posted on 1/2005 By:
Remember those parenting talks your old man used to give you? The typical response was to just glaze over and daydream about the important things—metal, sex, and whether or not he would miss the bottle you swiped from his liquor cabinet. But every once in awhile you get a dose of fatherly sound bytes, and hear nuggets of wisdom like “A little ambition would do you some good” and “If you want something done right, do it yourself.” Dads are the same--you heard it, I heard it, and it seems Ywolf’s Gabriel Wolf heard it too, and took those lessons to heart. Now, no doubt that self reliance and ambition are noble traits, but the problem with taking on a big task and doing it all, is that if it goes badly (like, Waterworld badly), all eyes are on you.
Unfortunately, that is the case with Dream Warrior, an album consisting entirely of synths and vocals. No guitars, no bass, no drums, nada. Wolf, the sole member of Ywolf, describes the sound as dark gothic/neo classical. What you get are orchestral arrangements of uneven quality, and a black metal croak running underneath them. Ywolf’s cause would be helped tremendously by a richer keyboard sound. The segments of music that are more heavily layered sound better and are far more interesting. However, there are many passages that simply sound like the equivalent of a black metal music box. Hardly the epic sound this requires. Consequently, I just can’t shake the image of this guy down in the basement all made up in face paint, banging away on a Casio like a black metal Schroeder.
To be fair, a lot of Wolf’s concepts are good. Some suffer from lack of adequate execution, and others because a little bit of this music goes a long way. At nearly an hour long, this album is about twice as long as it needs to be. The album opens with one of several ambient interludes, most of which work fairly well. “Silver Symbol of Thunderstorm” is the first full song, and includes some of the best work on the album. Again, it suffers in sections from thin sound and cheesy melodies, but eventually picks up in pace and is layered with enough faux instrumentation to be interesting. Also quite useful are the sampled chanting choral vocals. Wolf, who is also a member of Finnugor, also uses some guest vocals from fellow Hungarian Nagy Andras, of Sear Bliss.
Wolf is an aspiring novelist, and the cd includes text files of two works of fiction. Even done well, this type of music will have a limited audience. And although Wolf manages to do some things well on Dream Warrior, ultimately he has bitten off more than he can chew. A little help would be nice. I wonder what his dad is up to.
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