WONDERLAND – Seven Wonders And Four Little Miracles (2017/2018)
It took more than a decade for Swedes WONDERLAND to finally record their full debut “Seven Wonders And Four Little Miracles“, but well worth the wait. Listening to the album is like a reunion with an old good friend you’ve not seen for years. I’m talking about the time – the ’80s – when Progressive Rock fused with AOR and this wonderful sub-genre born: proggy AOR.
Yeah, you know the usual suspects: WONDERLAND is influenced by SAGA, ASIA, MARILLION, and I can hear bits of A.C.T and JONO as well, because some musical parts are almost hard rocking.
Just check the opener ‘Hold My Soul’… a pumpy, punchy rocker with a wonderful AOR main melody, strong guitars and verses that recall VEGA. However, at mid-point, a keyboard solo brings to the fore the proggy side of the band, and next a guitar solo is close to hard rock. Fantastic mix.
WONDERLAND was founded the past decade and recorded a self-distributed album with 7 songs on it.
But the guys wanted a more complete album, and fuller production. So they re-worked these old compositions and created 4 new. Hence the album title: “Seven Wonders And Four Little Miracles”.
But let’s go back to the music: track 2 ‘Can’t Get Too Much’ puts the pedal to the metal, and rocks with a hard rocking energy, busy rhythm section and more biting lead vocals.
Next, ‘Playing Your Game’ has an ’80s SAGA touch yet with nerve guitars, then ‘In Too Deep’ adds some JONO-like exquisite arrangements into this sweet midtempo lite-proggy song.
I would call ‘Afraid’ a melodic rock epic, as the genre is present on its core and chorus, but the overall vibe and elaborated instrumentation give to it an accessible, proggy feel.
You have more quality with the killer ‘Devil And The Deep Blue Sea’, a rocker driven by awesome broken riffs, AORish atmospheres and crystal clear lead vocals. As happens on the entire record, the keys are ever present painting a colorful palette.
Next there’s a composition titled ‘667’ divided in three parts: ‘Youth’ is a short instrumental with acoustics akin YES / Trevor Rabin, ‘Failing’ adds a bluesy Floyd-esque vibe, then ‘Gammal Fäbodpsalm’ explore WONDERLAND’s love for classic Prog.
This band isn’t a one trick pony for sure, as the relaxed ‘Abandoned Ship’ mix CAMEL with something similar to MARK KNOPFLER… weird, but works wonderfully.
‘The Rush Of Possibilities’ is a return to the upbeat rocking territory via a simple riff, rumbling bass lines and melodic keys / verses. The vocals are strong embellished with harmonies and then a superb hard rocking guitar / keyboard solo interplay explodes.
‘In Anticipation’ wraps this always interesting album with a midtempo pace where the guitar works in sync with the lead vocals for a solid drive of the song.
“Seven Wonders And Four Little Miracles” was originally released last year, but only now it’s being widely available at all retailers, and let me tell you this WONDERLAND debut worth every penny.
Songwriting is varied and captivating – it will hook-in fans of all musical genres ranging from lite-prog to AOR to hard rock – musicianship is impeccable and production top notch.
Seriously, “Seven Wonders And Four Little Miracles” is a terrific album.
01 – Hold My Soul
02 – Can’t Get Too Much
03 – Playing Your Game
04 – Into The Deep
05 – In Too Deep
06 – Afraid
07 – Devil And The Deep Blue Sea
08 – Youth (667 Part l)
09 – Failing (667 Part ll)
10 – Gammal Fäbodpsalm (667 Part lll)
11 – Abandoned Ship
12 – The Rush Of Possibilities
13 – In Anticipation
Pelle Andersson: Guitar, Vocals
Jocke Janson: Drums
Bosse Karlsson: Keyboards, Vocals
Patrik Adiels: Bass
Klas Ling: Vocals
BUY IT !