Beyond the Bridge
Official Site in 2012


 

This was the official website for the German Progressive Metal band, Beyond the Bridge when they were promoting The Old Man and the Spirit. This album marked an ambitious concept record for the band, and featured female vocalist Dilenya Mar and male vocalist Herbie Langhans performing the "parts" of two distinct characters, the Old Man and the Spirit..
Content is from the site's 2012 archived pages and other outside sources.

If you want more up to date information about Beyond the Bridge go to their Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/beyondthebridgeMusic/

 



Beyond The Bridge "The Old Man And The Spirit" EPK (Official)
Published on Jan 13, 2012 | Frontiers Records

FACEBOOK POST

1-19-19


20th ANNIVERSARY
Today, exactly 20 years ago, a school band was founded in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, from which many years later BEYOND THE BRIDGE was born. In January 1999 the first rehearsal took place in the basement of the school and soon an independent band developed, of which Peter, Christopher and Dominik were significantly involved in the production of "The Old Man and the Spirit" in 2012.

Looking back you have to smile when you think through the epochs, some band names came into being, among others "DESP", "The Vampire Guinea Pigs", "Japedotigo" and finally "Fall Out", the immediate predecessor of Beyond the Bridge. In the time of "Fall Out" between 2001 and 2005 also the songs "World of Wonders", "The Triumph of Irreality" and "Where the Earth and Sky meet" were created, which were also performed live in this final version. The song "All a Man can do" also dates from that time, but didn't make it on stage at that time. Large musical parts of "The Call", "The Apparition", "The Struggle" and "Difference is human" also found their place in the program in a different way. After the dissolution of the formation "Fall Out", Peter and Christopher went into an intensive songwriting phase and finally brought "The Old Man and the Spirit" into the form known today.

Now we would like to delight you with extremely rare pictures from very early times and hope that you will hear more of BtB in the coming years. Happy birthday, baby!

 

 

 

Band

BEYOND THE BRIDGE are:
Herbie Langhans – Vocals
Dilenya Mar – Vocals
Peter Degenfeld-Schonburg – Guitar
Christopher Tarnow – Keyboards
Dominik Stotzem – Bass
Fabian Maier – Drums
Simon Oberender – Keyboards/Guitar

Beyond the Bridge are a German progrock band who were originally formed under the name “Fall Out” in 1999.

After their first years as a school band in Frankfurt, Germany, and numerous live gigs in the local rock scene, the band seemed to face an early demise when all band members started to settle throughout Germany to engage in their university studies and professional careers.

It wasn’t until 2005 that guitarist Peter Degenfeld-Schonburg decided to revive the band with a project he had entitled “The Old Man and the Spirit”. For the next five years to come, he would spend innumerable hours together with keyboarder Christopher Tarnow to complete the songs and the story of this slowly evolving concept album. Christopher, who had also been part of the original line-up, got to know brilliant producer Simon Oberender during his Tonmeister course in Detmold, Germany. Simon was also the one to introduce drummer Fabian Maier and lead vocalist Herbie Langhans to the band. Together with bass player Dominik Stotzem, founder of the old school band and best friend to Peter and Christopher ever since, the line-up of Beyond the Bridge was almost completed. Lead vocalist Dilenya Mar came to the band after Peter had been to a concert of hers singing classic Jazz tunes in Munich, Germany.

Besides their experience as rock musicians, all members of Beyond the Bridge are proud to be professionally trained musicians on their respective instrument. After having been awarded several prizes for classical guitar in his youth, Peter now works as a Ph.D. student for physics in Munich. Christopher works as a recording engineer for classical music and studies composition at the University of Music in Leipzig, Germany. Dominik plays bass in several successful bands and works at an event and concert agency in Frankfurt. Dilenya completed her studies at the German POP Academy and now continues to study jazz singing at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Munich. Herbie appears as lead singer in various professional bands, including Seventh Avenue, Sinbreed  and Ryffhuntr. Fabian received his Bachelor of Arts in Jazz Performance and now works as a professional drummer and teacher in Freiburg, Germany. Simon works as a recording, mixing and mastering engineer in Wolfsburg where he was involved in productions with bands like Avantasia, Edguy, Epica or Kamelot.

The first studio recordings for “The Old Man and the Spirit” started in 2008 at Gatestudio, Wolfsburg, Germany. However, extensive pre-recordings had been done by Peter and Christopher during the process of composing the album including complete keyboard and vocal arrangements. Nonetheless, it was a very long way until the completion of the album in 2011, and the band is very proud to finally release this piece of art with Frontiers Records in January 2012.

 



The Old Man and the Spirit

The Old Man and the Spirit
available January 20, 2012 (Europe) 
January 24, 2012 (North America) 
January 18, 2012 (Japan)

 

Band members:

  • Herbie Langhans – Vocals (Present)
  • Dilenya Mar – Vocals (Present)
  • Peter Degenfeld-Schonburg - Guitar (Present)
  • Christopher Tarnow - Keyboards (Present)
  • Dominik Stotzem - Bass (Present)
  • Fabian Maier - Drums (Present)
  • Simon Oberender - Keyboards/Guitar (Present)

The Old Man and the Spirit (2012)
Beyond The Bridge - The Old Man and the Spirit

 



Beyond the Bridge - The Apparition
Brand new Single from Beyond the Bridge from the f*cking awesome The Old Man and The Spirit album!

The Call
The Apparition
Triumph of Irreality
The Spring of It All
World of Wonders
The Primal Demand
Doorway to Salvation
The Struggle
The Difference Is Human
Where the Earth and Sky Meet
All a Man Can Do

 

The Old Man and the Spirit
Beyond the Bridge

www.metal-archives.com

...the whole surrounding sea? Better buckle your britches, this is a big one. Released in 2012, The Old Man And The Spirit is the debut and so far only album by German prog metal group Beyond The Bridge, led by lead guitarist and songwriter Peter Degenfeld-Schonburg. I only rediscovered this album fairly recently - having heard it previously, but apparently not thought much of it then - when going through some of Herbie Langhans works.

And make no mistake; The Old Man And The Spirit is possibly the greatest progressive metal album of all time, and one of the most mindblowingly awesome albums in metal, period. Likely it needs to be heard multiple times, because even as I rediscovered it, it took me a few spins to fully grasp the album and how ultimately moving it is. It tells the tale of a man (Herbie Langhans) who seeks understanding and knowledge, and comes across a spirit (Dilenya Mar) with whom he starts to interact. The story is told through their shared vocal duties and through emotive musical numbers that lend from the likes of HakenDream Theater and Threshold, while also outshining them all in terms of emotional pull and outstanding musicianship.

While they mostly share vocal duties through the album, Langhans and Mar fit marvelous together, both being able to tap into exactly what is needed when it is needed. 'The Struggle' sees them arguing and shouting while 'The Apparition' conjures up their first, wondrous meeting. There are two ballads on the album, each devoted to one of the vocalists.

'World Of Wonders' is Mar’s moment of glory, as she divines with a heavenly voice of the beauty to be found in the world. The song has some reminiscence of Dream Theater's 'Hollow Years', in melodies and vocal lines, but outshines the latter greatly, containing sweet guitar harmonies and trilling keys to go along with Mar’s performance. The second is the far gloomier 'Where The Earth And Sky Meet', which is likely the finest moment in Langhans' career yet, with its weighty tone and feels-laden guitars. It touches upon the meaning of life, what it means to be human and to feel, but ultimately gives no clear answers because that’s never the point.

If possible, Degenfeld-Schonburg shows just as much emotive and dynamic range in his guitars, as Langhans and Mar show off in their duets. From the aggressive pull and furious soloing, found in tracks like 'Doorway To Salvation' and opener 'The Call', to the slow, hauntingly beautiful melodics of the aforementioned 'World Of Wonders' or the gritty riff parts going hand in hand with Simon Oberender’s keys that are strewn like progressive sprinkles all across the runtime of the album.

He shines perhaps strongest in (almost) instrumental 'Triumph Of Irreality' with those epic tunes conjuring the gleaming skies and streaming rivers; a reason to wonder. The album features some of the last work of Simon Oberender, who passed away a few months after its release, and his input is simply magical. His keyboards never take the upper hand over the fresh delivery of Degenfeld-Schonburg’s guitars, but always delivering that extra emotion with subtle melodies and building background pieces.

To pick a single highlight or even a few out of the eleven tracks would be a mission impossible; they all deliver a certain irreplaceable magic and air. There is no song that does not contribute massively to the whole in terms of musical flow, direction, storytelling or even emotion. They all fit in their space, and with Degenfeld-Schonburg’s songwriting always stay interesting, even after the 100th listen; the album ranges from the tranquil and serene to the furious and to the melancholically dark and to the hopeful. The progressive build that sees every song flow seamlessly into the next is crafted with precision and delicacy and it pays off in the end, where it’s impossible to listen to just one song - you need them all!

There has, as of 2018, been given no news with regards to a potential follow up, sequel or even a new output by Beyond The Bridge, and perhaps that is just as well. This album is perfect and needs not be touched or expanded upon; finally peace and silence all around my grave. The Old Man And The Spirit is, simply put, perfect.

Standout tracks: Uhm… all of them?

 

And just in case you don’t want to read too much, here are some quotes that sum it up pretty good:

“Perfect is the only word I have to describe it.” – www.metalreviews.com

“Seldom you hear an album from a complete unknown band and it immediately blows you away!” – livereviewer.com

“Großes Kino.” - eclipsed Nr. 137

“This CD contains many notes.” - a musical expert

“… this album is a true labor of love, a masterpiece.” - ladyobscure.com

“Ich verneige mich vor Beyond the Bridge! Besser kann man’s nicht machen. Punkt. Aus.” - metalfactory.ch

“Wenn Beyond the Bridge rocken, dann rocken sie.” - RockHard Februar 2012

“The Bottom line is this is a great album, and should become seen in future times as one of the true classics” - sundayrockshow.blogspot.com

“A wonderful release from Beyond the Bridge who are a seriously talented group of musicians” - www.rocktopia.co.uk

“They should not be doing this!” - a neighbour

“Sind Beyond the Bridge wirklich so gut? Ja, das sind sie und ‘The Old Man and the Spirit’ gehört zu den besten Debüts, die ich jemals gehört habe.” - www.hooked-on-music.de

“That’s why this album is a real success at all levels.” - ultimetal.free.fr

“Vielen Dank für dieses geniale Musikerlebnis!!!” - sarkophag-rocks.com

“Put simply ‘The Old Man And The Spirit’is the sound of modern prog rock at its finest!” - www.uberrock.co.uk

“It’s like a great book that you just can’t put down.” - www.heavymetal.about.com

 

Beyond the Bridge- The Old Man and the Spirit

  • 23 May. 2012
  • Artist: Beyond the Bridge
  • Released: January 2012
  • Genre: Progressive Metal
  • Posted by: lonestar | www.ladyobscure.com

It was with trembling hands and a humbled soul that I removed the headphones, having just finished my first full listen to Beyond the Bridge’s debut album, The Old Man and the Spirit.  I had come across something miraculous, wondrous, and beautiful; a true work of art, and had to pause a moment to appreciate how the music had changed me.  Moments like this are rare in music, some bands can have a massive body of work, all wonderful, and yet only touch this height once or twice. The fact that this was a debut just stunned me all the more, usually bands have to work years, even decades, to develop a sound like this, and this band nailed it on the first shot.  My curiosity got the best of me, as it usually does, though luckily  I had to go no further than their website to find what lay behind the maturity that they show.

Beyond the Bridge originally formed as a prog rock band in Frankfurt, Germany in 1999 under the name Fallout, but was short lived as the members went to pursue higher studies and careers.  In 2005, guitarist Peter Degenfeld-Schonburg, with the idea for Old Man and the Spirit, worked with keyboardist Christopher Tarnow to build the basic structure of the album.  Best friend and former bandmate bass player   Dominik Stoltzim was in, and with the help of producer Simon Oberender they added drummer Fabian Maier and lead vocalist Herbie Langhans.  The other lead vocalist, Dilenya Mar finished out the lineup.  With the lineup solid, they went to the studio in 2008 to start recording, and after three years, finally released the complete album in early 2012.

The album is a concept album, in every sense of the word.  The basic story is that an old man, in the final   stages of his life, is in a state of frustrated despondancy, and in his desparation, calls out to a spirit to find meaning in his life.  The spirit who answers his call embodies all the wisdom that man cannot achieve, but lacks the real life experience to make sense of it.  A deal is presented by her, in that if the old man surrenders his memories, he will be given the wisdom.  Though simplistic, the story is deftly handled, and leaves enough room for the listener to interpret it via their own emotions and experiences, further involving the audience in the story in a personal way by letting their own emotions intimately ride the tale with the music.  This works perfectly, so perfectly that I was moved close to tears on a few occasions, reflecting upon where the music took me to in my own personal life, and how my memories and emotions mirrored those of the old man.  Would I be willing to sacrifice them for the ultimate answers? Were my most cherished possessions sacrificable at all?  Such is what this work left me to ponder.

Musically, this thing is a straight up prog metal monster.  From the textbook opening thunder of chords to the closing dreamscape of bliss, it dishes out a gauntlet of wondrous sound, covering all the best things that good prog has to offer; the beast of an instrumental in Triumph of Irreality, the soul searing ballad Worlds of Wonder, the staccato verbal onslaught of The Struggle, the soul crushing distorted beatdown of The Primal Demand, and so much more, it carries its message with authority.  Grounded by an extremely solid bass and drum performance, the other instruments dance and play around like caffeined up kids on the first day of summer, free and with the sole purpose to live for the day.

Vocally, it is near perfection.  Langhans’ male lead is matched perfectly by Mar’s female.  Langhans captures the myriad emotions of a man on his last legs, struggling with a decision men were not meant to make, with perfection.  His Old Man brings the listener intimately into the piece, making us ponder our own connection to the emotions he deftly expresses. Most of all is the blunt honesty he plays the part with, never do we feel like we are being deceived by what he is saying or feeling.  As a counter, Mar’s portrayal of the Spirit leaves us to wonder if the Spirit can give on what she promises the old man, her beauty and wonder portrayed to such perfection, but at times a darker, more soulless side comes through.  It leaves wide open the idea that her deal is a one sided grab for her own lack of humanity, that the promises will be false, and the Old Man will end up suffering all the worst.  It makes the choice for the Old Man, and the listener, that much more difficult.

Thematically, it is structured so unbelievably well, I am in awe with every subsequent listen.  Though the songs don’t tend to run together, they are tied musically in a fantastic fashion, and each piece is a stand alone work.  Lyrical and musical themes are repeated throughout, but are built upon with each use, the words expand with emotion, the music expands with intensity.  This works wonderfully to build the gravity of the outcome, and ties the listener even closer to the struggle that the Old Man has to face.

Spiritually, this thing hit home, deeply and with a tender message. We all have a part of us that wonders, at times of unrest and despair, whether there is more to the struggles we face on a daily basis.  We must find worth in our occasional strife with existence.  The one piece of wisdom I left this album with is that the value of our lives is not procured from within, or from above, but from around.  The interactions, experiences, and memories we value most are those with loved ones involved, not the ones born of solitude.  Our spouses, our friends, our family, our children, the memories of the moments we share with them, from the profound to the mundane, are the benefits reaped by our daily struggles.  It is that which colors our soul.

IF you question my sincerity in praise, I must say first off, no, the band isn’t paying me off, this album is that damn good.  The seven years in the making, the musical education held by all, the bonds shared, they come through in every note, this album is a true labor of love, a masterpiece.  I have given this piece over fifty listens in preparation for writing this review, and I am far from being burnt out on it, so what the heck are you still reading this for, go out and give this piece a spin!!!

 



Lyrics

The Old Man and the Spirit

Act I

I · The Call

Old Man:
Hear the voice
They’re calling
And haunting me
Never Heard
Such Questions
Wonʼt let me free
Iʼve never felt
So insecure
My peace of mind
Disturbed by the urge to know

I try to see
But I am blind
I try to see
The truth behind
Please come to me
Awareness

I keep on yearning
For mysteries of this world
But hands are turning
As the ages decay
Existence crashes
And everything that I’ve changed
Is dust to ashes
As it passes away

I can feel
My duty
To find the key
Missing rules
No order
No sanity
Ive never heard
About this before
My peace of mind
Disturbed by the urge to know

I try to see
But I am blind
I try to see
The truth behind
Please come to me
Awareness

I keep on yearning …

I wish my life would disappear
Or merge within a dream
No questions, suffering or fear
A clear, indifferent stream
I wish my light would cease to burn
But yet, my soul is torn
And lets me face my last concern
Why I was even born

 

II · The Apparition

Old Man:
How can a single drop perceive
The whole surrounding sea?
For being part it will receive
A higher cause to be
How can a simple man reveal
The world before he dies?
True spirits, come, hear my appeal
Sever the bonds of lies!

Spirit:
I heard your call
Iʼm a spirit of ancient days
I know you crawl
In the dust on your hopeless ways
I am your guide
And the answer to your demand
I see the light
See the reasons you know you

Spirit:

Can’t find awareness then
Why dont you
Speak up and ask?

Old Man:
I- I want to know
Where I come from, where I go
What I will be able to know

Choir:
Hail to thee!
Certainty
Thou art crystal
Tyranny!
Raise thy hands
Esperance
Thou hast shown
We shall crush down
Chance

Old Man:
Open my eyes
And let gnosis arise and then
Show me the lines
In the sand

What walks away and leaves
Signs at the bay of faith
Show me the moment when
Light filled the night
Took on its might
Chased off the fright

Give me a sign
Is there good or divine or is
Random creation
The cause

And say, are we fooled
By religion and ruled by fate
Show me the moment when
Light won the strife
Nurtured to thrive
Breathed and it was life

Choir:
Come and dance
Ignorance
Show thy ugly
Countenance!
Be my guest and
Dance!

Old Man:
Why don’t you speak and respond?

Choir:
How can you be sure
That there is
More than you know?
What if you had lost
Lost your way?

Old Man:
Reveal it, unseal it
Untie the bonds!
Come show me and take me there!

Spirit:
Trust me, I will show
That there is more than you know
Trust me, I will teach you how!

Choir:
Hail to thee!
Thou art cruelest uncertainty!
Not to be
Pain and grief begone
Relief me!

Spirit:
Leave your eyes and leave your ears
(My reason)
All your senses leave them shut
(My feelings)
Trust your ever faithful fears
(My voices)
And dont yield to reasons smut
(My heartbeat)

Spirit:
If you want to face it
You must know
I will be your eyes
And if you trace it
You wonʼt go
Before I advise

Old Man:
No! I want to be where
I can feel
The truth on my own
So let me flee there
And reveal
The answers alone

Old Man:
If thereʼs a place
Where I will be aware
Lead me
There is a place
Where I will be aware
Lead me

Spirit:
Where do you believe
Will you be able to perceive?
Dare how could it be
In this reality how?

Old Man:
I keep on yearning
For mysteries of this world
But hands are turning
As the ages decay
Existence crashes
And everything that I’ve changed
Is dust to ashes

Old Man:
I keep on yearning
For mysteries of this world
But hands are turning
As the ages decay
Existence crashes
And everything that Iʼve changed
Is dust to ashes
As it passes by
Show me the place
And I triumph for irreality

Spirit:
Trust me, you will see
If you blindly follow me
Trust me, you will feel
What your senses conceal
Trust me, I will show
Where you come from, where you go
What you will be able to know…

Choir:
I, I keep on yearning
But, but hands are turning
Life is ashes to dust,
Is ashes to dust

… and who you are

 

III · Triumph Of Irreality

Spirit:
Confined to my reality
I sensed the hidden scheme
Accepted this divinity
A clear indifferent stream

All doubts dissolved
Opaque turned clear
No questions, suffering or fear
No blemish but infinity
Confined to my reality

 

IV · The Spring Of It All

Spirit:
There is no place
Where Men could trace
The spring of it all

All you could find
Lies here
The world combined
In a grain

It is all a matter of knowing
When the wind is sprung up and blowing
When the sky is gleaming
Rivers streaming
Itʼs a matter of knowing

Old Man:
There is no chance
No single glance
At the spring of it all

This paradise
Be it!
All men could rise
But they fall

Spirit & Old Man:
It is all a matter of knowing
When the wind is sprung up and blowing
When the sky is gleaming
Rivers streaming
Itʼs a matter of knowing

Old Man:
When the sky is gleaming
Rivers streaming
Its a reason to wonder…

 

V · World Of Wonders

Spirit:
Dont you know its a world of wonders
That you live
Theres a strength that can pull you under
And forgive
And it lives in a sky of thunder
And it breathes light in your soul

And the trees and the wind are stroking
And they scream
And beneath you the earth is soaking
Of this dream
Every raindrop is telling stories
And they whisper words in your ear

Hey, don’t you see the light?
Don’t you feel its might?
Tell me, donʼt you see?
Don’t you feel it?
Theres a strength in your veins of glory
And it breathes light in your soul

Act II

VI · The Primal Demand

Old Man:
How can a single drop perceive
The whole surrounding sea?

VII · Doorway To Salvation

Spirit:
Your sad lit candle
Is guttering
But still wont seize to burn
Enough to seethe
Enough to cry
The cause to breathe
The cause to die

If I should handle
Your muttering
Iʼll call for in return:
Enough to seethe
Enough to cry
The cause to breathe
The cause to die

Old Man:
A child
A dream
A womenʼs embrace

A thought
A scream
A comforting face

Two blinks
Three steps
Four words of a phrase
One reason to go on remembering

Spirit:
It might seem much
(it might seem much)
But don’t condemn me
Just break the crutch
(just break the crutch)
That you call memory

Old Man:

Finally! There’s a doorway to salvation
Should I trust and yield to this temptation
If I lost my memory
All of my life
Will I still be human:
Curious and free

Spirit:
Doubts are shading
As the lights are fading
Go lift the curtain
Now be certain
And see

Spirit:
I will be righteous
And measure
The price you have to pay
Enough to seethe
Enough to cry
The cause to breathe
The cause to die

So I am claiming
Your treasure
Of fortune and dismay:
Enough to seethe
Enough to cry
The cause to breathe
The cause to die

Old Man:
A kiss
A smile
A cold chill inside

A song
A dance
A word and a fight

Two hearts
Three lies
Four eyes how they cried
One reason to wipe out and wash away

Spirit:
It might seem much
(it might seem much)
But dont condemn me
Just break the crutch
(just break the crutch)
That you call memory

Old Man:
Doubts are shading
As the lights are fading
Go lift the curtain
To be certain
And see

Spirit:
Finally! There’s a doorway to salvation
Let him trust and yield to this temptation
If I will have gained what
Once was his life
I will be like mankind
Curious and free

Old Man:
A tear
A touch
A black tie and shirt

A book
A speech
A shovel of dirt

Two stones
Three names
Four cries of a bird
One reason to live and to die at last

Old Man:

Finally! There’s a doorway to salvation
Its the trust we take from contemplation
Its the strength of memory
And of wondering
Finally theres a doorway
Curious and free

Spirit:
Doubts are shading
As the lights are fading
Go lift the curtain
Now be certain
And consign your life to me!

VIII · The Struggle

Old Man:
Do you really want me to lose…
…my Virtues
…my Faults and
…my Weakness
…my Strength and
…my Sorrow
…my Joy and
…my Falsehood
…my Truth and

Do you really want me to lose…
…my Fears and
…my Hopes
…my Faith and
…my Soul
…my Honor
…my Shame
…my Freedom
Everything you strife for is me

Spirit:
Open up your weary eyes
Halt your never-ending and sigh-swollʼn cries
All youʼve never flouted
You wont owe
All youʼve never doubted
You wonʼt know

Your’e crying out in deep despair
As the fair is foul and the foul is fair
You will drown in madness
Once again
And roll up in sadness
Tug you in

Always yearning
Never earning
Always trying
Never flying

Choir:

See the light
Feel its might

Spirit:

You’d leave this sorrow
If you would follow

Old Man:
Do you really want me to trade…
…my heart and
…my soul and
…in life for light?

Spirit:
Do you really think that your life is worth it?

Old Man:
Beauty and bliss
In the grace of a kiss
And love
Lie in the transience of life

Memories retain
All the moments remain
With me
Why should I trade tell me

Do you really want me to lose my memory?

Spirit:
Death comes fast and breaks apart
All the words and pictures in your heart
You will find your pain in once shed tears
For what is a grain in endless spheres

Choir:
Always yearning
Never earning
Always trying
Never flying

Old Man:
Do you really want me to lose…
…my Virtues
…my Faults and
…my Weakness
…my Strength and
…my Sorrow
…my Joy and
…my Falsehood
…my Truth and

Do you really want me to lose…
…my Fears and
…my Hopes
…my Faith and
…my Soul
…my Heart and
…my Deeds
…my Life and
…my Memory

Spirit:

Endless spheres
You will find your pain in once shed tears
Donʼt turn your back on your

Human destiny
You will die and face eternity
Donʼt turn your back on your

All wrong divine conception
As your striving for perfection
Won’t you feel just like a traitor
Who has tricked his own Creator
Strong with words you draw a curtain
Keeping early scenes uncertain
Now itʼs time to take my guidance
I will show the primal silence

Consign your life to me!
Take my gift and
Rule your destiny
Donʼt turn your back on your
Worthless entity
Don’t you see your
Useless way to be
Now take my hand and

Consign your life to me…

Old Man:
Life

Spirit:
Light!

 

IX · The Difference Is Human

Old Man:
My heart is a ponderer
My soul is a wanderer
To touch, to be
To feel, to see
The edge of the knife
The difference is human
Is life

Spirit:
Now that your’e close to the key, tell me
Would you halt and send the called away?

Old Man:
All my memories of life canʼt die
All my memories of truth can’t lie
And my memories of trust deny
That to know is to see

Hear the pulse of my veins at night
Let my will and my thoughts ignite
Why should I seek the truth in light
When the truth is in me

Choir:
Tide is turning
No more yearning!

Old Man:
All my memories of hope
All my memories of youth
All my memories of cheer
All my memories of truth
All my memories of fear
All my memories of trust
All my memories of lust

Spirit:
Never, ever will you see
I will know what you will be

It is all a matter of knowing
When the wind is sprung up and blowing
When the sky is gleaming
Rivers streaming
Itʼs a matter of knowing

There is so much reason to wonder
So much reason to wonder
There is so much reason to wonder
So much reason to ask

Old Man:
Stop your fraud! Let it be
Stop your lies!
Your deceit! Let it be
Your disguise
And I thank God I ripped off your mask!

Spirit:
Then, pitiful human
You won’t spy the forces inside
And, thank your acumen
You will die, as many have died
Now, pitiful human
Say goodbye

Never, ever will you see
I will know what you will be

You will weep, you will cry
You will be, you will stay
Ever blinded
You will weep, you will cry
You will be, you will stay
Just a Man

You will turn into dust
And so it ends
You will turn into dust
And so it ends

Old Man:
All my memories of faith
All my memories of strife
All my memories of hope
All my memories of life
Show itʼs true
What I always knew:

My heart is a ponderer
My soul is a wanderer
My heart is a ponderer
Its the edge of the knife
The difference is life

My heart is a ponderer
My soul is a wanderer
Its the edge of the knife
The difference is life

All my memory of joy is her
All my memory of sense is her
All my memory of life is her
So Im wondering
How could I trade
Whom I love…?

 

X · Where The Earth And Sky Meet

Old Man:
At the break of dawn
She knocked on my door
I was shocked she seemed
So tired and sore

And she said
It’s been time
For a change for so long
All I know
I have to
I have to move on

And I stood on the porch
Where we used to dance
And the world, somehow,
Didnʼt make any sense.

And so I
Tried to smile
Though I didn’t know why
Watched her go
And waved her,
And waved her goodbye

Someday Iʼll meet you,
Someplace I’ll greet you,
Somehow it’ll lead you back to me
It may take a lifetime
And be where the stars shine
It may be the place
Where the earth and sky meet

And the years went by
But I did not forget
Her touch, her lips
The words that she said
Suddenly
Just a glimpse
And a warm well known smile
Clear to see
What kept her
What kept her alive

Someday I’ll meet you…

Choir:
Someday I’ll meet you
Someplace Iʼll greet you
Somehow itʼll lead you
Lead back to me

Old Man:
Why should I seek
Why should I ask
What should I strive for
If not you

Why should I seek
Why should I ask
Why should I strive
I am a Man

I am the word
I am the deed
I am the heart
Thank God Iʼm a Man

I felt the cold
I felt the heat
I felt the love
Thank God Iʼm a Man

Choir:
Why should I strive
What should I seek if not you
Why should I ask
What should I seek if not you
Why, what should I strive for if not you

 

XI · All A Man Can Do

Old Man:
Tinker tailor…
Hush cant you hear
Words of judgement
Wise and sincere

Every single winter has its spring
I don’t care
Everlasting continual ring
I don’t care

Iʼm so grateful I
Fell and rose and tried
Won and laughed and cried
Lost and swore and lied
Now I have to confide:
I loved
I lived

Choir:
… that is all a man can do

Old Man:
Soldier,  sailor…
Hush can’t you hear
Words of wisdom
As it draws near
Have you seen the truth a man can see
I don’t care
Have you been the best a Man could be
I don’t care

Iʼm so grateful I
Fell and rose and tried
Won and laughed and cried
Lost and swore and lied
Now I have to confide:
I lived
It was me

Choir:
… that is all a Man can do

Old Man:
Those dire grins of mere cognition
I gave my tears to superstition
Those higher spheres, I can’t adore them
I save my sins, I can’t abhor them

Fell and rose and tried
Won and laughed and cried
Lost and swore and lied
Last eternal pride
To love
To live

Choir:
Show me pain that is not true
Show me a sense thatʼs not in you
Show me joy that is not true
Show me a sense thatʼs not in you
Show me pain that is not true
Show me a sense thatʼs not in you
Show me life that is not true
Show me a sense to love to live

Old Man:
Hear the voice
Theyʼre haunting me
Never heard
Wonʼt let me free
Never felt
So insecure
Hear that voice
Stop and let me breathe!

Finally peace and silence
All around me
Made them hush and killed the
Source inside me
Drowned in madness by the
Force inside me
Finally peace and silence
All around my
Grave…

 

Beyond The Bridge – The Old Man And The Spirit

January 31, 2012 in Reviews by Allyson Kenning

Beyond the Bridge
The Old Man And The Spirit
2012

I have a complicated relationship with progressive metal.  Some of it I just don’t get (Dream Theater) and some of it I totally dig (Wuthering Heights, Manticora).  Oftentimes, I find it confusing, but at other times I can really revel in the complexity – if I can wrap my head around the material.

Also, I love concept albums – if they’re done well.  There are some egregiously bad ones (that highly forgettable After Forever one, for instance) and there are some excellent ones (Manticora’s Black Circus Part I is one of my favourites).

Germany’s Beyond The Bridge, a septet of professionally-trained musicians and vocalists, just released The Old Man And The Spirit January 20th, and upon first listen a few days ago, I was completely blown away by their sound, their maturity, and the fact that it was prog metal I got and liked the first time ’round!

Beyond The Bridge has two vocalists, a male and a female.  Singing the part of the Old Man is Herbie Langhans, and singing the part of The Spirit is Dilenya Mar, a trained jazz singer.  In the band’s own words the story is about this:

The album ‘The Old Man and the Spirit’ deals with the polarity of human sensousness and superhuman awareness. The latter is embodied by the character of the Spirit. She is the personification of all wisdom and awareness that is unachievable to mankind, however, lacks of the ability to feel. Her opponent, the character of the Old Man, is presented as 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 [sic].  As the story unfolds, the Spirit convinces the Old Man that there is no way for Man to overcome the limits of human perception. They can only be transgressed with the help of the Spirit’s wisdom. Aware of human curiosity, the Spirit offers to answer all of the Old Man’s questions – in exchange for his experiences and feelings. A high price, as they are inseperably connected to the Old Man’s memories.

Musically, The Old Man and the Spirit is an excellent tour de force.  Sporting crisp, crunchy riffs paired with long, complex guitar solos, masterfully executed by lead guitarist Peter Degenfeld-Schonburg and second guitarist Simon Oberender, and whole lot of funky synth parts that sound reminiscent of the 80s, there is a lot going on in this album.  And that’s not including the frequent tempo changes prog is know for, the interplay of the two characters, and some voice over narration. Individually, the songs are very complex and well-composed, with some dramatic choruses featuring choirs, and a lot of building of emotion that sent shivers down my spine. This is a highly atmospheric album, too, as is appropriate for the genre, with different instruments and effects creating layers of emotional experience.

Vocally, this album is a treat.  Herbie has an aggressively-edged clean vocal that is very emotional, and Dilyena as The Spirit, though not singing in a soprano range as I’m used to and that would create more of a vocal contrast, sounds great and makes a great foil for The Old Man.  Their voices mesh incredibly well together.

Highlights for me were aplenty.  I loved the first song, “The Call.”  It has a catchy chorus and the melody of it is repeated through the second track, “The Apparition”, where The Spirit is first introduced.  Another stand-out for me was “Doorway to Salvation” which starts off fast as hell and induced a lot of headbanging.  It then gets gentle and quiet with Dilyena singing without any accompaniment, before some more aggressive build-up begins again.  And it has a killer guitar solo and a synth solo that sounds like an organ.  The final song, “All A Man Can Do” is an amazing finale.  This song is so well crafted, almost like a five act play.  It builds and builds to an emotional climax, using Herbie’s vocal ability and layers of sounds, and then has a well-defined denouement.  The use of the choirs in this song is brilliant and I think this is Herbie’s best vocal performance on the album.  This song is just so good I can’t say enough good things about it.

The Old Man And The Spirit was apparently six years in the making. Finalizing their line-up took a while, and then there were everyone’s university studies, but the band was all along committed to this project, and it really shows with how well thought out the album is.  I know it’s just the early days of 2012, but I have a very strong feeling this is going to be one of my stand-out albums when the year-end round-ups begin.

Allyson’s Rating: 5.0 out of 5

 

 

BeyondTheBridge.net