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Wolverine - Machina Viva CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.89 | 56 ratings

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5 stars This is album of the year for me. For those of you who haven't heard of Wolverine, they're a prog rock/metal band from Sweden who create moody music in the style of bands like Riverside, Porcupine Tree, Votum, Katatonia, etc.

They've been going for quite a while now and I originally discovered them in 2006 when one of their songs, 'A House of Plague', was featured on a free CD with Classic Rock Magazine. They should have made a breakthrough then with their album 'Still' which was a perfect balance of heavy and commercial prog metal songwriting but unfortunately it wasn't to be. They didn't release anything further until five years later in 2011 with 'Communication Lost'. That album was very different. The songwriting was more mature and the music a lot mellower and bleaker. With the inclusion of string quartets and lengthier compositions, it was a complex yet rewarding concept album that sadly went by largely unnoticed by anyone. Following that, the band seemingly disappeared into the void, until this year.

Another five year gap has proven to be well worth the wait with 'Machina Viva', their finest album to date. It's very much a continuation of the style found on 'Communication Lost' but the songs here are more instantly accessible and the concept a little more focused. The production and musicianship, as with all their albums, is fantastic. All prog fans should check this out. It's hard to pick a favourite song because they're all so moving and memorable. I think I will have to highlight 'Pile of Ash' though for its stark beauty and the incredible vocal performance from Stefan Zell. He reminds me of Geoff Tate a little bit and it's one of the reasons I initially got into the band as I'm a massive Queensryche fan.

This album is outstanding and just gets better with every listen. Check it out!

dalekvilla93 | 5/5 |


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