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Glorious Wolf - Zodiac CD (album) cover


Glorious Wolf


Crossover Prog

3.29 | 9 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars The first album Aquarius (2017) by Glorious Wolf -- the moniker of the Dutch multi-instrumentalist (primarily guitarist) Ruud Dielen -- was all instrumental, but this second release features vocals and lyrics of Oscar Anema on most of the nine tracks. I haven't listened to Aquarius. For those of you who have, the crucial question may be: do the vocals improve or ruin the music? Well, mr. Anema is a fairly good, slightly ballsy singer, and I always appreciate a mixture of instrumental and vocal-oriented prog, so I tend to believe it wasn't a bad move at all. Although if I had to pick my favourites from this album, the instrumental ones would probably be stronger in the competition.

The album's overall theme, or source of inspiration, is astrology. I guess most of the "Zodiac" titled albums (e.g. the one by Leif Strand) have the tracks named after the twelve signs of the zodiac. Gracefully that's not the case here, not another musical interpretation of the twelve personalities which is such a cliche. Anema's lyrics are at times pretty esoteric with planets and all, but also dealing with ordinary people and their everyday lives and struggles. The 11-minute opener 'Constellations' is a perfect example of the guitar-centred psychedelic flavour comparable to artists like Steve Hillage and his KHAN, or Jimi Hendrix. The second song has some mindblowing moments and very cool synth work; an excellent rocker with a strong progressive and psychedelic approach.

I don't like all of the vocal expressions on 'Zodiac' (at times Anema clearly imitates Jim Morrison), which would surely function well as an instrumental. There's a cover song included, 'Poets' by David Sylvian. I haven't heard the original and couldn't quickly find its origins, but this acoustically oriented version is great, and the spirit of Sylvian certainly is there. 'Feelin' Blue' is a slow bluesy song and resembles Pink Floyd, especially 'Shine on You Crazy Diamond'. Dielen's guitar style is notably influenced by David Gilmour. The three instrumentals are placed in the end -- tracks No. 6, 8 an 9. Perhaps one coming somewhere in the middle would have done good for the balance, but I do prefer the instrumental orientation in the end instead of coming earlier on the album. On 'For You and I' the powerful guitar soloing is very Santana-like.

Being bravely 64+ min. long, this album carries its length pretty well. There are no weak tracks, although the ultimate highlights aren't very numerous either. All in all, an enjoyable album with not necessarily a great deal of originality. My rating is 3 stars and I'm rounding it up, partly due to fine artwork of Ed Unitsky.

Matti | 4/5 |


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