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Wobbler - Hinterland CD (album) cover

HINTERLAND

Wobbler

 

Symphonic Prog

3.84 | 240 ratings

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Epignosis
Special Collaborator
Eclectic Prog Team
3 stars Here is a band that is completely derivative and therefore not derivative at all! Each section of each song really reminds me of a different symphonic progressive rock act, but the pieces flow together so naturally, the band really has a life of its own. The Mellotron is a constant companion throughout the album, and the organ is almost as steadfast. The vocals are admittedly weak throughout, with the singer in "hush mode" throughout. There are a lot of ingredients in this recipe, but the dish is nothing less than delicious.

"Serenade for 1652" A swirling and beautiful Mellotron begins the album.

"Hinterland" The first thing that came to mind the first time I played this was "Tarkus" from ELP, but I wasn't thinking that for long, as the music completely shape-shifted into something else. After a time, a King Crimson wave of Mellotron blasts by, bringing in gentle acoustic guitar and more substandard vocals. Then there"s the lead guitar, which sounds very much like Gary Green from Gentle Giant, and the complex vocal sections- can I really be sure I'm not actually hearing Derek Shulman and Kerry Minnear? There's also a heavier section with a synthesizer solo that is quite reminiscent of Yes. It is an outstanding piece of music (and outstandingly long) that will take most quite some time to digest because there's an awful lot of variety here and very lengthy instrumental passages; but it is no way boring!

"Rubato Industry" The introduction to this song has a Gentle Giant-like beginning, but it soon becomes heavier, leaning on the electric guitar, organ, bass, drums, and Mellotron. It's a frantic bit of music that just stays exciting. Things eventually calm down, though. The vocal section reminds me a bit of The Flower Kings (with Roine Stolt on lead vocals), the flute segment thereafter is closer to Genesis (the interlude of "Cinema Show" comes to mind), and the instrumental section after that is very similar to Spock's Beard ("The Light" is a good comparison).

"Clair Obscure" Mellotrons in both string and flute mode begin this initially somber closer. A lone piano takes over, painting a frosty yet adventurous mood. Gradually, the music becomes heavier and more menacing. The guitar throughout is closer to the electric work of Steve Howe of Yes, which weaves its way in and around (not the lake!) the organ and other instruments. It's easy to get lost in this spiraling instrumental, but the return to piano at the end is like waking up from a slightly disturbing dream.

Epignosis | 3/5 |

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