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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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WOBBLER discography


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

3.82 | 439 ratings
Hinterland
2005
3.83 | 386 ratings
Afterglow
2009
4.00 | 596 ratings
Rites at Dawn
2011
4.35 | 804 ratings
From Silence to Somewhere
2017
4.32 | 400 ratings
Dwellers of the Deep
2020

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)

4.90 | 10 ratings
Wobbler Box Set (Hinterland, Afterglow, Rites at Dawn)
2022

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

4.45 | 11 ratings
Wobbler (demo)
2003
4.38 | 13 ratings
Lá Bealtaine
2011
4.29 | 14 ratings
This Past Presence
2011
4.59 | 32 ratings
Five Rooms
2020
4.48 | 23 ratings
Naiad Dreams
2020

WOBBLER Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 From Silence to Somewhere by WOBBLER album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.35 | 804 ratings

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From Silence to Somewhere
Wobbler Symphonic Prog

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Review Nº 553

Wobbler is a progressive rock band which was born in Norway. Formed in 1999, in the small town Honefoss, in our days Wobbler is based in Oslo, the capital of their native country. Their sound is complex, well composed, with interesting melodies and with good roots in the classic symphonic progressive rock of the 70's. So, fans of the symphonic progressive rock with extensive use of vintage keyboards, such as Hammond, Moog and MiniMoog, in addition to rare instruments, such as harpsichord, dulcimer and glockenspiel, will be certainly familiar with Wobbler's ultra 70's sound.

Despite being clearly influenced by the most modern Scandinavian progressive rock, namely White Willow, Anglagard and Anekdoten, the Norwegians have always drawn their strength much more from the classic English and Italian prog crop, with clear influences from King Crimson, Genesis, Gentle Giant, Yes, Jethro Tull, Emerson Lake & Plamer, Premiata Forneria Marconi and Le Orme, as the fourth studio album masterfully attests, "From Silence To Somewhere".

So, "From Silence To Somewhere" is the fourth studio album of Wobbler and was released in 2017. The line up on the album is Andreas Wettergreen Stromman Prestmo (vocals, electric and acoustic guitars, glockenspiel, percussion, brass bell and children's toy), Geir Marius Bergom Halleland (backing vocals, 6 and 12 string acoustic and electric guitars), Lars Fredrik Froislie (backing vocals, Hammond C3, Mellotron, MiniMoog mod. D, Chamberlin, Hohner clavinet, Rhodes MkII, spinet, ARP Axxe/Pro Solist, Solina String Ensemble, Optigan, Wurlitzer 200, Marxophone and grand piano), Kristian Karl Hultgren (bass guitar, bass pedals and woodwinds) and Martin Nordrum Kneppen (drums and woodwinds). The album had also the participation of Renato Manzi (old man's voice), Ketil Vestrum Einarsen (flute) and Oystein Bech Gadmar (crumhorn).

The sound on "From Silence To Somewhere" is a bit more aggressive and somewhat darker than of their previous studio album "Rites At Dawn", released in 2011, and I think it sounds a bit more mature because of the more refined songwriting. Probably that is due to the new approach that Wobbler took when writing and recording this last album. Being much more of a band's product than its predecessors, I really think this quintet has clearly found a way to bring out the best in each other. The composition of this three-movement progressive symphony is absolutely perfect. It's consistent throughout, it has a couple of dramatic crescendos and uplifting de-crescendos, along with some wonderful twists and turns and wonderful arrangements that keep the piece endlessly interesting from the first to the last note.

The almost 21 minutes of the title track opens the album with some intensity and strength. As the best post- modern symphonic prog rock, Wobbler knows that can't waste the tradition. So, the excellence of the track comes from the fact that sometimes at the same time we witness the coexistence of various ways of performing the symphonic prog rock, something like thinking of Genesis, Jethro Tull, Emerson Lake & Palmer and several others. The flute lends a folk air for several minutes and right in the middle there is an experimental calm interlude of King Crimson. After a long emotional ride, it's necessary to downgrade and the mellow madrigal of "Rendered In Shades Of Green" that fulfills its function in its modest two minutes, before rushing into new electrifying sonic torrents. "Fermented Hours" opens in a psych way, with some vocals harmony from Yes and heavy guitar, appealing even for fans of Led Zeppelin or Black Sabbath. More or less correctly describes a track that intersperses those heavier prog moments with longer symphonic virtuous ones that bring to our memory some great keyboard work from Genesis, Emerson, Lake & Palmer and Premiata Forneria Marconi. The closing number of the album, of more than thirteen minutes is "Foxlight". It begins with another moment of relaxation for the listener to recover from the previous extravagance. But, it only lasts for about four minutes in a pastoral atmosphere, half heavenly, type Genesis. Then there is a bridge with a big intensity that brings us back to the high level drama of the symphonic prog tortuous and intricate. And in an instant the classic ends and closes the album.

Conclusion: The Norwegian musicians from Wobbler have released a retro prog album. Those who enjoy indulging in the sounds of the early 70's will be served the very best here. The music is varied, exciting, very melodic and manages to grab on you. Wobbler's fans will celebrate this album and so will most fans of the golden age of prog too. From a pure musical aspect, this album is simply brilliant. "From Silence To Somewhere" exceeds all expectations and has everything that detractors of the symphonic prog love to throw in the face of proud fans of the subgenre. Its formal rigor is such a size that it deserves to be enshrined in the rarefied pantheon reserved for works of the caliber of the great classics of the golden prog era, the 70's. "From Silence To Somewhere" is easily one of 2017's best progressive rock releases. Glorious stuff from top to bottom and is highly recommended. It seems that Wobbler has done it again.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Dwellers of the Deep by WOBBLER album cover Studio Album, 2020
4.32 | 400 ratings

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Dwellers of the Deep
Wobbler Symphonic Prog

Review by Antonio Giacomin

5 stars First time I was in touch with Wobbler sound was around 2010, with the album Hinterland. It was a good surprise, the guys were at least very competent, that was a at least three and for others four stars effort. It matches IMHO exactly the 3,82 rating it achieves in progarchives

The years have passed and it became clear Wobbler was growing in prog community. At that time my new heroes in the movement were Steven Wilson and Andy Tillison, but as much as there are loads of music from these musicians, I know there was need of attention to be direct to Wobbler music.

So I heard From Silence To Somewhere and Dwellers Of The Deep for many, many times, and there was no doubt the band deserves to be recognized to the point of acceptance they were.

Dwellers Of The Deep is a four songs and 45 minutes long album. I am not coherent about how long must an album last, in the beginning it is good to hear a short one because it is easier and faster to get to KNOW it. After that, when the album is really that good, I start missing more of that. This album does not differs a lot from Hinterland in a way Songs From The Wood differs from A Passion Play, their basic sound was already stablished. What increased was the QUALITY of their compositions, with melodies even more strong to our years.

By means of conclusion, Dwellers Of The Deep, as long as From Silence To Somewhere, are a strongly recommended albums, due to its musicianship, strong sense of melody or, in other words, its progressiveness. Five strong stars.

 From Silence to Somewhere by WOBBLER album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.35 | 804 ratings

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From Silence to Somewhere
Wobbler Symphonic Prog

Review by WJA-K

3 stars Wobbler, From Silence to Somewhere. Where to start? Well, I like it. A lot. Listening to this album is a treat.

But is this truly prog? Yes it is expanding on the works of the prog greats in the early seventies. But prog is pushing boundaries. Expanding on current sounds, exploring news grounds. Wobbler doesn't do this. Instead, they are celebrating the early seventies prog. Which I very much appreciate.

From Silence to Somewhere ? Has a bass reminiscent to Squire, keys that are very much Wakeman-esk, guitars that are sounding like Howe, a Tull-ish flute around minute 8.

The build-up of the epic is also reminiscent to Yes pieces like Close to the Edge with pieces of Thick as a Brick and other masterpieces. After eleven minutes starts an ELP section. Followed by Tull. At a certain point, around the 15- minute mark, I hear Crimson and Genesis influences.

The usage of instruments is very early 70-ish too. I hear an organ, a synth, mellotron, woodwinds, minimoog, Hammond. Everything we like from early 70's prog.

In the end, they crafted it into a cohesive and enjoyable whole. Nice. But not original at all. 9/10

Rendered in shades of green - Piano and mellotron. We prog adepts LOVE our mellotron! 7.5/10

Fermented Hours - Starts with a keyboard sequence that could come from ELP. Then it gets into motion resembling heavier works from acts like Crimson. But there's also some Yes to be heard there. When the pace slows down, we arrive at my favourite section. Very ELP-like, laded with Mellotron that is. But we also hear some Wakeman style keys. And more Yes, with the keyboard and guitar. And a voice reminiscent of Gabriel. In the end, I applaud the great musicianship and enjoyed the ride. But I still missed the emotional connection with the piece. 8/10

Foxlight ? Has a flute to start it off. Combined with early Crimson like melodies. Yes, there's a mellotron :-) The track uses many different time signatures and dynamics. It is a mishmash of styles that feels a bit flat to me. It gets very Yes-ish around 9 minutes, with a KC mellotron added. The end of the track has a Tull vibe, using instruments you would associate with acts like ELP and Yes. It doesn't do a lot to me either. 7.5/10

This album is very much looking in a rearview mirror, 45 years back. I love it. I like listening to it and I enjoy it. Wobbler masterfully crafted an album that combines all the great elements of Yes, Crimson, Genesis, ELP, Tull and more into one cohesive and delicious album. But is it a masterpiece in prog? Is it essential for any prog fan? Also if they have the entire collection of the early 70 greats? I don't think so.

I give it 3 stars.

 Dwellers of the Deep by WOBBLER album cover Studio Album, 2020
4.32 | 400 ratings

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Dwellers of the Deep
Wobbler Symphonic Prog

Review by ElChanclas

5 stars DOTD is The fifth studio album by Norway's #retroprog and #symphonicprog band #wobbler and was my point of entry to the band, thanks to an episode of album Review by YouTuber #petepardo of the #seaoftranquility channel. It is unquestionably an impressive piece of work and my favorite of the whole catalog, I have played this album in its entirety at least 30-35 times since tu first listen on 2021. Four incredible songs clocking slightly over 45mins that contain absolutely everything a symphonic #proghead would expect and like when searching for new challenging music, simply spectacular. By the Banks opens at full speed, the instrumentation is fenomenal, same with the vocals! Fat bass, minstrel instruments, frenetic and accurate drumming, flutes, keyboards, outstanding guitars? can't get enough of its melody and power, up and down, down and up, perfection! Five Rooms has a different mood to it, mellow start with keys and strings? Vocal harmonies that merge announcing another twisted crazy fast tempo that shows the listener how tight and virtuoso this rhythmic section is, Kneppen (drums) & Hultgren (bass), face melting playing! To discuss Frøislie's (keyboards) playing would need another review on It's own, and Halleland's guitars mandates further and further listens of the track, of the album! Magnificent modern prog. Naiad Dreams works like the antidote to such greatness and will prepare us for the epic closer track. Without further explanation, Naiad is the song that made me understand and acknowledge that the enchanted Norweian forests is a place I really like, I want to sleep there, eat there, drink there, etc., it's the track that got me into Norweian prog. Merry Macabre, now that's a whole diferente beast and it's exactly that, happy and dark. I just can't get surprised enough by Wobbler's musicianship and song crafting. They're are writing albums that will have a place in music history as the likes of their influences, no questions asked. The #yestheband #jethrotull #genesistheband #cameltheband #gentlegiant must and have to be immensely proud of what their classic work has influenced and deliver beyond their own music. Wobbler is authentic high quality music and not only within the prog genre or sub genres. Mandatory listen!
 From Silence to Somewhere by WOBBLER album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.35 | 804 ratings

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From Silence to Somewhere
Wobbler Symphonic Prog

Review by Nhelv

3 stars Way too comfortable.

If this albums quality was as high as the title-track's, I could understand giving it five stars. That is not the case. I can definitely see the effort put into this album, and it's for sure a very solid record, but not deserving of its score. Wobbler borrows a lot from Yes and, sometimes, King Crimson. Even the vocalist sounds a lot like Jon Anderson. Musicianship is top-notch for sure, and soloing works very well.

The first track and title-track is very good, and has one of the best instrumental sections I've heard in progressive rock, phenomenal track. Rendered In Shades Of Green is a nice short interlude. Fermented Hours is the second best from the track and it has a very fast pace, with a middle-eastern vibe. It has some slow sections around the middle. Foxlight is the last track and to be fair I found it to be disappointing, it feels long for the sake of being long and there really isn't too many memorable melodies (to put it nicely).

This is a good album, but far from a masterpiece. I appreciate the musicianship but to be fair it isn't enough to save how mediocre composition is (as some points). Three Stars. Good, but not essential.

 Dwellers of the Deep by WOBBLER album cover Studio Album, 2020
4.32 | 400 ratings

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Dwellers of the Deep
Wobbler Symphonic Prog

Review by patrishiou

5 stars I consider this the best progressive rock record in the last 10 years or so, it's just magical, every ounce of it makes it even more perfect. I really encourage anyone who likes 70's prog to take a listen to this beautiful piece, strongly inffluenced by YES with those major melodies and the vocals leading the songs.

Andreas' vocals are probably my favorite aspect from the album, I think it pushes the music together as a whole and makes everything super dynamic. Something worth to mention is that besides all the seventies inspiration found in their songs, there's something more to it, they're really unique, they have that scandinavian touch and knows pretty well how to produce some melancholy in the ambience too. Beautiful production by the way, really beautiful.

 From Silence to Somewhere by WOBBLER album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.35 | 804 ratings

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From Silence to Somewhere
Wobbler Symphonic Prog

Review by ElChanclas

5 stars I will openly agree with Mr. Prog Traveller, not only does the prog music crafted in Norway nowadays is outstanding, but also that Wobbler is topping that Iceberg, simply the best. Rites at Dawn, which review I already posted some time ago, initiated the must-own symphonic prog trilogy by Wobbler, a journey through excellence that finds its peak with From Silence to Somewhere. The epic title track opens the album with majesty, with that uplifting symphonic tempo provided by a jazzy "on steroids" rhythmic section and accompanied by atoned guitar licks and Hammond? did I already said majestic? Acoustic enchanting melodies arrive to let the unique sounding vocals to make their entrance, and little by little, in the most evident 70s fashion the drumming breaks silence and prog rock kicks in with flutes and everything, craziness making sense? and back to the woods with the enchanting melodies and vocals, and flutes again? Ian Anderson must love this band, what an accurate rendition to classic progressive rock, with that modern approach, bravo! But the best of all? it has only been 9 plus minutes, still 10 more minutes of genius to come! Furious drum and bass display, brutal mellotron and flute playing with a guitar tone that needs to be emulated for the rest of their recording career! It finally hit me, it did? I get it, I understand now why this album is considered by the rock community to be the best prog album of the entire 21st century, so far? arpeggios bring me back to the listening, still 5 more minutes to go and of course, back to the woods again but this time with the preceding feeling that its going to be the last time? this time. And everything that happened in the first 3/4 of the track they blend it together with such perfectionism that is inevitable to crave for a new listen once the total 20 plus minutes are over. Chapeau! Rendered in Shades of Green comes like a dark angel to allow the listener to recover from the intense display of power previously devoured. Fermented Hours abruptly interrupts the little calm we had and brings the tempo even a little bit higher than with the previous storm, I love the title? fermented hours, genius? and that guy Lars he is quite a fantastic player, his experimentation and layers of textures and sounds are impeccable and so well suited to the rest of the musical structure, magical. Gnocchi Gnosis! I think that besides the incredible music that is being played by these gifted human beings the lyrical content is also a highlight here? a recipe? unique and mystical ingredients and very specific cooking instructions and procedures? I cook for a living so I immensely love this song! "Oh, barley the food of gods and men alike, grind it to dust and mix it with beaten eggs and the salt from a toad" Then the old man, the same one that's cooking in his tower decides to speak Italian, and just after that symphonic madness strikes again and welcomes the grand finale for the track? still loving the guitar tone on this album, grandiose. And then comes Foxlight, kind of bringing us back to the woods, those woods from the title track, but it is dark this time, dark and different. Flutes, pianos, far and almost hidden vocals allow the beautiful instrumentation to gain traction and peacefully redirect the the melodies into a brighter fairy tale-like atmosphere?but not for long, because the riffing is back, the drums, the fat bass, mellotron, flutes, more atoned guitar licks (the tone?) and even some medieval folky episode that relieves the listener from the most complex 45-50secs of the entire album, genius chaos indeed! "When the foxlight shines and tries to lure me into the wild, my compass I must find within the palace of my mind. Tell me, what is really light? What is the essence of dark? Forever must I trust the journey of man" Even the initial darkness of the song (and the album) is replaced by spectacular multi instrumental battle, a battle where every single instrument is a winner and the outcome an insuperable one. I still owe Dwellers of the Deep (the last of the Trilogy and last studio album by the band as well) a proper review? but I can't be more emphatic when stating that I'm looking forward to many many future albums from Wobbler to come in the near future. The End
 Dwellers of the Deep by WOBBLER album cover Studio Album, 2020
4.32 | 400 ratings

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Dwellers of the Deep
Wobbler Symphonic Prog

Review by Argentinfonico

5 stars 1. By The Banks (4,5/5): Okey, because of the name and the album cover, I would never have expected such an instant start and potential. Wobbler is my favourite band at the moment. Their sound is so symphonic, so delicious and precise, that their albums seem like vintage works that have aged perfectly. I love the influence of Yes in this band, especially in the keyboards, the extended vocals and the lyrics. They sound similar, but not enough to overshadow any of their originality. The choral parts are the detail that definitely gives this song its essence. The guitar, halfway through the song, starts to have a definite punch with short but more than effective plucks, riffs and arrangements. The lyrics of this song are perfect: a miscellany of existentialism, mythologies and magical realism. All instruments are constantly involved, each one doing its job excellently. I must admit that, being a deep Yes fan, the Jon Anderson-influenced vocals (or with some resemblance) make me like the melody even more. Anyway, I judge impartially in my reviews, and I can assure you this piece is amazing.

2. Five Rooms (5/5): The most energetic song I've heard in recent times. Some melodies seem to be taken from Relayer or Fragile. The playing of each instrument is unexpectedly more fascinating than the performances of the former. The drums lead the way at almost every moment, changing the playing every second! The keyboard is so overwhelming and wonderful that I don't know what to say about it. They are just too fantastic scales to detail properly on the first play, and that's why I loved this song so quickly. Before it's over, I already know I'll be listening to this album many more times. I can't not give this song 5 stars. Symphonic rock at all times and at its best. Incredible work.

Naiad Dreams (3,5/5): After two songs with so much brilliance, logically there was going to come some short piece to relax the listener's ears for a few minutes. The song starts with just the guitar and a simple but beautiful melody. Then the other instruments are incorporated to make the arrangements more empyrean. "Sifting through the starlit night, I drink the moon god's tears". Wow, one of the best metaphors I've ever heard. I think the strongest point of this song is the lyrics, as it seems like that's where the harmonies genuinely come from (even before they start singing). The low point of the album, but not for that reason bad, as it is easier for complex compositions to shine if they are accompanied by a simple composition.

4. Merry Macabre (5/5): If there was any doubt that this album is based on the most important Greek figures, on the essential elements of the planet, on the deepest feelings of the human being and on the eternal care with a fundamental vision towards the future time, this song has cleared it up completely (of course that doubt was already cleared up, it's just a way of saying that in this song is where it stands out the most hahaha). This piece is so far up there that I don't know where to start. It has to be the best musical composition of 2020. There seems to be a lifetime of mysteries and higher connections in these 19 minutes. The melodies soar to a plane as yet unknown to the listener, where the instruments play magically with the perspective of the deity and the human limitations of the listener. The level of composition gives room to talk for hours about this, and that's why I think it's wrong to detail EVERYTHING that happens in a review as humble and simple as mine. Before listening to the album I already knew I was in for a masterpiece, as I had seen the ratings it received on this site and I had already listened to their magnificent album "From Silence To Somewhere", but I didn't imagine it would be so impressive. I can't decide between which of the two albums I like the most.... I think I have to listen to them many more times for that. This band is simply the best of the symphonic rock scene in the last 10 years.

The album is one of the greatest and most exquisite works of the 21st century, so it deserves 5 stars like the sun deserves the moon.

 Rites at Dawn by WOBBLER album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.00 | 596 ratings

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Rites at Dawn
Wobbler Symphonic Prog

Review by ElChanclas

4 stars I first heard of Wobbler around the end of 2020 thanks to Pete Pardo's amazing YT Chanel S.O.T. when their latest studio album Dwellers of the Deep was being reviewed and discussed. I looked up for it, listened to it and was immediately hooked. But digging into their catalog I came across their third studio Album Rites at Dawn and everything I already felt for the band and their music triplicated. I'm not a musical genius or anything and there's an overwhelming amount of classic music still unknown to my ears to call myself a critic? I just review for fun and to share what I think is good music and deserves public awareness? so I apologize in advance if my description of their sound si not accurate, bu here it goes? With a very distinctive Scandinavian sound, this wonderful Norwegian band sounds to me like Jethro Tull/Genesis in steroids, with YES-like vocals and Crimson-style harmonies resulting in just beautifulness and musical perfection. Lucid opens the album with a keyboard created ambient that rapidly immerses the listener into the music, short and straight forward building a bridge to the uptempo madness that Lá Bealtaine brings, with a very tight structure that somehow resembles the Close to the Edge atmosphere but in their own way, exceptionally executed guitar layers accompanying the masterful work of Lars Fredrik Frøislie who is, at least to my ears, an immensely talented musician "Old graces, yours the answers I seek. Oh, sisters, tell me, Oh, witches, thrown into the stream, Oh, sisters, hear me. Shapeshifters, coloured fish in my dream. Oh, sisters, lead me. Turn the day & lights. Whilst crossing through the tide" is just an example of the profound and magical lyrical content that the listener will encounter here.

In Orbit starts with a nice acoustic guitar passage that with help of the angelical vocal harmonies builds up into electric guitar and keyboard licks tandem before returning to a mellow vocal passage and back up again to symphonic progressive galore, 12 plus minutes of genius! And lets not forget to mention the rhythmic section which is simply outstanding and super tight! This Past Presence almost seems to bring the same formula as its predecesor with the acoustic intro, although flutes are finally brought to the table, but its really not the case, this piece is anthemic form the beginning, reminding me a little of Anekdoten at moments maybe because of the galactic and unearthly keyboard work which again its just magnificent throughout the whole album, a shorter song but not less memorable. Another short one (to their standards at least) A Faerie's Play plays more like a hit single, if that's something that can be considered done by such a band in such a genre, with a very distinguished sometimes Iimmi-Like guitar work that preciously entangles with the rest of the instruments which in this specific song are letting the six string showcase the most. And then The River, my favorite song from the album (maybe the most Tullish one), the one that made me put headphones on and dismembered the musical experience, simply perfection. All the elements previously mentioned are present and definitely upgraded, like if they wanted to bring everything to the table? acoustic, electric, fast and furious, slow and melodic, like an ode to Earth and nature and its importance in their synergy with humans "?You run wild and far, and by your banks we may find rest at last, our common life is all there is, your soul equals our reflections, constantly you drift past us. With us, beneath us, upstream, downstream?" impossible not to fall in love with its melodies and lyrics, energetically bright and brilliant, beautiful. Lucid Dreams closes the cycle returning all eras to the starting sonic ambience from the opening track but with the proper feel of a masterpiece fading, operatic, classical and magical. The End!

 Dwellers of the Deep by WOBBLER album cover Studio Album, 2020
4.32 | 400 ratings

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Dwellers of the Deep
Wobbler Symphonic Prog

Review by A Crimson Mellotron
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 'Dwellers of the Deep' is the fifth studio album by Norwegian retro-proggers Wobbler, released in 2020, some three years after their highly praised magnum opus of lush symphonic rock 'From Silence to Somewhere'. This record is hardly different - but why exactly? It is certainly the same style that they presented on the precedent album, focusing a tiny bit more on composition, making 'Dwellers' somehow more tight. However, this takes none of the enjoyment of the listening experience - the magnificent and largely lush retro prog sound, that also is the reason for many comparisons to Yes to be drawn, is still here, it is quite recognizable, and it is unsurprisingly the reason for which this mysterious Nordic band is so highly regarded.

No changes in the lineup means that the five members of Wobbler could focus on expanding their scope, and maybe stretching out a bit further the 70s symphonic prog sound they are going for (and successfully championing it!), so that they can simultaneously meet the high expectations after their 2017 work of grandiosity, and not make a repetitive sequel of it.

'Dwellers of the Deep' kicks off with the nearly 14-minute 'By the Banks' - the massive retro keyboard sound takes the listener on from the very first second of this record, just to introduce the rest of the band that go on to play another mind-wobbling instrumental introduction. This is a more dynamic number from the band, and a fantastic way to open the album.

After that comes the pretty perfect 8-minute song 'Five Rooms' - I am seriously doubtful whether they recorded this in 2020, or they went back in time, probably somewhere around 1972, and recorded this in the same studio where Yes were doing whatever they were doing back then. It is a gorgeous celebration of that old-school prog fiesta sound that we usually associate with Yes and Gentle Giant. At the same time, the attention to detail and the wacky shifts that the band does, reminds strongly of King Crimson and Änglagård. However, most importantly these guys remain Wobbler all the time, and I think that with the previous album and now this one, it can be safely stated that these Norwegians have pretty much nailed a recognizable sound of their own!

'Naiad Dreams' is a very gentle and almost entirely acoustic piece, representing the more lyrical and calmer side of Wobbler that goes on to introduce the big winner of the album - the 20-minute 'Merry Macabre'. This is an epic that is nothing like the epics that Wobbler's peers release these days, as it sounds pretty sinister, extravagant, and compelling, almost diverging from the uplifting tone of the rest of the album; divided into three parts, each of which seems to get darker and weirder, it is more than exciting to see the Norwegians in such light, and if I were to guess, this is a shade of their music they will continue to explore on future releases... hopefully!

All in all, 'Dwellers of the Deep' is an excellent album, another great achievement for Wobbler that will certainly age as one of the best moments in their discography; probably not as astoundingly lush and melancholic as its precedent, but nonetheless a very well-constructed album that makes perfects sense... well, probably not the mythological lyrics, but musically as a whole! A highly recommended band and album.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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