This is the new and updated debut outing from former Melodic Death Metal outfit now Progressive Metal act WOLVERINE. Originally issued on DVS Records back in 2001 ‘’The Window Purpose’’ has been given a mighty polish and scrub and the result is nothing short of sensational. This is without doubt one of the very finest Prog Metal albums ever made.
The sound is massive and utterly compelling. The basic story consists of man who dies and then visits a strange room with paintings on the wall. A voice tells him to look around and to make of the pictures what he will so as to aid him in the after life. Heavy stuff you’ll agree but the intricacy and technicality of the music is second to none.
Opener ‘’The End’’ sets things up nicely with a keyboard layered spoken intro. The lengthy and epic ‘’My Room’’ crashes in with precision Metal riffing then settles down into a sombre melancholy meander that weaves great textures of Metal and classic Prog Rock with enviable ease. The vocals, throughout the album I may add, by Stefan Zell are delightful and enchanting evoking the mighty Geoff Tate at his peek. The rest of the band are not far behind with riff after riff, played skilfully by from guitarists Mikael Zell and Per Broddesson, raining down on choice cuts like the QUEENSRYCHE/ early MARILLION influenced and excellent ‘’His Cold Touch’’ complete with an anthemic chorus. ‘’Leaving Yesterday’’ is a monster Prog ballad whereas the growls of drummer Marcus Losbjer offer a distinctive counterpoint to all the light in the dark, brooding ‘’Towards Loss’’.
The Joe Satriani comparisons are not lost on the acoustic brilliance of ‘’ … ‘’ but this is too far a talent bunch of musicians to lay plagiarism on. The playing on ‘’The Storm Inside’’ is nothing short of mesmerising drawing in all the deft poise and dexterity that at times really does bewilder and fascinate.
‘’The Window Purpose’’ is a very rare breed of Progressive Metal album that will appeal directly to diehard Prog fans but also any Metal head wanting to branch out a grab hold of an expertly performed piece of music. The complex arrangements, the extreme technicality and nuances of the music hold the listener from start to finish. Although I strongly think that ‘’The Window Purpose’’ should be listened to in the one sitting as the glorious harmonies, the entrancing vocals and adept guitar playing are not to be taken lightly.
This record demands concentration but honestly this is a Prog album worth ranting over. (Online April 25, 2005)