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Wobbler - From Silence To Somewhere CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.40 | 614 ratings

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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.

proghaven | 5/5 |


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