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Wobbler: Dwellers of the Deep

Over the course of five albums, Norway's Wobbler have become one of the must-hear bands on the modern progressive rock scene. Taking their cue from the early '70s prog scene, and specifically groups from Italy and Britain, Wobbler have developed a sound rich in analog keyboards, dramatic, epic songs, and an overall retro feel that has endeared them to genre fans from around the globe. Dwellers of the Deep is their latest opus for Karisma Records, containing just four new compositions, two massive epics and two shorter songs. The lineup of Wobbler consists of:


Kristian Karl Hultgren - bass, bass clarinet, bass recorder
Lars Fredrik Frøislie - keyboards, backing vocals
Martin Nordrum Kneppen - drums, percussion, recorder
Andreas Wettergreen Strømman Prestmo - lead vocals, guitar, glockenspiel, percussion
Geir Marius Bergom Halleland - lead guitar, backing vocals

While earlier albums were quite steeped in atmosphere and pastoral richness, Dwellers of the Deep sees the band moving into slightly more 'busier' compositions. Opening track "By the Banks" is a perfect example of this, as the band launch into plenty of acrobatic counterpoint and complex passages that wouldn't have sounded out of place on a classic Yes, King Crimson, or Gentle Giant album. In fact, Andreas' vocals here sound quite similar to Jon Anderson in spots, once again allowing that Yes influence become more apparent. Nimble guitar lines & riffs, Mellotron, Hammond, piano, and booming Rickenbacker bass all make an appearance on this tremendous track. "Five Rooms" follows, sumptuous organ & Mellotron waves float over muscular bass grooves, Mini Moog, and tasty guitar lines, lead & backing vocals expertly woven into this instrumentally rich song. Anglagard fans should take note of this gem! "Naiad Dreams" is where the band dip back into more pastoral folky prog realms, tender acoustic guitar, Mellotron, and flute providing a lush backdrop to some alluring vocals, and the album closes with the 19-minute "Merry Macabre", and gargantuan musical journey as only Wobbler can create. Raging Hammond organ and heavy guitar riffs spark the maelstrom, the band aggressively plowing through a Yes/Gentle Giant styled prog-rock barnburner, the keyboards of Frøislie the absolute star on this epic piece. It's haunting, it's symphonic, it's dramatic...it's WOBBLER!

Another studio album, another absolute winner from one of the best prog bands on the planet. If you are a genre lover, you absolutely need this album!


Track Listing
1. By the Banks 13:49
2. Five Rooms 08:27
3. Naiad Dreams 04:24
4. Merry Macabre 19:00

Added: November 22nd 2020
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Score:
Related Link: Band @ Bandcamp
Hits: 119
Language: english

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