Thursday, September 22, 2016

WOLVERINE: "Machina Viva"

Rating: RRRR
Label: Sensory Records
Review by Martien Koolen

Fifteen years ago I reviewed the first full length album of Wolverine for the notorious Aardschok magazine and maybe due to my review The Window Purpose was awarded Album Of The Month in Aardschok December magazine's issue of 2001. Wolverine's last album, released in 2011, was called Communication Lost, and it was an absolute master piece. Now 5 years later the Swedish prog rockers bring out their next studio album called Machina Viva. THis new amazing album contains 8 brand new songs and the focus in the tracks on Machina Viva clearly lies on melody and atmosphere. Just listen to the wonderful 14 minute epic opening track The Bedlam Overture and you will hear exactly what I mean. The Bedlam Overture is a magical musical prog rock ride with lots of melody, variety, beautiful vocal performance by Stefan Zell and breathtaking guitarmelodies and solos by Jonas Jonsson. Machina is a kind of experimental song, however with a great melody and Pile Of Ash is the quietest song of the album, featuring acoustic guitars and the "soft"voice of Zell. Our Long Goodbye is another highliight of this album, filled with amazing hooks and melodies, but if you also like the metal side of Wolverine you should check out Pledge, which is without any doubt the heaviest song of the entire album; love it! Nemesis, kicks off as a piano ballad but evolves into a great progressive rock track and here you can enjoy the best guitar solo of the album. This great album, which you should listen to a couple of times to really appreciate, ends with the "weakest" track called Sheds, a song which only features vocals and keyboards. But all in all, I would like to say that Wolverine, a very underestimated rock band by the way, did it again. If you are a fan of very melodic, diverse prog rock with amazing vocals and subtle guitar work then Machina Viva is your album. Their new album is the next step in the band's explorations in the progressive field; highlights The Bedlam Overture and Nemesis.

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