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Reviews of "Still"

Discussion in 'Wolverine' started by Domine, May 17, 2006.

  1. Domine

    Domine Member

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    I thought we'd dedicate this thread to post all the reviews we find on "Still". Everyone is welcome to contribute. Don't be afraid to post the bad reviews you find as well. If you, once the album is out, want to post your own review of it please do so in another thread and let this thread contain only the "official" reviews. OK?

    To my knowledge there are no reviews written yet but hopefully they'll start to show up very soon.

    EDIT 2006-05-30 - I've deleted all the previous posts in tis thread just to clean up and have it only contain reviews. I hope tat's OK for everyone.
     
  2. Domine

    Domine Member

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    From: Progressiveworld.net
    Reviewed by: Scott "Random Axe" Pierce, May 2006

    If anyone has wondered where the emotional, cohesive musical structures of Parallels-era Fates Warning and the darkness of Evergrey have gone, they, in fact, gone to and stayed in Sweden and attached themselves to Wolverine, perhaps currently the best prog metal band from that country. With their fourth studio album entitled Still, all of the elements they have hinted at in their previous releases have come to fruition in this emotional and dark collection of songs that reflect the darkness of the human soul. More than anything, Wolverine has shown dark and evil themes in music do not have to be accompanied by incessant screaming or constant death growls.

    On the opening track, "A House Of Plague," the band throws down its progressive gauntlet in rather melodic fashion with its haunting, mid-tempo guitar/keyboard combination and some Empire-like Queensrÿchian vocal lines and chorus. This first song makes a bold statement about who the band is and what they stand for and is barely indicative of what's to come. They follow up with the second track, "Bleeding," which follows a different structure based on the multi layered vocals of Stefan Zell and is considerably more somber. The remainder of the album is filled with dynamic performances, both soft and heavy and equally emotive and moving. The standout song, though not my favorite, is "Sleepy Town," which has a distinct Depeche Mode or Cure feel to it.

    While this is, without doubt, a complete band and a combined effort from all members, this music is a perfect vehicle for Stefan Zell's vocals to shine. Much more than his clarity, pitch and tone, which are all superb, it's his sincerity that hits the hardest. With each word and with each note you feel the songs progress through the emotional valleys and peaks with his heartfelt and intensely personal performance. Guitarist Mikael Zell, not to be outdone by his brother, turns in an equally emotional performance with the varying themes and styles within Still. His ability to switch from heavy riffs to acoustic passages reminds one of Opeth and maybe Sieges Even, but on a more stable level. The flow of the songs is never broken by harsh time or key changes. Each track flows seamlessly and perfectly aided by new keyboardist Per Henriksson. While he shouldn't be called an atmospheric keyboard player, he does meld into the mix and provide an ambience without becoming a distraction. This is a lost keyboard art. He also adds some elegantly haunting piano accompaniment that accents lyrics and songs perfectly.

    With Still, Wolverine has firmly established itself among the industry's elite even if their worldwide exposure does not reflect this. They have managed to harness influences of some of the genre's greatest ever bands and turn them into their own unique sound and style and, in some instances, improve upon the original source material. The feelings you take away from Still are lasting and genuine. Many bands will attempt this kind of album and almost always will come up with something nothing more than superficial. Wolverine, however, penetrates the heart and mind and clutches the soul with its intimacy and passion. They have proven that sometimes the darkness can be beautiful.

    Rating: 5/5
     
  3. losbjer

    losbjer Stupid drummer

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  4. Domine

    Domine Member

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    From: MetalGlory.de

    Wolverine sind Neuland für mich, dabei gibt es die Band schon seit 1995, und sie hat es schon auf einige Veröffentlichungen gebracht. Ganz am Anfang zockten die Schweden noch Melodic Death Metal, doch diese Einflüsse sind heuer nicht einmal mehr zu erahnen, denn purer als hier vermag Progrock (kein Metal!) kaum zu klingen. Neue Grenzen werden keine ausgelotet, stattdessen gibt es das übliche Genremenü, bestehend aus mehr oder minder vertrackten Songstrukturen, verträumten Akustikgitarren, fetteren E-Gitarren, hohen und cleanen Vocals und viel, viel Keyboards. Letztere gehen von Pianoklängen, über Kirchenorgelsounds bis hin zu Streichersamples. Mit Tönen aus Ruhe bis hin zum Bombast werden verträumte und melancholische Soundlandschaften gemalt, die viel Sehnsucht ausdrücken. Die Stärke von Wolverine ist die Eingängigkeit. Alle Titel werden von einem glasklaren Sound getragen, und die schönen Melodien und Harmonien gehen direkt ins Ohr. Sänger Stefan Zell singt angenehm hell und kraftvoll. Die Band klingt tight und technisch versiert, wobei sie auf Gefrickel verzichtet. Alle Songs sind stimmig komponiert und Still ist insgesamt abwechslungsreich. So weit - so gut. Leider gibt es ein Manko: Es herrscht Beliebigkeit. Dem Bandsound fehlen die Innovationen. Alles klingt nach schon tausendmal gehörten Prog-Zitaten. Die einzigen Highlights sind das mit Programmings versehene "Sleepy Town" und der letzte Song, "And She Slowly Dies", der sehr bombastisch ist und über einen wunderbaren, stimmungsvollen Refrain verfügt. Aber selbst dieser wird durch eine zwar kurze, doch prägnante Queen-Reminiszenz geprägt; ärgerlich. Wolverine spielen ganz vorzüglichen Retro-Progrock mit viel Atmosphäre. Wer davon nicht genug bekommt, kann unbekümmert zuschlagen. Für eher avantgardistisch eingestellte Proggies bietet "Still" zu wenig. Wenn Wolverine ihre enormen Stärken zukünftig mal innovativer einsetzen würden, dann könnte es aber so richtig krachen. So bleibt "nur" eine gute CD, die keine tieferen Spuren hinterlassen dürfte.

    Rating: 7/10
     
  5. Lee_B

    Lee_B Readin' me posts are ya?

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    "Wolverine" and "still" is a bugger to Google for :)
     
  6. Domine

    Domine Member

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    Nearly impossible... :loco:
     
  7. Lee_B

    Lee_B Readin' me posts are ya?

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    KKKKK in today's Kerrang!!! Awesome review. Unfortunately it was accompanied by a picture of "The Window Purpose"... D'oh!

    7/10 in Metal Hammer. Talked more about King Crimson and the rise of prog than the actual album. Weird, but it ended with the word "Excellent" :)

    No scanner I'm afraid.
     
  8. Domine

    Domine Member

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    KKKKK is amazing! When I first heard the news I jumped up and down in pure joy. However, I was told we'd get 8/10 in Metal Hammer so that's somewhat of a disappointment. Well, well... you can't get it all I guess. :)
     
  9. Domine

    Domine Member

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    A rather interesting review but unfortunately not a very good one. I just don't understand why people don't realize that "Still" is our finest work to date. :) Anyway, here goes:

    ---------------

    From: DigitalMetal.com
    Reviewed by: Tim Dodd

    With their latest release Still, Wolverine continue both their ascendancy towards prog metal’s elite and a rescinding of their more metallic roots. A furthering of their unique mixture of highly charged yet tranquil music, this release can only add more ambivalence to Wolverine’s position in the metal world. No matter my preference against some of their more recent tendencies, Wolverine still has much to offer in spite of their style. Even as I pine for their more metallic days of old, hearing more and more sounds, structures, and ideas I normally distrust, this band continues to offer moments of intense emotion despite teetering upon disaster at times. The passion and originality of their music writing is undeniable, and for that alone they should be considered a bright spot in prog metal today.
    Like their last release, Wolverine’s third full-length has its fair share of slowed-down, tranquil, metal-less compositions. In addition, unfortunately there is no return to any death vocals to add some bite to their sound. Still does indeed offer Wolverine’s usual diverse songwriting, emotional singing, and mature sound however, but it is also missing memorable tracks with the exception of the album’s opener. “House of Plague,” is easily the most attractive, complete, and metallic song on the album, and it shows why my remorse at Wolverine’s move away from a harder sound is not simply for the sake of a harder sound. Stefan Zell’s emotional vocals, always a highlight of Wolverine, hold a special distinction and cut particularly well through a fuller, metallic sound. “House of Plague” again demonstrates this as his singing blends beautifully with the more electrically charged music behind him. The song also nicely mergers its energy with softer moments, proving that Wolverine are on top when they place their penchant for tranquility alongside harder, energetic music rather than having it stand alone. “Bleeding” and “And She Slowly Dies” also seek the usually successful blend of energy and tranquility, but are simply not as strong as “House of Plague.” These tracks contrast strongly with “Taste of Sand,” “Nothing More,” and “Hiding” which are laid back from beginning to end. All three tracks are average in part when wearing your super-sogged sensitivity shoes, but downright cringing all other times even when not donning your black metal regalia. “Hiding” in fact seems to be an experiment mixing a slower version of Bruce Hornsby with a harder Air Supply. To quote a Dodge Hemi commercial, “That can’t be good.” Before you can dismiss the album however, “Sleepy Town” offers a dreamy, grooving drive deceptively attractive. The Outfield meeting Dido can hardly be considered metal, but that’s how it is with Wolverine. “Liar on the Mount” returns to more metallic moments, but its chuggy riffs, pseudo-Near Eastern leads, and numerous George Bush sound bites make it one of the least likeable on the album. “This Cold Heart of Mine” seems like a title from an earlier Wolverine album. With some of the heavier riffing and vocals on the album, a touch of Bee Gees’ flare, and some prog rock keyboards, this track somehow holds its eclectic maneuverings together. Unfortunately, the end product is only average. At album’s end, the music adds up to be Wolverine’s weakest album in my opinion. Continuing to chart their own way and create their own sound, Wolverine still offer one of the more introspective and concerned sounds in metal today however. Though I don’t favor their direction towards an entirely softer sound often devoid of traditional metal components, their talent and uniqueness has me looking forward to each album. With each release there are some songs I’d rather throw out to Main Street, yet other nearby tracks are distinct and imbued with a strength that comes from mature songwriting rather than blast beats. Though less on this album for me personally, passion and originality always creep in somewhere and keep me recommending Wolverine despite recognizing their sometimes shaky ground. Though their albums still seem to be under most fans’ radar, they strike me as works which I might pick up 20 years from now and appreciate even more. Whether now or in the future, The Window Purpose is still the first Wolverine I’ll reach for however. Still may be the most recent album, but it’s not the best.
     
  10. losbjer

    losbjer Stupid drummer

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  11. Lee_B

    Lee_B Readin' me posts are ya?

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    here's the Kerrang one:

    WOLVERINE - KKKKK in Kerrang!

    A NEW DIRECTION FOR THE PROG METAL OVERLORDS.
    Brace yourselves, one of the finest metal albums of 2006 just dropped. It isn't merely these Swedes' ability to combine their progressive death metal origins with sublime Pink Floyd-summoning sophistication. It's their apparent resolution to throw off the constraints of metal's well-worn paths and simultaneously transcend genre and expectations with one fell swoop of songwriting genuis. There's no shortage of technical mastery and supreme musicianship here. But it's Wolverine's ease at shifting from gorgeous melodies to righteous, body-moving stomps and expanses of throbbing, rhythmic hypnosis that makes "Still" such a stunner.

    Download: Bleeding, And She Slowly Dies
    For fans of: Opeth

    ALEXANDER MILAS, Kerrang!
     
  12. Domine

    Domine Member

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  13. losbjer

    losbjer Stupid drummer

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  14. Domine

    Domine Member

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  15. Domine

    Domine Member

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  16. Domine

    Domine Member

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  17. Domine

    Domine Member

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    http://www.the-pit.de/reviews/w/wolverine/cd/still/485/index.html

    Rating: 8,5/10

    I wonder why, with science as developed as it is today, there aren't any better translation tool than Babelfish on the web (maybe there is???)... The translated phrases are mind boggling... "Since the fate could not only volume yesterday already often be measured at the third album", "Straight one in the calm moments unfolds the very good mixes the plate" and so on... Pretty hilarious... He, he...
     
  18. Domine

    Domine Member

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  19. IOfTheStorm

    IOfTheStorm Gogol Bordello

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    The greek Metal Hammer gave an 8 1/2 out of 10, with some reaaally flattering comments.
     
  20. Domine

    Domine Member

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    Great! Thanks for letting us know! I'll actually be going to Greece in just three weeks from now so I'll try to pick a copy up while I'm there.
     

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