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Wolverine: The Window Purpose

The latest release from European prog-metal band Wolverine takes the band towards a more melodic path that is firmly in the style of bands like Dream Theater and Shadow Gallery. The bands harsher vocals have been greatly toned down here, and the rich and powerful lungs of singer Stefan Zell are on full display, soaring above some tasty and complex prog-metal arrangments.

After a brief intrumental interlude, the opening song "My Room" is a fantastic lead-in to a very strong album. The band mixes heavy, complex guitar riffs, symphonic keyboards that have a vintage sound, and the soaring vocals of Zell. His voice has a slight Geoff Tate tone, and his range is quite impressive. On this opening track he goes from tender, quiet moments to majestic hi-pitched wails that are always on target. "His Cold Touch" is a near ten-minute epic that once again highlights the skills of Zell, who picks up momentum with his bandmates as the track slowly builds from mellow beginnings to bombastic intensity. Fans of Operation Mindcrime by Queensyche will love this track. The deft guitar skills of Mikael Zell are on display in the brief instrumental "...", before giving way to the rich sounds of "Leaving Yesterday", a melodic and mature piece that tells a tale of eternal love (and also features some fine female backing vocals.) The band kicks into some complex riff-o-rama on the heavy "Towards Loss", which shows the formidable rhythms of Marcus Losbjer on drums. The death growls of Losbjer also make a brief appearance during the chorus, and thankfully they are brief. The bands most obvious homage to Dream Theater is the inspired "The Storm Inside", a tale of personal demons, that features great keyboards and complex guitar work. Once again the vocals (and bass work) of Zell are wonderful, perfectly telling the story of angst and frustration. "Coma" is another heavy tune, and while a good vehicle for guitarist Zell, features more death growls from Losbjer. Even though Wolverine's earlier material showcased this style of singing, it doesn't quite fit with their more melodic style here. After the lovely instrumental "Release", which again is a display for Zell's acoustic playing, as well as soft piano work from keyboard player Andreas Baglien, the album ends with "Post Life." This is a nice mellow tune, sad and somber, but a great way to end a furious album.

Wolverine are on their way to jump to the top of the prog-metal ladder with The Window Purpose. It's worth mentioning as well the neat marketing idea they have come up with-the CD jewel case is sort of a box/window shaped design, which helps this release stand out even more from the competition.

Added: June 15th 2002
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: DVS Records
Hits: 4221
Language: english

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