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Wolverine (Sweden) - 2001 - "The Window Purpose"
(57 min, "DVS")


****+
Tracklist:
1. End (inst.) 0:45 (Baglien)
2. My Room 8:04 (M. & S. Zell, Baglien)
3. His Cold Touch 9:42 (Wolverine)
4. Three Dots (inst.) 1:52 (Brodesson)
5. Leaving Yesterday 7:11
   (M. Zell, Brodesson)
6. Towards Loss 5:55
   (M. Zell, Baglien, Brodesson, Losbjer)
7. The Storm Inside 7:56
   (M. & S. Zell, Brodesson, Losbjer)
8. Coma 7:25 (Brodesson, M. Zeil, Baglien)
9. Release (inst.) 2:12 (Baglien)
10. Post Life 5:57 (S. Zeil)

All lyrics: by S. Zeil, except 8: by S. Zeil & Baglien.

Line-up:

Mikael Zell - guitars
Stefan Zell - bass; vocals
Andreas Baglien - keyboards
Marcus Losbjer - drums; growls
Per Brodesson - guitars 

Produced by Oliver Phillips, Christian Moos, & Wolverine.
Recorded & mixed by O. Phillips & C. Moos
at "Spacelab" studios, Kempen, Germany.
Mastered by Oliver Nauck.

Prologue. This is my first acquaintance with the creation of Wolverine. Oliver Phillips and Christian Moos, who produced and engineered this album, both are the members of the well-known German Neo Prog-Metal outfit Everon. (By the way, many of Sweden's Prog-Metal performers collaborate with German producers and engineers.)

The Album. Stylistically, "The Window Purpose" is an extremely motley album where the strong, heavy and harsh, compositions border on mellow ones. End (1) is not a separate track, but a 'narrative entry' to My Room (track 2), which is a real Prog-Metal killer and undoubtedly the best track on the album. This is an original, highly complex, and very intriguing Prog-Metal song where the vocal and instrumental arrangements are balanced very well. Furthermore, the instrumental arrangements that are featured on My Room are truly hard-edged. Here, they develop almost constantly. Of course, they're just filled with various progressive ingredients, such as the complex stop-to-play movements that 'jump' from one unusual meter to another, kaleidoscopic changes of tempo and mood, contrasts, atonalities, etc. All the vocal parts, including a few growls, are here also diverse and tasteful, though for the most part, they're of a dramatic character, as well as those on the other notable songs of this album. Stylistically and structurally, Towards Loss, The Storm Inside, and Coma (tracks 6, 7, & 8) are much in the vein of My Room. These also are the high-quality Prog-Metal songs that are close to My Room's status of masterpiece almost in every respect. In all, there are six excellent tracks on the album, though both the remaining ones are the instrumental pieces. Three Dots (4) consists of diverse and contrasting interplay between passages of classical guitar and solos of acoustic and bass guitars. Apart from beautiful interplay between passages of piano and classical guitar, Release (9) features also a very original drumming. Post Life (10) is just a nice ballad, though there is a transient outburst of harsh structures in the middle of it. Structurally, His Cold Touch (3) is not unlike those four excellent songs that I have described at first. However, I was really baffled when, straight after the best track on the album, I have heard His Cold Touch, which, compositionally, is nothing else but a Neo parody of My Room. Nevertheless, "The Window Purpose" would've been an excellent album, if only a sugary Leaving Yesterday (5), which is a typical AOR song, would not have been included in it. With its simplistic verse-refrain structure and the alternation of male and female vocals, the romantically optimistic nature of which most of all reminds me of a tender talk of loving couple, Leaving Yesterday looks like a foreign matter on this album. Really, its availability is as 'appropriate' here as the presence of a bright brooch on a gentleman's top hat. I can only guess who could advise Wolverine to have at least a single hit on this album.

Summary. The music that is present on most of the tracks of "The Window Purpose" album indicates that Wolverine is actually a very strong band. Furthermore, these guys can easily become one of today's Prog-Metal hallmarks. They only should follow their own original stylistics and avoid any commercial 'ideas', especially those by outsiders. Well, recommendations... If you enjoy the music of such bands as Pain Of Salvation, Into Eternity, Iced Earth, etc, you will be pleased with this album as well. Only exclude track 5 when programming your CD player.

VM. June 11, 2002


Related Links:

The "DVS Records" web-site & online store: http://www.dvsrecords.com/


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