Wobbler - From Silence to Somewhere. 2017 Norway

For any number of legitimate reasons I can lay out, it wasn't until November that I heard my first new album of 2017. And that one album was Wobbler's 4th opus From Silence to Somewhere. But what a way to ring in the new year! 11 months belated perhaps, but it doesn't matter because I can say with a certain amount of confidence this will be album of the year for me. It's currently in the running for album of the decade. Of course not everyone will agree to such an assessment, but as I write this, it maintains the top spot on Gnosis, ProgArchives, and RYM (for the style progressive rock that is - only #42 overall, but impressive all the same). For the same reasons Anglagard finds themselves under the bus on occasion, so will Wobbler: It's an old sound brought forth. Oh my though - we're talking an album that goes toe to toe with the best of 1972. From Silence to Somewhere is Wobbler living up to their potential - and then some. I've been a fan since Hinterland first hit the shelves, and had no problem with its, and successor/predecessor Afterglow, obvious Anglagard/Sinkadus worship. Wobbler took an odd turn on Rites of Dawn, circling The Yes Album wagon and draining it completely of all its assets. Though one can't blame the band for taking advantage of Andreas Wettergreen Strømman Prestmo's strong resemblance to Jon Anderson.

But what of From Silence to Somewhere? Well it's pretty much progressive rock perfection, that's what. I've stated this phrase before, but it bears repeating: If you find yourself not enjoying this album, then it's time to reassess your love of classic progressive rock. At a bare minimum I can say this as a matter of fact, rather than opinion: This is what I look for when hearing progressive rock. At this stage of my life, it's rare I want to hear an album more than 2 times straight before moving on to the next one in the stack. With From Silence to Somewhere, it's all I wanted to hear for days on end. I came back to it in the same way I would revisit Close to the Edge as a young teenager. Each time the album would reveal more about itself. Like a John Le Carre novel, it twists and turns in various directions, keeping you guessing even though you already know the outcome. And the sound is so perfect. Thick and wedgy and luscious. You just want to bathe in it.

The 21 minute title track and the closer 'Foxlight' are just merely great. But it's within the depths of the album you find the 2 gems that are lifetime achievements. The moody introspective 'Rendered in Shades of Green' is the definition of a piano and mellotron soaked instrumental. The melancholic feel of a misty windswept Scottish countryside. Then blasting out of the gates comes the piece de resistance 'Fermented Hours' sounding every bit like Il Balletto di Bronzo tackling 'Gates of Delirium'. Every metal band worth their leather strap would love to create this kind of intensity, and yet it's done through an obvious progressive rock lens. Breathtaking.

After the album is finished, there's only one thing left to do. Hit Play again. And again.

Personal collection
CD: 2017 Karisma

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