I find myself becoming increasingly dependent on the need for the comforting nature of music these days. I know I bang on about it all the time, but there is something inherently cathartic about listening to something which makes you feel good. Todays offering which has gone some way towards helping me through the overly moribund nature of January, has been the new album by Wolfredt.
Wolfredt are a post-rock band based in Tallinn, Estonia which started life as a one-man bedroom outfit as an outlet for the creative tendances of Margus Voolpriit. With the latest album Tides, Margus realised that to properly realise the full dynamics and ideas he wanted, he would need extra musicians to help with the delivery, and so we have this album made by a 4-piece band. Let’s take a look into what they have created.
The songs on this album generally fall into the heavier side of post-rock, sometime diving into post-metal territory but use pulsating electronics which enhance rather than stifle, they make heavy use of dynamics and distortion to tell the tale of the endless cycle of life, with all of the ebbs and flows that entails.
Album opener The Flood is, in my opinion, quite an odd choice for the first song. It’s quite heavy in a way the rest of the album isn’t. It’s also very dense and doesn’t really unpack its secrets on the first listen. Repetition and layering are the order of the day but buried beneath that are a surprising amount of melody and texture which rewards close attention as it’s not apparent on first play through (at least not to me anyway).
Next track Walrus Song is all about the rhythm section, which locks into step and gives the track energy and drive. It does also have a splendid guitar lick throughout though, so there is that. The whole song keeps building and adding more distortion and layers until, like a crashing wave, the music breaks apart, crashes back into itself then breaks apart all the while building into a roaring finale which is powerful and quite cathartic. The next few songs continue with the ebb and flow which the band convey so well. The band show a great tendency for technical looping and repetition laced with flashes of emotional ambience. The song The forgotten Man is a great example of post rock done as it should, it’s initial clean guitar picked intro draws you into a cosy embrace. Before flowering into a full band offering with unexpected and glorious use of the trumpet and a meaty finale which hits like a truck, it’s a real triumph.
I must also pay special attention to final song The Ebb. This song takes us on a real journey, it’s a churning, bubbling song full of twisting melodies and guitar passages hidden just under the surface, its tapestry of distorted guitar hides an intensity which seems just out of reach. It’s beguiling and is exemplary song craft, a real highlight of the album and a grand way to finish the album.
Overall, the whole album manages to get across exactly what the band are trying to convey, and the song writing is a real achievement. I can’t see this album leaving my album playlist any time soon and would not be surprised to see this album on a few end of year lists, it’s that good. I would not hesitate to recommend this to anyone interested in post-rock music, and the way it’s written means that it should appeal to quite a broad spectrum of music lovers as well. Quite simply, it’s very, very good indeed.