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(46:33, Karisma Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. From Silence to Somewhere 20:59 2. Rendered in Shades of Green 2:05 3. Fermented Hours 10:10 4. Foxlight 13:19 LINEUP: Lars Fredrik Froislie - keyboards, vocals Kristian Karl Hultgren - bass, clarinet, recorder Martin Nordrum Kneppen - drums, percussion, recorder Andreas Wettergreen Stromman Prestmo - vocals, guitar, glockenspiel, percussion Geir Marius Bergom Halleland - guitars, vocals
Prolusion. Norwegian band WOBBLER are veterans of the Norwegian progressive rock scene as well as a renowned and established name in progressive rock circles, with a career going 18 years back and with concerts in most parts of their world on their resume. So far they have four full length studio albums to their name. "From Silence to Somewhere" is the most recent of these, and is set for release in late October 2017 through Norwegian label Karisma Records.
Analysis. For quite a few progressive rock fans, this album will already be on their list of "must buy" albums. Wobbler have quite the reputation in some circles, and perhaps primarily among fans of classic era symphonic progressive rock. So far in their career Wobbler have been a band they can rely on to create good and compelling music they know they will enjoy. This has not changed come 2017 either. This four track strong album kicks off with the mammoth creation the title track of this album is, a 20 minute long romp through landscapes that for me comes across as a journey through English style symphonic progressive rock from the era 1970 to 1975 or thereabouts. Keyboards of various kinds and the trusty Mellotron are given liberal amounts of space to soar and to shine, with competent backing by a booming bass, steady and sophisticated rhythms and a versatile guitarist. A creation that ebbs and flows in pace and intensity throughout, from the gentler pastoral interludes to the majestic, powerful sounds of the kind that you can only find in vintage symphonic progressive rock. With crystal clear, finely controlled lead vocals as the proverbial icing on the cake. One atmospheric laden interlude later and we're taken on another epic ride with Fermented Hours, this time with the organ as the brightest shining star of the show, with an initial harder edged expression with firm guitars adding a concrete foundation, lather on developing to become a somewhat darker and more haunting atmosphere. And while this might well be a case of mistaken association, the spoken word sequence in Italian midways in this song as well as the general scope and sounds explored here did make me think of Italian style symphonic progressive rock when listening through this one. Foxlight concludes this album with one more epic length journey, this one with pastoral, folk-tinged passages as the recurring elements that for me strikes me as the identity bearer of the song, so to speak. Some obvious Gentle Giant references can be found, at least that is my opinion, and those fond of harpsichord solo runs will most certainly treasure this composition for that aspect alone. A fine array of reeds are employed too, and while this song also have it's more grandiose and harder edged sections, the gentler and pastoral ones are the ones that I suspect will stick. With an excellent mix and production as well, this is a flawless album in all aspects, and for certain segments of the progressive rock audience, this album will hit many top 10 and top 5 lists when the music year of 2017 are to be summarized.
Conclusion. While this is hardly news to anyone with more than a passing interest in progressive rock, Wobbler have made a name for themselves as purveyors of high quality, vintage era symphonic progressive rock, and they do not disappoint on this most recent album either. Those who know they enjoy music of this specific kind can safely add this album to their list of music that needs to be bought, whether they are familiar with this band already or not.
Progmessor: September 27th, 2017
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