Wheel announce third studio album Charismatic Leaders

(Image credit: Press)

Anglo Finnish prog metallers Wheel have announced that they will release their third album, Charismatic Leaders, through InsideOut Music on May 3.

The new album, the follow-up to 2021's Resident Human (the band also released the Rumination EP in 2022) and sees the band slimmed down to a three-piece of singer/guitarist James Lascelles, lead guitarist Jussi Turunen and drummer Santeri Saksala following the departure of bassist Aki Virta.

The album represents some of the band's most intense material, and was recorded with engineers/co-producers, Meshuggah's Daniel Bergstrand and Fredrik Thordendal from August to December 2023. You can watch the video for their new single Empire below.

"It is intense as all hell when it kicks in and it keeps finding new ways to punch you in the face all the way to the end," says Lascelles of Empire. "Santeri did an incredible job with the drum track on this one and playing it live is really going to take some work in the rehearsal room..

"Lyrically, it is about media empires and the effect they have on wider society - all of us are influenced to some degree, even if we would rather not admit it. Issues that require nuance are presented as binaries and opposing views are made into caricatures - a target for us to rage at that far too often, doesn't even exist. This is not a new phenomenon by any means but it is one that seems to have been catalysed by the modern landscape of media, the internet and populist politics. As you might be able to tell from the mood of the song, this pisses me off immensely and it was cathartic to vent about it.”

Charismatic Leaders will be available as a limited CD digipak (also featuring the Rumination EP tracks as bonus), and a gatefold 180g LP, both featuring artwork from Lucas Mayer (Long Distance Calling, Blackout Problems) which you can see below.

Following Wheel's first ever shows in Australia (supporting label-mates Caligula’s Horse) as well as their first ever North American headline shows, the band return to Europe for extensive live dates later this year. You can view the dates below.

Pre-order Charismatic Leaders.


(Image credit: InsideOut Music)

Wheel: Charismatic Leaders
1. Empire
2. Porcelain
3. Submission
4. Saboteur
5. Disciple
6. Caught in the Afterglow
7. The Freeze

Wheel European tour dates 2024

Oct 31: FIN Tampere Olympia
Nov 1: FIN Kuopio Sawohouse UG
Nov 2: FIN Helsinki On The Rocks
Nov 7: FIN Jyväskylä Lutakko
Nov 8: FIN Lahti Finlandia-Klubi
Nov 9: FIN Oulu 45 Special
Nov 15: GER Hamburg Logo
Nov 16: NED Amsterdam Melkweg Up
Nov 17: NED Tilburg 013
Nov 19: UK Manchester Rebellion
Nov 20: UK Glasgow Cathouse
Nov 21: UK Nottingham Rescue Rooms
Nov 22: UK Southampton 1865
Nov 23: UK London Underworld
Nov 24: UK Bristol Thekla
Nov 26: BEL Antwerp Kavka
Nov 27: GER Cologne Luxor
Nov 28: GER  Aschaffenburg Colos Saal
Nov 30: FRA Paris Backstage
Dec 2: SWI Zurich Komplex
Dec 3: ITA Milan Legend
Dec 4: GER Munich Backstage Halle
Dec 5: HUN Budapest Analog Music Hall
Dec 6: AUT Vienna Chelsea
Dec 8: POL Warsaw Hyrdrozagadka
Dec 10: GER Berlin Lido, Berlin
Dec 11: DEN Copenhagen Pumpehuset
Dec 12: NOR Oslo John Dee
Dec 13: SWE Stockholm Nalen Klubb

Jerry Ewing

Writer and broadcaster Jerry Ewing is the Editor of Prog Magazine which he founded for Future Publishing in 2009. He grew up in Sydney and began his writing career in London for Metal Forces magazine in 1989. He has since written for Metal Hammer, Maxim, Vox, Stuff and Bizarre magazines, among others. He created and edited Classic Rock Magazine for Dennis Publishing in 1998 and is the author of a variety of books on both music and sport, including Wonderous Stories; A Journey Through The Landscape Of Progressive Rock.