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Wobbler - Hinterland CD (album) cover

HINTERLAND

Wobbler

 

Symphonic Prog

3.83 | 232 ratings

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hdfisch
Prog Reviewer
3 stars When I listened to this album the first time about one year ago I've been admittedly highly fascinated by it and felt merely slain down by the massive contingent of analogue keyboard sounds offered here. Retro Prog bands are springing up like mushrooms since quite a while and honestly, as much as I'm adoring this good ol' dinosaur-sound I've to say on the other hand that this fact is becoming also quite tedious meanwhile.

The big problem with an album like "Hinterland" is that as a lover of 70's Prog one can't easily defy its fascination and beauty although with keeping a certain objective distance one cannot deny its antiquated character and huge lack of any innovation. Certainly anyone (including me) who likes the works of early Crimson, Yes, Genesis and the ones by third retro wave bands like Anglagard or Anekdoten will find this album highly enjoyable. Though one could as well say that the band doesn't do here anything else than stringing one Prog cliché to the other and especially the monster title track could be well used as a kind of quiz game to guess who of the big seminal keyboard heroes Froislie cites in which section. Highlights of this little focused and loosely structured composition are for me the (too few) moments when other instruments than the omnipresent keys like flute, acoustic guitar (both providing a nice baroque flair), bass (Squire-esque) and Einarsen's vocals (which are good by all means) are coming more to the fore. This track in a way builds up a permanent tension which yet never comes to any explosion thus it starts to sound meandering after a while. The two "shorter" tracks work much better somehow and are more rewarding, also more memorable and don't sound that much like a patchwork as track #2. They also reveal a slightly more modern sound, closer to Anekdoten's or Anglagard's and especially "Rubato Industry" is the most fascinating one. What I like most with this band and that applies in fact as well to Froislie's main band White Willow and the two former mentioned Swedish ones from the 90's is that their music never sounds overblown or soppy at any moment.

As a conclusion I can only say that I like this debut very much being aware that it's nothing more (and less) than a solid work in a strong retro vein without showing anything new but still it makes me looking forward to Wobbler's next album to hear whether they'll manage to free themselves from the retro trap. For sure any Retro-Prog fan will love this one and to those ones preferring their Retro-Prog to sound heavier and darker than this I'd like to recommend "The Grimalkin" by Noekk which could fascinate me even more than "Hinterland" which I consider nonetheless a remarkable debut and worth 3,5 stars.

hdfisch | 3/5 |

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