I had heard quite a bit about WOLVERINE as very hopeful Progressive Metal band out of Sweden, but the music of the band unfortunately had not found its way into my ears. With their Elitist debut “Cold Light Of Monday” this is changing now and I have to say that this album almost caught me on the wrong foot.
Why you will ask and the answer is pretty simple: „Cold Light Of Monday“ is absolutely no Progressive Metal as you know it, but a quite calm, often avantgardistic version of Rock, which here is super catchy, just to completely rub it up the wrong way or leaving you disturbed. That the Swedes with this realise their lyrical concept exactly through their music is a side effect that surely has played a quite important role in the creation of this album.
The concept deals with a young woman named Sarah, who finds herself absolutely devastated in a basement, abused and trying to find out how she ended up there. The eleven songs of “Cold Light Of Monday” take us on that journey, here disturbing, there mesmerizing, reminding me of newer ANATHEMA, for example on “A Fine Day To Exit”. So who likes that album can almost buy WOLVERINE’s latest without listening.
The songs perpetually are changing, also vocally, between intense and calm, clean and distorted, in between with partly quite abstract, short instrumentals, at times strong contrast within and among the single songs and here and there also a bit nerving as in the beginning of „tightRope“, where the cymbals are a bit too monotonous and in the foreground and that over a too long stretch, but that might just be myself.
Following „Carousel“ then is a crass contrast to these abstractions, with very well flowing, emotive Prog Metal, effectively instrumented with the expressive vocals of Stefan Zell and these two songs overall are a pretty good description of the two extremes of this album, the short instrumentals such as „tightRope“ (ok, not that short) or in the case of „Red Canvas“ with tribal-like drumming and „Dusk very dark, with great dark vocals and almost Gregorian background choir on the one side and on the other the songs, which move between Prog Rock and Prog Metal, which as a whole incorporate the story, leading us through the different emotional statuses of Sarah, enabling us to see through her eyes.
„Cold Light Of Monday“ has turned out to be an album that most probably will be too much for the „regular listener” with its direction, but who likes such demanding (but not complex) music that leads you through the most different feelings and here beds you on clouds, but there brutally yanks you out of this tranquillity, will find an outstanding album in WOLVERINE’s new album, which in its abstract parts pushes me out too far, yet with its “real” songs fully convinces me… (Online January 17, 2004)