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Wobbler - Afterglow CD (album) cover

AFTERGLOW

Wobbler

 

Symphonic Prog

3.82 | 196 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Anthony H.
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Wobbler: Afterglow [2009]

Rating: 8/10

Afterglow is the second album from Norwegian symphonic-prog band Wobbler. Hinterland was an enormously impressive debut album that immediately established Wobbler as an enormous musical force within modern symphonic progressive-rock. This follow-up was written at the same time as its predecessor, so the two albums are stylistically identical: epic symphonic rock with soaring vintage keyboards, deft instrumental interplay, and strong pastoral sensibilities. However, the album format here could not be more different than that of its predecessor. While Hinterland was a lengthy piece of work with a sprawling 27-minute piece, Afterglow is a mere 34 minutes long. There are only two full-length pieces here, surrounded by an intro, an interlude, and an outro. It's clear that Wobbler have absolutely embraced the 70s aesthetic here, even more so than before. There is nothing here that would even remotely suggest that this was released in 2009.

"The Haywain" is a short medieval intro that sets the album's tone quite well. "Imperial Winter White" is the first full-length piece. There is an enormous plethora of musical ideas presented within these 15 minutes; the band never seems content to repeat a thing. Surprisingly, however, the piece still manages to maintain musical coherence. The groovy section near the middle may be the best part of the whole album. "Interlude" is a short acoustic piece that fittingly bridges the gap between the two mini-epics. "In Taberna", the second full-length piece, is even more bombastic than the rest of the album. The Mellotron is one of the most epic things I have ever heard, and the Hammond organ soloing is magnificent. "Armoury" is a very cool tribal outro that concludes the album.

This is yet another superb symphonic-prog album from Wobbler. The band has an intimate understanding of the style that they play, the musicianship is nothing short of spectacular, and the instrumentation is gorgeous. However, the same problem that I had with Hinterland also applies here: the music isn't emotional enough. Afterglow had the potential to be even better than it is, but it fails to connect with me on an emotional level. A masterpiece must have more soul. Regardless, this is a fascinating listen that will intrigue most fans of the genre. I just wish that it would have lasted a bit longer.

Anthony H. | 4/5 |

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