It was in the year 1992 when Marcus Losbjer and Stefan Zell decided to start a band together. The band was first called Arachnofobia and later became Empire. At the same time Stefan Zell was also playing in a band called Pornographical Harmony which still exists under the name Book Of Hours. Stefan is no longer a member of that band but his brother Mikael is now playing keyboards and guitar with them. … Are you still with me? … Out of the ashes of Empire came in 1995 the band we are talking about now: Wolverine from Sweden.
The band has now the following permanent members: Marcus Losbjer (drums, death vocals), Mikael Zell (guitars), Stefan Zell (bass, clean vocals), Carl-Henrik Landegren (guitars, backing vocals) and Andreas Baglien (keyboards). The mini-CD "Fervent dream" is their re-recording of the forth demo and there are five songs on it. Wolverine is playing a kind of metal/prog a la Fates Warning.
The first song "Whispers on the wind" (8:06) starts with the intrigue sound of the Australian (aboriginal) wind instrument didjeridoo. When the band falls in we are for the first time confronted with the so-called clean vocals of Stefan Zell and the death grunt vocals of drummer Marcus Losbjer. This combination works very well. However the grunt vocals are not my cup of tea. Stefan is a great singer and reminds me of Ted Leonard, the singer of the American band Enchant. There are many tempo changes, metal guitars and at the end a beautiful prog/sympho guitar solo with a lot of emotion.
"Echoes" (7:55) opens with acoustic guitar and a real string quartet. After a guitar part and some vocals the string quartet returns but then the music flows into heavy metal guitars with grunt vocals. One moment you listen to heavy stuff and the other moment it is prog your are listening to. This piece is one of the highlights of the CD. Here we hear a very mature band. The members all know how to play their instruments.
"More than grief" (6:30) has an uptempo start. The middle piece sounds threateningly with a layer of keyboards and guitars on top of it. The tension is slowly building up. After some uptempo heavy grunt stuff the emotional vocals are there again and the piece has an abrupt ending.
In "Again?" (7:48) the bands slows down and we hear first some acoustic guitar and keys followed directly by grunt vocals and clean vocals with a beautiful melody. Again great guitar work from Mikael and Marcus. The melodies in this song are very beautiful and catchy. The combination of death grunts and a beautiful vocal line at the same time is very special. "Last words" (1:33) is the closing section (acoustic guitars and vocals) of this little concept mini-CD.
You have to listen a couple of times to "Fervent dream", but each time it gets better and better. Don't let the grunt vocals be the reason to not give this band a fair chance. If you like bands as Fates Warning, Dream Theater and Enchant you must listen to this one. At the moment they have not a record company. Hopefully they will get a new record deal in the near future. I am looking forward to a full-lenght CD of the guys. They have the potention to get very big.