Wolve is an apt name for this band in that it is what I call the singularization of a plural. The plural of “wolf” is “wolves” but if you just were to make the plural into its own singular word, it would be “wolve.” The reason I like that is because although Wolve is a band and sounds very much like a band, it is the work of one man. The talent behind Wolve is Julien Sournac. While there are members listed as being part of the Wolve collective as a live entity, it is Sournac who performs everything on “Sleepwalker.”
The opening track “The Tall Trees” is more of an acoustic introduction to the album as whole. The album has 3 epics on it. The first epic is “Cassiah” which has a lush feeling to it while still retaining its edges. The urgency of the vocals in the middle of the song really stand out. Sournac is a great vocalist who can go from a hush to a yell and never lose any power or emotion. “Cassiah” has plenty of post-metal atmosphere as well which includes some spoken word in the form of a radio like transmission.
The next track is the second epic “Ocean” which starts very tranquil. At times, Sournac’s voice reminds me of fellow French one man band Nicholas Chapel of Demians, but Sournac has a stronger voice. “Ocean” kicks in with a great riff and eventually the more spacious section that follows actually has a tambourine! Yeah damn right! A tambourine! And it sounds great. A cool angular riff is next which is quite proggy.
“Countdown” follows “Ocean” and it’s more of a short interlude than a song. The final epic “Colors Collapse” is a nice slow building track which by the 2 and a half minute mark you get punched in the face with a killer, stoner metal like riff. The song has plenty of dynamics like much of the longer songs do. The sections are soft, then hard and then go back and forth with excellent transitions. The guitar solo in the middle of “Colors Collapse” is a true highlight of this album.
The album closes out with the title track which, like the opener, is an acoustic track, though this is more of a full song than just a brief piece of music. It makes for nice bookends on the album. Wolve have created a great piece of work that will appeal to fans of prog metal and post-rock. “Sleepwalker” is the perfect merge of those styles and it proves without a doubt that it doesn’t matter how many people are in the band when one of them is as gifted as Julien Sournac.
1. The Tall Trees
5. Colors Collapse