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Wobbler - Afterglow CD (album) cover

AFTERGLOW

Wobbler

 

Symphonic Prog

3.81 | 182 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

J-Man
Prog Reviewer
2 stars Proof that good bands are not built on skill alone

When I first heard Wobbler's Afterglow I kept waiting for something to happen. I can't quite say what it was, but I knew this album was missing something from the start. So after more listens, I've come to the conclusion of what the problem is with this album. It is lacking in consistency. That's the only major problem with this album, but that alone can completely destroy an album. Afterglow is a perfect example of this.

This album is filled with great Hammond organ moments, some very cool instrumental passages, and really complex sections. So what's the problem? They simply don't work together. Each of the two longer songs is really just a collection of cool sections sloppily thrown together. The lack of coherency on this album really kills this album. The different sections just don't flow naturally. This is a fine example of an album "trying too hard to be prog". The abuse of complexity on this album is unbelievable. And this is coming from a fan of symphonic prog, Dream Theater, and even technical death metal! I don't mind complexity, but this album is simply overkill.

Aside from all of that, this album is not a total failure. The musicianship is top-notch, and the production sounds very professional. The vocals are admittedly pretty terrible, but the musicians (keyboard player especially) show their chops. It's really a shame the songwriting is rather poor on this album, because these professional musicians are more than capable of playing great music.

THE MUSIC:

"The Haywain"- The first song is a short, medieval-sounding piece. I like the use of Harpsichord, and I think this is a solid instrumental opener.

"Imperial Winter White"- From the very beginning of this song you can tell you're not hearing an easy-listening album. There are some cool organ and mellotron bits, but the majority of this lengthy song is rather forgettable. I do highly recommend that fans of the Hammond organ check this out, because this has some killer solos. The only vocal section is near the end, and while the melodies and riffs are memorable and some of the best on the album, the vocal department is suffering. I really think Wobbler needs to consider an overhaul vocally.

"Interlude"- This is a short, forgettable, acoustic guitar piece that serves as a breaking point between the two epics.

"In Taberna"- This is a perfect example of what I explained earlier in my review. Everything here is solid musically, but it seems like it was just thrown together. However, if I had to pick one song from this album, it would be this. It has some really cool bits, but together it just doesn't work. This has some excellent use of mellotron, and instrumentally this song is solid. But as a "song", it fails.

"Armoury"- This is a march-like closing piece. It does nothing for me, even though the church organ part is decent.

Conclusion:

Afterglow is a passable album. At 33 minutes of music that were written 10 years ago it can hardly be called an album. On the other hand, if this were longer than 33 minutes I think I would go insane. The musicianship is solid, the production and instrumentation is great, but the songwriting really suffers. This seems like a cut and paste effort, with no real feeling of consistency. Since fans of Anglagard and the Hammond organ will find some enjoyment out of this album, I'll give it a small two stars. But if you're looking for great songwriting, you won't find it here.

2 stars.

J-Man | 2/5 |

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