It's been five years since Wolverine's Still, a monumental album for this Swedish progressive band and a critical success. Not uncommon to any band, Wolverine struggled with personnel problems almost to the point of collapse. But new writing, and healing, emerged with the conclusion that the new material could not rest dormant. Communication Lost, Wolverine's fifth album was born.
One could say Communication Lost is a continuation of Still. Yet, while true, it's much to simple a conclusion. The atmosphere on this work is far more grand; thick or dense, even bombastic, could describe many arrangements. Into the Great Nothing and Your Favorite War exploit this motif by example. Even larger and more dense is the longer piece In Memory of Me where the arrangement never backs down from the wall of sound.
Some songs offer contrasts to this, yet retain or return to the compositional density. For instance Embrace and In the Quiet of Dawn start with slower pace, swell, then slow to finally offer a stinging crescendo before the end. But then there's What Remains, a piece that can only be described as sparse, mostly vocals over piano with some violin, in comparison to the rest of Communication Lost. Additionally, that song also speaks to another theme within this album: Communication Lost has a dark quality, one of pensiveness or melancholy nearly typical of Scandinavian despair. It echoes from the opening prelude to the final strains of quixotic A Beginning and everything between.
Nevertheless, Wolverine is certainly within they're element with these grand and rich arrangements. Into the Great Nothing, Your Favorite War, and massive and self-defining title track, display the band's singular vision for Communication Lost. But their most enjoyable, and accessible, performance comes on Pulse which offers a somber start only to swell into a huge guitar solo and a melodic rock hook. Wolverine has not lost anything in six year, but continues to grow and expand much like the compositions here. Well recommended.
With Communication Lost, Wolverine returns, after a six year absence, with an expansive, dense, and powerful work of atmospheric progressive metal.
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