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WOBBLER

Symphonic Prog • Norway


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Wobbler biography
Founded in Hønefoss, Norway in 1999

The line-up consists of Lars Fredrik Froislie (of WHITE WILLOW) on keyboards, Kristian Karl Hultgren on bass guitar, Martin Nordrum Kneppen on drums, Morten Andreas Eriksen on electric and acoustic guitars and mandolin and Tony Johannessen on vocals. This group is strongly evocative of KING CRIMSON, GENESIS, GENTLE GIANT along with newer symphonic prog bands like ANGLAGARD and ANEKDOTEN with a dash of Scandinavian folk and classical influences thrown into the mix.

Their debut CD WOBBLER "Hinterland" contains long and complex tracks featuring lush, vintage keyboard sounds, making extensive use of Mellotron, Mini-Moog, Hammond C-3 and harpsichord, along with beautiful electric and acoustic guitar playing, a complex rhythm section along with flutes, recorder, saxophones, mandolins and various other instruments providing a very full, symphonic sound.

Highly recommended for fans of the early progressive greats and symphonic prog music.

: : : TheProgtologist, USA : : :

⭐ Collaborators Top Prog Album of 2017 ⭐

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AfterglowAfterglow
Termo Records 2009
$16.99
$26.79 (used)
HinterlandHinterland
Termo Records 2018
$13.29
$13.28 (used)
From Silence To SomewhereFrom Silence To Somewhere
Karisma 2017
$12.69
$14.94 (used)
Rites at DawnRites at Dawn
Termo Records 2011
$13.72
$10.50 (used)
HinterlandHinterland
THE LASER'S EDGE 2017
$199.99
$19.95 (used)
Rites at Dawn by Wobbler (2011-01-01)Rites at Dawn by Wobbler (2011-01-01)
Termo Records
$48.71
$48.98 (used)
Afterglow by Wobbler (2014-08-03)Afterglow by Wobbler (2014-08-03)
Termo Records
$29.12
$31.50 (used)
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WOBBLER discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

WOBBLER top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.81 | 336 ratings
Hinterland
2005
3.80 | 276 ratings
Afterglow
2009
3.93 | 468 ratings
Rites At Dawn
2011
4.42 | 509 ratings
From Silence To Somewhere
2017

WOBBLER Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

WOBBLER Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

WOBBLER Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

WOBBLER Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 4 ratings
Imperial Winter White Dwarf / Leprechaun Behind the Door
2003
4.67 | 3 ratings
Lá Bealtaine
2011
4.33 | 6 ratings
This Past Presence
2011

WOBBLER Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Rites At Dawn by WOBBLER album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.93 | 468 ratings

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Rites At Dawn
Wobbler Symphonic Prog

Review by steelyhead

5 stars

I am not a fan of the first two albums of Wobbler. It is OK music for people who try too hard to be like the old days. Even the use of the Mellotron seems somewaht forced to me so I was not at all convinced to give a spin to their new offering.

Big mistake...this is pure bliss in form of music. The long lost album of Yes that they have recorded. You can hear Squire, Howe and even the drums have the right time signature. This is not a hommage this is a magnificent way to remember times gone by.

I am in love with this album, please don't stop making music

 From Silence To Somewhere by WOBBLER album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.42 | 509 ratings

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From Silence To Somewhere
Wobbler Symphonic Prog

Review by Chaser

4 stars IT'S NOT THE MESSIAH, IT'S A VERY NICE ALBUM

Many progressive rock fans desperately crave a modern prog classic in order to show that progressive rock did not become obsolete in 1977, and that the 21st century is capable of producing prog rock albums that are on a par with the 1970's heyday of prog.

So, when Norwegian prog band Wobbler released this album in 2017, there were many in the prog community who instantly hailed it as the incarnation of a prog rock classic to rival the great classic albums of the golden age of prog.

Such lofty claims mean that this album deserves special attention and consideration.

Let's begin by saying that this is a wonderfully crafted album, with excellent musicianship and great production quality.

The opening of the album is one of the best openings you are likely to hear in prog, as a gentle prelude gives way to a stunning intro piece that smacks you full in the face with towering guitars and organ in an infectious high energy riff that grabs your full attention from the get go.

The title track is very strong throughout and, were the whole album of the same quality and intensity, then the album would certainly be a contender for the top table of prog rock albums.

Unfortunately, whilst the musicianship remains excellent throughout the album, the composition loses intensity as the album progresses, and, by the time we get to the final track of the album "Foxlight", my attention begins to drift somewhat in parts of the track.

The band do pull it back and the album ends strongly, but, for me, the album lacks the total consistency of excellence throughout to be considered amongst the greatest classics of the genre.

Furthermore, an all time prog rock classic album should possess moments of true originality that delight and surprise the listener. I listen to an album like "Relayer" from Yes and, after more than thirty years of listening I remain stunned at the sheer creativity exhibited in that album. For me "From Silence to Somewhere" does not contain the originality and musical ingenuity required in a true masterpiece of the genre.

Ultimately, whilst Wobbler are to be commended on creating a wonderful album full of great music, they are, for me, followers of the giants of the 1970's and not true originators in their own right.

Despite that assessment, this is still a great record, and the opening track in particular is a spectacular display of symphonic prog at its very best. I'm just not sure that, overall, the album takes progressive rock in new and surprising directions, rather it reprises the golden age of prog rock, albeit in a truly wonderful way.

Is this album the holy grail of modern progressive rock? Does it deserve a seat at the top table along side such classics as Close to the Edge, Selling England by the Pound, and Thick as a Brick? Well, not for me, but it is an excellent album all the same and many progressive rock fans will enjoy this album very much and will be very pleased to have it as part of their collection.

Definitely recommended.

 From Silence To Somewhere by WOBBLER album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.42 | 509 ratings

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From Silence To Somewhere
Wobbler Symphonic Prog

Review by Luqueasaur

3 stars TOO comfortably prog: 7/10

Often modern bands play odes to progressive rock, but almost as a mystic and distressing law of nature they sound like cheap imitations or uninspired covers of the prog's giants. Yet in 2017 a massive Scandinavian storm called Wobbler blasted the skies of the prog world and poured delicious symphonic nectar called From Silence to Somewhere over all continents, quenching the thirsty fans of the genres with an album that successfully encapsulates and homages the genre's heyday. It has it all: symphonic melodies and arrangements, dynamic and Mellotron-tainted instrumental breaks, folksy pastoral interludes, long compositions. The rejuvenating rain the inhabitants of Progland were all craving for. So, if too you are a fan of symphonic prog on withdrawal, Wobbler's holy water is the medicine you're desperately requiring.

But the issue is... I'm not a fan of symphonic prog on withdrawal. And I felt From Silence to Somewhere to be severely underwhelming.

There's nothing I haven't heard before in here: symphonic melodies and arrangements, dynamic and Mellotron-tainted musical interludes, folksy pastoral interludes, long compositions; all factors of a consecrated musical formula. There is no audacity to go further than the established frontiers of their genre, and Wobbler's musical output sounds like a safe, unadventurous journey. That's not inherently an issue. Sometimes people yearn for familiarity and there's nothing with assembling a product to tackle that market. But I'm not part of that market. So three stars from me.

(And, as far as ProgArchives' rating is concerned as of now, a rating of 4.45 and 19th place feels absurd.)

 From Silence To Somewhere by WOBBLER album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.42 | 509 ratings

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From Silence To Somewhere
Wobbler Symphonic Prog

Review by jamesbaldwin
Prog Reviewer

4 stars "From Silence To Somewhere" is the first Wobbler's record that I listen. My approach to contemporary prog music, specially when it is acclaimed as masterpiece is... prudence.

The suite "From Silence To Somewhere", 21 minutes, is very interesting. After the first three minutes, very pompous, there comes an acoustic part, almost Renaissance music, on which stands the singing of Andreas Wettergreen Strømman Prestmo, who declaims an austere melody that tends to go towards the sharp notes at the end of each verse. Then comes a very sustained but a bit compulsive, powerful rhythm. Certainly this music is rather unpredictable and full of citations, stratifications, but also ... hyperproduced in order to touch a saturated, sendationalist sound. The instrumental tour de force proceeds with a great work on percussion (Martin Nordrum Kneppen), bombastic effect. Then finally comes another acoustic gash where the initial melody returns (in fact the only melody of the suite). But finally there is a new instrumental escalation, to conclude the suite with an acoustic piece that constitutes a variation on the theme. The suite is melodically thin. At the arrangement level it is mammoth. Vote 8+.

"Rendered in Shades of Green", two minutes, is a piano instrumental ballad, with mellotron (Lars Fredrik Frøislie), I guess, in the background. A good melody is missing, to be remarkable. Irrelevant (no vote).

"Fermented Hours", ten minutes, starts with a very sustained rhythm. After about 5 minutes comes a part of math rock to keyboards, in Gentle Giant style, followed by a more relaxed singing. Then comes another variation, with an almost operatic Italian singing (Renato Manzi sings: O mia amata, mia amata, vita, dolce vita etc.: "my beloved, beloved, life, sweet life") that stands out on a musical crescendo. Perhaps this central section is the best piece of the whole album. Then comes the initial sustained rhythm, complete with bells and church organ. Surely Wobbler know how to use all the tricks of the trade to load the music. Last two minutes forced. Mini suites of high value, where the desire to amaze and make noise ruin partly the result achieved in the less overproduced pieces. Vote 8+.

"Foxlight", almost 13 and a half minutes, opens acoustically, with an acoustic guitar phrasing that drags the same for 4 minutes: extremely repetitive (it recall "Cinema Show" by Genesis), almost boring, if it were not for the creative arrangement (flute, glockenspiel) on the edge. The doubled voice, in a sharp crescendo, is reminiscent of Yes (Jon Anderson). The song overlaps, becomes more voices, it seems almost a counterpoint, until an acoustic piece arrives with the harpsichord, jazzed, but the phrase on the guitar is always the same... Unfortunately, what is missing in these suites to make them really great is the melody: if there was a beautiful, clear melody! But there is not. And this lack seems to be covered by the sumptuousness and the richness of the arrangement. After 10 minutes, the song seems to end, goes into fading, but then resumes singing, again Renaissance music (Gentle Giant reminescent?), and finally we hear a music moving in unison, aimed at marking the same melodic verses, and also we hear the electric guitar, little present in the album. The song tries to bring back the renaissance melody, that could have written Angelo Branduardi, Italian bard. Great ending, Genesis style, or Yes style. Vote 8+.

I find many similarities, in terms of merits and defects, between this album and that of "Al Traps On Earth" (A Drop of Light): much grandeur in the arrangements, saturated sound, hyperproduct, refinement in the musical composition, excellent performance, but also poor melodic content, will to exasperate the creativity of the arrangements to achieve a sensational sound in order to hide the lack of limpidly noticeable moments, which don't need grandeur to be overwhelming or full of pathos. I reserve myself to listen to this album several times and even change my mind, but at the moment, although I see a work of extreme value in it, I don't see a masterpiece, from the point of view of pure musical inspiration. Maybe his quality is slightly higher than A Drop of Light, just enough to reach (slightly) in my personal ranking, 4 stars. In fact, Four stars, in my ranking, starts with the vote 8+ (Five Stars: since 9 to 10).

Vote album: 8+. Four Stars.

 From Silence To Somewhere by WOBBLER album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.42 | 509 ratings

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From Silence To Somewhere
Wobbler Symphonic Prog

Review by ZappaBowie

3 stars I have not really dug into Wobbler until recently. I knew there was strong neo vibe to it. What began to interest me was the well textured arrangements and general good quality of performance as I began listening to "Rites At Dawn" (2011) . I found myself being drawn into the songwriting. However, as I checked out the reviews on this site I noticed that this more recent 2018 release was actually rated their best so I decided to give a listen. Wow, was I let down. Of epic length, the first track disappointed with a string of prog-cliche grooves and textures with no compelling song structure. It felt like a flea market sale of assorted proggy grooves indulged by the band. A nice little song at the end is fine but chop 2/3 - 3/4 of this away I say.

Tune #2 starts off simply enough but this dirge-like idea is a bit overused and is kind of like a spooky wallpaper in an old house, but short and sweet. No harm, no foul.

#3 An in-your-face aggressive song. However, band drowns out vocal which I lyrically I cannot understand simply by listening. Weird that this piece is so dramatic without a good setup. Nice section at 2;10. Would have been more compelling if tune began this way. It would draw in listener more. I like this section very much. 4 star section. As it unfolds I wish for more play of densities within the arrangement, but it's not bad. Next section suffers from less- than-creative choices of sounds. If this section developed textures from the 2nd section at 2:10 ..... To be fair, they eventually get into this a bit around 6:00. Here again, vocals aren't mixed clearly or upfront enough. Keyboards in general are too heavy and smother the timbres of vocals. Finally, sonic relief at 8:00.

Wobbler needs to find new ways to present their grooves and perhaps consciously do the exact opposite of what their initial instincts are at the time. It sounds like choices are made somewhat out of habit and this really whitewashes the creative textures.

#4 Haven't I heard this kind of gentle, friendly, warm guitar arpeggiation a million times? Surely it can be done differently. Flutes, bell-like percussion, guitar squeaks, etc. I think what kills it for me is the guitar part just not played musically enough. It would be interesting to cut out half its notes and bleed it more with the background which isn't bad. (Actually I could see this being the beginning to the 2nd section of the prior tune). Anyway, at the 4:00 mark we get the obligatory heavy progband sledge hammering of simple chord grooves....then, vocals over a too heavy background. A few less notes per player I suggest.

As I often find Prog bands aren't great at handling the weight and color of textures. A shame because often there are some nice structures that just need better and more diverse choices of sounds and nuanced choices of notes. More pruning and shaping, more diversity in texture and timbre is needed.

Don't get me wrong. Wobbler has a nice sound and I will go back to other material in hopes of what I initially sensed with "Rites". But I think reviewers on this site are a little too kind.

 From Silence To Somewhere by WOBBLER album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.42 | 509 ratings

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From Silence To Somewhere
Wobbler Symphonic Prog

Review by Egyptianprog-Fahmy

5 stars 4.7/5 Wobbler's best work,this album was an adventure to listen to from start to finish. The 1st self titled song kept me on edges when it was supposed to and calmed me in other parts. The guitars were a piece of work, the bass melodic and punchy, the drums were just crazy. Not to mention the woodwinds and flutes that were extremely peaceful and provided necessary atmospheric sound. All the tracklists share a same vision of the first one. My only complaints would be some of the vocals that needed to be either included more in parts, or completely removed from other parts.
 From Silence To Somewhere by WOBBLER album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.42 | 509 ratings

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From Silence To Somewhere
Wobbler Symphonic Prog

Review by Kingsnake

5 stars 2017 turned out to be great prog-year.

After all the violence of progmetal and overabundance of neoprog and the tsunami of Porcupine Tree/Radiohead-wannabes it's refreshing to hear bands focus on the more instrumental, folky, jazzy, medieval, symphonic side of progrock.

I knew Wobbler of their former release, and that one was already dear to me. Now unto this new release;

Four long tracks wich sound organic and not once too pretentious. The instrumentation is tastefull, the dynamics are just right. Heavy parts and softer parts seemlessly flowing into one another.

The vocals are just right aswell. Reminds me of Anekdoten, but Wobbler is less heavy and more symphonic. I love the flute (finally the flute is back in symphonic rock) and the mellotron, wich gives it that special 70's vibe.

The music harks back to the days of Genesis, Gentle Giant (victorian vocal-parts), Camel (flute), King Crimson (mellotron) and has a kind of canterbury-feel to it.

This record is strongly recommended to anyone who wants to step in a timemachine an go back to the years of 1970-1974.

 From Silence To Somewhere by WOBBLER album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.42 | 509 ratings

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From Silence To Somewhere
Wobbler Symphonic Prog

Review by DamoXt7942
Forum & Site Admin Group Avant/Cross/Neo/Post Teams

4 stars Let me say, the newest album by a Norwegian progressive rock star combo WOBBLER has established another symphonic world view, with colourful, kaleidoscopic, complexly convoluting sound revolution via the longest titled suite.

Like Yes in their golden years, the quintet can squeeze their skillful play and incredible technique directly into our brain as sort of a melodically / rhythmically acceptable structure 'regardless of complicated sound formation'. This undoubtful matter can be heard for everything in the tilted track. Even under multirhythmic and melancholic concordance, we should not pay massive attention to analyzing their material at all, but only listen with leaving ourselves for the melodic stream.

The track can be divided in three pieces approximately, and there are some points we should listen to carefully. In an apparent manner they attractively use melodic / rhythmic potentiality and intonation. The last moment of the first part, full of dramatic melody lines featuring flute, gentle synthesizer, or acoustic guitar sounds, should move our mind obviously ... sounds like a French symphonic legend Ange. And the middle part is kinda giant, flooded with ethnic, oriental religious mysticism produced fully with Lars' terrific, enthusiastic keyboard works. Forgive my personal feeling but a progressive rock fan from Japan has completely got immersed in this part, and not helped assuming the ethnicity might exist upon the Norwegian land. 20 minute via this track is not long nor lengthy but is perfectly condensed with their activated sound motivation and variation.

Quite a few progressive rock fans might have noticed King Crimson-like heavy symphonic tendency blended with old-fashioned keyboard works via the third track "Fermented Hours", quite inspirational and highly energetic one. The shortest track "Rendered In Shades Of Green" is like a day-off when we can take a safe and sound breath, and another fantastic one drenched in mellotron comfort. And in the last piece "Foxlight" pretty addictive are harpsichord (keyboard) works in the middle part, absorbing the audience into heavily psychic but soft, smooth acoustic atmosphere.

In conclusion, they and their important cornerstone released in 2017 should not fall short of the expectations of the audience. This would be another brilliant credential in the progressive rock scene.

 From Silence To Somewhere by WOBBLER album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.42 | 509 ratings

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From Silence To Somewhere
Wobbler Symphonic Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Imagine Jon Anderson in his prime jamming with Genesis, with medieval harmonies suggested by Gentle Giant and an overall pastoral atmosphere suggested by a mashup of peak Gryphon, Genesis' own Trespass and Anthony Phillips' Geese and the Ghost (with energetic outbursts here and there inspired by a few spins of ELP's debut) - then imagine Anglagard and Landberk getting together to produce a cover version that blows the original out of the water. Then imagine Wobbler came along - six years after their Yes-esque Rites at Dawn - and went "pffft, hold my beer and let me show you how this is done *properly*".

If you can hold all that in your head, you might have something appropriate expectations for this release, and for many prog fans the actual album will exceed them. When it comes to modern expressions of classic 1970s prog approaches and that medieval, pastoral style that a certain subset of the original prog bands grasped at occasionally, From Silence to Somewhere doesn't just nail it, it constructs the whole darn carpenter's shop. The major caveat I would add is that once you have listened to this, great swathes of retro-prog bands will seem tepid and flavourless in comparison - you need to be prepared to assess the rest of your prog collection in a whole new light after listening to this one.

 From Silence To Somewhere by WOBBLER album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.42 | 509 ratings

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From Silence To Somewhere
Wobbler Symphonic Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

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A teneris unguiculis

From tender little nails, from the earliest childhood

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As the golden age of progressive rock gradually weakened under the weight of its own agglutinating overindulgence thus rendering an alienation of the uninitiated as it ballooned into unthinkable complexities, the musical genre was banished to the underground during the course of the ensuing decades as simpler musical expressions usurped its initial popularity. Despite this great fall from grace, there has always been a steady stream of artists who have never broken their fixed gaze on the pinnacle of the compositional fortitude that was seemingly beamed down from the heaven's for a small span of time from the latter years of the 60s to the midpoint of the 70s. Throughout the flow of time that has elapsed ever since, there has been a small but dedicated following whose sights have not been set on creating newer more contemporary forms of cutting edge progressive music that seeks to eschew the curricular guide of the past masters but rather have had their sight secured on the Holy Grail of prog from the era that provided a hitherto unexperienced syncretism of musical genres with the mission of expanding the pop and blues oriented rock universe into the new realms fortified with Western classical, psychedelia, folk, jazz and beyond. Such results yielded a big bang of creative and expressive albums that have hardly been matched yet a few ambitious artists have taken it as their mission to revisit the past and ever since have tried to replicate its majesty in all its splendiferous glory.

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A fonte puro pura defluit aqua

From a clear spring clear water flows

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Once upon a time near the town of Hønefoss, Norway, the industrial hub of the Østlandet region of the country, not too overly far from Oslo, the small city of 14 thousand plus residents wasn't exactly famous for exporting progressive rock classics to the world but rather more known on the world's stage for its Olympic gold medalists and enthusiast ski jumpers. However in the midst of whispers of the frigid white winters were progressive rock dreams thawing near the fireplaces and sweated out in the saunas were unfolding far from the English countryside from whence they spawned decades prior, the band known as WOBBLER was born in 1999 when Kristian Karl Hultgren, Lars Fredrik Frøislie and Martin Nordrum Kneppen discovered they shared the same burning passion for all things progressive rock that were heard in the bands before their time and became obsessed with emulating the very progressive prowess of bands like PFM, King Crimson, Gentle Giant, Yes, ELP and so forth. Staying true to the sounds of their heroes, they implemented all the expected characteristics of era specific prog with healthy doses of mellotron, hammond organ, minimoog, rhodes, clarinet, ARP, piano and harpsichord fortified with healthy time signature rich guitar riffing, Rickenbacker bass lines and complex compositional arrangements. The band caught the world's attention with their debut album "Hinterland" which utilized all the techniques and trademark styles of the musical maestros but somehow, something wasn't quite complete. Despite all their efforts they hadn't seemed to have gone that extra mile to completely separate themselves from the legions of retro prog worshippers who were growing and multiplying every single day seemingly like cane toads in the Australian outback. However something special was gestating. The question would be only if it was allowed to express itself in time before it would become suffocated in its nascency.

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Materiam superabat opus

The workmanship was better than the subject matter.

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While "Hinterland" set the tone and cemented the band's unique spin on the golden age of symphonic prog properly seasoned with the eclectic influences of the entire prog universe, WOBBLER appeared to be going through the motions on their next two releases. While "Afterglow" showed even more development in their retro prog approach and compositional development, "Rites At Dawn" sounded more like a band that had peaked and was on the way down rather having the mojo to pull off anything far more visionary and grander in scope as it sputtered along in a seemingly endless Yes mode with every prog check list accounted for to maximize retro appeal. While brilliantly performed, the compositions just didn't feel like they had their own soul and the end result found "Rites Of Dawn" feeling somewhat hollow despite the Herculean instrumental workouts performed at every single cadence and crescendo.

Something seemed amiss and hunches are that the band themselves could sense the stagnation as they hesitated for several years before they would initiate any thoughts of a followup album. As the years passed, WOBBLER became ever more inspired by the spirit of what made the retro prog they were trying to copy. The spirit of grandiose inspiration had finally hit them and in a profound way. After six long years of self reflection, healthy work habits and reinventing the wheel in order to suit their needs, WOBBLER emerged at long last in 2017 with their not so anticipated fourth album FROM SILENCE TO SOMEWHERE. This sounds like WOBBLER but something had changed. No longer did the band sound like they were desperately seeking to become the heroes of prog greatness. Suddenly they sounded like they themselves were admitted to the very club that so many have tried in vein to replicate with few capable of grasping their lofty visions turned to dust. Even upon first glance of the cover illustration from the Cabala's esoteric texts there is an insinuating feeling that there's a King Crimson "Larks' Tongue In Aspic" connection in either complexity or magnitude. And after an initial listen, it was apparent that this will be one of those albums that requires some time to investigate.

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Mutatis mutandis

The things that ought to have changed having been changed with the necessary substitutions having been made

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Against all odds and to the amazement of prog fans of planet Earth, WOBBLER delivers one of the least anticipated albums of the year and dazzles the listener with the aura of an instant classic. Perhaps it was the ghost of Chris Squire who was not ready to leave this dimensional plane and decided to create his own astral plane version of American Idol where he could personally choose a successor to the giants of the past. Perhaps he chose WOBBLER who had already come a long way in the prog world and simply needed that extra spark of divine mojo to fully ignite their compositions in a way that only come from higher planes of reality. Perhaps they won the inspirational lottery. Perhaps. However unexplainable these things may seem, it matters not for WOBBLER clearly had something going for them and with FROM SILENCE TO SOMEWHERE they indeed have climbed their way into the top ranks of the progressive rock high arts that not only worships the heroes of the past with all the appropriate boxes checked, but infuses a whole new updated spirit to this creative fusion and delivers one of the absolute best albums of 2017. While instantly addictive with rich melodies and driving dynamics ranging from contemplative pastoral symphonic segments to hard rock riffs, like any classic prog album invites the listener to dig deeper and settle into a new musical world that only becomes more comfortable after each experience.

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Contra felicem vix deus vires habet

Against a lucky man a god scarcely has power

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FROM SILENCE TO SOMEWHERE contains a mere four tracks with the second "Rendered In Shades Of Green" serving merely as a two minute intermission between the twenty one minute opener and the two final tracks.

The opening title track immediately sets off an air of epic proportion as a synthesizer eerily enters the soundscape and ushers in a rock guitar riff and followed by mellotron and keyboard rich atmospheric buildup that continues to grow immediately bringing the classic opening sequence of Yes' "Close To The Edge" to mind as it delivers a moog rich jamming session as the Rickenbacker bass line and guitar riffs conspire to create munificent melodies until after a few minutes things calm down and a slow and haunting melody replaces the raucous roar with a theremin type tone reminding of the sequence of Rush's "Xanadu" that serves as a bridge between segments.

The melody established remains the backbone of the track henceforth and variations seem to revolve around this single catchy hook alone. In comes the poetic lyrics finding a major improvement in Andreas Prestmo's vocals which grace the epic aura even further into magical territories for let's face it: music of this magnitude demands a skilled vocalist and i would testify that Prestmo's vocals are the make it or break it element of this whole album's success.

Close to eight minutes the eerie slow lyric driven pastoral segment breaks into heavy keyboard rich rock with Steve Howe inspired guitar riffs, Keith ELP derived keyboard runs and expansive melodic developments. After nine and a half minutes, the style shifts again and creates and arpeggiated guitar segment with heavy bass and drum accompaniment that goes down a strange road of changes as the guitar driven segment gives license for a free-for-all jamming session where the keys and guitars take turns going wild around the melody.

About twelve and a half minutes in, the melody changes again and becomes less folk oriented and more melodic rock dominated with guitar licks and fuzz-fed riffing playing around while atmospheric keys churn out heavenly counterpoint melodies. Silence hits after fourteen minutes and as Prestmo vocalizes the melody before a pastoral folky segment streams on as the complex melodic shifts that are interrelated never once sound out of place and the beginning vocal section regains its hold only Prestmo's vocals are warmed up now and goes for it and hits the next logical notes higher on the register. There is more instrumental gusto this time around and the band erupts into a heavy bass driven groove rock with the expected mellotron drenched atmospheric drama alongside.

At eighteen and half minutes in the pastoral segment reprises as Prestmo sings his heart out while slowly winding down the momentum as the percussion has died and a medieval flugelhorn type of riff is heard bringing a medieval folk funeral to mind or something equally as somber until finally the long and winding road down the track ends and only contemplation and the desire to hear it again rings in my ear.

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Tu ne cede malis sed contra audentior ito

Yield not to misfortunes, but advance all the more boldly against them

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"Rendered In Shades Of Green" is nothing more than a short classical piano piece that is slow and sombre with a touch of mellotron echoes behind it. A violin and viola enter and add a sense of deepening dread and urgency as if a great friend has died and a battle for the kingdom is to come. Very epic soundtrack sounding as this one but bridges two distinct halves of the album.

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Homo doctus is se semper divitias habet

A learned man always has wealth within himself

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"Fermented Hours" is the heavy rocker of the album. Although it begins with a keyboard cry that sounds like no other once the heavy rock hits, it sounds like a mix of Steve Hillage's "Fish Rising" in hypnotic guitar riffing with the extra heft of the heavier era of Porcupine Tree. As the riffs are cranked up the keys add their own ferocity but alternates with a slow spoken word part that adds an interesting contrast but slightly over the two minute mark the heavy rock ends and a slinky key and bass exchange that sound like a TV series soundtrack of the 60s bounces around for a while as Prestmo is allowed to recite his lyrics without shouting over the heavier din aspects of the track. His vocal counterpoints bring back the folkier feel of the track as symphonic mellotrons frost the horizon.

A slight calm eventually allows another recitation in Italian to usher in a heavy instrumental workout where all the cast members are allowed to jam on for a while and play off each other while the vocals join in singing about barley and esoteric symbolism and such but at six and a half minutes the guitar riff changes as it provides an anchor for the more extensive jamming segment and changes the melody that builds up more tension that leads to a very Yes sounding segment once again reminding me of key transitional points on "Close To The Edge," however nothing remains long on FROM SILENCE TO SOMEWHERE and the band slowly inches their way back to the opening melodic heft of the heavy rock only with a sizzling guitar solo and extra oomf. As the track ends it builds and builds and builds until it collapses under its own reckless abandon. Way cool.

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Horas non numero nisi serenas

I count only the bright hours

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With a title like "Foxlight," how can one not immediately conjure up images of Genesis' "Foxtrot" album. Just like when you're told not to think of an elephant, well, what do you think of? This track indeed starts off like a classic prog era Genesis track with calm bucolic guitar arpeggios, flittering flute runs that sound like bird wings flapping in the breeze as Prestmo augments the melody with intermittent vocals. The flutes give it away as they slowly intensify and the keys follow suite by creating more vigorous waves of notes sway in classical piano style with touches of jazzy overtones. When it seems like the track is set on autopilot at over three and a half minutes in, a sudden burst of energy occurs and a guitar driven prog riffs with a melodic yet time signature riff leads the way. Instead of changing things up totally, the track builds upon what came before. The main theme breaks for some guitar riffs with extra gusto as well as flute solos. After six minutes the main riff slows down as the instruments play polyrhythms with each keeping different times and a bizarre tension is created in the process but once again Prestmo is the glue with his outstanding never-miss-a- beat vocal delivery.

At over ten minutes in, the vague atmospheric scatterings of the instruments unite to create a final rock intensive melodic outro which plays off the main melody which seems to tie the best aspects of Yes' virtuosity with Genesis symphonic style along with Gentle Giant type vocal polyphony, Tullish flute lines in more of a Comus type folk style. As the series of la la la la's build to end the track and album it all ends with a final bang and before you know it, it's all over leaving me wanting more but also leaving with a sense of leaving us hungry is the perfect strategy as WOBBLER realized the prog attention span has weakened over the decades and that the classic running time of a 70s album seems to scratch the itch without causing infection.

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Gratia placenti

For the sake of pleasing

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I can hear the skeptics opine of whether it is the case that we need to revisit the golden era of prog in 2017 when so many classics were delivered to our earthly plane during that unique historical era. The obsession for continuously striving to recreate the perfect synthesis of the golden era classics may indeed seem tantamount to reinventing the wheel and adding new artistic treads and bright shiny colors. It may even seem like an overindulgence in musical excess like a drug addict never finding that final fix that leaves him/her in blissful satisfaction however as the 21st century churns on after decades of experimental paths into the hitherto musically unknown, there is something very comforting about the divine balance of elements that occurred in the classics of the past that are becoming as timeless as the Cabalistic images that grace the cover of FROM SILENCE TO SOMEWHERE.

True, we may not need yet another prog reinterpretation of the past just like we didn't need one more beer at that party last Saturday night, however when a group of musicians is so utterly determined to take their passions to the ultimate heights of expression, then how can i fault them for doing what they love. After all, it's the results of the fruits of their labor that matter in the long run and in the case of FROM SILENCE TO SOMEWHERE, everything came together in an eerily majestic way, therefore after playing these over and over purposefully trying to pinpoint a single little peccadillo to tear it down to size, i in all honesty cannot detect a single flaw that inhibits my enjoyment and reverence towards the brilliant fusion of different classic albums of yester- millenium. WOBBLER have undoubtedly created one of the most satisfying progressive rock experiences of the year and possibly of the decade as they impeccably delivery the goods without missing a beat and all this comes after a third album that seemed to show the band waning instead of building up to such outstanding summits of eminence. Yes, indeed. A modern day prog classic with unlimited re-listening potential has been born. Hallelujah!

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