Wolverine are a progressive rock band from Sweden. They started out as a melodic death metal act, but through the years they evolved to the progressive entity they are today. Their third album Still was released back in 2006. While listening to this record I can’t help feeling baffled about the lack of recognition for Wolverine from the general public.
Still has everything one could ask for in a progressive rock album. The song material is a very diverse and dynamic mix of harder compositions (A House Of Plagues, Bleeding) and more radio-friendly material (Nothing More, Sleepy Town). The latter songs are accessible, but luckily without the usual slick angle which plagues most pop music nowadays. Hiding is another beautiful example of the band’s song writing capabilities. It has the same delicate melancholy as Dream Theater’s Hollow Years and The Silent Man.
Liar On The Mount, This Cold Heart Of Mine and And She Slowly Dies are a bit firmer in character, but still maintain Wolverine’s knack for memorable hooks and the effective use of contrasts within their songs. The band know how to use their instruments, but they’re using their considerable skills only to emphasise certain parts. That’s something I find commendable. The icing on the cake are the soulful, yet powerful vocals by Stefan Zell.
The production of Still is skilfully handled by Oliver Philipps and Christian Moos of Everon fame. The sound is as crisp and clear as they come.
Like I said in the first paragraph I still can’t understand why this band doesn’t get the same level of appreciation and recognition as Riverside and Pain Of Salvation. They’re every bit as good. Still is one of the finest prog records released in 2006. It hasn’t lost anything of its potential and it’s still a very thrilling and satisfying listening experience by any standard.
Written by Raymond Westland