They did it again!
Wobbler is still a young band, however they sound like they were on the musical scene for ages, because of the outstanding compositions they create, along with the high-quality performance of the musicians. Now in this past 2011 they released “Rites at Dawn” which is their third studio album so far, and a musical piece that challenges the big names of progressive rock. This album consists of seven compositions that make a total time of 45 minutes, divided in two short pieces, three mid-length ones and two epics.
The album opens with one of the short tracks. Almost two minutes in which “Lucid” shares a dreamy atmosphere. I imagine someone waking up, opening the eyes and see a new dawn. Later when everything is relaxed, a fast and busy day begins with “La Bealtaine”, where the already own Wobbler sound can be appreciated, with the great interaction between guitars and bass, accompanied by drums, voice and the prominent keyboards. Since this first longer song we can realize the complexity of their music, and the great musicianship of the members. I really love how they combine the instrumental passages with the vocal ones. Stunning!
“In Orbit” is one of the epics, with twelve minutes of first-class music. It starts with acoustic guitar, accompanied by a wonderful bassoon (congrats for adding this instrument) which produces a beautiful yet somber sound. A minute later we will listen to a drastic change in which all the musicians create complex, bombastic and vertiginous music that give as a result a very interesting passage. Another drastic change comes when the previous passage vanishes and a delicate vocal sound appears for some seconds, preparing the scene for guess what, another vertiginous change. The keyboard work is awesome during the whole track and album; the bass creates great melodies that do not sound ordinary or plain, following that complex spirit that Wobbler offers since their first album. There will be a moment in which Yes will come to your mind, I assume that classic band influenced them in a way, but it is worth clarifying that Wobbler is never a copycat band, never. Just listen to this wonderful and original song, so you will appreciate their own style.
“This Past Presence” has a mellow and pastoral sound at first. A laid back and peaceful sound where we can appreciate acoustic guitar, a delicate voice, flute and piano. But when you think the song will continue like this, it explodes all of a sudden creating that heavy symphonic tone they use to share. A series of mood and time changes will be found here, loyal at Wobbler’s style. “A Faerie’s Play” is like the second part of the previous track. The sound is pretty alike, with that lush mellotron accompanied by excellent guitar figures, the always imposing bass and of course, the top-notch drums. This song is simply amazing, it perfectly flows and offers us five minutes of pure heavy symphonic ala Wobbler prog. One of my favourite compositions!
A new element is added in “The River”, given the exquisite saxophone they implemented since the very first seconds. A vertiginous sound is shared here for the first minute and a half; later it slows down and creates a calmer rhythm that reminds me of some 70s acts such as Pavlov’s Dog (the music, not the voice, of course). Once again, the band put several jigsaws that together form the puzzle, each and every of them are essential to the success of the song. As I mentioned earlier, I love how they decide in which moments the voice enters and in which doesn’t, always in the precise moment. Here after four minutes we will listen to the probably most Yes-like sound in the whole album; later it slows down again, sax and acoustic guitar play for some seconds just before the music explodes once again. This is another excellent composition (which isn’t?).
Finally, this wonderful album finishes with “Lucid Dreams”, which is like the reprise of the first track, but this time with a glockenspiel playing. Now it is time to sleep, rest, relax and dream.
Wobbler strikes again with “Rites at Dawn”, an album that symphonic rock fans should not miss, but that is highly recommendable to any progressive rock aficionados.
2. La Bealtaine
3. In Orbit
4. This Past Presence
5. A Faerie’s Play
6. The River
7. Lucid Dreams
* Morten Andreas Eriksen – guitars
* Lars Fredrik Froislie – keyboards, marxophone, vocals
* Kristian Karl Hultgren – bass, saxaphone, glockenspiel
* Martin Nordrum Kneppen – drums, percussion
* Andreas Wettergreen Stromman Prestmo- vocals
* Ketil Vestrum Einarsen – flute
* Hanne Rekdal – bassoon