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08 April, 2013

Progressivenz - To The Wolf

Progressivenz - To The Wolf (song review) |self-released, single, 2011| 3/5

Rhys Williams is a songwriter and composer hailing from Christchurch, New Zealand who performs under the guise, Progressivenz. Since the city suffered an earthquake in 2010, his music has been related to this tragic event. However not exclusively, Rhys writes songs in support of people who struggle with personal drama.
He operates within a few different styles of music, so don't be surprised when a song fitting the Blues vibe is followed by a track with a touch of Electronica.

"To The Wolf" could fall under the category of Experimental Sound Design, but includes heavy guitar riffs. It's not arranged in a classic song structure. Instead you'll hear a 7 minute long composition, filled with multiple themes.

The track begins with gentle synths and modified vocals giving it an Electro/Pop motif, then followed by various sound effects. Rhys creates a mood of fear, with the feeling of a chase. There's a story coming out of it. You'll hear screaming kids, a howling wolf and a scared woman’s heavy breathing. These topics repeat until a heartbeat effect appears.
Later, the 'wolf's’ theme is replaced with a new part of the composition. Initially the keyboards dictate the rhythm, but after a while they’re joined by Heavy Metal guitar riffs, bass and drums. These give the track a new and aggressive energy with tight dynamics. A synthesizer that steals a listener’s attention for a moment accompanies the riffs, then the opening Electronica phrase and vocals return to end the composition along with the voices of howling wolves.

There are a few interesting ideas presented within "To The Wolf" but the entire composition hasn't been arranged terribly well. Rather than presenting a truly exhilarating song, it sounds more like a tutorial on how to utilize various sound effects and accompaniments. While guitars stay as the focal point of the track, the unstructured composition is missing a spine. It's too drawn out and too loose, despite repetitive motifs. Therefore it may leave a listener confused, as their attention hasn’t been drawn enough. A solid rhythm rolling throughout the entire composition could glue these seemingly separated parts.

A final note, it should be underlined that Rhys sounds like a skillful guitar player. Real Metal will never die nor lose fans, and yet Metal doesn't need any conceptual changes either. It'd be great if Rhys focused entirely on making heavy guitar driven tracks but avoided mismatching a few styles of music within a song.

(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Music Magazine, April 5th, 2013. Proofreading: SanDeE)


Reviewed by Fabryka Music Magazine