The Dorje / Toska / Clockwork Wolf & Co Thread

doctorpaul

Negative, Ghost Rider, the pattern is full.
Staff member
#1
Ok. So, despite my time here, despite all the hours of moderation and despite owning (counts) ... four ... of his cast-off guitars, I’ve always considered Mr Chapman as little more than a capable and affable guitar-type. It follows that I’ve never really spent much time with his recordings.
That has changed.
I downloaded the back-catalogues of Mr Chapman, Dorje, Clockwork Wolf & Co, and added Toska and Rabea’s album (Grinding Gears) for good measure.
I concentrated and deliberated, and have done more than my fair share of rocking the fuck out.
Well.
Fuck me absolutely RAGGED.
It turns out that I’m a major-league fanboi.
Who knew.

It’s presumably not just me.

Discuss.


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drittal

Nerd on the Prairie
#3
I like the CWW&Co Ep.

Aeromancy is what got me hooked.

I really like the stuff Bea did in Grinding gears.

It’s not for everybody. My first exposure was Catalyst and I wasn’t overly enticed by it. But I tried again later. My buddy can’t get get into any of it.


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bad alice

Easily distracted and...OHLOOKAGUITAR!!!
#4
I’m kind of stuck between liking/loving a lot of the music!
But...
.

..


...


I find the lyrics cripplingly lame
And the vocals feel awfully *forced*
:facepalm:
*shrugs*
In short, I’d love to hear instrumentals of Rob’s tunes a lot more than the current versions.
:)
 

ChrisACT

Well-Known Member
#5
I've bought all of the recordings as above.

Clockwork Wolf & Co is probably my least fav but I do like it. The production on it is good but I guess that kind of more bluesy side of things is something I've gotta be in the mood for to really enjoy it.

The two Dorje EPs were on very high rotation for months, likewise with all the Toska stuff.

Bea's grinding gears album is a little hit and miss. There are some epic riffs on it that I really like, but a lot of the songs are short. Yeah, I get that he wrote them mostly for gear demos and only released them because everybody asked him to. It's not really an "album". So I'm not criticising him for that. It is what it is and I still love listening to it. Just wish some of those incredible compositions were longer.

Still happy to support all of these guys by buying their music. Not just because I like the music but mainly because I like their attitude. Really positive dudes who are trying to create meaningful stuff.

Yeah, sometimes the lyrics are cheesy buy I can identify with that because my lyrics are at least as cheesy.
 

Tankman

Subtly not giving a F*ck
#6
Honestly, I'm more into Rabea's playing than I am into Rob's. I think the first Toska EP is great, although I really have to be in the mood for instrumental music if I'm going to listen to it. Dorje is great, although I think Rob's singing is ok at best, but it does the job. CWW&CO is ok, but the videoclip they made kind of ruins it because of the terrible acting. The music is also ok at best. I also agree with @bad alice that the lyrics are always kind of cheesy. I have a hard time listening to sub par lyrics.


Edit: for some reason my posts about Chappers always end up coming over as a lot more negative than I intend them to be. I have nothing against the guy, but the things about him that do annoy me, annoy me a lot.

Aaaaand, there I go being negative again....
 
#7
I've not really got into any of them although I've listened to some of them here and there. My comments will really just relate to Dorje as I haven't yet listened to the Clockwork stuff, and some of the comments apply equally to Toska.

As others have said, unfortunately Rob's voice is the weak link sonically. Musically, I think they are great - they are all highly skilled musicians, they write interesting, complex stuff and they have a great sound. I would LOVE to hear Dorje with Myles Kennedy doing the vocals - I think that would sound fantastic.

Apart from the sound, I think that they suffer from a lack of a strong visual identity. Dorje just looks like four guys jamming together without a group identity. They don't really make any effort with costumes, make-up or anything else to create a group brand - they seem to just roll up in whatever they throw on that morning. They also look very disparate - Dave and his dreads has a totally different look to Ben who is too....bland, I suppose. Rabea looks too nice, and Rob is ok but he's a bit advanced in years for a kick-ass, relatively young group (I mean the age of the group rather than the people in it).

All of that is harsh, but life *is* harsh, particularly in the commercial arena, and I think this is a significant weakness from a marketing perspective. When I say Rabea looks too nice, for example, I think about Mark Tremonti. When he's playing, he looks properly mean, and that goes along with the vibe of the music. If you see him in interviews, he seems to be a really nice guy as well, but a good gig is as much about acting and presenting an image as it is about the music, maybe more. Look at bands like Alice Cooper, Nightwish, Alter Bridge even (although their image is quite stripped back but it's still hard core), and even Steel Panther who are an extreme example in one sense, but they have built their reputation on an artificially exaggerated image on top of their great musicianship.

Them's my thoughts, for what they're worth.
 

Wade Garrett

I am the projectionist.
#8
I bought the Catalyst ep by Dorje when it came out and listened a fair bit to it. It seems Rob's voice takes a fair bit of flak quite often and I get it, it's a very distinctive sound (I can't listen to Ozzy Osbourne for too long for the same reason). I wasn't a huge fan initially either but he took lessons and really worked at it and by the time Catalyst came out I though he had made very impressive strides in his ability. His vocal fry for instance sounds really good on that record , you can tell that Chris Cornell was a big influence on him. Credit when it's due.

I enjoyed the ep enough that I bought a hoodie and a t shirt so they must have done something right! I'll get around to the second ep eventually, I just keep forgetting to buy it. I might do that today...err, if I don't forget again!
 
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Tankman

Subtly not giving a F*ck
#9
There's no question Rob has improved his singing technique incredibly. But you can be a great singer and have a not so great sound. I think he lacks some feel as well and that probably comes from using good technique. He might be too focused on doing it right in stead of making it feel right.

Take Matt Heafy of Trivium on their last album for example. He started screaming again, but using the right technique which is fine for live, but when recording The Sin and the Sentence the producer wasn't feeling it. It sounded stale. So he asked Matt to try and sing and scream again, this time, without using his technique, but by using his emotion. He did. The album turned out amazing.

The moral here is to use your technique live so you don't cut your career short, but use every trick in the bag when recording.
 
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ChrisACT

Well-Known Member
#10
I think Rob's voice has come along in leaps and bounds since the early days. Is he Chris Cornell? No. But nobody else is either.

And remember that he was not a singer. He just needed a front guy and couldn't find the right one so he decided to have a go. He got lessons and worked his butt off at it. I reckon he's done pretty well and I believe he will continue to improve.

We should probably all take a leaf outta his book in that regard.
 

SemiCullen

Still haven't got the hang of Thursdays
#14
I adore Toska. Rabea is easily on my top-10 list of favorite guitarists.

I find Rob to be an affable, genuine person. I think he is a very skilled guitarist. I really enjoy his video content. That said, I can't listen to anything in which Rob is singing. Just not my thing. Dorje appeals to me musically. There is some interesting stuff going on there. But, yeah.

The Clockwork Wolf stuff ... well, maybe it's because I live in Memphis and grew up around New Orleans, but bands like this are a dime a dozen round these parts and it just comes across a bit hokey to me. Really not my thing.
 
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AngusWolfe

Likes red things.
#15
Toska are one of my favourite bands at the moment, and completely changed my opinion of modern rock music. They've unlocked the likes of TesseracT, Karnivool, Black Peaks, Architects, etc. Which I would have not given 30 seconds of my time to a few years ago. They and TesseracT are the only bands that I am desperate to see live right now, having missed both their gigs late last year.

Dorje I like the music of, but am not a big fan of the lyrics, as others have said.

I've only given the Clockwork Wolf EP one listen, and I failed to get excited by it just because I've heard Rob play those riffs for years. His voice does seem to fit it more though, so I'll be intrigued to hear when they write truly new songs.
 

Chu

Well-Known Member
#16
I quite like most of it. I have found the CWW&Co quite interesting. I actually think that Rob has a great voice, his fry is excellent and range is stunning. The only bit that holds me back a little is that I find he leans a little to heavily into the technique. He often pronounces words in a way to increase his projection and that detracts a little, particularly pushing the mid-range in his voice, creating mud. I'd rather he concentrated more on his diction/enunciation. But it's easy to be a critic and he plays and sings much better than me!
 

drittal

Nerd on the Prairie
#17
I think the biggest problem is the same problems all rock/metal artists are finding difficult in the internet age... NO RECORD MONEY.

And I’m not talking money the band makes. I’m talking money the record labels advance artists to make a record. Because there is so much less money in the recording process, we get a lesser product. The music is tight. The sound quality is good. The product is still less than it could be with people pushing them for not just better, but the best they can do.

Secondary would be these guys are all comfortable. Great music is usually made by hungry and/or tormented artists. Consumers can tell when your bullshitting your lyrics. It’s about the connection.


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SemiCullen

Still haven't got the hang of Thursdays
#18
Secondary would be these guys are all comfortable. Great music is usually made by hungry and/or tormented artists. Consumers can tell when your bullshitting your lyrics. It’s about the connection.
I generally agree with this. Angst inspries a lot of great music. However, I also think it kind of depends upon what kind of music you're making. Prog can lend itself toward less of that angsty rock attitude. Floyd was making a lot of great music well into their comfortable years. Dream Theater, too.
 

beans & rice

Well-Known Member
#19
Nice thread. :)

I can't recall exactly how I came across the Chapman universe. I think it was when I was looking at video lessons and ended up down a YT rabbit hole. Heard a song and liked that Rob guy and the gear, and bought into it. Then got more exposed to all the facets.
Fan, for sure. But I have only heard the first single from Wolf.
 

everfreetree

I... I like trees.
#20
Genuinely chuckled, but also, I guess, not too surprised, somehow.
Glad to hear you checked out ol' Bob's albums and found something new that you like!
I like most of the music. I will never love all of it, cause I'm a picky bugger, but I can put on any of the albums/bands/etc, listed in this thread and not complain or run over to my phone/radio to turn them off when they pop up on a playlist, so it's mostly about what kinda mood I'm in.

- I bought the CW&Co vinyl, because... I like pretty vinyl, and I loved the cover. I enjoyed the first album, but mostly, I look forward to the future albums, and a purchase encourages that, somewhat.
- The Dorje EPs never seem to leave my playlist, and I only skip... maybe 2 of the songs, and that's only after 50+ plays of them, over some time.
- Toska I put on in the background and don't find myself constantly engaged, but I also haven't caught myself ignoring it, or skipping songs... which is impressive.
- Rabea's solo album I have (to my shame) barely added to a playlist, and I've only listened to 3 songs... I'll get there, I'm just being picky and have to be "in a mood" for it. I like what I've heard. Rabea is painfully skilled.

It still astounds me how many people don't quite get that Rob actually IS a gigging musician, in a band (or 2), who went to school, worked hard, and built a rock solid foundation for his music, and isn't just "Some modern pandering YouTube personality" or "That guitar dude on YouTube. No, not that one, the other one. The one with Andertons. No, not Danish Pete, the one with the beard."
Though, the majority of those people are in the YouTube comments saying the same old crap on various channels, so I don't give their voices much weight...
 
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