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Blackfield Blackfield album cover
3.81 | 460 ratings | 43 reviews | 30% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2004

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Open Mind (3:50)
2. Blackfield (4:07)
3. Glow (4:00)
4. Scars (3:57)
5. Lullaby (3:29)
6. Pain (3:47)
7. Summer (4:12)
8. Cloudy Now (3:34)
9. The Hole in Me (2:47)
10. Hello (3:09)

Total Time 36:52

Bonus Enhanced CD with 2004 Snapper release:
1. Perfect World (3:52)
2. Where Is My Love? (3:03)
3. Cloudy Now (live) (3:43)
4. "Blackfield" video clip (4:01)

Bonus 12" with 2004 LP release:
1. Perfect World (3:53)
2. Feel So Low (Porcupine Tree) (5:23)

Line-up / Musicians

- Aviv Geffen / lead vocals, guitars, co-producer
- Steven Wilson / lead vocals, guitars, co-producer & mixing
- Daniel Salomon / keyboards, backing vocals, strings conductor
- Seffy Efrati / bass guitar
- Chris Maitland / drums (2,9,10), backing vocals

- Gavin Harrison / drums (1,6)
- Yirmy Kaplan / drums (3,7)
- The Illusion Quartet / strings (1,5,7,10)
- The Mistakes (D. Salomon, S. Efrati, Tomer Z, Eran Mitelman) / instrumental recording (4)

Releases information

ArtWork: Carl Glover with Ran Barlev (design) and Lasse Hoile (photo)

CD Kscope - KSCOPE125M (2004, Europe)
2CD Snapper Music ‎- SMACD880 (2004, UK) w/ 4 bonus tracks

LP Gates Of Dawn - GOD 008 (2004, US) w/ bonus 12" (2 tracks)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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Buy BLACKFIELD Blackfield Music

BLACKFIELD Blackfield ratings distribution

(460 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(30%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(46%)
Good, but non-essential (19%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

BLACKFIELD Blackfield reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Dan Bobrowski
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This is a good collaborative effort, though Steve Wilson should have had Aviv Geffen sing lead on more tracks. He's a great singer. It sounds much like a Porcupine Tree CD with SW's distrinctive voice. Not a bad thing, mind you, but rather static. A more diversified vocal delivery would have helped. It could have been a bit longer, more soloing or a few more tracks could have fleshed it out better. All the songs are strong,I can't really point out a weakness. Loved the mellotron.

You like PT?, you'll like this.

Review by loserboy
4 stars Now here is a very special album that needs to be listened to over and over and over again. BLACKFIELD is the genius of the duo of Israel's avant-garge music idol Aviv Geffen and PORCUPINE TREE's Steve Wilson. The end result is a 10 track album of shorter yet very powerful tracks that resonate with the musical prowess of PORCUPINE TREE and ooze with the incredible song writing talents of Aviv Geffen. Musically this album is quite particular with great emphasis on deep instrumental tones and remarkable sound. Most of the singing is performed by Steven Wilson and carried with his little psychedelic phasing and haunting harmonies. Drumming is handled on the album by the likes of Gavin Harrison, Chris Maitland and Jeremy Kaplan. Instrumentally the songs on BLACKFIELD contain lots of fluid guitar work, symphonic strings and lots of great keyboards. Overall a fantastic album full of highly memorable songs and that certain spark that seems to follow Steve Wilson around where ever he travels.
Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Just got the CD couple days ago. You know, I live in "the rest of the world" country where I've always got prog album very late when most of you have already got it months ago. The CD is one of 16 fine prog CDs / DVD and prog books that I ordered through amazon and lasercd while my prog friend, Rizal, visited US for approx 2 weeks early of this month. That has made the delivery faster than regular mail to my country. Once I got it, I don't know why I tend to spin BLACKFIELD. It's probably two reasons: it's a collaborative work of multinational coming from developed and developing country; and it's definitely because of STEVE WILSON name. Yes, I have always liked Steve's work. It's probably "bias" review. So be it. I understand that most music review is heavily influenced by personal taste, background and music preference of its reviewer.

This CD really BLEW me the fist time I listened to it. Its music is, of course, heavily influenced by Wilson's music / Porcupine Tree, composed in an atmospheric, ambient style. It's probably a modern psychedelic type of music. It's very similar to later works of Porcupine Tree - "Stupid Dream" or "Lightbulb Sun". When the CD reached track 8 "Cloudy Now" I was really stunned. The tagline melody and musical nuances rang me a bell to other's work. What is it? I was not aware of it the first time. And then I repeat and repeat and repeat ... until I got something really crystal CLEAR in my mind. Yup! Yup! Yup!Gotcha!!!! It's definitely really really damn close to the tagline melody and music nuance of ...., guess who???, (if you have this CD already, try to spin this track 8 NOW!) .... yeah...... .... it's a song under "Amused to Death" album of Roger Waters (previously with PINK FLOYD). If you want the exact tune, it's a song titled as "It's A Miracle" - the 13th track of the album. Find it NOW! Spin the two tracks. You will definitely agree with me. "It's A Miracle" was my favorite track when I was enjoying Roger's DVD titled "In The Flesh" couple months ago.

Well guys, ... I hope that this similarity is a "coincidence". I have insofar never heard any similarity of Wilson's or PT's work with PINK FLOYD or the solo albums of its members. So, I hope it's a "coincidence". Based on my research about BLACKFIELD, "Cloudy Now" with other two songs in this debut, ie. "Glow" and "Scars" were remakes of previous work by Geffen. The three were already single hits in Israel. The album that I got comprise of 2 CDs with CD 1 contains 10 short songs (average duration is about 3 - 4 minutes) totaling about 37 minute of music (ouch ... similar to early work of Gentle Giant ...). CD 2 is a bonus CD that contains 3 tracks plus video clip. With current digital technology, I don't really know why this album must be split into 2 CD package. There is HUGE space available in Disc 1 even if it is combined with the video clip.

Let's do track by track review ..

"Open Mind" opens the album with atmospheric music with acoustic guitar and great duo-voice lines, soft keyboard and piano touch in a mellow style. The guitar riffs suddenly come into play augmented by other instrument (drums, bass) at the same time. The riff reminds me to Porcupine Tree work. Sometime the voice is performed in distance or kind like voice through a PA (public address) system. You may have heard the kind of voice in jail, if you watch a film. It's a very attractive track.

"Blackfield" kicks off with a simple piano touch followed by full music performed in psychedelic mode with acoustic guitar rhythm and keyboard. Wilson's voice dominates this track, as a lead singer. Unfortunately, this track lasts too fast as it fades out when actually it can be filled with a long lead guitar solo or keyboard as interlude. The space is there, actually, for any solo. Oh ... it seems the song is like truncated. It's not natural at all.

If you still like the style of mellotronisque sound of 70s prog, "Glow" provides it nicely during the opening track. When the duo voice sings "Please hold me under the sea ." onward . the music reminds me to RADIOHEAD or MUSE type of music.

"Scars" is performed using sampling / sequencing method at the opening track. But the music then is augmented with simple guitar fills and mellotron sound. (It reminds me to early King Crimson or Anekdoten "From Within" album). The lead guitar played at the altar reminds me clearly to Wilson's guitar playing. It's a treat for those who like mellotron or PETER GABRIEL's kind of beat sampling / sequencing. It continues seamlessly to the intro of "Lullaby" using simple piano touch and followed by voice line "Share my cup"... What a great voice, Wilson! It's a very simple song with very limited number of instruments. I like the violin work in this track. "How does it feel without your drugs? (Sing you a lullaby) How does it feel without my love? (Sing you a lullaby)". Uughh . what a great closing! Excellent track.

Track 6 "Pain" is a bit poppy or ballad type as compared to previous tracks. The music composition is simple and straightforward. The organ sound in the short interlude is really stunning. Again, this song is potentially can be composed longer than just mere 3:47 minute. (It's probably Geffen did not want to create music more than 4 minutes so that the song is still "accessible" by most people).

"Summer" is the other ballad song in this album but with more influence of Wilson's music. It's a straight forward psychedelic music. The lead guitar work during interlude is simple but it helps accentuate the overall song composition.

I don't need to review "Cloudy Now" as I have discussed it above. One recommendation is - try listen to this track with Roger's song. I want to hear your opinion. Nevertheless, this is a great track and it's one of my all-time favorite track from this album. Performed excellently!

"The Hole In Me" starts with a keyboard sound followed by full music with distanced voice singing style. The augmentation of acoustic guitar fills is really stunning. The music turns to a faster tempo with a duo voice lines. Simple and wonderful composition Great regret though . this track ends too fast (2:47) when electric solo guitar has just started! What a big regret!

"Hello" is the concluding track of the main album (CD 1) and it's composed nicely; performed in a dup vocal line. The music reminds me to PINK FLOYD's "Division Bell" album. The background music with string arrangement is really cool .. The Gilmourian guitar at the end of the track must end immediately before it reaches ultimate orgasm for the listener. The bonus CD comprises 3 songs: "Perfect World", "Where is My Love?" and "Cloudy Now" (live) and one video clip. "Perfect World" is an acoustic guitar based song with FLOYD influence (early album "Obscured by Clouds"). It's an excellent song. "Where is My Love?" is a typical Porcupine Tree song. It's a bit boring song, to my personal taste. Probably it's the repetition of the words "Where is my love?" throughout the song. "Cloudy Now" is performed almost the same with the studio version. The video clip contains "Blackfield" only; it's just typical promotional clip.

Overall, I recommend you to buy this album. It's worth it. It's inexpensive. The composition and production quality are excellent. I can hardly catch the true voice of Geffen in this album. It sounds like Steve Wilson is dominating the vocal line. My overall rating goes to 3.75 / 5 with following notes: If, the songs are performed at its fullest and longer than 4 minutes with some great guitar / keyboard interlude it will improve my rating to 4.5/5. And, if there is no such song that "coincidently" (?) similar with other's (in this case with "It's A Miracle" of Roger Waters) it will round up my rating to full 5/5! As-is, my rating stays at 3.75/5. Sorry . it's fair, I think. GW, Indonesia.

Review by hdfisch
3 stars For my taste the music on this album is a bit less exciting and in some parts even boring compared to PT's releases. But one can say that it's a very harmonic and melancholic kind of music. Still BLACKFIELD sounds more like PT than Steven Wilson's other side projects, but more like albums as Stupid Dream and Lightbulb Sun though being more laid back and more harmonic. The sound is very "polished" in a way and I'm missing some edges in it.

Most of the songs are starting mellow and acoustically with either guitar or piano developing some mid-tempo pomp on their way by involving mellotron and strings (synths). Not all of them are really great, a bit dull but still nice to listen like Glow, Lullaby! and Pain. Others are real gems in Art Rock with great melodies, masterful composition and very harmonic vocals like Open Mind, Blackfield, Scars, Summer and The Hole In Me. Late Pink Floyd could come to one's mind as a comparison.

As a SUMMARY Blackfield is for sure not a masterpiece but still an album that is very nice and relaxing to listen. Nothing more and nothing less. So I would say 3 stars is an adequate rating.

Review by chamberry
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Blackfield is one of Steven Wilson's side projects. This one is more on the pop/alternative and comercial side but that's really not a bad thing at all.This album is really accesible and can be apreciated on the first listen for progers and friends alike. The songs are rather short and catchy, they don't have complex time signatures or tends to change alot in rhythim. The songs are also slow, melodic and melancholic with some parts of "heavyness" to keep you going and interested. The only bad thing that I have to say about this album is that is very short (only 37min.) and that I couldn't appreciate Aviv Geffen's voice since he didn't sang that much in the album.

This album is recommended for taking a break of hard and complex prog and listening at in a peaceful place at night or when you're feeling melancholic, this album can keep you company. For altenative, soft and accesible music fans.

Review by evenless
5 stars Great collaboration between Porcupine Tree's Steven Wilson and Israeli singer/songwriter Aviv Geffen. If you like Porcupine Tree and Opeth's Damnation this album is a MUST HAVE!

The album contains 10 short, but yet very powerful and melodical pop/rock songs. Not too progressive, but since we all know Steven Wilson is behind it it is certainly prog-related. I would even say that BLACKFIELD is less poppy than Steven Wilson's other project with Tim Bowness called "No-Man". All ten songs are great, but my personal favourites are probably "Blackfield", "Pain" and "The Hole in Me", because these songs are a bit more "up-tempo" and all have very catchy choruses, but when you listen to the album more often you will also really start to like the more delicate songs like "Lullaby", "Summer", "Cloudy Now" and "Hello". This is a CD you can just listen to over and over again (like Opeth's Damnation) without getting bored.

The only small negative remark I could make is that Aviv Geffen could have done more of the leadvocals. This would made the collaboration even stand out a bit more. Maybe this will be done on their second album...


4.5 stars well deserved. (Rounded up to 5 stars this time)

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars This record fits perfectly along with "Lightbulb Sun" and "Stupid Dream".Three albums that are chalk full of excellent melodic tracks that are on the darker side. Aviv Geffin who is a star in his home country of Isreal plays keyboards and sings lead on two tracks "Pain" and "The Hole In Me". Interestingly enough four songs have been released as singles in Isreal "Hello", "Pain", "Cloudy Now" and "Blackfield".This album does remind me of PORCUPINE TREE with it's fairly dark, melancholic and emotional music. There is sampled mellotron throughout this disc as well as a guest string quartet.

"Open Mind" opens with acoustic guitar and reserved vocals before it kicks in around a minute.The contrast continues. Strings after 3 minutes to the end. "Blackfield" opens with piano then a full sound comes in.Vocals before a minute. Sampled mellotron and organ too, but it's all about Steven's vocals on this one. Guitar to end it. "Glow" features keys and a melancholic mood. Mellotron comes in with the vocals. It kicks into gear before 3 minutes. "Scars" opens with vocals and a beat. I like when the chorus comes in with strings. The contrast continues.

"Lullaby" opens with piano as vocals arrive before a minute. Strings come in when the vocals stop and this contrast continues. "Pain" has a good beat as Aviv comes in on vocals. A fuller sound comes in on the chorus. Great sound. I like the strummed guitar and organ before 2 1/2 minutes. "Summer" is a gorgeous track with the strummed guitar and vocals. Drums and synths join in as well. I like the tasteful guitar before 2 1/2 minutes. "Cloudy Now" features some excellent synths as the guitar is strummed. Piano comes in on the chorus. Meaningful lyrics on this one about today's society. "The Hole In Me" has processed vocals with a circus-like melody. It kicks in around a minute as the contrast continues. "Hello" opens with reserved vocals and piano before a fuller sound comes in.

I'm back over 2 years later (Feb.3/09) to say it's held up well, I still think it's worth the 4 stars I originally gave it. I really like the bonus track "Perfect World" but I still don't like "Where Is My Love ?" so I stop the cd before that track comes on. Haha.

Review by russellk
3 stars PORCUPINE TREE Lite. The purpose of a side project, I would have thought, is to produce music without the expectational shackles of the main band. But BLACKFIELD is indelibly c.2000 PORCUPINE TREE, without the more sophisitcated and progressive moments.

Not that the music or performances are bland - far from it. This album really is worth a listen. Aviv Geffen adds an interesting flavour to the Steve Wilson stew. This is smooth rock music.

But it is not value for money. These days, to offer 36 minutes of music is really not enough. i repeat, a side project should open a new window on to the musicians. We do get a wondow here, but it is only open briefly, and we see much the same view we've become accustomed to.

Review by Chicapah
5 stars It's been my experience that often the most hypnotic and meaningful songs come from heartbreak, abandonment and disappointment. And those of us who take a certain comfort in those themes love to commiserate. I think that's what brought Steven Wilson and Aviv Geffen together. They both had sad songs that didn't fit into the repertoire of their bands but they still wanted to present to the world nonetheless. And, though progressive music rarely produces lyrics that one can readily relate to, these are some of the most honest words I've ever come across in the genre. Those of you who've had their hearts and dreams shattered at some point in their lives will be able to connect with these tunes and those of you who haven't. Well, just consider yourself fortunate and enjoy the great ambience.

"Open Mind" is a little deceiving because it's more like Porcupine Tree dynamically than any other tune you'll hear. Steven sings "Here's a song from an open mind/I give it to you because I can" and that's probably because writing is all he has left after a falling out. The realization that you no longer have any affect on the lover who has moved on without you is a hollow feeling, indeed. The orchestration in the second half is gorgeous. "Blackfield" seems to be about a girl who has a thing for graveyards but the singer just wants her to leave there before it gets dark. It's a great song excellently arranged. "Glow" features a Rhodes piano with an orchestral score and is a lament for happier days that seem to be far behind. "The days go by and nothing brings me joy/The glow was strong when I was a boy/But it's gone." When Jeremy Kaplan's strong drums come in it's a welcome emotional release. The rhythm track and drum sound for "Scars" is reminiscent of Peter Gabriel's "Digging in the Dirt" but there the similarity ends. It's about someone who can't let go of the ever present hurt because it's the only thing he owns anymore. "All that I got left are my precious scars," he cries. The lush symphonic score is awesome.

"Lullaby" is just piano and a string quartet but it is one of the best songs on the album. It describes the dichotomy of dealing with someone who is so detached from reality that all they can do is respond with negativity to any positive concept. "Share my cup/Tie me up/Never part/Break my heart/Go to sleep/Wound me deep/Be at peace/Make me bleed." If you've ever been close to someone with serious problems you know exactly the frustration he's expressing. "Pain" is all about the helplessness one feels when love becomes a stranger. "All my friends now try to save me/What a joke, what a joke" the singer shares with us. "Summer" has another good melody line and its melancholy feel compliments the chorus of "Heart needs a home/It's a dark and empty road/When you're alone." The next tune is another that has a Porcupine Tree flavor, especially when it gets to the intense refrain at the end. "Cloudy Now" is more of a reflection on society as a whole rather than individual misery with "There's wealth in the bank but there's nothing to show inside." And they don't mince words about what they feel is the prevailing condition of their generation. It's a stark, powerful statement.

"The Hole in Me" is an interesting song that alternates between a 5/4 verse and a waltzing chorus. It's about trying to drown the pain. "What have I done?/Treat me tonight like a movie star/Who will never die/Always surrounded by girls like you/Kill all my loneliness," he pleads. "Hello" is a dreamy, piano-led song with yet another stellar melody. It sums up a lot of their shared feelings of devastation in one tune. "Through a different kind of silence/I'm waiting, I'm wasting/Into the road of sadness/I'm walking without you." It's an incredible piece of music and lyrics. The bonus tracks are good but they have a slightly demo quality that separates them from the rest. "Perfect World" is decent and "Where is my Love?" with its chiming guitars and candid statement of bewilderment fits right in. The live version of "Cloudy Now" doesn't add anything to the studio track but it's still just as ruthless.

I keep waiting for Steven Wilson to let me down but he never does. He just continues making music that I can grab onto. Here he has found a kindred spirit in Aviv Geffen and together they have created a near-masterpiece of personal expression and experience. I get the feeling that this was a true catharsis for both of them and, for those who can relate, it's a remarkable album that you'll treasure for many years to come. I have to give it at least 4.6 stars.

Review by Prog-jester
3 stars Good album, especially in spite of "II" failure. Songs like "Hello" (awesome!), "Blackfield" and "Pain" can be considered best, and I won't mind hearing them on PT's live shows. Others are more subtle and pop-leaned - think of PT's most mainstream efforts like "Lightbulb Sun" and "Stupid Dream", wait, even more Poppish ;) .This is not a bad thing actually - sometimes it's very good to relax to and just have a 40 minutes of Pop- Rock with PTish influence. But comparings to PT are unescapable, and BLACKFIELD is definetely weaker in all aspects. Nevertheless recommended, especially for PT fans.
Review by Prog Leviathan
3 stars For what it is and what SW was trying to accomplish, "Blackfield" is largely a success. However, the question remains-- was it anything worth accomplishing? How much do you like art-pop?

If the answer is "a lot", than you will be head-over-heels in love with SW and Aviv Geffin forever; they have created a wonderful collection of smooth, melancholy, emotional songs skillfully played and recorded. Each speaks to the heart and is fun to sing-along to.

If the answer is "meh...", then you'll be bored to tears. Steven's amazing virtuosity is kept firmly in check, and an entirely different side of his playing is evident throughout. There are no solos, no power chords, nothing especially memorable... just lots and lots of tender singing.

So, I feel that "Blackfield" is a love-it-or-hate it collaboration. SW fans will love it by default (I think we're required to), women will be especially drawn to its tender art-pop sound, and casual fans of Porcupine Tree or those whose taste stick to the heavy will deplore it.

Songwriting: 3 Instrumental Performances: 2 Lyrics/Vocals: 3 Style/Emotion/Replay: 3

Review by TRoTZ
4 stars Like decomposing Tool on its most simple essence gave origin to A Perfect Circle, the same can be said about the relationship between Porcupine Tree and Blackfield. This functions somehow, as Steven Wilson, leader of Porcupine Tree said himself, as a form to relief his taste for songwriting and to provide for his main band, all the space for experimentations. The music is craftily beautiful, between subtle and languid explosions, in a lush arrangement of details, solemn moments and string nuances, eliciting melancholic paintings around existential lyrics. It moves toward rich pop orchestration, as the album is very track-oriented, but it does not embrace it - here, songs are moved, are built around atmospheres. The instrumental parts are sparse but elegant, sensitively balanced and globally compelling - the true icons of the tracks - and melodies are reinforced by the celestial effect of backing vocals.

"Blackfield", "Pain", "Hello" and "Cloudy Now" were the hitting singles, the later particularly moving, with its dense and dreamy nostalgic atmosphere, touching glimpses of a space contemplation, while having the most achieved lyrics of the album, tracing signs of the Radiohead's description of a generation existential anguish. Indeed the album's final is one of its strong points, moving then to the ethereal choral explosions of "The Hole in Me" and ending with the simple but touching "Hello".

Far more complex than we may think at first listen, the richness of this project relies on a extremely gifted sense on arrange multiple layers and balancing every detail, transforming what would be a trivial collection of pop songs on a compelling sequence of meaningful, tangible paintings.

Review by Kotro
3 stars A Pleasent Deviation

A popish deviation from one of the contemporary progmeisters (even though he himself might not like that classification) Wilson's (and Geffen's) Blackfield has its ups and downs. Made up entirely of short songs, we get ups that are really, really good, while the downs are, at best, average. The opener Open Mind and the title track Blackfield could easily find a place on one of the more "song-oriented" Porcupine Tree albums. Blackfield, especialy, is one the finnest songs Steve Wilson ever graced us with. Lullaby, on the other hand, not so much. The track preceeding Lullaby is also among one ofthe weakest, despite some interesting arrangements. The album resumes a rockier stance with Geffen's Pain, on of the "fall-in-between" tracks, although at times the chorus sounds rather like Coldplay (never a good sign). Summer is an equaly interesting song, but it looses impact compared to the tracks that follow it. Cloudy Now, This Hole in Me and Hello can easily join Blackfield, as the best songs on the album. The first features a spacey keyboard driven atmosphere, complemented by acoustic guitar, before blowing up in a heavier chorus section. The second begins rather like a baroque tune, with Geffen singing, before being joined by Wilson in a beatiful chorus. The last track of the album closes it in beauty, with a great chorus and the rare guitar solo, masterly done. Overall, this is a well made album, good pop with progressive rock (or, better said, Porcupine Tree) influences, and a generaly loving yet angry mood (unlike the despair and melancholy feel we will get in Blackfield II). Musically, its just a notch down in relation to its follower - however, its better songs overshadow anything in that album. Regarding vocals, Wilson does his usual PT routine. Geffen, however, I find harder o get into, with his nasal tone of voice and slightly unconvencing accent. A small album, it proves a very good listen, and will definitly fit right and look good on any PT fan's collection.

Review by ProgBagel
4 stars Blackfield - Blackfield 4.0 stars

Blackfield - "A collaboration between Israeli singer songwriter Aviv Geffen and British musician and producer Steven Wilson."

Let me start off by saying, this music is not essential to any proggers collection. This is not an epic album; this is fully rid of any kind of pretension. This is just a collaboration of two great artists making pop music with a great edge, taking influences of prog.pop- prog so to speak. I give this 4 stars because this is an incredible album.every song is excellent besides a few, but there is nothing mind-blowing or epic about which is why again, no 5 stars.

Steven Wilson is the main songwriter behind the incredible band 'Porcupine Tree' as well as numerous other projects and in my opinion he writes this kind of music on this project here because he doesn't desire to take Porcupine Tree or his other projects in this direction. Aviv Geffen is a highly successful solo artist who has made several gold albums in his own country and had taken an interest in Porcupine Tree. After playing shows together the idea was discussed with Wilson and later this exquisite project was formed.

I feel it would be extremely difficult to do a track-by-track analysis of their work. All I can say is that just about every track has an extremely catchy driving force that can attract even the biggest of the prog-elitists. The guitar work is fancy at times and also has power chords used in rock music, but played in a very unique and clever way that definitely separates this project from the crap that is plaguing in the radio. There is a unique mix of acoustic and electric guitar work.used together and separately. I believe the vocal work done on these albums is among Wilson's best and Geffen does a great job too, I'm not too familiar with his solo work so I have nothing to draw comparison to. The music is not entirely limited to those instruments here; a grand piano is constantly put into the music, as well as the typical PT synth work and effects. The overall sound is entirely melancholic too.

In conclusion, this album is full of short melancholic beauty. This album is essential to anyone that enjoys 'Lightbulb Sun' by Porcupine Tree. Also if you want to see Porcupine Tree with more piano and less synth.this is your album. I love this album and play it a lot when I'm in a is great work. A stellar album so I deem it worthy of 4 stars.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Blackfield is the project band from Steven Wilson ( Porcupine Tree) and the Jewish musician Aviv Geffen. I have only listened very little to Aviv Geffenīs music so I canīt say how much he has influenced the music, even though there are a few middle eastern parts in some of the songs like the guitar in The Hole In Me. Itīs not a very big part of Blackfieldīs sound though. Steven Wilson has had a major part in the creation of the sound, as many of Blackfieldīs songs could have been on a Porcupine Tree album. Well they sound a lot like the more commercial Porcupine Tree songs.

The music is very warm and symphonic pop with few progressive tendencies, but donīt expect any instrumental parts or solos just because Steven Wilson is involved. This is essentially pop songs with a nice symphonic edge. The song structures are vers/ chorus, vers/ Chorus and there are virtually no surprises in the songs except for a nice middle section once in a while. A song like SCARS is very nice and a little surprising though. Itīs probably the best song here IMO.

The album is really a 4 star album as everything from the rich and warm production to the compositions to the musicianship is professional and well done, but to me itīs a 3 star album, as there arenīt any surprises and the songs structures are way too commercial and not challenging enough for me as a prog lover. This is the kind of album that I will play ten thousand times the first month and then never listen to again. Itīs still a very good album though and I must admit that the songs are instantly likable and memorable, but that might also be their biggest weakness in the end.

Review by obiter
5 stars Is it another rip roaring happy clappy album from the funmeister Steve Wilson ... or not?

We are defintiely in the territoty of the furrowed brow, dimmed lighting, swirling trails of cigarrete smoke, gently spoken/sung lyrics over gently strummed acoustic guitar. Add a sprinkly of orchestra and layerd vocals ... ta na you have it

Open Mind (which you can listen to on the stream above) is a decent enough slow track in teh PT genre. Blackfield will also find a follwoing amongst the PT faithful. I'm always suspicious of albums which start out with 2 or 3 strong tracks. More often than not they slowly fade away.

Glow slows the tempo and deepens the mood. A for more intimate, almost breathed vocal over a muted mellow keyboard. It lifts towards the end. Scars has a bumpy feel muted bass that reminds me of the Kinks but then seems to shift into a more modern beat (which at one point almost gets a bit jungle). 'All I've left are my precious scars' is the chorus. Typically morose from Steve Wilson but typically excellent as well. the stand out track.

Lullaby has lyrics you wouldn't sing to a child unless you wanted them to become a manically depressed axe murderer, but the tune is a strereotypical lullaby. Pain opens with a very PT sound. Another very beautifully structured song.

It's Cloudy Now is another gloomy song in which the lyrics tell us the rain drowns the singer's pain. You may wonder if the upliftingly titled The Hole In Me will change the mood. Well no suprises: more self-reflective angst ridden lyrics. it has to be said that this is a much better track. the song chops from quiet thoughts to strident outbursts.

I listened to this album a lot when I got it. Then left it, played it occasionally and finally came back for a review. I had a pretty good idea how I rated it before the last detailed and considered listen. Good, OK-ish but not great: a bit popular song driven nothing to write home about.

However, to my great suprise this album rewards a little more attention, layers unfold and details come to the fore. I got it wrong. You should add this album to your collection.

Prog out of the top drawer, but be warned this is a deceptive slippery little mucker. Listen to it, set it aside and return: I hope, like me you will be suprised.

Review by The Prognaut
3 stars It all started back when musician Aviv GEFFEN handed over the first demo for "Open Mind" to Steven WILSON in London. PORCUPINE TREE's front man embraced it right away, wrote the lyrics to it, did the proper arrangements, edited it at NO MAN'S LAND studio for the final mixes and thus, BLACKFIELD was brought to life. The project is quite unique, so harmlessly created that it doesn't intend to fit in some specific genre whatsoever, "it's only beautiful music" just like WILSON once declared to define the sound of BLACKFIELD. The self-titled debut album features a handful of eager Israeli musicians and a pack of well-known guest drummers such as Gavin HARRISON and Chris MAITLAND. The result was surprisingly convincing, this production is very fresh and audible, a true piece of work.

From the beginning you can perceive a very appealing fluidity in the lyrics and over the musical progression which is quite modest but no less impressive. The entireness of the album is based upon the spirit of straightforward rock that is wisely and continuously transformed in instrumentation to let musicians perform freely through a soulful feel of togetherness. As I pointed out before, there isn't a certain direction to where this music can land in terms of sorting out the genre but it's pretty much true that it leads us all to inner warps of appreciation.

When I first listened to BLACKFIELD, I worn out myself trying to find some relation with WILSON's signature when performing or writing some acid lyrics but here you won't find any of that. Instead, unrevealing but fearless lyrics will come to your ears through punchy and skin-crawling notes from the instruments we're all familiar with. One of the mere purposes is not to impress the listener out of first glance but to suck him right in the adventure of discovering new passages of understanding. And BLACKFIELD does it quite right.

All in all the album is solid rock, bold and so devouring. The songs are short, concise and never whimsical in elaboration. There are not musical passages full of virtuosity but powerful, honest notes. Tracks I'm fond of due its evident dedication and composition would be "Open Mind", "Blackfield", "Pain" and "Cloudy Now". Rest of the songs have a spirit of their own by never sounding off like any other in the total running time. "Blackfield" is a very refreshing album, full of pleasant surprises. It also features the red carpet to following production over one of the bonus tracks, "Where Is My Love?". If not entirely essential, I'm sure you could find a place for it within your collection.

Review by LiquidEternity
2 stars Hear me out. This is a great album if you're a big fan of Steven Wilson's music. However, to give it a high review on a progressive music web site seems a bit silly to me.

I'm not saying this album is not progressive. It's got the moments it needs to have. It has tunes that you wouldn't hear on the radio. All that good stuff. However, what it really comes down to is that this is mostly just a pop/rock album with some clever production and some intriguing melodies. Steven Wilson, the man behind Porcupine Tree, No-Man, and a bunch of other things, joined up with Israeli singer/songwriter Aviv Geffen. For what it's worth, these two sound great together as a duet. A fusion of Israeli and British musicians turn this band into something you would think sounds very unusual. However, most of the music sounds like Porcupine Tree, and not just because of Steven Wilson's voice. Rather, the input from Geffen is mostly just standard singer/songwriter fare, with angsty or slightly whining lyrics. It makes for a soothing, mellow, solid combo, but there really is nothing here that can be called very new or original. A good effort, but the songs are all mostly the same style and the songwriting nothing you haven't heard before if you've listened to Porcupine Tree.

It opens with Open Mind, a quiet track that goes heavy for a few seconds at the end of the chorus. Blackfield is an upbeat pop tune with some catchy vocal lines from Wilson. Glow is the first track of real progressive interest, being built on a haunting, melancholic atmosphere. Also, around halfway through, the music suddenly jumps into an energetic beat and Geffen shows us what his voice sounds like in the lead. This is one of the best and one of the most progressive tracks on this release. Scars is another pop tune with some cool synthesized strings. Lullaby was originally intended to be much longer, but for some reason became another short and sad pop tune. Pain is upbeat and unhappy. Summer is closer to Glow in style, with a lot of mood and atmosphere powering some pretty vocal harmonies. Cloudy Now is a more fascinating and straightforward tune, from the perspective of the very cynical Geffen. Near the end of the song, the music kicks in and the angsty lyrics explode with aggressive obscenity that fits pretty well. The Hole in Me is another average track with a good melody but not much depth. The album closer Hello is pretty haunting and sad, with a repetitive chorus that really sounds pretty heartbreaking.

If you really like Steven Wilson, I bet you'll like this. This is the accessible pop side of the man, without his usual trappings of psychedelia or metal. However, if you're unfamiliar with the fellow, instead you should jump into some of Porcupine Tree's major albums, as they're stronger, more progressive, and more creative on the whole.

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Blackfield is an odd marriage between our hero Steven Wilson and pop-icon Aviv Geffen. The result is surprisingly acceptable, certainly if you consider the kind of drab pop Aviv Geffen usually makes when he hasn't got a genius like Wilson around.

The title track, Glow and Cloudy Now are really strong emotional pop songs. Besides those, there are still plenty other memorable hooks and interesting melodies on offer but overall the album is too monotonous, with songs that are predictable and mellow, not to say cheesy. Basically it's well produced soft-pop without much stamina. I guess it wouldn't even show its teeth if you'd hit it with a stick.

This is nice music but far too mediocre and unchallenging to have any staying power in a proghead's cd-player. On the contrary, if this didn't have Wilson in the credits this album wouldn't be within a million miles of this site.

Review by Matti
3 stars A listener of Porcupine Tree / Steven Wilson should have no problem liking this project too. Wilson is teamed with an Israeli called Aviv Geffen, whose vocals happen to be very similar to Wilson's. The songs are simpler in structure than PT's, but sonically they are clearly from the same well. Most songs are written together, only one by Geffen alone ('The Hole in Me' is also the weakest one, I think). I presume Wilson is mostly in charge of the composing and arranging; from earlier reviews I gather that Geffen is a pop musician.

Yes, you might say this is a bit closer to pop than Porcupine Tree, but not so much that you need to be doubtful. It's obviously less edgy but not completely without dark, angry edges familiar from PT. Atmospheres are generally melancholic, dreamy, sad, introspective - the same adjectives I'd use with PT. If someone had introduced this album to me blindfold as a PT product, I wouldn't have doubted, only would have been surprised by the lack of proggier or edgier material.

The main disc is not even 37 minutes, so I wonder why there's a separate bonus disc of three songs (one being a live version of an album song and at least one of the other two appearing on Blackfield II). There probably was also some video stuff which I haven't yet checked out.

Review by Warthur
3 stars Reminiscent, perhaps, of where Porcupine Tree might have gone if they had persisted in the indie rock/art rock direction of Stupid Dream and Lightbulb Sun instead of taking a left turn into the metallic territory of In Absentia, Blackfield's debut album presents the usual Porcupine Tree spacey melancholy spiced up by the contributions of Aviv Geffen. Although later Blackfield releases would see Geffen take the lead on the project, this debut is more of a Steven Wilson-led affair, so those who are coming to Blackfield via Wilson's numerous other projects may find this the easiest point to get on. Not a classic, but competent stuff and might be worth it if you really, truly, want to hear more Lightbulb Sun-esque stuff with even less prog influences.
Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars As most reviewers here have already mentioned, this is a collaboration from Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree and Aviv Geffen ( a famous musician from Israel). Even though this first album leans more on SW's popularity to help promote the group, this band is more Aviv's baby. Steven's influence will diminish with each of the albums that will follow later. Aviv has said that the songs are meant to be more pop oriented and formatted for radio air play, so the songs are kept quite short in comparison to many other progressive rock groups and he has also said that he only allows SW to keep his solos below 2 minutes. Because of this, in my opinion, some of the songs seem to be cut a little short, but other than that, each and every track is beautiful, melodic, and very Porcupine Tree sounding, at least the mellow side of PT. There is a lot of piano, strings and guitar and the songs are all slow to mid tempo, there is a feeling of sameness to the songs but they are certainly well produced, beautiful and meticulously crafted. The songs are full of feeling and written with heart and soul. As with most SW collaborations and efforts, the mood is also dark. There are two songs that are fronted by Aviv and the rest are fronted be Steven. Aviv's voice is distinctly different from Steven's and you will know when he is singing, but he can definitely hold his own even when is accent is slightly thick. Anyway, this is definitely a quality album, even though it is more pop oriented, the songs are well written, produced and executed. I only wish they were a little longer from time to time, that the riffs and ideas were a little more fleshed out, but don't let that discourage you from checking this out. Fans of Porcupine Tree should enjoy this and anyone else that loves the ingenuity of Prog rock (on the light side) but without a lot of effort needed to enjoy. You will know after the first or second listen whether you love this or not. Album number I in my opinion is definitely worth is and should be considered an excellent addition to any prog rock collection, but not necessarily essential.
Review by Necrotica
4 stars Something that's very impressive about Steven Wilson is that, despite the musical variety of his different bands and projects, his work usually keeps a consistent tone about it nonetheless. His albums always maintain that penchant for moody, melancholic rock combined with many progressive elements. Even in a band like Porcupine Tree whose newer material is heavier and generally more intense, that dark and murky mindset continues to lurk beneath those sonic assaults. So when Wilson's project Blackfield (in which he partnered up with Israeli musician Aviv Geffen) was announced back in 2001, the question was: in what musical direction was Steven Wilson going to carry that melancholic mindset? Well, Blackfield offers a more mellow, alternative sound reminiscent of Porcupine Tree's 2000 album Lightbulb Sun, as shown on the 2004 self-titled debut (and future releases as well).

This album's sound is usually described as a more stripped-down version of Porcupine Tree's music, focusing less on instrumentation and more on simpler songwriting and emotional weight, as well as lots of musical "layers." Since this is a collaboration between both Steven Wilson and Aviv Geffen, you basically get the best of both worlds. There's the progressive, melancholic side of Wilson as well as the poppier side of Geffen. Stylistically, the album is a grab bag of sorts; for instance, "Open Mind" has lots of Pink Floyd influence in the acoustic guitar work and lush vocal harmonies that begin it, "The Hole in Me" and "Scars" sport multiple tempo and time signature changes, and "Scars" has a King Crimson-esque string backdrop to support the chorus. In other words, the album maintains a lot of diversity. Luckily things never get too cluttered songwriting-wise, so time's always being used wisely. The best part of this album, however, is its atmosphere.

Similar to Porcupine Tree's work, Wilson makes sure to coat much of the music in multiple layers of instrumentation; this is particularly effective for atmosphere in certain songs' climaxes. A great example is the end of "Cloudy Now"; for the most part, the song is a very somber ballad. Out of nowhere, the song just explodes near its conclusion; distorted vocals come in to chant that "we are a f*cked up generation." Meanwhile, a giant wall of sound is backing the vocals as the guitars and drums collide. As mentioned before though, it doesn't get out of hand; the band know when enough is enough. Another instance of heavy musical layering is with the aforementioned "The Hole in Me." The chorus in this song is absolutely gorgeous; there are soaring vocal harmonies, guitar chords that compliment the vocal melodies perfectly, the works. The chorus wouldn't be nearly as effective or crushingly melancholic without the heavily multitracked vocal work or the thick layers of vivid musical imagery in its instrumentation.

As I said before, there's also a very stripped-down side to all of this. "Lullaby," "Summer," "Glow," "Cloudy Now," and the title track all have many moments of isolation at varying degrees. Whether it be the simple yet effective C Major piano line of "Lullaby," the moody acoustic strums of the nostalgic "Summer," or the completely depressing synth-and-string combination that makes up most of "Glow," there are many ways in which the band express different forms of musical simplicity. That kind of stuff is what makes this album work; the album is so fueled on emotion that it's pretty fascinating. The lyricism follows suit, going for themes of love, depression, happiness, and other broad emotional topics. The big downside to things is that the music does start to run together a bit after a while. The stripped-down aspect gets slightly old and you'll sometimes be waiting for climaxes to get more, well, climactic. Also, the lyricism can get a bit too simple; the band rarely leave the topics mentioned above, so there's not much variety there.

Other than those minor flaws, this album is pretty damn great. The emotion and elegant songwriting are really what pull this album through. While some may consider this a second-rate Porcupine Tree record, it's certainly much more than that. It shows what two completely different musicians can really do when coming together as one cohesive force. This is definitely recommended, especially for fans of early 2000s Porcupine Tree and alternative/pop rock.

(Originally published on Sputnikmusic)

Latest members reviews

5 stars The first and best Blackfield album from Steven Wilson and Aviv Geffen, showcasing a variety of 'pop' songs if you like. I wouldn't really give them the general pop label as that would be a huge injustice to the great music that is heard on this album and these are not just average pop songs. Wi ... (read more)

Report this review (#2231819) | Posted by DominicS | Wednesday, June 19, 2019 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Blackfield in my mind is an amazing group becuase they remain progressive yet very simple and almost "pop" sounding in their debut they come out very strong and impressive seemingly effortlessly switching from acoustic ballads to hard rock/heavy metal riffs within the same song multiple times. ... (read more)

Report this review (#369868) | Posted by paroxix | Saturday, January 1, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Blackfield, the album itself is no side-project at all. It's an album that its entirety is full of greatly composed, inspiring and original songs. Full of poetic lyrics and melancholic melodies, it's a must-have addition to any kind of progressive- rock, metal or any related collection. The a ... (read more)

Report this review (#224886) | Posted by Leonhart3005 | Tuesday, July 7, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars When I first listened to this CD I was truly impressed with the mood of the songs, the atmosphere and the vocals. Now I am not fully as satisfied as before. The album has an orginal sound, rythms and so on, but in strucure there isn't much prog over it, and the song tends much to the pop/rock g ... (read more)

Report this review (#203862) | Posted by Eastvillage | Saturday, February 21, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I really like this album a lot.... I was tempted to give 5 stars ..... This is like Porcupine Tree....but with a slower pace.....The songs are very melodic.....Not really prog here I guess....but Steven Wilson and Aviv Geffen have teamed up to gives us something different and not just your a av ... (read more)

Report this review (#166497) | Posted by digdug | Saturday, April 12, 2008 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Blackfield, Good band. I could definitely here PT on here, though. It seems to me like Wilson wrote this song more to get his simpler ideas out to help improve the PT albums. The songs however are beautifully crafted. For me, the highlights are "Open Mind" "Blackfield" "Pain" "Summer" and "Cloudy ... (read more)

Report this review (#121980) | Posted by Floydian42 | Sunday, May 13, 2007 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I still haven't made up my mind about this album. Not being overly familiar with many Porcupine Tree albums I am unable to judge if it is similar, but I don't think there is much in common with Deadwing or Sky Moves Sideways which I do have. The music is much darker and moody, and generally sl ... (read more)

Report this review (#108992) | Posted by laghtnans | Friday, January 26, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars JUST GREAT!!! No much to say to add new information and opinions to the previous reviews. These Geffen/Wilson project contains everything: emotion, passion, sad and beautiful lyrics, some drops of prog, some delicate touches of pop... excellent arrangements, great acoustic parts, emotive lyric ... (read more)

Report this review (#101400) | Posted by progadicto | Saturday, December 2, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars As a big fan of Porcupine Tree's music, this album - maybe because one half of the project is SW - is some kind of a continuity to the musical genre that PT invented, Although the songs are less complicated than PT's songs, contains only 3-4 minutes of music. Mainly, the album is dealing with ... (read more)

Report this review (#82034) | Posted by Open-Mind | Monday, June 26, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is in the same field as Opeth's Damnation. Cool, relaxing, great sounding music- nothing more, nothing less. Blackflield must have wanted to create an album to relax its audience from the grinds of life and daily stress and it worked- every time I hear this album I fall in love with it ... (read more)

Report this review (#80313) | Posted by Drew | Sunday, June 4, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Just another SW project? No. The best SW project? No. Blackfield really does stand out against other countless projects of Porcupine Tree mastermind Steven Wilson. Unlike No-Man or Bass Communion that are notable for their experimental and adventurous approach, Blackfield features a dozen of ... (read more)

Report this review (#72543) | Posted by | Wednesday, March 22, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This masterpiece is one of my favourite prog albums. I can listen to it for hours, without any special mood - it suits any condition of my soul. Every song is worth saving, there are no weak tracks there. Hope this project of Steve Wilson will rejoce my heart with new brilliant works. Anyway, ... (read more)

Report this review (#67463) | Posted by the_puss | Monday, January 30, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Just close your eyes and let someone else put the cd in the player. Just dream away, and if you're familiar with Porcupine Tree it will be just what you think it is. The musicianship is above standard, and the singing, well it is Steve so it could have been Porcupine Tree. The numbers are a bi ... (read more)

Report this review (#67459) | Posted by Hét LICHAAM | Monday, January 30, 2006 | Review Permanlink

2 stars This Cd really didn't do much to impress me, and the songs just aren't what you would figure they might be. In a small sort of way I even think I am offended by some. "Cloudy now" seems to me that someone is really putting down America, perhaps a move north is in order? Anyway the whole Cd ... (read more)

Report this review (#49701) | Posted by tennyson | Sunday, October 2, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I'm a big fan of this album, when it came out I didn't even now steven had another side project. This album has a completly befferent mood then a porcupine tree album the songs are shorter and there more people singing... I'm very serprised but this album is a masterpeice no doubt about it, ev ... (read more)

Report this review (#45736) | Posted by | Tuesday, September 6, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is a little fine masterpiece, I think. The collaboration between Aviv Geffen and the always brilliant Mr. Steven Wilson is so unique. There is of course a clear touch o Porcupine Tree to it - thank God :o) - but it still has a new, very straight-to-the-bone feel over it. The songs are sho ... (read more)

Report this review (#28055) | Posted by | Wednesday, January 19, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The voice of Aviv Geffen is very sutil and mesmerizing, more melodic, high and sharp than Wilson's voice, but honestly the record sounds like an extension of Porcupine tree; actually, this record sounds more as the perfect consecuence of "LIGHTBULB SUN", and the funny fact is that drummer CHRI ... (read more)

Report this review (#28050) | Posted by arqwave | Monday, October 4, 2004 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Well, I give it three stars to be generous. If you like long and complex progrock songs, you will not find it here. This is a very short album, with short songs. I do like Porcupine Tree and the latest No-Man albums a lot, but this one is a bit disappointing to me. OK, the sound is good, the songs s ... (read more)

Report this review (#28040) | Posted by | Monday, March 15, 2004 | Review Permanlink

5 stars It's simply the best album I've heard in ages. Every single song on this album is amazing (both "scars" and "cloudy now" are old Geffen songs that have been hits in Israel and have been beautifully translated), you can't go wrong with this release. Music genius Aviv Geffen (simply the greatest ta ... (read more)

Report this review (#28039) | Posted by | Sunday, March 14, 2004 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Every single song on this album is amazing, you can't go wrong with this release. Music genius Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree, No-Man, Bass Communion, i.e.m.) joins forces with israeli superstar Aviv Geffen to create a musical masterpiece, totally recommended! ... (read more)

Report this review (#28037) | Posted by | Monday, March 8, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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