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Wobbler - Hinterland CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.81 | 315 ratings

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3 stars This Norwegian Retro-Progressive Rock act was formed in 1999 in Honefoss, led by White Willow's Lars Fredrik Froislie on keyboards with also Martin Nordrum Kneppen on drums, Kristian Karl Hultgren on bass/sax, Morten Andreas Eriksen on guitars and former Guardian's Office vocalist Tony Johannessen.Most of the members are also involved in the Black Metal band In lingua mortua.After a 2-track digital demo in 2003 Wobbler debuted in 2005 with ''Hinterland'', an album released on US prog label The Laser's Edge.

After the short intro come three long compositions by the band clocking overall at 56 minutes!The sound obviously reveals strong vintage influences and comes like a cross between the dark progressive approach of KING CRIMSON, ANEKDOTEN and LANDBERK and the stylish Symphonic Rock of GENESIS, 70's KAIPA and GENTLE GIANT along with some Scandinavian Psych/Folk touches.The arrangements are interesting for the most of their part, mixing decently the Classical inspirations, complex Progressive Rock, a haunting psychedelic mood and a bit of folkier parts and the result is not far from ANGLAGARD or even Froislie's WHITE WILLOW, but with an even more evident retro atmosphere.There is a constant change between electric and acoustic passages, the electric having a clear KING CRIMSON influence, the acoustic though being more in a typical Scandinavian melancholic mood.In general though the musicianship is strongly based on Froislie's work on keyboards: a massive attack of analog keys with extreme doses of mellotron throughout along with organ passages, minimoog solos and fine grand piano.All of his parts is either presented under a supporting role for the rest of the band or in a dominant phase with switches between his keyboard equipment.Singer Tony Johannessen is known for his work with The Guardian's Office, a sensitive and expressive vocalist but with a limited vocal range.The flaws of the album lie on the rather unoriginal sound, the evident lack of trully memorable melodies and the sometimes untightly connecting packs of music throughout the epics.But still the album is a pleasant experience for the most of its length.

The result depends heavily on what you expect from a prog album.If you are a die-hard fan of the 70's, this album is definitely highly recommended.Well-crafted and professional Retro-Prog without though adding anything new to the scene.If you are tired of bands trying to re-produce the Classic Progressive Rock sound you should rather pass by, especially if I consider the lack of some really memorable material on ''Hinterland''.And as usual with these cases, the rating truth always lies somewhere in the middle.

apps79 | 3/5 |


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