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Progressive That Packs A Punch - 80%

Erin_Fox, October 28th, 2006

Wolverine is a group that manage to fuse the epic nature of power metal, the melodic aspects of traditional heavy metal, highly modern experimentation and a slight amount of death metal which is used for emphasis, resulting in a potent combination that makes for an engaging listen.

On this re-release of the group’s debut full length, fans have the opportunity to discover the roots of this highly dynamic and talented sextet. “The Window Purpose” was originally released in extremely small quantities and it is wonderful that Earache Records has decided to put this material out there for the public en masse, because this is on all levels, an engaging effort that stands up to anything else in the genre quite well. “End” seethes with an imposing darkness that many bands of this nature are unable to achieve.

Stefan Zell is a truly a fantastic vocalist. His singing is filled with melody and he has an excellent range that suits the band’s compositions perfectly. Possessing an excellent range and a commanding presence, his performance here rests with the finest output going. Moreover, the instrumentation is top notch, the sans vocals melodies of “…” offer rich textures and make for a decent interlude between pieces.

“Leaving Yesterday” is filled with emotion as the group embarks upon an impressive foray of varied moods, punctuated by the tasteful addition of keyboardist Andreas Baglien’s crystal clear piano break. If radio programmers could think outside of the very narrow box that they impose upon the public, this song would be enormously popular. “Towards Loss” is vibrant and aggressive, with Stefan Zell’s highly emotive vocals pushing this track into the stratosphere as the band employs an extremely dark take on modern rock rhythms and harmonies. Wolverine is amongst the most creative and talented of bands playing this progressive style of music today, and quite likely the darkest of them all.

“The Window Purpose” does not fail to disappoint as any fan of the group’s current direction will find this to be a highly entertaining release that offers up everything that fans of this genre love.