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Wobbler - Hinterland CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.81 | 318 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars There is nothing really unique to be found on this album, but they do have a nice sound, due largely to the use of vintage instruments. You can really tell the difference, as these songs have a texture that is lacking from bands that rely on synthesizer (Neal Morse comes to mind). Unlike others, I find the album art and the wicker-haired cover picture to be very tasteful and intriguing. To each his own, I suppose.

Hinterland. There's plenty of good music here, but at 27 minutes, with little variation (or even repetition) of themes, it may as well be multiple songs stitched together. If you like dynamics changes, you'll find them in spades here--I think it sounds a bit gimmicky at times, because it presents difficulties in building momentum. The diversity of melodies and instruments also keeps things from being repetitive. I particularly enjoy the up-tempo parts in the beginning and end, as well as the heavy mellotron sections, though the soft sections drag on too long.

Rubato Industry. After the uneven behemoth opener, you might think that Wobbler has already thrown its best at you. You'd be wrong, because the quality and cohesiveness picks up with the other two tracks. Rubato Industry is much heavier, builds up nicely throughout, and keeps things together with a very catchy melody. Great keyboard/mellotron interplay, as well as some itchily effective percussion.

Clair Obscur. As high in quality as the previous track, this piece has a much more ominous and menacing presence. A haunting, mellow, spooky intro is revisited for an amazing, majestic mellotron finale. In between I hear bits that remind me of Anglagard, King Crimson (Red period), and even some Genesis, but nothing to the point of imitation.

Three epics, and two that are definite keepers. Given the pleasantness of Clair Obscur, I hope this might be a structure for future Wobbler albums: focus on the music, and forget about the vocals. I'm glad to have this in my collection, but don't expect revolutionary stuff--just musicians who know their prog and are working on developing their own signature.

Flucktrot | 3/5 |


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