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Wolverine - Communication Lost CD (album) cover

COMMUNICATION LOST

Wolverine

Progressive Metal


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4 stars Wolverine are back with a bang! After a five year break since "Still" this album was eagerly awaited by me and certainly hasn't disappointed.

An album not anywhere near as heavy as "Still; more melodic and complex. It certainly took a few listens to sink in fully but with the magical vocals of Stefan Zell still on top form it is difficult to criticise.

The opening passages reminded me so much of The Big Red Spark by Tinyfish, but such comparisons soon end and the uniqueness that is Wolverine soon take over. An album dominated by the incredible singing voice, wonderful keyboard/piano segments and seemingly effortless guitar work, this new composition has certainly put a smile on my face.

4 stars easily....no weaknesses. I'm confident that this is an album that will mature with every listen. Let's hope we don't have to wait another 5 years for the next album! That would be a real shame because Wolverine have a prominent space on my progressive rock CD shelf. A band deserving more attention, let's hope that their communication hasn't been lost!

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Send comments to demolition man (BETA) | Report this review (#463572)
Posted Saturday, June 18, 2011 | Review Permalink
J-Man
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Of all the genres in the heavy metal spectrum, progressive metal seems to be the most thoroughly criticized for being unoriginal and derivative; a bit ironic when one considers the meaning of the word "progressive". But it's hard to disagree - the amount of Dream Theater clones out there is staggering and, quite frankly, disappointing. That's why it's encouraging to see bands like Wolverine constantly pushing the envelope of what the genre can offer and creating fantastic art in the process. Communication Lost is their fourth full- length album, and also their first in the last five years. These Swedish masterminds have returned with a bang, though, and Communication Lost is one of the finest prog metal releases that 2011 (or any year) has to offer. I have no problem with calling this album an absolute masterpiece and a mandatory purchase for all prog metal fans looking for something different from your standard Dream Theater-clone release.

Wolverine plays a style of atmospheric progressive metal with influences from acts like Pain of Salvation, Porcupine Tree, Fates Warning, and Pink Floyd. Communication Lost certainly isn't the heaviest prog metal album you'll ever hear, and a good portion of it is pure atmospheric prog rock. Every track here is extremely melancholic and dark, from a musical and lyrical perspective. The lyrics, dealing with heavy topics like addiction and abuse, help add to the overall somber feeling present throughout the entire album. The music, as previously mentioned, is generally soft and not too technical. Acoustic guitars, mellow synth tones, powerful vocals, piano, and a strong rhythm section dominate much of Communication Lost. There are also a fair amount of cello sections - a bit surprising for a prog metal album, but is remarkably beautiful during the piano-led sections (particularly on "What Remains"). Every song here is absolutely beautiful, particularly "Embrace", "What Remains", and "In The Quiet Of Dawn". There are a few heavier (but still absolutely beautiful) tracks like "Communication Lost", "Your Favorite War", and "In Memory of Me". This album flows wonderfully and I'd actually consider every song to be a masterpiece. Communication Lost is one of the very few 70-minute albums without a second of filler; that really shows what fantastic songwriters Wolverine are.

Although Wolverine are not as technically-oriented as the majority of prog metal bands out there, they still certainly have some fantastic chops and (most importantly) are capable of injecting soulful emotion into every note on the album. The keyboard playing from Per Hendriksson especially stands out for me; his atmospheric synth playing and terrific piano mastery are an integral part of the music on Communication Lost. Stefan Zell's vocals also stand out to me, seeing that he has the power of Ray Alder and the beauty and diversity of Daniel Gildenlöw. It's hard to think of a better prog metal vocalist than that! The production is also spectacular on Communication Lost. It's clear, powerful, professional, and sets the perfect atmospheric feel to fit Wolverine's music.

I'm absolutely ecstatic about Communication Lost, and I sincerely hope that these feelings were shining throughout my review. This album is a tremendous statement from Wolverine; one that hopefully gets them the recognition that they deserve among the prog metal community. Seldom do I come across an album this beautiful, touching, and well- crafted. Wolverine really have outdone themselves this time, and created one of the most recommendable progressive metal albums ever released. 5 stars are well-deserved for this essential masterpiece. I can guarantee that Communication Lost will be in my top five albums of 2011 - it really is that good. Even with new Opeth and Dream Theater albums on the horizon, I have a feeling that Communication Lost may remain unsurpassed as the year's best prog metal album. Essential!

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Send comments to J-Man (BETA) | Report this review (#475710)
Posted Monday, July 04, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars STRONG CANDIDATE FOR THE BEST OF THE YEAR

There are albums that will impress on first listen. "Communication Lost" is one of them. I had never heard of before Wolverine (animal and only Marvel character), but this brilliant album made ​​me want to know the other works of this amazing band.

The sound here, unlike that most prog-metal bands play, is not a mere clone of Dream Theater. It's derived from Riverside, in relation to the use of electronic effects and dense atmosphere of the songs. Even Stefan Zell's voice resembles that of Mariusz Duda.

If you are looking for weight and aggressive riffs, this album is not for you. But if you enjoy a melodic progressive metal, heavy (for cellos emotional throughout the album) and atmospheric (many spacey influences in this album), will love "Communication Lost".

4.5 stars for sure.

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Send comments to voliveira (BETA) | Report this review (#479989)
Posted Sunday, July 10, 2011 | Review Permalink
Conor Fynes
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars 'Communication Lost' - Wolverine (8/10)

Just when I thought all of the fresh talent in prog metal was hiding towards the more extreme side of the spectrum, I am introduced to this band, the Swedish quintet Wolverine. Although this is the band's fourth album to date, 'Communication Lost' will likely be the first that many hear of the band, due to the greater publicity they have received for it. Although I am rarely one to fall into the trap of hype, Wolverine was certainly a band I had heard great things about from more than a couple music experts.Although I was expecting Wolverine to fall into the same rut of Dream Theater or Symphony X that so many melodic prog metal bands do, the change of pace here is refreshing, and while not an entirely new breath of fresh air than what I have already heard in the style, Wolverine do plant themselves as one of the last vestiges of hope in a style that I personally think got tired over a decade ago.

My personal cynicisms for melodic prog metal aside, Wolverine are a truly impressive act, and the fact that I find myself so endeared to them with all things considered should be a testament to their strength as an act. Musically, Wolverine is not such a far cry from compatriots Pain of Salvation; their music is heavy at times, but always melodic, and resists the temptation to become an overly technical wankfest a la Dream Theater. Instead, Wolverine bases 'Communication Lost' around the long lost art of proper songwriting; their music uses sometimes complex musicianship, but it is always based in a tight composition, and this really grabs my attention. The vocals here are often the center of attention atop tasteful instrumentation, the atmosphere is kept somewhat dark and melancholic throughout, and- coming as a surprise to someone that was expecting a metal album- tastefully mellow. Wolverine is instead heavy prog rock throughout most of this, although I would have to say that the vocals keep a metallic tinge to the music. Stefan Zell's voice is generally a lower register tenor, with a stern tone to his delivery. His real highlights are when he goes and hits higher notes, which he does beautifully; one really wonders why he doesn't sing up there more, because his high register stuff is much more impressive.

The songwriting here is generally the highlight of the album. Everything is beautifully produced and polished, but the sound stays organic; a sure sign of a successful studio job. The songwriting really caught my attention from the first listen onwards though; while the atmosphere that Wolverine makes on 'Communication Lost' rarely becomes upbeat or cheery, they get the sadness across with a variety of different sounds. 'Pulse' is one of the most memorable tracks here, using some lively electronics to create a hook. 'Into The Great Nothing' makes perfect use of those upper pitch vocals that Stefan Zell does so well, and gets fairly heavy, only to be trailed by a nice acoustic passage in 'Poison Ivy'. The highlight moments on 'Communication Lost' are brilliant, although it would have been nice to hear even a couple more of them as the album progresses. The album is one of the most consistent records I have heard throughout the year, but it does feel like Wolverine keeps their sound a little too restrained; still a vast preference from the overindulgent noodling that the Dream Theater clones adhere themselves to, but 'Communication Lost' could have used a little more of the great, powerful heaviness that they only seem to hint at here. All the same, it gets me excited to see what else that the band has in store.

Wolverine are a band that I was not expecting to impress me, but they did well to leave an impression on me; 'Communication Lost' is an expansive collection of tracks that all succeed in delivering some sort of dark quality to them. Although I could still draw some Pain of Salvation comparisons to the band, they do have a more adventurous sound going for them than much prog metal, and they have been placed on the map for me after hearing what they have to offer from 'Communication Lost'.

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Send comments to Conor Fynes (BETA) | Report this review (#481508)
Posted Wednesday, July 13, 2011 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars 3.5 stars. Man this was a disappointment the first time I heard it. I was actually shocked at how lyric heavy it was. Mind you once I read the words I have to hand it to them for writing such excellent lyrics. Still i'm a little put off with the direction they took here. For me it's always about the music first then the words, which is why I have such a hard time with most concept albums. Funny thing is the last really atmospheric album that WOLVERINE made was called "Cold Light Of Monday" and it was a concept album but I much prefer it to this one.Their debut is great because it is their heaviest, while "Still" combined that melodic style of ANATHEMA and KATATONIA to great effect. I've been a long time fan of these guys even going back to when the Zell brothers worked with the band BOOK OF HOURS which was more in the ANEKDOTEN style. So yes there is still lots to like here and if I could take off about 17 minutes (3 songs) it would easily be a four star record.This clocks in at about 70 minutes for the record.

"Downfall" and the next track "Into The Great Nothing" starts things off on a very high note.Two of my top three tracks right there.The first is dark and atmospheric as spoken words come in. Cello before 2 minutes when the words stop. It blends into the next one as the drums kick in right away and it sounds great. Riffs then vocals follow. It kicks in heavier after 2 1/2 minutes. It settles after 5 1/2 minutes then the vocals return. It kicks back in one more time.

"Poison Ivy" is okay but it's laid back with picked guitar, reserved vocals and cello. It does get fuller at times but..anyway it blends into "Your Favourite War" where it kicks in heavily right away. It settles back with vocals a beat and piano before a minute. I like the guitar after 3 minutes. Powerful stuff.

"Embrace" is too much like a ballad although I like the tribal-like drumming. "Pulse" is my other top three. It starts off in a reserved manner but it's catchy and dark.The tempo does pick up and guitar leads 4 minutes in.

"What Remains" is my least favourite. Piano, strings and reserved vocals go on for way too long. "In Memoery Of Me" is much better. Nice and heavy. It does settle back with vocals as the tempo continues to shift.

"In The Quiet" features vocals and a beat early on. A calm with vocals after 2 minutes then it turns heavier. "Communication Lost" kicks in before a minute.Vocals after 2 minutes and some relaxed guitar after 4 1/2 minutes. "A Beginning" has these spoken words like the opening track then the atmosphere rolls in after they stop.

Before I did this review tonight I took the time to listen to their three previous albums just to see how this stands up and I still feel that the others are better.That's just my taste in music of course as it seems many herald this as their best.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#503743)
Posted Monday, August 15, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars After waiting 4 years counting days in the last month, wolverine back with a great piece of art and the waiting was worthwhile.

Lyrically, the album is well written since it has been always a strength for wolverine, great images with loads of emotional metaphors.

Musically, the band pushed the borders and mount up their innovation threshold, the ability to express themselves through music became more solid, unique and creative. the dramatic full voice of the singer was always and still dominating the scene, his magical performance and articulation communicates the feelings on a very high level and reaches you smoothly..

Wolverine is a pioneer impressive act in the field of blending progressive metal music with emotions, feelings and personal message to mankind through music.

The album began with a dark atmosphere and a recitation of some poem with beautiful background music and ended up similarly. The first song of the album clearly reveal wolverine imprint, catchy, melodic and energetic riffs....the album is ranging between heavy and mellow moments, worth to be mentioned a song called "pulse" with its interesting electronic beat, and "in memory" which contain a piano and vocal part that reminds me of the great pain of salvation Goosebumps moments

The last song in this album before the outro is "communication lost" which describes the difficult situations that we are living these days and the communication that is lost between individuals as well as between the individual and the true self/soul/needs.

overall the production is stunning especially the keys and the piano, they sounded intimate and lush...

Without hesitation I gave 4 stars to the album and if there was 4.5 stars it will surely be my evaluation mark..

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Send comments to Tarek (BETA) | Report this review (#504580)
Posted Wednesday, August 17, 2011 | Review Permalink
EatThatPhonebook
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars 7/10

"Communication Lost" is an emotional, pulsating album that sounds like from the near future, without being really innovating.

Among all the Progressive Rock/Metal bands of the new decade, Wolverine are in some way simply one of the many, one that just stuck to the prog rules and released albums that were loyal to the genre, somewhat brave sounding and some innovating moments. With "Communication Lost", it is obvious that Wolverine have a distinct style, even though "Still", their previous album, sounded even more original and promising.

There is tons of melody and accessibility, which definitely contributed in making this band famous in the prog community; as a matter of fact, the experimentation isn't really that big of an element on this one. What we have here are good rock songs strongly blended with Progressive Metal elements, such as some heavy guitars, some interesting time changes, nice keyboard sounds, and pretty progressive-like song structures. Because of it's straight- forwardness, I can't help thinking at times of Alternative Rock as a big influence on this one. The moods here aren't exactly positive: some times, the music is quite depressing and sad. However, it is in many parts a beautiful portrait of hope. Between melancholic acoustic parts, dramatic keyboards, and surprising electronic bursts, "Communication Lost" is a greatly emotional album, definitely one of the most haunting sounding albums of 2011.

Wolverine are a band that take human emotions and make them the most modern sounding as possible, using elements in their music that just sound of the future. However, they manage to do that without being particularly innovative, as the melodies are at times predictable, even though the songwriting is mostly very strong. But the impact this album gives is quite unique, and the atmosphere it has is very enjoyable. This band shows their talent in songwriting with songs like "Into The Great Nothing", the song that starts off the album after the three minute intro, or the slower but quite beautiful "Poison Ivy", or the strongly emotional title track and "Pulse", with it's electronic beat that makes it an automatic standout.

"Communication Lost" is a great experience for whoever loves the genre, a little highlight and gem for today's Prog Rock.

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Send comments to EatThatPhonebook (BETA) | Report this review (#580212)
Posted Friday, December 02, 2011 | Review Permalink

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