Cold Light of Monday

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Mostly eschewing growling and thrashing for a cleanly produced progressive metal sound, Wolverine has carefully crafted a melancholy concept album about Sarah, a young victim of abuse who tries to make sense of her life. The songs flow together smoothly, although some of them, including the semi-industrial "Tightrope" and offbeat percussion-oriented instrumental "Red Canvas," seem more like interludes. Stefan Zell's singing may be too angst-ridden and bombastic for some listeners, but he does try to wring every last ounce of emotion out of the songs, and the rest of the band sounds comparably moody and grandiloquent. The lyrics are appropriately evocative even though they aren't particularly original or deep, and Wolverine does an impressive job of maintaining a ponderous mood without sounding like molten sludge. So if you're "fighting against the emptiness" and interested in the "artwork of pain," you might find this album cathartic.

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