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WOBBLER

Symphonic Prog • Norway


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Wobbler biography
Founded in Hønefoss, Norway in 1999

The line-up consists of Lars Fredrik Froislie (of WHITE WILLOW) on keyboards, Kristian Karl Hultgren on bass guitar, Martin Nordrum Kneppen on drums, Morten Andreas Eriksen on electric and acoustic guitars and mandolin and Tony Johannessen on vocals. This group is strongly evocative of KING CRIMSON, GENESIS, GENTLE GIANT along with newer symphonic prog bands like ANGLAGARD and ANEKDOTEN with a dash of Scandinavian folk and classical influences thrown into the mix.

Their debut CD WOBBLER "Hinterland" contains long and complex tracks featuring lush, vintage keyboard sounds, making extensive use of Mellotron, Mini-Moog, Hammond C-3 and harpsichord, along with beautiful electric and acoustic guitar playing, a complex rhythm section along with flutes, recorder, saxophones, mandolins and various other instruments providing a very full, symphonic sound.

Highly recommended for fans of the early progressive greats and symphonic prog music.

: : : TheProgtologist, USA : : :

⭐ Collaborators Top Prog Album of 2017 ⭐

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Buy WOBBLER Music


From Silence To SomewhereFrom Silence To Somewhere
Karisma 2017
$10.77
$13.78 (used)
HinterlandHinterland
Termo Records 2018
$12.04
$15.09 (used)
Rites at DawnRites at Dawn
Termo Records 2011
$11.00
$12.15 (used)
AfterglowAfterglow
Termo Records 2009
$11.05
$12.69 (used)
HinterlandHinterland
THE LASER'S EDGE 2017
$32.00 (used)
Rites at Dawn by Wobbler (2011-01-01)Rites at Dawn by Wobbler (2011-01-01)
Termo Records
$30.04
HinterlandHinterland
Belle Antique 2018
$58.46
Afterglow by Wobbler (2014-08-03)Afterglow by Wobbler (2014-08-03)
Termo Records
$26.83
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WOBBLER discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

WOBBLER top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.81 | 318 ratings
Hinterland
2005
3.81 | 260 ratings
Afterglow
2009
3.92 | 443 ratings
Rites At Dawn
2011
4.48 | 342 ratings
From Silence To Somewhere
2017

WOBBLER Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

WOBBLER Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

WOBBLER Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

WOBBLER Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 4 ratings
Imperial Winter White Dwarf / Leprechaun Behind the Door
2003
4.67 | 3 ratings
Lá Bealtaine
2011
4.80 | 5 ratings
This Past Presence
2011

WOBBLER Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 From Silence To Somewhere by WOBBLER album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.48 | 342 ratings

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From Silence To Somewhere
Wobbler Symphonic Prog

Review by Kingsnake

5 stars 2017 turned out to be great prog-year.

After all the violence of progmetal and overabundance of neoprog and the tsunami of Porcupine Tree/Radiohead-wannabes it's refreshing to hear bands focus on the more instrumental, folky, jazzy, medieval, symphonic side of progrock.

I knew Wobbler of their former release, and that one was already dear to me. Now unto this new release;

Four long tracks wich sound organic and not once too pretentious. The instrumentation is tastefull, the dynamics are just right. Heavy parts and softer parts seemlessly flowing into one another.

The vocals are just right aswell. Reminds me of Anekdoten, but Wobbler is less heavy and more symphonic. I love the flute (finally the flute is back in symphonic rock) and the mellotron, wich gives it that special 70's vibe.

The music harks back to the days of Genesis, Gentle Giant (victorian vocal-parts), Camel (flute), King Crimson (mellotron) and has a kind of canterbury-feel to it.

This record is strongly recommended to anyone who wants to step in a timemachine an go back to the years of 1970-1974.

 From Silence To Somewhere by WOBBLER album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.48 | 342 ratings

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From Silence To Somewhere
Wobbler Symphonic Prog

Review by DamoXt7942
Forum & Site Admin Group Avant, Crossover & Neo Teams

4 stars Let me say, the newest album by a Norwegian progressive rock star combo WOBBLER has established another symphonic world view, with colourful, kaleidoscopic, complexly convoluting sound revolution via the longest titled suite.

Like Yes in their golden years, the quintet can squeeze their skillful play and incredible technique directly into our brain as sort of a melodically / rhythmically acceptable structure 'regardless of complicated sound formation'. This undoubtful matter can be heard for everything in the tilted track. Even under multirhythmic and melancholic concordance, we should not pay massive attention to analyzing their material at all, but only listen with leaving ourselves for the melodic stream.

The track can be divided in three pieces approximately, and there are some points we should listen to carefully. In an apparent manner they attractively use melodic / rhythmic potentiality and intonation. The last moment of the first part, full of dramatic melody lines featuring flute, gentle synthesizer, or acoustic guitar sounds, should move our mind obviously ... sounds like a French symphonic legend Ange. And the middle part is kinda giant, flooded with ethnic, oriental religious mysticism produced fully with Lars' terrific, enthusiastic keyboard works. Forgive my personal feeling but a progressive rock fan from Japan has completely got immersed in this part, and not helped assuming the ethnicity might exist upon the Norwegian land. 20 minute via this track is not long nor lengthy but is perfectly condensed with their activated sound motivation and variation.

Quite a few progressive rock fans might have noticed King Crimson-like heavy symphonic tendency blended with old-fashioned keyboard works via the third track "Fermented Hours", quite inspirational and highly energetic one. The shortest track "Rendered In Shades Of Green" is like a day-off when we can take a safe and sound breath, and another fantastic one drenched in mellotron comfort. And in the last piece "Foxlight" pretty addictive are harpsichord (keyboard) works in the middle part, absorbing the audience into heavily psychic but soft, smooth acoustic atmosphere.

In conclusion, they and their important cornerstone released in 2017 should not fall short of the expectations of the audience. This would be another brilliant credential in the progressive rock scene.

 From Silence To Somewhere by WOBBLER album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.48 | 342 ratings

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From Silence To Somewhere
Wobbler Symphonic Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Imagine Jon Anderson in his prime jamming with Genesis, with medieval harmonies suggested by Gentle Giant and an overall pastoral atmosphere suggested by a mashup of peak Gryphon, Genesis' own Trespass and Anthony Phillips' Geese and the Ghost (with energetic outbursts here and there inspired by a few spins of ELP's debut) - then imagine Anglagard and Landberk getting together to produce a cover version that blows the original out of the water. Then imagine Wobbler came along - six years after their Yes-esque Rites at Dawn - and went "pffft, hold my beer and let me show you how this is done *properly*".

If you can hold all that in your head, you might have something appropriate expectations for this release, and for many prog fans the actual album will exceed them. When it comes to modern expressions of classic 1970s prog approaches and that medieval, pastoral style that a certain subset of the original prog bands grasped at occasionally, From Silence to Somewhere doesn't just nail it, it constructs the whole darn carpenter's shop. The major caveat I would add is that once you have listened to this, great swathes of retro-prog bands will seem tepid and flavourless in comparison - you need to be prepared to assess the rest of your prog collection in a whole new light after listening to this one.

 From Silence To Somewhere by WOBBLER album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.48 | 342 ratings

BUY
From Silence To Somewhere
Wobbler Symphonic Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

5 stars .

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A teneris unguiculis

From tender little nails, from the earliest childhood

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As the golden age of progressive rock gradually weakened under the weight of its own agglutinating overindulgence thus rendering an alienation of the uninitiated as it ballooned into unthinkable complexities, the musical genre was banished to the underground during the course of the ensuing decades as simpler musical expressions usurped its initial popularity. Despite this great fall from grace, there has always been a steady stream of artists who have never broken their fixed gaze on the pinnacle of the compositional fortitude that was seemingly beamed down from the heaven's for a small span of time from the latter years of the 60s to the midpoint of the 70s. Throughout the flow of time that has elapsed ever since, there has been a small but dedicated following whose sights have not been set on creating newer more contemporary forms of cutting edge progressive music that seeks to eschew the curricular guide of the past masters but rather have had their sight secured on the Holy Grail of prog from the era that provided a hitherto unexperienced syncretism of musical genres with the mission of expanding the pop and blues oriented rock universe into the new realms fortified with Western classical, psychedelia, folk, jazz and beyond. Such results yielded a big bang of creative and expressive albums that have hardly been matched yet a few ambitious artists have taken it as their mission to revisit the past and ever since have tried to replicate its majesty in all its splendiferous glory.

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A fonte puro pura defluit aqua

From a clear spring clear water flows

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Once upon a time near the town of Hønefoss, Norway, the industrial hub of the Østlandet region of the country, not too overly far from Oslo, the small city of 14 thousand plus residents wasn't exactly famous for exporting progressive rock classics to the world but rather more known on the world's stage for its Olympic gold medalists and enthusiast ski jumpers. However in the midst of whispers of the frigid white winters were progressive rock dreams thawing near the fireplaces and sweated out in the saunas were unfolding far from the English countryside from whence they spawned decades prior, the band known as WOBBLER was born in 1999 when Kristian Karl Hultgren, Lars Fredrik Frøislie and Martin Nordrum Kneppen discovered they shared the same burning passion for all things progressive rock that were heard in the bands before their time and became obsessed with emulating the very progressive prowess of bands like PFM, King Crimson, Gentle Giant, Yes, ELP and so forth. Staying true to the sounds of their heroes, they implemented all the expected characteristics of era specific prog with healthy doses of mellotron, hammond organ, minimoog, rhodes, clarinet, ARP, piano and harpsichord fortified with healthy time signature rich guitar riffing, Rickenbacker bass lines and complex compositional arrangements. The band caught the world's attention with their debut album "Hinterland" which utilized all the techniques and trademark styles of the musical maestros but somehow, something wasn't quite complete. Despite all their efforts they hadn't seemed to have gone that extra mile to completely separate themselves from the legions of retro prog worshippers who were growing and multiplying every single day seemingly like cane toads in the Australian outback. However something special was gestating. The question would be only if it was allowed to express itself in time before it would become suffocated in its nascency.

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Materiam superabat opus

The workmanship was better than the subject matter.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

While "Hinterland" set the tone and cemented the band's unique spin on the golden age of symphonic prog properly seasoned with the eclectic influences of the entire prog universe, WOBBLER appeared to be going through the motions on their next two releases. While "Afterglow" showed even more development in their retro prog approach and compositional development, "Rites At Dawn" sounded more like a band that had peaked and was on the way down rather having the mojo to pull off anything far more visionary and grander in scope as it sputtered along in a seemingly endless Yes mode with every prog check list accounted for to maximize retro appeal. While brilliantly performed, the compositions just didn't feel like they had their own soul and the end result found "Rites Of Dawn" feeling somewhat hollow despite the Herculean instrumental workouts performed at every single cadence and crescendo.

Something seemed amiss and hunches are that the band themselves could sense the stagnation as they hesitated for several years before they would initiate any thoughts of a followup album. As the years passed, WOBBLER became ever more inspired by the spirit of what made the retro prog they were trying to copy. The spirit of grandiose inspiration had finally hit them and in a profound way. After six long years of self reflection, healthy work habits and reinventing the wheel in order to suit their needs, WOBBLER emerged at long last in 2017 with their not so anticipated fourth album FROM SILENCE TO SOMEWHERE. This sounds like WOBBLER but something had changed. No longer did the band sound like they were desperately seeking to become the heroes of prog greatness. Suddenly they sounded like they themselves were admitted to the very club that so many have tried in vein to replicate with few capable of grasping their lofty visions turned to dust. Even upon first glance of the cover illustration from the Cabala's esoteric texts there is an insinuating feeling that there's a King Crimson "Larks' Tongue In Aspic" connection in either complexity or magnitude. And after an initial listen, it was apparent that this will be one of those albums that requires some time to investigate.

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Mutatis mutandis

The things that ought to have changed having been changed with the necessary substitutions having been made

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Against all odds and to the amazement of prog fans of planet Earth, WOBBLER delivers one of the least anticipated albums of the year and dazzles the listener with the aura of an instant classic. Perhaps it was the ghost of Chris Squire who was not ready to leave this dimensional plane and decided to create his own astral plane version of American Idol where he could personally choose a successor to the giants of the past. Perhaps he chose WOBBLER who had already come a long way in the prog world and simply needed that extra spark of divine mojo to fully ignite their compositions in a way that only come from higher planes of reality. Perhaps they won the inspirational lottery. Perhaps. However unexplainable these things may seem, it matters not for WOBBLER clearly had something going for them and with FROM SILENCE TO SOMEWHERE they indeed have climbed their way into the top ranks of the progressive rock high arts that not only worships the heroes of the past with all the appropriate boxes checked, but infuses a whole new updated spirit to this creative fusion and delivers one of the absolute best albums of 2017. While instantly addictive with rich melodies and driving dynamics ranging from contemplative pastoral symphonic segments to hard rock riffs, like any classic prog album invites the listener to dig deeper and settle into a new musical world that only becomes more comfortable after each experience.

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Contra felicem vix deus vires habet

Against a lucky man a god scarcely has power

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FROM SILENCE TO SOMEWHERE contains a mere four tracks with the second "Rendered In Shades Of Green" serving merely as a two minute intermission between the twenty one minute opener and the two final tracks.

The opening title track immediately sets off an air of epic proportion as a synthesizer eerily enters the soundscape and ushers in a rock guitar riff and followed by mellotron and keyboard rich atmospheric buildup that continues to grow immediately bringing the classic opening sequence of Yes' "Close To The Edge" to mind as it delivers a moog rich jamming session as the Rickenbacker bass line and guitar riffs conspire to create munificent melodies until after a few minutes things calm down and a slow and haunting melody replaces the raucous roar with a theremin type tone reminding of the sequence of Rush's "Xanadu" that serves as a bridge between segments.

The melody established remains the backbone of the track henceforth and variations seem to revolve around this single catchy hook alone. In comes the poetic lyrics finding a major improvement in Andreas Prestmo's vocals which grace the epic aura even further into magical territories for let's face it: music of this magnitude demands a skilled vocalist and i would testify that Prestmo's vocals are the make it or break it element of this whole album's success.

Close to eight minutes the eerie slow lyric driven pastoral segment breaks into heavy keyboard rich rock with Steve Howe inspired guitar riffs, Keith ELP derived keyboard runs and expansive melodic developments. After nine and a half minutes, the style shifts again and creates and arpeggiated guitar segment with heavy bass and drum accompaniment that goes down a strange road of changes as the guitar driven segment gives license for a free-for-all jamming session where the keys and guitars take turns going wild around the melody.

About twelve and a half minutes in, the melody changes again and becomes less folk oriented and more melodic rock dominated with guitar licks and fuzz-fed riffing playing around while atmospheric keys churn out heavenly counterpoint melodies. Silence hits after fourteen minutes and as Prestmo vocalizes the melody before a pastoral folky segment streams on as the complex melodic shifts that are interrelated never once sound out of place and the beginning vocal section regains its hold only Prestmo's vocals are warmed up now and goes for it and hits the next logical notes higher on the register. There is more instrumental gusto this time around and the band erupts into a heavy bass driven groove rock with the expected mellotron drenched atmospheric drama alongside.

At eighteen and half minutes in the pastoral segment reprises as Prestmo sings his heart out while slowly winding down the momentum as the percussion has died and a medieval flugelhorn type of riff is heard bringing a medieval folk funeral to mind or something equally as somber until finally the long and winding road down the track ends and only contemplation and the desire to hear it again rings in my ear.

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Tu ne cede malis sed contra audentior ito

Yield not to misfortunes, but advance all the more boldly against them

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"Rendered In Shades Of Green" is nothing more than a short classical piano piece that is slow and sombre with a touch of mellotron echoes behind it. A violin and viola enter and add a sense of deepening dread and urgency as if a great friend has died and a battle for the kingdom is to come. Very epic soundtrack sounding as this one but bridges two distinct halves of the album.

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Homo doctus is se semper divitias habet

A learned man always has wealth within himself

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"Fermented Hours" is the heavy rocker of the album. Although it begins with a keyboard cry that sounds like no other once the heavy rock hits, it sounds like a mix of Steve Hillage's "Fish Rising" in hypnotic guitar riffing with the extra heft of the heavier era of Porcupine Tree. As the riffs are cranked up the keys add their own ferocity but alternates with a slow spoken word part that adds an interesting contrast but slightly over the two minute mark the heavy rock ends and a slinky key and bass exchange that sound like a TV series soundtrack of the 60s bounces around for a while as Prestmo is allowed to recite his lyrics without shouting over the heavier din aspects of the track. His vocal counterpoints bring back the folkier feel of the track as symphonic mellotrons frost the horizon.

A slight calm eventually allows another recitation in Italian to usher in a heavy instrumental workout where all the cast members are allowed to jam on for a while and play off each other while the vocals join in singing about barley and esoteric symbolism and such but at six and a half minutes the guitar riff changes as it provides an anchor for the more extensive jamming segment and changes the melody that builds up more tension that leads to a very Yes sounding segment once again reminding me of key transitional points on "Close To The Edge," however nothing remains long on FROM SILENCE TO SOMEWHERE and the band slowly inches their way back to the opening melodic heft of the heavy rock only with a sizzling guitar solo and extra oomf. As the track ends it builds and builds and builds until it collapses under its own reckless abandon. Way cool.

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Horas non numero nisi serenas

I count only the bright hours

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With a title like "Foxlight," how can one not immediately conjure up images of Genesis' "Foxtrot" album. Just like when you're told not to think of an elephant, well, what do you think of? This track indeed starts off like a classic prog era Genesis track with calm bucolic guitar arpeggios, flittering flute runs that sound like bird wings flapping in the breeze as Prestmo augments the melody with intermittent vocals. The flutes give it away as they slowly intensify and the keys follow suite by creating more vigorous waves of notes sway in classical piano style with touches of jazzy overtones. When it seems like the track is set on autopilot at over three and a half minutes in, a sudden burst of energy occurs and a guitar driven prog riffs with a melodic yet time signature riff leads the way. Instead of changing things up totally, the track builds upon what came before. The main theme breaks for some guitar riffs with extra gusto as well as flute solos. After six minutes the main riff slows down as the instruments play polyrhythms with each keeping different times and a bizarre tension is created in the process but once again Prestmo is the glue with his outstanding never-miss-a- beat vocal delivery.

At over ten minutes in, the vague atmospheric scatterings of the instruments unite to create a final rock intensive melodic outro which plays off the main melody which seems to tie the best aspects of Yes' virtuosity with Genesis symphonic style along with Gentle Giant type vocal polyphony, Tullish flute lines in more of a Comus type folk style. As the series of la la la la's build to end the track and album it all ends with a final bang and before you know it, it's all over leaving me wanting more but also leaving with a sense of leaving us hungry is the perfect strategy as WOBBLER realized the prog attention span has weakened over the decades and that the classic running time of a 70s album seems to scratch the itch without causing infection.

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Gratia placenti

For the sake of pleasing

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I can hear the skeptics opine of whether it is the case that we need to revisit the golden era of prog in 2017 when so many classics were delivered to our earthly plane during that unique historical era. The obsession for continuously striving to recreate the perfect synthesis of the golden era classics may indeed seem tantamount to reinventing the wheel and adding new artistic treads and bright shiny colors. It may even seem like an overindulgence in musical excess like a drug addict never finding that final fix that leaves him/her in blissful satisfaction however as the 21st century churns on after decades of experimental paths into the hitherto musically unknown, there is something very comforting about the divine balance of elements that occurred in the classics of the past that are becoming as timeless as the Cabalistic images that grace the cover of FROM SILENCE TO SOMEWHERE.

True, we may not need yet another prog reinterpretation of the past just like we didn't need one more beer at that party last Saturday night, however when a group of musicians is so utterly determined to take their passions to the ultimate heights of expression, then how can i fault them for doing what they love. After all, it's the results of the fruits of their labor that matter in the long run and in the case of FROM SILENCE TO SOMEWHERE, everything came together in an eerily majestic way, therefore after playing these over and over purposefully trying to pinpoint a single little peccadillo to tear it down to size, i in all honesty cannot detect a single flaw that inhibits my enjoyment and reverence towards the brilliant fusion of different classic albums of yester- millenium. WOBBLER have undoubtedly created one of the most satisfying progressive rock experiences of the year and possibly of the decade as they impeccably delivery the goods without missing a beat and all this comes after a third album that seemed to show the band waning instead of building up to such outstanding summits of eminence. Yes, indeed. A modern day prog classic with unlimited re-listening potential has been born. Hallelujah!

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 From Silence To Somewhere by WOBBLER album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.48 | 342 ratings

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From Silence To Somewhere
Wobbler Symphonic Prog

Review by proghaven

5 stars Yes it's a real masterpiece, a path to future - but exclusively thanks to the closing track, Foxlight. Otherwise From Silence To Somewhere might be no more than just another excellent prog album released in 2017... or 1971...

...well, a strange and magical thing occurred with us all in early 1970s. Before that, since 1920s, those who expected something more than just entertainment from music had no satisfying substance that might be called 'actual serious music'. Or, if you prefer, 'current serious music'. Professor Kabalevsky divided all music into 'serious' and 'light'. 'Serious' is more or less the same as so-called 'classics'. 'Light' is musical entertainment. Starting with 1920s' foxtrots, charlestons, shimmies and tangos, only 'light' music was actual, while 'serious' was archived. The fabulous times when Glinka and Strauss Jr (both actual) were contemporaries were gone. As for Ginastera, Penderecki, Tippett (Michael), Shostakovich, Lord Britten, Shchedrin and others, what they did was brilliant but - on the other hand - archived since the moment it was conceived. That beautiful and innovative music was nevertheless made mostly following the 19th century's prescriptions for melody making, arrangement, instrumentation etc. Jazz was actual but - at least from 1920s to 1950s - too 'light' to be 'serious'.

And then... 'all of a sudden appears a light, horizons open wide'. It happened in late 1960s, many people say in 1969, with In The Court Of The Crimson King, but I think it occurred in 1967 with Days Of Future Passed, with a little help from Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and much more help from The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn. After the 50- years hiatus, appeared a music which was actual and 'serious' at the same time. Now we call it prog. Back in 1970s it was not just actual but even fashionable, trendy 'serious' music. Its prescriptions were partially inherited from 12th- 19th centuries but mostly original and self-made. Its foundation stones were laid down in 1970s, its paradigm was seriously renewed and upgraded in 1990s. Now, in late 2010s, prog is becoming more and more refined - and, at the same time, senile, still following the same high road and transforming into a sort of 'new classics'.

Perhaps Wobbler is a peak of the evolution of prog music. Or at least one of its existing peaks. Their latest album clearly shows that prog is nowadays close to its perfection - and has no way to go further in the same kind as before. No, Wobbler and other current bands do not simply repeat or reproduce the 1970s music. But the prog paradigm is evidently growing older and not likely to have as much capacities for renewal and upgrade as in 1990s. The 2010s prog is still 'serious', even more serious than in 1970s, but hardly actual. It's harder and harder for prog to avoid becoming archived.

Moreover, sometimes modern prog artists proudly emphasize their initially archived status, though they don't hesitate to use actual recording equipment and software. Lars Fredrik Froislie has a monstrous collection of vintage analog keyboards (Hammond organ, Mellotron, some fossil Roland etc) but does not use magnetic tapes and vintage analog recording equipment. No, he uses Sonar. Back in 2011 we had a short conversation on MySpace, and Lars revealed how happy he was to find two plugins which help to get a better sound...

In other words, modern progsters are not conservative or old-fashioned sensu stricto, they use the 2010s soft... to make 1970s-like music. And this approach meets full approval at their audience. Similarity to 1970s is considered a merit. But it's 'another cul-de-sac'. Tempus fugit, and soon new exacting listeners will experience a new critical lack of actual 'serious' music. As a result, a next 'serious' music's algorithm will be born, maybe again with long delay, nobody knows. I'm not sure but hope that Foxlight (along with selected tracks from Galadriel's Calibrated Collision Course, Haken's Aquarius and Lifesigns' Cardington) may become a part or a predecessor of that future algorithm. And anyway I'd prefer the remaining three tracks on the album From Silence To Somewhere to be as unwonted as Foxlight and less canonical than they are.

 From Silence To Somewhere by WOBBLER album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.48 | 342 ratings

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From Silence To Somewhere
Wobbler Symphonic Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

5 stars I'd be very surprised if this isn't the album of the year for 2017 on most Prog sites and on my particular list. I really feel that they've gone that extra mile this time going into ANEKDOTEN and ANGLAGARD territories. Mind you the previous four studio albums are all incredible in my opinion. The debut still has this mythical feel to it for me. I remember back in 2006 taking my oldest daughter to a friend's place, they lived in this little village on the mountain and I played "Hinterland" for our journey. Memorable music.

Since they hired a new vocalist for the "Rites Of Dawn" album there is a YES vibe because he does sound very much like Jon Anderson. Even instrumentally I felt YES was an influence at times on that "Rites Of Dawn" album but not nearly so much here, in fact hardly at all except for the vocals. I'm a little sad that the list of instruments that Lars Fredrik Froislie plays isn't listed on here, maybe because it's a paragraph long. Here it just says keyboards and backing vocals. How about organ, mellotron, clavinet, electric piano, synths, keyboards, zither and grand piano but there's actually even more details to this. Impressive!

"From Silence To Somewhere" is the 21 minute opener and we get a guest appearance from Ketil Vestrum Einarsen playing flute and he's from JAGA JAZZIST. He also guests on the closing track with flute as well. Atmosphere builds before a full sound kicks in quickly. Love that in your face bass and the distorted organ starting before 2 minutes. A beautiful calm arrives just before 3 minutes. The synths and atmosphere bring YES to mind but when the vocals arrive well this sounds like YES during their classic period. Mellotron before 4 1/2 minutes then it starts to build a minute later as the mellotron becomes more prominent. It then picks up with flute over top then the vocals return. A calm with mellotron, acoustic guitar and more after 6 minutes. It kicks in again before 8 minutes with flute over top and vocal melodies. The guitar starts to solo before 8 1/2 minutes. It steps aside as the vocals return. An experimental calm then kicks in sounding amazing before 10 minutes. Love the huge bass lines and old school keyboards. Another experimental calm then the keyboards and bass return before it kicks into an insane soundscape where it's every man for himself(haha). The flute is back then it's the guitar lighting it up as it grinds away before the mellotron returns before 13 1/2 minutes. An almost silent calm after 14 minutes as some sparse drums then vocal melodies join in. Acoustic guitar takes over ala GENESIS. Atmosphere then rolls in. It kicks back in before 17 minutes with mellotron storming the soundscape reminding me so much of ANEKDOTEN. Passionate vocals follow. A calm after 18 1/2 minutes as reserved vocals join in. What a beautiful way to end it.

"Rendered In Shades Of Green" is a 2 minute instrumental with piano leading the way at first. It's melancholic as other sounds join in on this sad piece.

"Fermented Hours" builds right from the start and I really like this. A vocal melody follows then it kicks in heavily with keyboards over top. Vocals just before a minute in this uptempo section. Check out the bass! Some guest spoken words before 2 minutes and later on too. The singer is back signally a return to that uptempo and fiery instrumental work. A calm with keys, a beat and picked guitar follow as the mellotron helps out. Man this section starting before 3 1/2 minutes really sounds like IQ. It's building after 5 minutes with those guest spoken words. Love the mellotron and bass that follows. The vocals are back after 6 minutes followed by a mellotron storm after 6 1/2 minutes. Organ before 8 minutes as it settles right down. Here we go again! Not worthy!

"Foxlight" is the stunning closing track. It actually reminds me of CHICAGO's "Wishing You Were Here" classic until the vocals arrive. The flute flutters as the picked acoustic guitar and atmosphere continue. Some piano too as the vocals come and go. This really sounds good. Crumhorn too. It suddenly kicks in quite heavily with organ, drums, bass and more. Oh my! The vocals arrive as the bass leads the way into battle. Flute to the fore after 5 1/2 minutes then the vocals return. Back to the heaviness. So good! Check out the bass, drums and mellotron 7 minutes in as the vocals continue. Powerful is the word. Intricate sounds follow as we get a lighter but more beautiful section. Distant almost spacey vocals arrive before 9 minutes as it turns melancholic and mellow. Mellotron rolls in as the vocals step aside. Suddenly it all brightens as these upbeat vocals kick in with a catchy rhythm. Nice chunky bass and vocal melodies too. It's like a happy ending! I like happy endings.

I will be shocked if this isn't my favourite album of 2017. Got several more to get to yet.

 From Silence To Somewhere by WOBBLER album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.48 | 342 ratings

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From Silence To Somewhere
Wobbler Symphonic Prog

Review by Fenris

5 stars Wow! What an amazing album. Jam packed with excellent melodies, dynamic interplay, exquisite musicianship and top notch composing skills. It all flows naturally, and no note is replaceable or superfluous. Aesthetically it's rooted firmly in the 70's, but it feels fresh, modern and original nonetheless. The first song, "From Silence to Somewhere" must be THE epic of the last 40 years. And the cover art is so beautiful, especially the gatefold cover of the vinyl version. It suits the themes and music so well. I'm flabbergasted that it's possible to create such a wonderful piece of art in 2017. This modern day classic is very highly recommended!
 From Silence To Somewhere by WOBBLER album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.48 | 342 ratings

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From Silence To Somewhere
Wobbler Symphonic Prog

Review by 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!

 From Silence To Somewhere by WOBBLER album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.48 | 342 ratings

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From Silence To Somewhere
Wobbler Symphonic Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Prog Team

4 stars Mellotrons, how do I love thee, let me count the ways, one, one thousand, two, one thousand, three, one thousand. I can't help it, the first time I played this I got an image of Roger Rabbit in my mind and it won't get out! But, instead of a fluffy white rabbit in a film where Bob Hoskins was cruelly denied in Oscar, what we have here is the Norwegian quintet back with their fourth studio album. To say that this album is making waves in the prog scene is something of an understatement: as I write this, after 138 ratings this is the top ranked album from 2017 according to ProgArchives, and by a country mile the top ranked Norwegian progressive album of all time. So, critically it's not doing too bad at all!

The one thing I can't really make my mind up on with this is whether I should say in the review if the album belongs from 1971 or 1972: part of me is having an argument with the rest to say that it could be as late as 1973 but I'm ignoring that at present. This is classic retro prog as they say, in that not only has it take the influences of bands such as classic Genesis, ELP and Yes but have decided that there is no need at all to move any further and can stay quite happily there and expand on the themes, musical motifs and styles. At this point, progressive rock truly becomes a genre and style, as opposed to music that is challenging boundaries and creating something that is different and exciting. This is where I have another discussion with myself in that part of me gets annoyed that a band is attempting to move music back forty-five years, but the rest of me says 'who cares when the music is this damn good?!'. Maybe I should start taking tablets'

Anyway, there is no denying that this is an amazing album in many ways. If you are the type of discerning proghead who bemoans the demise of flares and sitting cross-legged at gigs while partaking of various illegal and legal substances, then this is for you. To be honest, this is something that progheads simply can't ignore as pretty much all will love it to one degree or another, as it really is quite special. Did I mention the mellotrons?

 From Silence To Somewhere by WOBBLER album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.48 | 342 ratings

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From Silence To Somewhere
Wobbler Symphonic Prog

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

5 stars "Masterpiece of the Year!"

Norwegian Symphonic Prog Rockers Wobbler are the surprise hit of the year with one of the best albums of 2017 "From Silence to Somewhere". The album from the outset has the sounds and ear candy of the classic Prog Rock Of the golden 70's era when Prog was at the peak of the mountain. So close in resemblance is the sound, one may be forgiven for thinking this is an album from that era, comparing favourably with masterpieces such as Yes' "Close to the Edge", Genesis "Foxtrot", Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso's debut and Gentle Giant's "The Power and the Glory". Similar to those albums, Wobbler feature an epic multi movement suite clocking over 20 minutes. There are only 4 songs just like the classics of Yes, ELP and Genesis, and each track builds on the next with Spiritual themes and metaphorical poetic lyrics. The vocals are so close to vintage Peter Gabriel or Jon Anderson it is astounding, and so well executed by Andreas Wettergreen Str'mman Prestmo, who is wonderful on guitar, glockenspiel, and percussion. Geir Marius Bergom Halleland is the lead guitarist, one of the best, Lars Fredrik Fr'islie is a virtuoso keyboardist, and the complex rhythm section is made up of Kristian Karl Hultgren, bass, bass clarinet, bass pedals, and Martin Nordrum Kneppen on drums, percussion, and recorder.

The album opens with the glorious epic From Silence to Somewhere (21.00), that has as many twists and turns as the lengthy treasures of early Genesis, Supper's Ready, Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso's opus Il Guardino del Mago, and Yes with Close to the Edge. The organic music switches moods throughout, from melancholy and reflective to uplifting melodies with intense emotional power. It dives headlong into a guitar driven melody with crashes of cymbals and whirring sustained synths, the bassline and drum section is chaotic and exciting. The lengthy cacophonic intro finally breaks into a peaceful ethereal organ with acoustics, awash with lush Mellotron strings.

The lyrics explore the idea of metamorphosis, from the womb to the grave and beyond the veil. Reminiscent of the ideologies heard on Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso's Metamorfosi from their masterpiece debut. Part 1: Humus 'all that becomes and perishes' opens with lyrics "From the mould, the mother womb that dark and moist, dark and moist shield of old, to rise again from the tomb and like the fragile sprout in twilight's gloom, into the world unfold, ancestral gold, the line of blood, a web stretched out so long ago, built to last." The poetic lyrics are fulfilling and augment the music in the same way lyrics are quintessential to the overall experiential and existential journey of Yes, "Tales of Topographic Oceans". A flute dominates over the next section and the pace quickens into complex shapes. It switches into a quiet contemplative phase. The flute adds its own embrace of beauty to the scape; a chrysalis opening to release the butterfly. Part 2: Corpus 'That no one of existing things doth perish, but men in error speak of their changes as destructions and as deaths', there's a subtitle! Here the lyrics turn a darker shade as the protagonist contemplates the meaning of death after life; "This now when everything never dies, live again, burst into the scarlet skies reshaped, resized, in this dark hour I search the cave relentlessly pondering grand designs, troubling me, cloaked in the veil of light, clarity brightens my halls, proof of the undying, truth beyond these walls." The hard drum returns to signify a new change, and a beautiful lead guitar break breaks through.

Another verse and everything halts as church pipe organ begins and some odd effects before a cascade of Hammond descends into a fast paced drum pattern, until scratches of strings grind like a creaking door opening to a new scenario. The tracks changes completely with a weird spasmodic fractured signature in iambic pentameter, punctuated by staccato crashes of organ and drums. The flute cuts in to the dance, and breaks away so that a lead guitar can have a turn. It becomes heavy as a phased guitar howls over the sound wall. Angelic choral music heralds a new dawn of thought. A gentle guitar passage soothes the storm as swathes of Tron float by. Vocals return and still sound strikingly like Anderson. The epilogue moves into a reflective theme of hope and escape into light, and the music reflects this with bright passages of aural clarity, gorgeous organic strings and guitar layered over pondering basslines and decisive percussion. The Mellotron takes centre stage with grandiose sweeps and tonal phrases as multilayerd vocals blaze away.

It breaks again with tranquil guitars and ambient strings as the vocals contemplate the feeling of death, "boughs of green, so gently dancing in the wind, embracing the earth, my death and my birth, here I lie, at peace in solitude forever until I'm stirred from my nest like a bird and soar into the world once again." The mesmirising beauty of the symphonic music is in direct mirror reflection of the serene feeling of floating Spiritually into the sky.

This colossal epic is a dynamic, bold and innovative journey that Wobbler takes the listener on. They inject so much passion in their music, so much understanding for the medium, and those artists who inspired this genre, that it is difficult not to be overwhelmed by the sheer bombastic grandeur. But the best is yet to come! Rendered in Shades of Green (2.05) is alarmingly short after the previous marathon. It is virtually a transition as a veritable calm before the storm. This intermezzzo is tranquil piano over waves of lush atmospheric Mellotron strings that gently caress the ear.

Fermented Hours (10.10) is a return to the complexity of the opening track, the time signatures are off the meter, and there are some intricate instrumental passages. I adore the opening electronics that build into a killer riff with very loud guitar and Hammond stabbing viciously without mercy. The vocals are theatrical, "far way in the Northern regions", that are sung along the heavy handed melody. One may be reminded of the early Focus or Yes sound, and it wanders into Rock Progressive Italiano territories. Indeed it almost acts as a love letter to such bands as Premiata Forneri Marconi, and their "Stories in one Minute" era, particularly in terms of structure and layout, building into progressive musical shapes utilising Hammond, flute and strong percussion in 6/8. The cool organ solo at 2:30 minutes in is a delicate sound that generates a mysterious atmosphere. The Peter Gabriel style is prevalent in the vocals and the melody is infectious. Mellotrons flow lucidly beneath the soundscape. It sounds like raindrops coming down, and the vocals do state "I'm soaked with the sweetness of wine" so perhaps this is the idea. It breaks signature at 5 minutes in, the percussion gets dramatic and some odd vocals speaking another language reminds us that this is inspired by RPI. Steve Hackett style lead guitar can be heard in places and the Gabrielesque vocals continue to tell the story of fermented hours, and seeking solace and meaning among chaos. The music becomes chaotic too with a frenetic bassline until a Cathedral organ grinds majestically, like entering the church with stained glass windows. The glass shatters as the heavy punctuated rhythmic guitars return in an arrhythmic meter and bookend this magnificent track. It is an outstanding example of how great music can be, relentlessly inventive and daring beyond the barriers of music; my second favourite on this awesome album.

Foxlight (13.19) closes the album with a genuine masterclass performance of the band in full flight. This is the best track on the album and after hearing it I had no hesitation in rating this album a five star triumph. It opens with flickers of flute and sweeping Mellotron that floats along acoustic picking. A lilting woodwind ballet of clarinet and flute playfully dances gracefully over the rivers of acoustics, and then a glockenspiel chimes in. Lovely pianoforte passages and a tambourine build the progsphere. It soon ignites into a paroxysm of lightning striking heavy Hammond and berserk guitar in a polyrhythmic meter. The melody locks in with interchanging schizophrenic moods. The vocals sound as high falsetto as Jon Anderson with creative lyrics, "Bewildered here down at the crossroads, confronted with the choices for my epitaph, a distant flame gives me a sign, shows me a path within my mind." The flute has a Tull like quality. The meter picks up and switches signature as the Yes like sound continues, "Too tempting are the ways that promise release, through blissful subjection and foxlights leading the way, a vortex of realities has dragged me under, all the things I believed, what my yesterdays conceived is lost." It begins to sound really close to Yes, then the Hammond becomes more aggressive and the Mellotron dominates as a foundation. The percussion is sporadic, until it breaks.

The introduction of a harpsichord enhances the atmosphere with a medieval flare. Flamenco guitar waltzes along with the harpsichord. The arrangement settles into a haunting contemplative mood, with harmonious vocals "here I lie". A gorgeous lush Mellotron with flute segues into a Gentle Giant sounding passage, especially in the vocal style, "even if the pieces change only the journey still remains", and the marching percussion heralds a new mood of triumph. Gryphon style medieval music glistens over a dollop of flute before a climax of Gentle Giant style a Capella multi layered harmonies. A krumhorn sounding like a kazoo can be heard over the wall of sound, and the flute twitters until the sound breaks into drums and a "la la la la la la la la" harmony, with loud staccato stabs of organ and guitar. It is an absolutely brilliant track; a throwback to 70s Prog and yet sounding so current. This is the magic of Wobbler.

I have heard this album many times and each time it dazzles my senses. Contender for album of the year? Absolutely! It certainly deserves masterpiece status as it pays homage to classic 70's Prog, crosses Prog rock borders and delivers it wrapped up in a new package. The versatile style and structure of the album is a captivating experience. If you looked up the definition of Prog you could put a picture of this album next to it and it would be sufficient. Everything about the album rings true as a prime example that the sound of classic Prog is alive and kicking! "From Silence to Somewhere" is a triumph; an outstanding achievement destined for masterpiece status.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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