MENU
Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Wobbler - From Silence to Somewhere CD (album) cover

FROM SILENCE TO SOMEWHERE

Wobbler

 

Symphonic Prog

4.58 | 181 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

FragileKings
Prog Reviewer
4 stars From the first time I ever heard Wobbler's 'Rites at Dawn' five years ago, I felt that this was a special band. Back then I was only just beginning to really explore progressive rock. Though I'd actually been a fan of some prog bands for a couple of decades, I was never aware of the 'prog' label until 2010! 'Rites of Dawn' impressed me so due to the complex music that was so expertly executed with many of those thrilling parts that you just have to hear again and again, and though many albums that made it into my collection have, after a time, been left to play again at some unknown future date, most of the songs off 'Rites' have been invited back for repeat performances in my ear phones throughout the last five years.

Of course, that meant that I soon picked up 'Hinterland' and 'Afterglow', which I also enjoyed but not as much as 'Rites'. 'Hinterland' bears the massive 27-minute plus title track epic which is also rich in awesome parts but sure takes a while to get through. Add two more tracks that are both over ten minutes and that's a lot of music to digest, especially since Wobbler are not a band who commonly set up simple structures in their compositions. Take 'In Taberna', an instrumental off 'Afterglow'. It's like a musical journey where you never visit the same place twice. 'Rites at Dawn' brought in song structure and tamed the complex structure of Wobbler's compositions somewhat so that the individual tracks on the album were easily more memorable thanks to vocal harmonies, melodies, and a variety of instrument showcases with flute, or saxophone, and styles such as funky jazz or an older classical style as showcase moments.

'From Silence to Somewhere' is the long-anticipated fourth album then and it was at last completed and released at the end of October. (I had been following Wobbler's Facebook page ever since hearing in 2016 that a new album was in the works). I was at first disappointed that the new release didn't follow the 'Rites' approach with five songs clocking in somewhere between six and twelve minutes (plus two short instrumentals bookending the album). The disappointment quickly faded, however, as the album began. After a buildup of swirling organ chords, Wobbler erupt in their typical quick-paced, direct to classic prog approach. Those not familiar with the band should take note that Wobbler use only classic prog era equipment and are determined to a point of perfection to recreate the sounds and atmosphere of that era, all the while writing strictly original material.

The title track serves as a 22-minute album opener and it's rife with good old-fashioned prog goodness. Andreas Wettergreen Stromman Prestmo (a name as long as some of Wobbler's compositions) holds the lead vocal duties as he did on 'Rites' and I have to say that his voice has improved greatly. Though his work was certainly commendable on the previous album, he shows positive strength in his singing here. There are times when I almost though he wasn't going to be able to hold the note, but he did it! He does sound more like Jon Anderson on this album, I feel, but it's a compliment to him. Unfortunately, the wonderful vocal harmonies from the last album are nearly gone this time, and that may be because one member has changed. Guitarist Morten Andreas Erikson has gone and now Marius Halleland has the role. Perhaps this change has left the lead vocals with less backup.

Another note is that even though this album takes the 'Hinterland' approach with one epic piece, two shorter epics, and one short non-rock instrumental, the music is less about meandering and exploring every nook and cranny of progressive rock but instead feels more focused and concise. That doesn't mean the music stays on repeat, but rather it's like the band have matured to where they don't need to prove that they can write a song that has 19 different melodies and motifs in 11 minutes and can now concentrate on writing something better held together. The title track features several highlights for me including some growly bass reminiscent of King Crimson John Wetton (at 10:40 and 12:40), some terrific flute going along with the beat and groove (at 11:48), and an older Wolfmother guitar sound (at 12:40). The track rises and falls with some quieter moments and louder, more anthemic melodies. Particularly at the 17:00 mark, the emotion really builds and strikes me as a new approach for Wobbler to take.

'Rendered in Shades of Green' is one of those gentle and short instrumentals with piano and strings, at first seemingly an odd inclusion but actually rather typical of Wobbler. I personally like 'Fermented Hours', a track that both rocks and rolls and also eases back. This shows Wobbler at their most intense and even dark at times. When they did something similar on 'Afterglow', it earned them a feature in a metal magazine which labeled them as avant-garde metal. It's not metal, but it is the most intense and darkest part of all the music in places.

Our marvelous journey through Wobbler's musical adventure world takes us to 'Foxlight', the final track, though at 13:19 we have lots of time to coast to the end. It begins in strong contrast to 'Fermented Hours' by playing out more serenely at first but then at 3:50 it too becomes more powerful with some sinister bass action coupled with some tension-filled harpsicord. That harpsicord comes back to perform a solo at 7:20 along with acoustic guitar and clean electric guitar. The track concludes with a kind of medieval melody (something Wobbler do very well) from 10:20, and whole band are in full motion, strutting their stuff for the album's finale.

I'm familiar enough with Wobbler's style to have enjoyed this album from the first listen, but it's not just a clich' to say that with repeated listens, I am enjoying the album more. It's been a great opportunity to play the other three albums and enjoy them anew as well. Though 'Rites at Dawn' still remains my favourite Wobbler album for now, 'From Silence to Somewhere' was worth the wait!

FragileKings | 4/5 |

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this WOBBLER review

Social review comments () BETA







Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — jazz music reviews and archives | MetalMusicArchives.com — metal music reviews and archives