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Steven Wilson - The Harmony Codex CD (album) cover

THE HARMONY CODEX

Steven Wilson

 

Crossover Prog

3.64 | 224 ratings

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Devolvator
4 stars "The Long Way to Harmony." Steven Wilson's harmonies, of course. For a long time, I did not perceive this album, and frankly, it was the most "hard-to-get" release of ALL Steven's work (including absolutely all his bands). The cover - there is definitely something in this, something above the meaning, incomprehensible; here you need to ask the author. A very deceptive but vivid feeling is created when you listen to this record for the first time. It's like the record is too positive, and Steven decided to show the "bright sides" of hope, but this is fundamentally not the case! This is his darkest album, as far as possible. These are fragments of the "capitalist" depression, and loss of self-control, coupled with a sense of meaninglessness and disintegration of being. The concept of many of the album's songs is loss of hope and dehumanization. Fortunately, there are interpretations and texts on the official release website. The first impression is "What Life Brings", a direct reference to "12 Things I Forgot", only more expanded and rich in arrangements. A classic rock ballad, with a good measure of 70s prog rock. Perhaps the same "falling from the roof of the house" vibe is created by the dark, pulsating "Economy Of Scales; the composition seems to fall into the void, through the silence of a gloomy metropolis, window lights and cigarette smoke, loss, fatigue, unwillingness to live, due to moral decline. The thing itself is very beautiful, like a paper airplane soaring and falling down where there is no bottom. One of the best examples of Steven's beautiful singing. Heavy (by the standards of the album) "The Beautiful Scarecrow" - whose pulsating keyboards eerily stand up, like that very scarecrow through a nondescript landscape. Adam Holzman is a brilliant "gunner" familiar from Steven's previous solo albums (thank God, he did not refuse the services of a keyboard player on this disc). "Actual Brutal Facts". Ha! Disgusting, nasty, unpleasant! Yes, it's as ugly as possible, but thanks to this, the composition shoots out, sounding like a creepy dog barking. Steve just "spits" punch lines at the listener, like some Russian rapper of the premier class. Great! It works one hundred percent here! Perhaps the dirtiest and most impenetrable black spot in Wilson's music, maybe the guy just hated all this studio fuss and poured all his poison into this "real piece of shit", and therefore the thing sounds true and cool! Brutal, actual, according to the facts! Concept: something about toxic people and the danger of not acting on depreciation and devaluing blah blah. The main thing here is the music, the message! Yes! Filth, vice, horror and the reigning world of shadows, dog heads, hell and doom! The core and semantic "fist" of the album is the "Staircase" - an elite house, an expensive quadcopter, computers, drones, a car. But all this turns out to be really rotten and empty, due to the hero's lack of love and real affection for anything. A person is forced to run all his life, because stopping means depreciation, devaluation and death of what he has achieved ? this is a concept. There can be any interpretation here, as well as meanings, but the main thing is the music: as a sad result of the entire album, it goes darkly, crushed to nowhere, under the mournful lamentations of Steven Wilson. He put his whole soul into this admission, so much so that it gets scary for the guy. Steven is all inside out without skin:

Automaton drone You're lost with no phone And the home you made your own Can never be paid for The great in the small, the rise and the fall And you come back for more The need to belong And the will to do no wrong The ones that you lost, abandoned or crossed Will haunt you

It is no longer people who control processes and things, but people themselves who are controlled by technology and the greed of politicians who get under our skin with the help of trends and expensive things. Yes, perhaps this is the harsh truth of life. A cruel and fleeting world. A really dark and incredibly colorful album, richly published as usual, with the "noble modesty" of the packaging design. There are a dime a dozen meanings and harmonies here, and even "Rock Bottom" no longer seems such a creative disaster as at first glance. So why is the rate only 4? (it's actually 3, just out of great love for Steven) The fact is that "Impossible STRANGEHOLD" is still an icy dead end for me! Ten minutes of meaningless trampling in a place where the composition simply does not develop and does not fade, here I boldly say that Steven is experiencing serious difficulties as a composer. It would be better if this long senseless electric suffocating mess remained on the dusty master tapes without leaving the limits of Wilson's head. Or at least "decorate" some kind of deluxe edition bonus disc, but alas. Is this the part of the album that you want to cut out? Part of the album? What the hell? Damn it! It lasts as much as 10 minutes! I can't describe this without obscene, dirty language, I'm sorry. It destroys the harmony of the album completely. That's all for now.

Devolvator | 4/5 |

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