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Steven Wilson - The Raven That Refused To Sing (And Other Stories) CD (album) cover

THE RAVEN THAT REFUSED TO SING (AND OTHER STORIES)

Steven Wilson

 

Crossover Prog

4.31 | 1062 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Tull Tales
5 stars This record is phenomenal! The band that is assembled here is nothing short of incredible. Guthrie Govan is one of the greatest guitarists on the planet. Check him out on YouTube. I defy you not to smile while watching this guy play. Marco Minneman's percussion brings an energy and precision that really punctuates the complexity of these songs. Theo Travis' woodwinds lend an air of sophistication and beauty that are breathtaking. I was not as familiar with Nick Beggs or Adam Holzman, but both are excellent players in their own right.

The strength of the album though, is really in the songs themselves. Wilson takes you on quite the journey. Starting with the energetic "Luminol" which moves through several moods before coming back to a high energy finish. "Drive Home" is probably the most reminiscent of Porcupine Tree and has lush strings and a wonderful guitar solo at the end. "The Holy Drinker" is dark and heavy and kind of reminds me of early 'King Crimson' at times. The players really show their skills on this one. "The Pin Drop" has a lilting melody for the first verse, then a crashing and up tempo "chorus". I love the alternate melody for the second verse. Another great solo by Govan. "The Watchmaker" has a 'Genesis" feel to it, starting off with a quiet melody over 12 string guitar. The song builds in intensity, has a very nice flute solo and then a mind blowing guitar/ sax solo interplay. Wow! A very nice layered vocal over acoustic piano section follows, and then a very dark finish. Wonderful lyrics on this one as well. "The Raven That Refused To Sing" is just stunning with its haunting melody and understated playing. Very nice finish to a very strong effort.

The production is fantastic with Alan Parsons at the engineering helm, and Wilson's ear for detail in control of the mix. Everything is clear and in its perfect place and balance.

The album is not "perfect", but it certainly has the goose bump factor. It strikes that perfect balance that I looked for in the early days, between mastery of the individual instruments, and attention to composition. The players are all great, but the songs are the focal point.

Tull Tales | 5/5 |

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