Three guys from Sweden make a three-song EP/mini-album and called it the name of their band Workshop of the Wolf. And they call it progressive rock. Writing about music is like being an investigative journalist sans the job-induced PTSD. I'm always like, "IS IT?"
Well, sort of.
Workshop of the Wolf is Henrik von Harten on guitar and vocals, Isak Ahlman on drums, and Alexander Walter on bass. They emit nocturnal melodies that sound at the same time Red Hot Chili Peppers outtakes, the nondiegetic music you would hear in a haunted castle and what System of a Down could've sounded like if they were more about getting opiated. Also there are some elements of emo in here. There are progressive elements, such as the exhilarating use of scales and the Boris-inspired crescendo on "From The Sea."
Guitar and bass do wonders for the songs, the shortest of which is just under five minutes long. Crunchy bass buried beneath creepy-crawly guitar lines on the opener "Nothing Behind" is an ear-catching introduction to the music you can now expect from Workshop of the Wolf. Ahlman is very prominent on the same track, but much less so on the other two. His muscular drumming and infectious patterns are a highlight. "Fall To Me" is much lighter and slower on its feet, trading in the more experimental sounds in the previous track for a much more steady baseline and washes of noise courtesy of von Harten. It holds up pretty well for the most part, but the instrumental bridge at the end of the track starts getting shaky until von Harten takes up the outro.
"From The Sea" is the longest track on the album, and the first time the trio really shines as a self-described progressive rock band. Mournful, droned out guitar lines, quiet percussion over von Harten's dirge make for a surprisingly engaging listen, given the slow speed. More rustic sounding chords make themselves known a little more than midway through the song and they offer a sunny counterpoint to the general flavor of doom the music exudes. And then a sinkhole of white noise and guitar feedback threatens to swallow all except for Ahlman's valiant drumming, making one final appearance.
"From The Sea" alone makes this album worth checking out. It's spacey, drone and noisy, though in measured parts. The other two songs are strong efforts, Workshop of the Wolf sound like they know what they're doing. Nothing sounds loose but the "woahuh" factor that comes with progressive rock is missing. I think it's the lack of flutes.
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