The Old Man And The Spirit
BEYOND THE BRIDGE

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BEYOND THE BRIDGE - The Old Man And The Spirit cover
4.16 | 7 ratings | 3 reviews
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Album · 2012

Filed under Progressive Metal

Tracklist

1. The Call (6:34)
2. The Apparition (8:04)
3. Triumph Of Irreality (6:11)
4. The Spring Of It All (1:48)
5. World Of Wonders (5:03)
6. The Primal Demand (2:07)
7. Doorway To Salvation (7:54)
8. The Struggle (5:23)
9. The Difference Is Human (7:56)
10. Where The Earth And Sky Meet (6:57)
11. All A Man Can Do (9:33)

Total Time 69:30

Line-up/Musicians

- Herbie Langhans / Vocals
- Dilenya Mar / Vocals
- Peter Degenfeld-Schonburg / Guitar
- Christopher Tarnow / Keyboards
- Dominik Stotzem / Bass
- Fabian Maier / Drums
- Simon Oberender / Keyboards, Guitar

About this release

Released by Frontiers Records. Japan Bonus-Track:

12. All A Man Can Do (Orchestral Version)

Thanks to dtguitarfan for the addition and Lynx33 for the updates

BEYOND THE BRIDGE MP3, Free Download/Stream

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BEYOND THE BRIDGE THE OLD MAN AND THE SPIRIT reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

Warthur
Beyond the Bridge play a brash and boisterous style of prog metal littered with technical flourishes but with tight enough compositions to avoid degenerating into tedious showboating. They may be all flash, but there's also a bit of substance to them, with Christopher Tarnow and Simon Oberender's keyboard interjections in particular managing to be simultaneously showing whilst remaining consistent with the mood the band are aiming for.

As the title implies, we're looking at a concept album revolving around an encounter between the titular old man and the titular spirit, who are played by vocalists Herbie Langhans and Dilenya Mar respectively. Mar's vocals, in particular, are a real treat, but both of them share the spotlight effectively and help get across the theatrical and narrative aims of the album. Apparently, Mar only joined the band in 2008, after they'd already been toiling away for 9 years (the first 6 of which under the name of Fallout), but she's clearly the missing link which made their sound really come together.

The band also show fine judgement in crafting the lyrics - rather than artificially working in lyrics for both singers in each song, instead each singer gets two or three solo songs each: Mar's solo songs consist of the Spirit's attempts to convey secret knowledge to the Old Man, whilst Langhan's take place before the Spirit arrives and after the Spirit abandons the Old Man to his fate. As well as showing sufficient maturity to allow the requirements of the music and narrative to guide their performances rather than demanding rigorously equal spotlight time, this also means that we get an idea of each vocalist's capabilities outside of the context of the more conversational songs. I don't know how the band intend to follow this up - will their next album feature another male and female character in conversation, or will they find a different way to exploit their dual vocalist situation? - but I'll be interested to see what they do.
adg211288
The Old Man and The Spirit is the debut full-length album by German progressive metal act Beyond the Bridge. The album was released in 2012 and is a concept release. With eleven tracks and close to sixty-eight minutes of music, the ambition of the young act (well, actually they’ve been around awhile, but their efforts are only just come to fruition) is not to be understated.

Conceptually what Beyond the Bridge have done here is like the premise of a rock opera, but with a cast of two, those two being their two lead singers, Herbie Langhans and Dilenya Mar, and the characters being the two mentioned in the title. The Old Man (Langhans) “a bon vivant who has lived through all highs and lows of human sensation. Steadied by his old age, he searches for a sense, for a coherence, for the meaning of his life in the maelstrom of transciency” to quote the band’s official description, and The Spirit (Mar). “She is the personification of all wisdom and awareness that is unachievable to mankind, however, lacks of the ability to feel” to quote again. As such Beyond the Bridge utilised the use of having both male and female vocals on this release as something more than just being for the sake of it, and they don’t go out of their way to make sure both singers feature in every song, in fact we don’t even hear Dilenya Mar in the opening track, The Call. Instead they sing when the story requires them to, and this format has worked to Beyond the Bridge’s advantage. And no, you can shut those warning bells off, this is no beauty and the beast styled vocal duo, but two cleaning singing vocalists who prove that it is very possible to pull off these vocal line-ups without one singing coming across as unneeded baggage.

Musically we’re talking progressive metal with elements of a symphonic prog sound thrown in. The vocals of the two singers are great but one must not overlook the excellent music behind them. There is plenty of complexity to sink your teeth into, and Beyond the Bridge clearly know how to pull off drawn out instrumental sections with the best of them. In fact they keep their music so interesting and flowing that songs even with above average lengths like The Apparition pass me by as would a shorter song, so absorbed into the album I am. Sometimes it’s also hard to notice when one song ends and the next has started. I like that in a concept album, it should feel like one big song, and The Old Man and The Spirit fits that description in my opinion. Beyond the Bridge are musically highly accomplished.

My one compliant is a small one because it doesn’t deduct a lot from my enjoyment and appreciation of the album; sometimes I wish their riffs had a bit more of an edge to them. The album feels all very clean and polished, which I don’t have any problem with for progressive metal, in fact I want it clean and polished so I can take in every perfect detail, but it does feel to me that with The Old Man and The Spirit it was overdone a bit. Doorway to Salvation kicks off more aggressively but I could have done with a little more oomph to the riffs overall all the same. Even with that quibble though, I’ve found The Old Man and The Spirit is be an exceptional debut album from Beyond the Bridge. If flowing and complex conceptual progressive metal is your thing then it is pretty much an essential purchase and comes highly recommended!

9.1/10

(Originally written for Heavy Metal Haven (http://metaltube.freeforums.org))
dtguitarfan
Beyond the Bridge hail from the home of the Berlin Wall, the hamburger and Ludwig van Beethoven. From what I've read, they've actually been around since 1999, although they were originally under the name "Fallout". I think they're new name sounds more imaginative. "The Old Man and the Spirit" is a concept album that had been in the works for five years until its first studio recording in 2008. It was not completed until 2011. The time it took was worth it. The instrumentals are fantastic, though never overdone. The vocals are wonderful, and the trading off between male and female singers adds a lot of feeling and color that helps to drive the plot of the album forward. This is an excellent album. I loved it at first listen, and then repeated it four or five times within the next few weeks. I found it hard to stop listening to it. The album's plot reminds me of Ebenezer Scrooge a bit. It's like a diary at times. There are two main characters, the old man, played by Herbie Langhans, and the Spirit, played by Dilenya Mar. The Spirit expresses lyrical wisdom to share with the Old Man in exchange for his feelings and experiences to answer all of his questions. Her wisdom eventually guides him to the meaning of life. The style is a wonderful mix of classic Prog, 80's metal, Thrash at times, and Classical.

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