Review Summary: Very interesting, perhaps lacking something which cannot yet be defined. Rewarding and puzzling. Very strong messages and expertly tight playing. Recommended.
"Wolverine" is a good band, so are many other bands. The implications of this are tremendous; Is it that "Communication Lost" says "no!" to crazy diversity or mad-hatter ideas? Certainly it prides itself with very well executed dynamic shifts and an interesting production. Well flowing feelings of climax and anti-climax are part of your senses when listening to the pieces, although this sometimes leads up to an over-sung chorus which may be out of place. Currently it may be the only disorientating feeling in the music, whereas should not the goal be to create an ethereal feeling? Indeed, getting the balance right between ethereal motion and musical expression is extremely important in a concept album such as this, which is just so incredibly rich lyrically and expressively -- perhaps a song like "Pulse" represents a band which is so certain of itself after such a time of uncertainty, and that's why the song comes across as a bit garish in parts. That's a shame, it is nearly a good song.
Considering at least one of the band members enjoys "Depeche Mode", it doesn't become too apparent; 80's pop music, is to be handled carefully when chosen as an influence... see how virtuous a band like "Opeth" can be with the "can do no wrong" 70's influences; that's where prog rock belongs... but with that unusual statement aside, it's worth pointing out that prog rock doesn't wish to confine itself to an era (it is a hard to handle beast). Some groups wish to do something daring, "Wolverine" have always made some unusual choices in their music and yet still have managed to please the beast that is the prog rock genre; with "Communication Lost", the band may appear to be treading carefully with the music, leaving subtle madness -- traces, if you will -- hiding beneath the water, though this music is actually quite daring in that the listener is the hook and you as a listener have to catch the music and master it. In an ocean of other bands, perhaps this band simply asks that you be a good, honest person who sees what this music has to offer without relying on surface judgements. Surface judgements, what are they? A surface judgement means you cannot feel the music so you distract yourself in your quest to analyze the music. This music, I think, came from their hearts -- soul aplenty, and sometimes brings reminders of "Pink Floyd" in the way it flows so well: music that is meant to be felt unquestionably. "Dark Side Of The Moon" may not instantly have memorable song structures, but it makes up for it in production and meaning. This may be the case with "Communication Lost", except that it isn't as immediately beautiful and wondrous, it is more like the beauty of sadness and confusion and loss, without the trapping stylings of the modern day world to brush it off as a piece of sad plastic ("Linkin Park"), although it does have the necessary modern elements to keep it fresh and up to date, it's more of a subtle escape from it all.
It is easy to fall into the trap of mercilessly comparing it to other prog bands. Understand how disciplined this music is for a concept album with such strong emotions and melodies. I find that quite unusual; it's sort of a crazy concept album which doesn't immediately come across as that. I don't care if the songs can be stripped down and converted into something worse; if you do that, expect to dislike the music. "Wolverine" didn't do it, so why should you?
... Perhaps this is a problem, I'm being so persuasive, using analogies and provocative statements to promote this album. Why am I doing this? Doesn't "Communication Lost" have enough punch to it -- will it be a sad story for "Wolverine"? Only time will tell.
... All the guys at "Wolverine" are rooting for you to like this album.
It's a good album, upon first listen I gave it a 10/10, it's an album that connected with me emotionally on quite a deep level... it's just that it's not a soothing kind of emotion, it's more of the 'release' emotion, where you listen to this and let go. Think of the final track, the build up to "Communication Lost" and then the atmospheric beginning. Maybe this is just a one off musical experience which is great while it lasts and then you have to let go and be free?
Rating: 8/10, but I should imagine that seeing it live will give it a breath of fresh air... I can see a lot of potential for that as there's so much raw expression to be found, as the band really prides itself in this album, the live performance will be something special, surely. I suppose that musically it might not be perky enough, but the unity of the compositions and the build up to the last two tracks is phenomenal.
The rating I gave only reflects how the album feels when I'm sitting casually in my room. It needs to be seen live! Maybe this album should have just been a live album. It's just too good to be put to disk, that is why it gets a lower rating. Except the final track, that's simply one to lay back and listen to.
(Please note, this album is special, therefore it gets a 5. Besides that, it gets the 8/10 rating).