Jean-Pierre Louveton is the guitarist and singer with the French progressive band Nemo. Wanting to create a new musical project he has joined German but English speaking vocalist Julian Clemens, metal drummer Ludovic Moro-Sibilot, and Nemo keysman Guillaume Fontaine to form the band WolfSpring.
Their collective musicianship has resulted in this, their excellent self-titled debut which successfully brings together their various influences to create a finely balanced album. WolfSpring, the album, is alive with intricate acoustic atmospheres built alongside dynamic symphonic scale and soaring guitar breaks.
The band lists the likes of Porcupine Tree, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Opeth, Pain Of Salvation, Iron Maiden, and Muse among their influences. All of these elements appear and yet they still manage to instantly establish a strong, fresh sense of their own personality, purpose, and identity.
WolfSpring’s eight well crafted tracks journey smoothly through this deceptively coherent album which is both brave and bold whilst delivering many memorable melodic moments along the way. The powerful “The Haunting” immediately sets the scene for what is to come with a track that is soaked in atmosphere, gentle acoustics, and a smoothly passionate delivery from Clemens whose English language vocals impress throughout.
Having successfully grabbed your attention they move into the pulsing start of “24/7” which morphs gently into another compelling track. “In this 24/7 world everything’s for sale, and virtual happiness replaces fairytales”, it’s a theme they will return to later.
This gives way to the driving five-minute instrumental groove that is “Carpathian Wolves”, before the delicate opening of “Train’s Gone” serves up another quality moment. This one slowly opens out to allow Jean-Pierre space for some trademark excellent guitar work.
All of these shifting scenes are cleverly meshed together leaving the album sounding whole, complete, and shaped. It is a skill they perform time and time again and is a real feature of this highly impressive album.
Clemens is never better than on the memorable “Now Or Never” a track that opens with the line “could be a tramp could be a star, death will still watch you from afar, equal justice awaits us all.” Wise lyrics of the inevitability of time running out with the advise to live each day in the best possible way enrich the track. Musically it hits all the targets and includes a great bass line and searing guitar from J-P.
A funk-fuelled “Mutation” leads to “Howling With The Banshee” which arrives shrouded in a dense fog of an atmosphere. After opening with a nod to one of those influences, in this case Zeppelin’s “No Quarter”, it begins to majestically unfold.
The album ends with “Our New MediaEvil World” a 12-minute piece that says it how it seems, to many of us, to be. “Superficial gadgets clutter, dictate our daily lives, suppress life’s appetite and elevation of the mind.”
Already attracting attention across France and beyond this album should see their reputation quickly gathering momentum. WolfSpring is a superbly written, expertly performed, and highly recommended album that is well worth exploring from a band who deserve to be listened to.
You can visit their MySpace page for more information and the all important listen.