Wolverine is a Swedish based quintet that may well be the best offering from that country in the progressive metal class. These five Nordic lads deliver sheer raw emotion in their latest release “Communication Lost”. This is the fourth full length release and has been handled through Candlelight Records.
This album opens on a rather airy atmospheric level with ‘Downfall’. Slow narration, wind simulation, cello, backing choir, its all there building up a mountain of expectation that you don’t even know is there until the low end notes of the guitar and bass slip slightly in causing an rush of air out of your lungs. As the riffs pick up and the vocals of Stefan Zell come on this track, ‘Into The Great Nothing’, as a hurricane of raw emotion and power. Zell’s vocals performance is in perfect emotional step with the ebb and flow of the notes. The mesh of guitar riffs and notes, bass lines, percussion work is as good as any mesh of paints on a Van Gogh. This is easily one of the best tracks on the release.
Best tracks so early in the release certainly could spell danger. Fear not fellow listener, the tracks do not go downhill one iota. “Best” is a very subjective word and is preference on how a particular song speaks to you or rather how it hits your chest. ‘Your Favourite War’ lays to rest any concern that swirl of intensity will end as quickly as it started. The soulful solos that Mikael Zell lays down for this track are pure heart. There is not a note out of place anywhere in the solos, perfectly carved and preserved. This is not guitar or vocal driven music, each member at different times displays their respective wares for all to see. The track ‘Embrace’ is a fantastic display on drums for Marcus Losbjer. The momentum he creates in the opening bars is exhilarating. Complimenting this, members in turn add their layers until a full speed run is achieved. Not to leave out Thomas Jansson on bass, his best lines come in the title track deep in the release. It is Jansson that weaves complex layer after layer of notes with the others doing their best to keep up.
Wolverine has hit mountainous highs with “Communication Lost”. This album is built in a whirlwind of emotion with each of the members playing lead and understudy at all the right moments. This is most assuredly best enjoyed with headphones as they lend themselves to the complexity we are presented with. This may well be one of the best of progressive offerings of the year. This band has a message and it would do all of us to take time and decipher that message for ourselves.