Wolverine at the Garage, London - live review

Swedish proggers Wolverine play an unexpectedly intimate show in London with Until Rain and Oddland

The crowd at a prog gig
(Image: © Katja Ogrin)

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It’s not clear if he’s referring to the audience presence or his sore throat, which has encouraged a couple of wobbly high notes, but either way, they put on a good show, ranging from the rousing crunch of Penumbra to the bottomless iron stride of Will.

Until Rain aren’t put off by the lack of turnout, mustering boundless innocent enthusiasm while they tap into that fashionable bottom-quivering djent sound on songs like Something Might Happen. Bassist Linus Abrahamson lunges and limbos as he drills out deep rhythms for their mad-hatter heavy prog.

Cons Marg articulates his vocal dexterity with dramatic growls and falsetto high notes akin to the vocal gymnastics of System Of A Down, and their music isn’t a million miles from this influence either, bending, plunging and tempo shifting every minute or so.

It could be brilliant, but their set is too drum-heavy, losing the atmospheric padding that synth player Lef Germenlis should be providing.

Any hopes for a deluge of latecomers fades away as Wolverine begin their slot. This Cold Heart Of Mine bites with the epic iciness of Queensrÿche, tempered with latter-day Katatonia, throwing elongated vocal bullets through a shield of luscious, atmospheric prog.

“This one’s about my daughter who had a heart condition that threatened her life,” says vocalist Stefan Zell before enveloping us with minor keys.

The successive long notes don’t come without their penalties, as Wolverine’s semi-morose steer moves into bland territory, and their atmospheric hooks fritter away into the empty spaces. However, In Memory Of Me remedies that with a blast of synth-driven brooding heaviness oozing emotion.

It might not be the show that the band hoped for, but it was a solid performance for the fans who did turn up.

Holly Wright

With over 10 years’ experience writing for Metal Hammer and Prog, Holly has reviewed and interviewed a wealth of progressively-inclined noise mongers from around the world. A fearless voyager to the far sides of metal Holly loves nothing more than to check out London’s gig scene, from power to folk and a lot in between. When she’s not rocking out Holly enjoys being a mum to her daughter Violet and working as a high-flying marketer in the Big Smoke.