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Wobbler - Hinterland CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.81 | 319 ratings

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4 stars A wonderful symphonic debut!

Some years ago I saw the name of Wobbler, whose debut album 'Hinterland' was having very positive reviews amongst prog rock fans, so I got interested on it and fortunately found a place here in Mexico where I could buy it. Since then I've been following them, because I really loved (and love) what they do. Now at last I am reviewing this debut album, released in 2005, which contains four compositions (one brief, two longs, and one giant) that make a total time of 57 minutes.

The first one is entitled 'Serenade for 1652', and it is just a one-minute mellotron introductory track which will lead to the first true composition, which also happens to be the longest of the album with more than 27 minutes (half the album passes here). This new track has the title of 'Hinterland', and oh man, what an ambitious, intelligent and well- crafted composition they dare to create in their debut album, it is something that we should highlight. Well, in this song we will find a feast of keyboards, creating wonderful atmospheres and a variety of sensations. The symphonic sound is evident in the most of the track, though there are moments where they seem to be more in the eclectic side.

The music is mellow, charming and inspirational. Besides keyboards, there are moments where a beautiful flute sound is included, perfectly complementing the previously gentle sound. I love that the music is flowing deliciously, making some calmer moments whose intensity eventually increases. In a passage, the music slows down, an acoustic guitar plays delicately while the mellotron is in the background; later the voice joins along with drums and a very cool bass sound. Since this first long track we can notice that Wobbler may have taken some elements of their influential bands (who doesn't), such as King Crimson, Gentle Giant or Anglagard; of course, the band just take a little bit of them, but they create their original music. Lots of changes in time and mood are here, including a couple of short stops, but as I previously said, it just flows and creates a strong and wonderful song.

'Rubato Industry' lasts almost thirteen minutes. This piece shows the quality of all the musicians, because here we can appreciate the great combined work of the guitar player, along with the always superb keyboard work, with an omniscient mellotron. The bass is also splendid, better when it stands out while drums and vocals appear. The voice is not the most gifted one, however its colour fits with the music. Just before the fifth minute, a flute appears and creates a beautiful calm passage where one can feel a bit relaxed after the strong opening. But a minute later the mellotron returns and the structure follows the same path as in the first five minutes. Later it makes another change, it stops for some seconds and later little by little progresses, the intensity is higher and higher, creating a vertiginous ending.

The last track is entitled 'Clair Obscur', whose 15 minutes are purely instrumental. Starts with mellotron for a minute, then it vanishes and a delicate almost quiet piano plays some notes which seconds later will be joined by flute, creating a pastoral sound. The song has several mini-stops, passages that are being built and suddenly disappear in order to give entrance to new ones. After four minutes and a half I could say the song is already consistent, with a great communion between mellotron and bass, guitars and drums. Here the symphonic sound is evident, giving us a wonderful example of its particular tune. This is a very cool and complex way to end this excellent debut.

So if you like symphonic prog with intelligent compositions, and with that particular Scandinavian touch, you will surely like this album, and Wobbler, of course. My final grade will be four solid stars.

Enjoy it!

memowakeman | 4/5 |


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