WOLVERINE – The Window Purpose

WOLVERINE - The Window Purpose


Release date: December 2001

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The Window Purpose was originally released in late 2001 as Swedish sextet Wolverine’s first full length CD. Due to the limited number of copies and the magnificent reception of the album, it is now being re-issued on the Earache Music label Elitist, with new mastering and the addition of one bonus track.

Wolverine started in 1995 as a Melodic Death Metal band, but crossed over to Progressive Metal before releasing their mini-CD Fervent Dream (1999). The Death elements were not forgotten, however, and even in The Window Purpose, the growling voice and the general dark and angry moods remind the listener of their origin, so to speak. These features, along with the fierce energy put into the massive parts of their music, and (especially) the contrast to the incredibly gentle parts, adds up to their characteristic expression.

Opening with the spoken word, atmospheric “End,” conceptually The Window Purpose takes you into a state of a man’s afterlife, where he gets to review and reconsider some of life’s major moments. The rhythmic complexity found in the second song, “My Room,” is quite typical for the album, and the song is one stunning act in Metal meets Progressive Rock. It’s fast, it’s furious and it’s intense, an expression also felt when following “His Cold Touch,” which is a two-part kind of suite. After a soft and acoustic intro, the song builds up to a mighty powerful chorus in the key of Doom. The melody line is of a rather ordinary kind, compared, though, to the more experimental expression found in the up-tempo second half of the song.

Before the melancholic “Leaving Yesterday,” there is a short, untitled instrumental track in the shape of a guitar duet. It’s played in a Classical style, with touch of Robert Fripp, at least soundwise. “Leaving Yesterday” otherwise offers female guest vocal appearances, and quite solid vocal arrangements, in spite of the slightly anonymous melody.

The marimba or glockenspiel figure in “Towards Loss” becomes its most memorable feature, while “The Storm Inside” is quite a theatrical piece, with its expressed drama, intensity, and clever arrangements. Even if the melody isn’t all that you’d hope for, it’s a massive act in a Progressive Metal costume. Oh, and yes, there is, in fact, a jazzy segment nicely squeezed into the middle of the song!

A highlight on this album is “Coma,” much thanks to the soft, metric beeps that carry the song forward (sounding very much like a heart or pulse monitor machine found in hospitals). The composition is otherwise much like a roller coaster in its moods, tempo, power, and rhythmic creativity: thrilling! Together with the next song, “Release” (which lets you catch your breath with its instrumental simplicity), this is indeed the peak of the album!

After this peak comes the album’s original finale, “Post Life,” a slightly softer composition, which appropriately serves to round off The Window Purpose in a well-mannered way. Thus, the bonus track “Again” seems a little lost in the company, even if it’s a truly stunning act on its own. Recorded at the end of 2004, the bonus track still sounds as if it was recorded along with the original tracks, becoming yet another link in the chain of their identity.

The Window Purpose is a strong “debut,” showing a band with a clear vision and a focus on identity. Each and every band member shows excellent skills in their domain, as well as on the collective level. The production is also outstanding, almost with a timeless character to it. The album is furthermore rich on moods and twists, and is bound to make even the sunniest day cloudy whenever the darkest moods are let out. The album is, on the other hand, poor on memorable melody lines, as they, at times, sound more improvised than organized. The growling parts left aside, the clean voice melodies often lack shape and are less focused than the well-designed identity of the band.

Undoubtedly, this issue of The Window Purpose is a “must have” for any Wolverine fan who might have missed out on it before. Also, if you are keen on knowing the darker side of Progressive Rock/Metal, you might find this album worthwhile.


  • Frode Leirvik

    Frode was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Norway. His headbanging experience started when his brother-in-law gave him Deep Purple’s Fireball at the age of ten. Since then, he has also been a fan of and active in several other musical genres, resulting in a deep and profound interest in music. Some of his favorites, among all of those who have somehow managed to tap into the universal force of Progressive Music are (in no particular order): Thule, Dream Theater, King Crimson,Pink Floyd, Rush, Spock’s Beard, Jan Hammer and Jerry Goodman, Ekseption, Focus, The Beatles, Deep Purple and Frank Zappa.

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