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Still

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Album Review

In the mid- to late '90s and early 2000s, some devotees of the Scandinavian metal scene categorized Sweden's Wolverine as melodic death metal; that is, metal that combines death metal elements (including a deep, guttural, demonic-sounding growl) with the nuance and melodic accessibility of classic '70s and '80s power metal. In some cases, melodic death metal has been influenced by progressive rock on top of power metal, and on the prog metal end of melodic death metal, it isn't impossible to find headbangers who hold Slayer, Entombed, Iron Maiden, and Emerson, Lake & Palmer in equally high regard. But it is difficult — or even impossible — to make a good argument for Still, Wolverine's third full-length album, being relevant to the melodic death metal style. Still is melodic metal, but there is nothing really death metal-ish about this CD, which is best described as simply prog metal. Drawing on influences that range from Dream Theater to Pink Floyd to Fates Warning, Wolverine provides an album that has a 2006 release date but is decidedly pre-'90s in its outlook; an album that worships the pre-Nevermind metal and prog rock bands of the '70s and '80s without apology. Nothing terribly original occurs — don't expect Still to be the least bit groundbreaking — but all of the songs (which are definitely on the melancholy side) are likeable, well-crafted and well-executed. Wolverine has an attractive sense of melody, and it is put it to good use on this 52-minute CD. Bottom line: Still it not a five-star treasure, although it's a decent outing that will appeal to the type of listener who has no problem getting into Queensrÿche's Operation: Mindcrime one minute and Pink Floyd's Animals the next.

Still, Wolverine
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