Lynne, Bjorn - Wolves Of The Gods

Year of Release: 1999
Label: Cyclops
Catalog Number: CYCL 076
Format: CD
Total Time: 70:36:00

Beautiful. A word that both sums up and doesn't even begin to describe this album from Bjorn Lynne. Wolves Of The Gods is based on the novel by Allan Cole. This is classically inspired symphonic progressive music that will appeal both to classical music fans and to symphonic progressive a la Rick Wakeman. Fans of Italian symphonic progressive will also find much of interest here, as this shares a similar feel and attitude. All of the instruments, but for some additional solo guitar on a few tracks by Rory McLeish, are played by Lynne - that list includes the expected guitars (acoustic and electric), bass, keys, percussion, and programming, as well as voices.

This a very textured work, lyrical, pastoral at times. To categorize this as "rock" is somewhat a misnomer, modern classical might be a better term. Like the greats of another age, there is so much drama and feeling wrapped up into the compositions. That isn't to suggest it doesn't have its "rock" moments - there are very heavy guitar phrases during "Shapechanger" which suggest the darkness and struggle of this particular section of the story.

That story is one part fantasy, one part parable ? the wizard Safar Timura and his people are driven from their homes, heading for "the mythical isle of Syrapis." On the way there, they will encounter challenges, obstacles. The elements of the story are quite familiar, as it follows the crux of most fiction, most clearly drawn in the fantasy realm - the quest. While the quest is often for a physical thing or place, it is truly more a quest for something less tangible. It is, as a parable, the quest we are all on whether we acknowledge it or not. I might add I'm not a spiritual/religious person so I won't be quite so concrete as to say we're all on a spiritual quest, but even the most cynical of us must be hoping for something at the long journey that is life.

As this is a review of Bjorn Lynne's album and not a philosophical discussion, I'll leave it at that. This is the kind of music that carries you along on its journey, all instrumental, so there are no lyrics to figure out, though the "chapters" that go along with each track are included. This thought strikes me as I listen to this - here is another contender artist for scoring the new Lord of the Rings movie (if not already decided upon). Lynne's music here has that same scope of feeling, the same contrasts between dark and light, between despair and hope.

"The Spirit Rider" aptly captures the sense of the chase, as "Safar, riding the [...] white stallion Khysmet, pursues a mysterious horsewoman through the moonlight." The driving beat moves the song with the sensation of movement, echoing the swift loping stride of the horses.

The track I'm most familiar with, having played it now dozens of times as an MP3, is "Queen Hantilia." It is via this track that I was moved to explore the entire album.

The guitar solo on "Kyrania" will remind one of Craig Chaquico, with those tight, crystal clear steel strings (at least they sound like steel strings), though the track closes out with a warmer guitar solo.

This comes highly recommended.

Proloque - To Dream Of Wolves (3:31) / Demon Moon (6:37) / Shapechanger (7:01) / Leiria - Lips or Sword (5:36) / The Ghost Warriors Of Caluz (5:25) / The Spirit Rider (8:19) / Palimak's Revenge (8:12) / Kyrania (5:10) / Queen Hantilia (7:21) / The Beckoning Sea (10:04) / Epilogue - Safar's Song (3:16)

Bjorn Lynne - acoustic and electric guitars, bass guitar, keys, voices, percussion, programming, and 'miscellaneous'
Rory McLeish - additional solo guitar (3, 4, 8, 10)

Hobbits and Spaceships (1992) (w/Seppo Hurme)
Montage (1994)
Dreamstate (1995)
Witchwood (1996)
The Void (1997)
Wizard of the Winds (1998)
Wolves Of The Gods (1999)
Revive (2000)
The Gods Awaken (2001)
Accelerator (2001)
Colony (2002)
Return To Witchwood (2003)

Plus a lot of video game music and music released under the Divinorum moniker.

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin UK

Added: January 10th 2000
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 963
Language: english


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