Rites At Dawn
Third album from Wobbler finds them with a new vocalist Andreas Prestmo (who is a bit of an improvement). The music is still retro-British 70s prog but its clear that the spectre of Yes presides over the album. The King Crimson and ELP tidbits that cropped up on Hinterland are for the most part gone. Instead think in terms of The Yes Album and Close To The Edge with perhaps a bit of Octopus and This Is Gracious! tossed in for fun. Beginning to end its a total blast. Highest recommendation!
"Norway's kings of symphonic prog, Wobbler, arrogantly sidestep the whole debate of "prog" versus progressive. Since it's dubious whether rock has anywhere left to progress anyway, they have instead chosen simply to celebrate the rainbow-colored fireworks, the airy-fairy themes, the danger and the drama and the joy of pure music that made prog what it really was, and still can be: An exhilarating musical spectacle, a gladiator match of major chord crescendos and mini-moog glissandos.
Wobbler's third album, Rites at Dawn, is a case in point. It's a no-holds-barred declaration of love to the progressive giants. It's all here - Lars Fredrik Frøislie's overblown arsenal of every analog synth known to man, played with Wakemanesque flair and Emersonian hubris. Andreas Prestmo's soaring vocals, delivering at times delicate, fragile melodies and at times joyous, triumphant multi-part harmonies that would make CSN proud. The vibrant, stinging guitar of Morten Eriksen, the - you guessed it - thundering Rickenbacker bass of Kristian Hultgren, and finally Martin Kneppen's drumming, which manages that neat and esoteric 70's trick of making even impossible time signatures swing and swagger.
Rites at Dawn is a major step forward for Wobbler. As songwriters they have matured. Even though the music is as complex as ever, it flows and breathes in a whole new way, and the addition of Andreas' vocals adds a very human, and dare we say emotional, element to the songs. The album somehow pulls off being both challenging and adventurous, but at the same time accessible and downright infectious. Even though this is the kind of prog connoisseurs will stroke their beards appreciatively to, it is also prog their girlfriends will like. And you really can't ask for more than that."