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Wobbler - From Silence to Somewhere CD (album) cover

FROM SILENCE TO SOMEWHERE

Wobbler

 

Symphonic Prog

4.35 | 807 ratings

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VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Review Nš 553

Wobbler is a progressive rock band which was born in Norway. Formed in 1999, in the small town Honefoss, in our days Wobbler is based in Oslo, the capital of their native country. Their sound is complex, well composed, with interesting melodies and with good roots in the classic symphonic progressive rock of the 70's. So, fans of the symphonic progressive rock with extensive use of vintage keyboards, such as Hammond, Moog and MiniMoog, in addition to rare instruments, such as harpsichord, dulcimer and glockenspiel, will be certainly familiar with Wobbler's ultra 70's sound.

Despite being clearly influenced by the most modern Scandinavian progressive rock, namely White Willow, Anglagard and Anekdoten, the Norwegians have always drawn their strength much more from the classic English and Italian prog crop, with clear influences from King Crimson, Genesis, Gentle Giant, Yes, Jethro Tull, Emerson Lake & Plamer, Premiata Forneria Marconi and Le Orme, as the fourth studio album masterfully attests, "From Silence To Somewhere".

So, "From Silence To Somewhere" is the fourth studio album of Wobbler and was released in 2017. The line up on the album is Andreas Wettergreen Stromman Prestmo (vocals, electric and acoustic guitars, glockenspiel, percussion, brass bell and children's toy), Geir Marius Bergom Halleland (backing vocals, 6 and 12 string acoustic and electric guitars), Lars Fredrik Froislie (backing vocals, Hammond C3, Mellotron, MiniMoog mod. D, Chamberlin, Hohner clavinet, Rhodes MkII, spinet, ARP Axxe/Pro Solist, Solina String Ensemble, Optigan, Wurlitzer 200, Marxophone and grand piano), Kristian Karl Hultgren (bass guitar, bass pedals and woodwinds) and Martin Nordrum Kneppen (drums and woodwinds). The album had also the participation of Renato Manzi (old man's voice), Ketil Vestrum Einarsen (flute) and Oystein Bech Gadmar (crumhorn).

The sound on "From Silence To Somewhere" is a bit more aggressive and somewhat darker than of their previous studio album "Rites At Dawn", released in 2011, and I think it sounds a bit more mature because of the more refined songwriting. Probably that is due to the new approach that Wobbler took when writing and recording this last album. Being much more of a band's product than its predecessors, I really think this quintet has clearly found a way to bring out the best in each other. The composition of this three-movement progressive symphony is absolutely perfect. It's consistent throughout, it has a couple of dramatic crescendos and uplifting de-crescendos, along with some wonderful twists and turns and wonderful arrangements that keep the piece endlessly interesting from the first to the last note.

The almost 21 minutes of the title track opens the album with some intensity and strength. As the best post- modern symphonic prog rock, Wobbler knows that can't waste the tradition. So, the excellence of the track comes from the fact that sometimes at the same time we witness the coexistence of various ways of performing the symphonic prog rock, something like thinking of Genesis, Jethro Tull, Emerson Lake & Palmer and several others. The flute lends a folk air for several minutes and right in the middle there is an experimental calm interlude of King Crimson. After a long emotional ride, it's necessary to downgrade and the mellow madrigal of "Rendered In Shades Of Green" that fulfills its function in its modest two minutes, before rushing into new electrifying sonic torrents. "Fermented Hours" opens in a psych way, with some vocals harmony from Yes and heavy guitar, appealing even for fans of Led Zeppelin or Black Sabbath. More or less correctly describes a track that intersperses those heavier prog moments with longer symphonic virtuous ones that bring to our memory some great keyboard work from Genesis, Emerson, Lake & Palmer and Premiata Forneria Marconi. The closing number of the album, of more than thirteen minutes is "Foxlight". It begins with another moment of relaxation for the listener to recover from the previous extravagance. But, it only lasts for about four minutes in a pastoral atmosphere, half heavenly, type Genesis. Then there is a bridge with a big intensity that brings us back to the high level drama of the symphonic prog tortuous and intricate. And in an instant the classic ends and closes the album.

Conclusion: The Norwegian musicians from Wobbler have released a retro prog album. Those who enjoy indulging in the sounds of the early 70's will be served the very best here. The music is varied, exciting, very melodic and manages to grab on you. Wobbler's fans will celebrate this album and so will most fans of the golden age of prog too. From a pure musical aspect, this album is simply brilliant. "From Silence To Somewhere" exceeds all expectations and has everything that detractors of the symphonic prog love to throw in the face of proud fans of the subgenre. Its formal rigor is such a size that it deserves to be enshrined in the rarefied pantheon reserved for works of the caliber of the great classics of the golden prog era, the 70's. "From Silence To Somewhere" is easily one of 2017's best progressive rock releases. Glorious stuff from top to bottom and is highly recommended. It seems that Wobbler has done it again.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

VianaProghead | 5/5 |

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