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Sean Trane
Prog Folk
3 stars This second album of DARRYL WAY"S WOLF is the one I would recomend that you start with but the first album is equally as good. Messakar's singing is only present in two or three tracks (the rest are intrumental) and Game Of X is a total rip-off from Focus:s Hocus Pocus which makes this Bogus. This album was produced by ex-Crimson member Ian McDoald (he has also done Modern Masquarade of Fruup) and played on one number . The rest of the music stays pleasant with a very mid-hard/soft sound that I can only say is rather "passe-partout" and is mainly instrumental on their first two albums . It is not likely to displease anyone but wil not have you tearing down the walls in musical orgasms either. I will not say that this band is essential in prog but if you have time and money to spend , why not indulge?
Report this review (#33003)
Posted Thursday, October 21, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars "Canis-Lupus" of WOLF released in 1973. There is a fantasy that is common to all tunes and soft though it is a variegated content. It seems to make a simple idea the one to stimulate imagination richly comparatively. It is a work of a very expression of feelings and fantastic sound. The masterpiece of the album is "Cadanza". The guitar of John Etheridge is wonderful.It is British rock where be able do the balance of coolness and romanticism rather than a progressive rock.

Report this review (#59962)
Posted Friday, December 9, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars WOW! This not very well known progressive rock band gives us here a wonderful album, full of impressive violin, electric & acoustic guitars and VERY dynamic & punchy bass! The drums are very well played and rather complex. Everything is very well synchronized, like Gentle Giant. It sounds a bit like Curved air, Caravan, Kayak, the King Crimson of the 70's, Camel and Gentle Giant; but this album has really its own sound, and this makes the band very interesting. There is a good interrelation between the electric violin and the guitars. The lead vocals are very good, and surprisingly the keyboards are not extremely abundant, mainly consisting in discreet electric & acoustic piano, and in a couples of spacy moog solos. "MacDonald's Lament" is absolutely a gem with its mellow crescendo featuring an unforgettable violin solo!
Report this review (#60063)
Posted Saturday, December 10, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Very good album, even with compare with of Genesis, JT, Yes and so on. Beatiful themes, excellent playing (especially Way's violin (as usual :) ) and guitar work), nice vocal, the rest of album's instrumentals also are good (though I prefer songs). Despite previous review I think there is no rip-offs from anywhere and sound is unique and catchy. Must have in any 70th prog collection. I have it got and listen to it periodically and every time with pleasure. I think most of men who tired of monsters of prog and discovering not so known 70th prog bands give 5 stars to this album, as I gave :)
Report this review (#164259)
Posted Wednesday, March 19, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars Actually the first album from Darryl Way's Wolf(sorry Progarchives; but we all make mistakes!) this 1973 effort found the former Curved Air violinist teaming up with talented Canadian bassist Dek Messecar, future Soft Machine guitarist John Etheridge and drummer Ian Mosley(who would, of course, go on join Marillion over a decade later). With Way's enigmatic violin riffs leading the way, 'Canis Lupus' is indeed a fine album, taking its stylistic lead from Curved Air but adding a tougher, more muscular sheen whilst also embracing elements of ethereal folk, playful jazziness and some startling instrumental interplay from the foursome. Highlights are many; the gorgeous guitar riff that pins together opening gambit 'The Void' proves a real treat, the fearsome 'Isolation Waltz' adds a powerful rock veneer to proceedings whilst the final, haunting mini-epic 'McDonald's Lament' showcases Way at his very best. For those who find Curved Air a little wimpy, Darryl Way's Wolf should prove a perfect antidote. An excellent debut release. STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2012
Report this review (#815532)
Posted Wednesday, September 5, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars DARRYL WAY's WOLF emerged from the band CURVED AIR when violinist and keyboard player Darryl Way decided he needed a breath of fresh air. He recorded three albums with Curved Air before breezing away:- "Airconditioning" (1970); "Second Album" (1971) and "Phantasmagoria" (1972). He also co-wrote Curved Air's one and only hit song: "Back Street Luv". He left the band to form his own group Darryl Way's Wolf - or simply Wolf - in 1972 with a sense of dogged determination, although his band project never quite managed to achieve the howling success of Curved Air. Darryl Way's Wolf recorded three albums together:- "Canis Lupus" (1973); "Saturation Point" (1973) and "Night Music" (1974). The first album "Canis Lupus" (the Latin name for Wolf), features a number of classical themes, so let's travel Bach in time now to the proggy annus mirabilis year of 1973 and take a look at the album from a 21st century 20/20 vision perspective.

We're journeying back through time and space for "The Void", a spectacular cosmic opening to the album. This lively Jazz-Rock number features warm and silver-toned vocals from singer and bass player Dek Messecar, in powerful combination with a sparkling display of dexterity from Jazzy guitarist John Etheridge, and just to remind us that the piano is a percussion instrument in the orchestra, Darryl Way really hammers away at those piano keys with passionate intensity, backed up by drummer Ian Mosley giving the song some added Wolf bite with his pounding percussion. Well, that's all of the four lupine band members given a well-deserved name-check in the opening, so onwards to the next song: "Isolation Waltz". This song is no Waltzing Matilda though. No, "Isolation Waltz" is a storming rocker, in solid pulverizing 4/4 Rock time, and definitely not some wimpy pendulating Waltzy tune in 3/4 time. Darryl Way's way-out manic violin bow curves through the air demonically throughout this solid rocker, bringing to mind some of the classic Curved Air blasts from the past. In fact, Way's vital and vivacious violin playing sounds like Vivaldi going at pell-mell speed on anabololic steroids. Make no mistake, this band are no wolves in sheep's clothing! If you "Go Down" to the woods today, you might just meet a big bad Wolf, or you might be in for a big surprise with "Go Down", which features the band Wolf in a much mellower mood this time around in this cool and groovy Jazz number. This smooth and sophisticated Jazz would no doubt be best listened to whilst dressed elegantly in a dinner jacket or evening dress whilst coolly sipping on a dry Martini - shaken not stirred - in a salubrious cocktail lounge. Yes, it's that kind of cool Jazzy music that might have featured in an early James Bond movie, or maybe a much more recent Austin Powers movie. Either way, it's a great song. The final song on Side One "Wolf", represents a return to some mean and mighty Jazz-Rock with another vivid violin display from Darryl Way of stunning Vivaldi-esque proportions. This song has claws!

We're off on another crazy helter-skelter violin ride with "Cadenza". What's a "Cadenza" you may well ask? Well, it's a a virtuoso solo musical performance, and that's exactly what you get here from Darryl Way's maniacal violin. In fact, ALL of the musicians in the band are given the chance to display their magnificent musical plumage here with stunning style and panache. There's the inevitable drum solo, a dynamic dazzling display from Darryl Way on the keyboards, and a glittering glissando of guitar soloing. Darryl Way's incredible keyboards soar so high up into the stratosphere on this magnificent magnum opus that they almost go beyond the limits of human hearing. If you play this exhilarating music loudly and your dog starts going crazy, then you'll know the reason why. All in all, it's an outstanding piece of music. There's another invigorating burst of music on the way with "Chanson Sans Paroles" (which is French for "Song Without Words). The music is exactly what it says on the label because it's an instrumental, although the uninspiring term "instrumental" can never do justice to this fabulous piece of music. Take cover and batten down the hatches because Hurricane Darryl is on the Way! You can expect to hear another stunning display of awesome musical virtuosity with Darryl Way's wild and untamed werewolf violin leading the way. This is Jazz-Rock like you've never heard it played before and it's just as good - if not better than - anything Curved Air have ever done. This stormy music is no light breeze. No, this is more like a category five hurricane of unbridled raw power and energy! It's safe to come out now though, because the closing number "McDonald's Lament" is a return to altogether gentler climes. "McDonald's Lament" is nothing to do with a well-known American fast-food chain running out of hamburgers. It's just a gentle slice of Irish Folk whimsy floating on a mellow wave of vivacious violin strings and delicate percussion.

Darryl Way's Wolf "Canis Lupus" debut is an incredible howling performance from beginning to end. If you like Curved Air, then you'll surely love Darryl Way's Wolf. They're like a breath of fresh air. This terrific lupine "Bark at the Moon" music jumps up and bites when you least expect it, so watch out, there's a Wolf about!

Report this review (#2315868)
Posted Thursday, February 13, 2020 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars Darryl Way was a founding member of CURVED AIR and a very good violinist to say the least. After CURVED AIR released "Phantasmagoria" in 1972 Darryl left the band to be replaced by a young Eddie Jobson. Way would go on to release two studio albums in 1973 including this one "Canis Lupus" as well as "Saturation Point" both with the same lineups. They would release one more studio album in 1974. The band is more commonly known as DARRYL WAY'S WOLF and this certainly is a band effort all the way(ahem). Both in the compositions and featured instruments. Darryl adds some keyboards too and we have future MARILLION drummer Ian Mosley here along with future SOFT MACHINE guitarist John Etheridge and finally the key in my opinion vocalist and bass player Dek Messecar. He would go on to do both for CARAVAN and I can appreciate how he was such a good fit for them. I just like his singing voice which is clear and higher pitched. And he plays a mean bass too, talented man. So yes this album caught me off guard, I wasn't expecting such an uplifting and consistent recording.

"The Void" opens with keys as the bass joins in followed by drums then vocals as it all picks up. So good! Head bobbin' time. Vocals will come and go as two main pieces are contrasted throughout. The guitar comes in each time the vocals step aside. "Isolation Waltz" is all about that heavy rhythm section early on and we finally hear violin for the first time on the album 2 minutes in. Some vocals on this one. "Go Down" is a relaxed tune with guitar, bass and drums as laid back vocals join in. Vocals are more passionate a minute in, moving stuff. Guitar replaces vocals. Vocals and a more mellow sound after 3 minutes. The guitar does return late. "Wolf" features synths, violin and vocals and Way lights it up after 3 1/2 minutes on that violin.

"Cadenza" opens with some amazing sounding violin leads. Drums and bass join in then guitar before 1 1/2 minutes. Man some talent here with Etheridge and Way on their respective instruments. Bass after 1 1/2 minutes then a drum solo 3 1/2 minutes in that I like. This song really features the instrumental talents of these four guys. "Chanson Sans Paroles" opens bringing ZAO to mind with that melodic violin led sound. It's violin and bass driven early on then we get this calm with piano and atmosphere before 2 minutes which is really cool. Guitar kicks in soaring this time as the tempo picks up. Some intensity later before returning to that opening sound. Great track! "McDonald's Lament" ends it with electric piano, violin and bass. It picks up with guitar and drums joining in and the violin turns more passionate.

I'm still just so impressed with this album and it's probably closer to 4.5 stars. The enjoyment level is very high.

Report this review (#2677734)
Posted Saturday, January 29, 2022 | Review Permalink

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