Wolfgang

Wurm

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AllMusic Review by

In late 1997, Filipino metal/hard rock band, Wolfgang, released its third album, Wurm. Wolfgang's previous album, 1996's Semenelin, was widely hailed and gave Wolfgang much marquee value throughout the Philippines, a remarkable accomplishment considering that rock, let alone metal, isn't widely heard in the country. Wurm proved to be Wolfgang's most adventurous and satisfying album yet. It is easily one of the best rock albums ever released in the Philippines, and capable of holding its own in the international metal/hard rock field. Built on the band's trademark precision riffs and muscular group interplay, Wurm also displays remarkable diversity, transversing such musical territory as the razor-edged intensity of "Sanctified," the expansiveness of "Molds," with its adventurous key and tempo changes, and the tender melodiousness of "She Is My Cain." The album is conceptual in nature, and concerns a man who criticizes and helps overthrow the sitting king and becomes king himself, only to face the same type of criticism by others. All songs on Wurm are written in English. On several tracks, lead singer Basti Artadi's vocals seem threaded through the musical tapestry, as though another instrument in the mix. Bassist Mon Legaspi is a major revelation, displaying an affinity for jazz-inspired basslines and providing a bold counterpoint to Legarda's guitar. The album has a minor blemish, however, as the chants and rants of the wordless "The Last Solar Eclipse of the 21st Century" could easily be cut. Wolfgang forbids its record company to release precise sales figures, but Wurm reached at least platinum (40,000 units sold), which was less than the double-platinum notched by Semenelin. Nonetheless, the album contributes mightily to the band's reputation. Wurm, which was recorded entirely in English, was released in Japan in early 1998.

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