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Wobbler - From Silence To Somewhere CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.40 | 614 ratings

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4 stars "From Silence To Somewhere" is the first Wobbler's record that I listen. My approach to contemporary prog music, specially when it is acclaimed as masterpiece is... prudence.

The suite "From Silence To Somewhere", 21 minutes, is very interesting. After the first three minutes, very pompous, there comes an acoustic part, almost Renaissance music, on which stands the singing of Andreas Wettergreen Strømman Prestmo, who declaims an austere melody that tends to go towards the sharp notes at the end of each verse. Then comes a very sustained but a bit compulsive, powerful rhythm. Certainly this music is rather unpredictable and full of citations, stratifications, but also ... hyperproduced in order to touch a saturated, sendationalist sound. The instrumental tour de force proceeds with a great work on percussion (Martin Nordrum Kneppen), bombastic effect. Then finally comes another acoustic gash where the initial melody returns (in fact the only melody of the suite). But finally there is a new instrumental escalation, to conclude the suite with an acoustic piece that constitutes a variation on the theme. The suite is melodically thin. At the arrangement level it is mammoth. Vote 8+.

"Rendered in Shades of Green", two minutes, is a piano instrumental ballad, with mellotron (Lars Fredrik Frøislie), I guess, in the background. A good melody is missing, to be remarkable. Irrelevant (no vote).

"Fermented Hours", ten minutes, starts with a very sustained rhythm. After about 5 minutes comes a part of math rock to keyboards, in Gentle Giant style, followed by a more relaxed singing. Then comes another variation, with an almost operatic Italian singing (Renato Manzi sings: O mia amata, mia amata, vita, dolce vita etc.: "my beloved, beloved, life, sweet life") that stands out on a musical crescendo. Perhaps this central section is the best piece of the whole album. Then comes the initial sustained rhythm, complete with bells and church organ. Surely Wobbler know how to use all the tricks of the trade to load the music. Last two minutes forced. Mini suites of high value, where the desire to amaze and make noise ruin partly the result achieved in the less overproduced pieces. Vote 8+.

"Foxlight", almost 13 and a half minutes, opens acoustically, with an acoustic guitar phrasing that drags the same for 4 minutes: extremely repetitive (it recall "Cinema Show" by Genesis), almost boring, if it were not for the creative arrangement (flute, glockenspiel) on the edge. The doubled voice, in a sharp crescendo, is reminiscent of Yes (Jon Anderson). The song overlaps, becomes more voices, it seems almost a counterpoint, until an acoustic piece arrives with the harpsichord, jazzed, but the phrase on the guitar is always the same... Unfortunately, what is missing in these suites to make them really great is the melody: if there was a beautiful, clear melody! But there is not. And this lack seems to be covered by the sumptuousness and the richness of the arrangement. After 10 minutes, the song seems to end, goes into fading, but then resumes singing, again Renaissance music (Gentle Giant reminescent?), and finally we hear a music moving in unison, aimed at marking the same melodic verses, and also we hear the electric guitar, little present in the album. The song tries to bring back the renaissance melody, that could have written Angelo Branduardi, Italian bard. Great ending, Genesis style, or Yes style. Vote 8+.

I find many similarities, in terms of merits and defects, between this album and that of "Al Traps On Earth" (A Drop of Light): much grandeur in the arrangements, saturated sound, hyperproduct, refinement in the musical composition, excellent performance, but also poor melodic content, will to exasperate the creativity of the arrangements to achieve a sensational sound in order to hide the lack of limpidly noticeable moments, which don't need grandeur to be overwhelming or full of pathos. I reserve myself to listen to this album several times and even change my mind, but at the moment, although I see a work of extreme value in it, I don't see a masterpiece, from the point of view of pure musical inspiration. Maybe his quality is slightly higher than A Drop of Light, just enough to reach (slightly) in my personal ranking, 4 stars. In fact, Four stars, in my ranking, starts with the vote 8+ (Five Stars: since 9 to 10).

Vote album: 8+. Four Stars.

jamesbaldwin | 4/5 |


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