Soundchecks Music Reviews


Candlelight USA


review by Octavio Ramos Jr

With Still, Wolverine steps into the environs occupied by the likes of Opeth and Lacrimas Profundere, yet the band also brings with it elements of bands such as Dream Theatre and Queensryche. Yeah, there's a sense of melancholy on most of the tracks on Still, but there is also a sense of menace that hearkens to Operation: Mindcrime (most evident on Lair Of The Mount, which even has a quote from President George Bush) or Fates Warning's Disconnected.

Melody rules the day, with acoustic guitars interacting with gentle electric flourishes and piano accompaniment carried upon the vistas of keyboard washes. Vocalist of Stefan Zell brings with him a little of Geoff Tate, his voice powerful and somewhat vulnerable. Guitarist Mikael Zell walks a fine line between noodling and compositional prowess, and luckily he stays well within the latter - his acoustic work is subtle and mesmerising while his electric stings never overwhelm the songs. Keyboard player Per Henriksson stays in the shadows, emerging only to add emotional punch to the songs. Drummer Marcus Losbjer is a master of the gentle touch, his percussion eerily seductive, and bassist Thomas Jansson fills out the low end quite nicely.

Bordering the realm of progressive rock, Wolverine still retains some of its metal past, but progressive fans in general will not be bothered by petty labels. With the minimalist power of tracks such as Nothing More, fans will agree that Wolverine walks its own path, one lined with emotional depth and a most candid and heartfelt presentation.

Edited by Tony Lee
for PIGASUS Press