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Steven Wilson - Insurgentes CD (album) cover


Steven Wilson


Crossover Prog

3.82 | 974 ratings

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4 stars I've been living with an MP3 version of this album which I was given access to having pre-ordered it last December. Now my hard copy has arrived I thought it time to give it a review whilst listening to it in best quality audio.

For his first solo album, at least in name anyway, Wilson has produced a strong album drawing on influences from most of his many projects. There's elements of Porcupine Tree's eclectic mix of prog, though drawing more from their pre-metal influenced material, the melodic Blackfield and even some ambient textures courtesy of Bass Communion for starters. So while Insurgentes is not particularly original, sitting somewhere in the middle of previous projects, it is nevertheless a welcome addition to his prolific output.

Overall it's a moody and atmospheric album, immediately evident on opener Harmony Korine. Wilson's melancholic vocals and sweetly melodic and repetitive guitar line soon give way to powerful psychedelic riffing making for a wall of sound approach. One of my favourite tracks is Salvaging with its repetitive and driving bass riff and ringing guitar; simple but effective. A mid song lull for a string section turns into a dischordant drone to finish.

Perhaps best of all is the King Crimson inspired (there's a clue in the title) No Twilight Within The Courts Of The Sun. To add to the Crimson authenticity Wilson has also managed to recruit Tony Levin to play bass on this (and Significant Other). For much of the song it has an insistent and repetitive riff, starting quietly and building with Wilson supplying some jarring arbitrary sounding lead work. It's over 4 minutes before the vocals come in and a lull towards the end gives a false sense of security as the song explodes into life for a final assault. There's also some fine drumming from fellow Porcupine Tree member Gavin Harrison who plays on most of the album.

On the more melodic side are Get All You Deserve and Significant Other which both have a haunting beauty but still have time to delelop into a noisy finale. Only Child is another very strong track with its driving top heavy bass. Once again quite a repetitive groove prevails, like much of the material giving the album a kind of hypnotic vibe.

I enjoyed this album very much, if not quite as good as the best Porcupine Tree have to offer, then on par at least with most of their albums. Anyone who's enjoyed Wilson's work in the past will surely want to check this out, especially those who prefer Porcupine Tree before the Opeth inspired metal influences started to creep in.

Nightfly | 4/5 |


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