my inner being, but I feel I will never be the same.
“A Cold Day In Spring_22” begins with an almost sprinkling? keyboard notes and erupts into an acoustic soundscape. Again, I feel like I am being led tenderly through a heartbreaking story, but I feel the sadness and confusion of the people left behind. Yogi mentioned how the band felt going back to the area the murders happened, and while the area has changed and is no longer the same, they still felt an emotional presence there. One of his points of creating this album is to increase people’s knowledge of these unusual stories.
“Life in a Cage” starts with what I feel is a heartbeat sound and shifts to rising keyboard melodies. The perspective of feeling like you cannot escape who you are in your darkest parts of the mind, is an interesting concept and one I believe we all can identify with. The chorus really digs into the pit of my stomach because I can feel the, “life in a cage, can’t fly anymore”, through elements of my life, which may be a different metaphor for what is being said, but still hits deep. I really enjoy the guitar solo on this track especially because it lifts the song to new territories.
“King Of The World” is one of the most honest and insightful songs I have heard. Many believe it they could be king of the world, they could make it all better, but the reality is, this is an impossible notion. The guitar and keyboards play off of each other, almost like they are having a conversation. You go on a journey before the lyrics even begin, yet when those lyrics come in, the adventure changes slightly. There is another solo exploration in this almost thirteen minute song. This might be my favorite track, if I had to pick, but really, the entire album is memorable. The rising vocal arrangement toward the end really bring the song to a fuller sentiment.
Last song, “Another Life Beyond Control”, has a groovy, fuzzy, sound and continues a soulful position. I really enjoy the fuzz-like riffs with this one. “Feel the darkness that you hide, all the fears you keep inside, in the dark side of your soul”, is the perfect lyrical ending to a masterpiece of an album. There is a trippy guitar solo along with a jazzy bass line lying in the middle of this one and it is completed by a more breathy guitar tone that transitions once more into the fuzz-style soundscape.
All in all, Crime Scene is an encounter I will never forget. The entire album is full of soul, purpose, insight, and beauty in the most imaginative way. I wish I could hear it all again for the first time, but I am thankful to have had this endearing and heart wrenching time that I look forward to having every time I push play. It takes a really extraordinary release for me to purposefully take the time to write out my thoughts on it, and this one became one of the easiest ones to write, because it hit my soul so strongly. I encourage you to take that ride.