Beyond the Bridge - The Old Man and the Spirit

Beyond the Bridge
The Old Man and the Spirit
Frontiers Records
Beyond The Bridge is a seven-piece newcomer from Germany that’s presenting its debut album after 3 years in the making. It’s very helpful to have so much time to work on an album so that to achieve a sufficient outcome. The album’s concept deals with the polarity of human sensuousness and superhuman awareness. The guys had the luck to work with producer Simon Oberender (a Sascha Paeth collaborator in the productions of Avantasia, Edguy, Epica or Kamelot among others), who has also produced and mixed “The Old Man and the Spirit” at Gatestudio, Wolfsburg (Germany). The album was, also, mastered by the well-known Sascha Paeth (Avantasia, Edguy, Angra, Shaaman, Rhapsody of Fire, Kamelot, After Forever, Epica) and Simon Oberender at Gatestudio, Wolfsburg. The album’s sound is very clear, polished and, luckily, not so compressed… the guys are playing very well and the two vocalists (Herbie & Dilenya) make the whole result more interesting by switching from male to female vocals.
The band seems to be influenced by some big progressive metal bands like: Vanden Plas, Dream Theater, Pain Of Salvation, Ayreon… while some symphonic and heavy/power elements from bands such as: Avantasia, Aina, Within Temptation, Edguy, Angra, After Forever, Epica are all over the band’s music. Not to forget some more progressive rock influences from bands like: Porcupine Tree, Arena and Spock’s Beard… as well. They have combined features from prog metal and prog rock music while they are balancing between those music styles… with the metal elements to overbear in the end. The songs are mostly long, over 6-7 minutes, and I get the feeling that the band is trying to be more complex than it should be after a while. Surely more straightforward songs like “The Call” & “World Of Wonders”, work better generally (although “All A Man Can Do” is the best song of the album)… and I totally believe that if they hadn’t overdone it with many long and pointless complex parts in their songs… then this album would have been much better. Maybe, in the next album they will decide to follow what might work better both for the band and the vocalists (especially the female voice)…
“The Old Man and the Spirit” is a nice album but it’s really hard for this band to walk among the big prog metal bands and claim some recognition in the progressive rock/metal genre… but if they’d rather focus on more melodic metal/rock songs I can see their course more successful… they have the potential but there’s also a long way ahead of them…