Opinion Review

WonderWolf: The Long Winter

Cape Town-based muso Gideon Kretschmer hit the nail on the head when describing the versatile, multifaceted nature of his solo project’s debut album. Gaining roughly 15 000 views on Youtube for the record’s first two singles, Kretschmer’s inaugural effort, predominantly recorded at his home, undoubtedly highlights his years of experience in writing and performing.

“This has been a personal project done mainly just for the fun and fulfillment of creating and recording music,” expresses WonderWolf. The artist’s moniker appears to be a consequence of his approach – an album encompassing the polarity of pop-rock ballads and densely-distorted post hardcore. “The light and positive energy of wonder, and the dark mysteries of the wolf,” he explains.

Opener ‘The Impossible’ immediately resembles characteristics of Avenged Sevenfold circa 2005. As in follow-up’s ‘Sail Away’ and ‘Strangers’, the heavily-distorted guitar work alongside a dense, tasty bass accompaniment and a powerfully-raw vocal timbre shine throughout. Although I feel the drum tones should’ve been denser, the effort put into the intricate compositions are admirable.

‘It’s Not Forever’, ‘Light Up’ and ‘It’s on Fire’ strike a balance between pop-punk intros and early Seether, encompassing impressive solos in aggressively-powerful ambiences. The former’s multiple guitar melodies and triumphant, hopeful motive lead way into a refreshing change of pace.

Nothing like a delicate mid-album contrast to surprise. ‘Ghosts’, a welcoming acoustic guitar-driven ballad, serves as an ode to a, perhaps distant, romantic scene, as in ‘Drifting Away’ and ‘Single Season Lie’. “Now you are a ghost, well so am I,” preaches Kretschmer in stellar harmonies, provoking me to reminisce on my A-typical woeful adolescence.

Although the guitar line in ‘Here’s to Goodbyes’ distinctly resembles Kings of Leon’s ‘Radioactive’, the track’s powerful vocals and grunge-soaked closer ‘Whispers’ showcase just how emotively-fuelled WonderWolf inherently is. An amalgamation of gained experience and a pure desire for fulfillment, it’s no wonder Kretschmer’s solo endeavour has already done quite well.

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Listen to “The Long Winter” on Deezer.