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Edison's Children


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Edison's Children The Disturbance Fields album cover
3.78 | 94 ratings | 6 reviews | 18% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2019

Songs / Tracks Listing

- Washed Away (67:47) :
1. Captain's Ledger (3:06)
2. A Random Occurrence (5:25)
3. Asphyxiation (4:45)
4. Captain's Refrain (0:49)
5. The Approaching Front (3:24)
6. Indigenous (3:46)
7. The Surge (8:28)
8. A Cold Gray Morning (5:25)
9. Into the Dead Calm (4:57)
10. The Tempest (6:12)
11. A Random Disturbance (3:32)
12. The Confluence (10:28)
13. Resurgence (4:07)
14. Epitaph (3:23)

Total Time 67:47

Line-up / Musicians

- Pete Trewavas / rhythm (3,6,7,10,11,13), lead (5,7-10,12,13) & acoustic (12) guitars, lead (3,5-7) & backing vocals, bass (2,8,11,12), piano (4), Fx (4,9,12,14), percussion (6), strings (8), synth (10), keyboards (12)
- Eric Blackwood / electric, acoustic (8,14) & synth (10,12,13) guitars, lead (1,2,4,5,8-12,14) & backing vocals, bass (3-6,14), Fx (6,9,12)

- Rick Armstrong / lead (3,6), rhythm (5,12) & acoustic (11) guitars, bass (7,10,13)
- Lisa Wetton / drums (7,8,13)
- Henry Rogers / drums (2,3,5,6,10-12)
- John Mitchell / sounds (1)
- Chief Madera Negra / voice (6)

Releases information

Artwork: Wendy Darling

CD Random Disturbance Records ‎- RDR-EC07 (2019, UK)

Digital album

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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EDISON'S CHILDREN The Disturbance Fields ratings distribution

(94 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(18%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(40%)
Good, but non-essential (27%)
Collectors/fans only (11%)
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)

EDISON'S CHILDREN The Disturbance Fields reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Edison's Children is a well-known Neo-prog band formed by the duo of Pete Trewavas (from Marillion and Transatlantic) and Eric Blackwood (Sunblister and Blackwood & Foti). These two multi-instrumentalists have been the main core of the band since it's beginning. They have always recruited other individuals as needed for each album they have released.

"The Disturbance Fields" was released in July of 2019 and the album features one 68 minute epic song called "Washed Away" divided up into 14 tracks, each individually titled. The line up consists of founders Trewavas on bass, lead and rhythm guitars, lead vocals and v-flute; and Blackwood on lead and rhythm guitars, bass, lead vocals, v-flute, and orchestration. Three other artists were recruited to help out on this album. Rick Armstrong, the son of Neil Armstrong (yes, the astronaut), helps with lead and rhtyrhm guitars and bass on some of the tracks. Henry Rogers (Touchstone and DeeExpus) plays drums on most of the tracks. Lisa Wetton, the wife of the late John Wetton, plays drums on 3 of the tracks. The album deals with the wrath of nature and how it reacts to the way humans mistreat the oceans and rainforests and the overdevelopment of certain areas of the earth. It doesn't deal with any single type of natural disaster, but all of them especially in light of all of the occurrences of hurricanes, earthquakes and the likes in the past few years.

The music starts simple and pensive with "Captain's Ledger" which consists mostly of acoustic guitars and vocals. "A Random Occurrence" builds upon this by adding drums, and synth to the acoustic sound, but as things intensify, the rhythm remains the same. There is an instrumental build up and then vocals return, more passionate and dynamic this time. Things continue to build as the track continues with some nice synth passage, the rhythm remains in a 3 / 4 meter, a flowing feeling that imitates wave movement. Things go quite soft at the last part of the track, with pensive keys. "Asphyxiation" turns suddenly dark with some cool effects that combine percussion and guitar all chopped up. This along with the bass support the vocals that come in, both sung and whispered and again intensity build from this, but with much more darkness involved. The rhythm is more driven now, but the same meter as before persists, and things seem more tumultuous, like the waves on a choppy, wind-blown ocean. Heavy guitars take over at the last part of this section. A short section called "Captain's Refrain" ties up these first tracks.

"The Approaching Front" changes the meter to a more standard 4 / 4 rhythm and the track feels a bit more straitforward with a reserved heaviness and an excellent and pronounced bass line. The vocals follow a melody which is somewhat repetitive, possibly allowing for a single to be pulled off of the album. It is a good song with a nice build that ends up stirring up your heart as it reaches a nice instrumental climax. "Indigenous" calms things down again and spoken words from some processed, evil sounding vocals begin. The lyrics suggest it is spoken by a tribal representative. The music is quite solid in this track, again driving things to a nice, emotional climax. There is a lot of anger in this track, and rightfully so.

"The Surge" begins with a great hook and a driving beat creating a catchy rock song. The edge it taken off of it a bit when the smooth sound of synths come in, but comes back a little while later before the vocals start again. The same pattern repeats, but the music is instantly accessible and, right from the first listen, is infectious. After the third iteration, at the half way point, the rest of the track retains a smoother feel featuring some emotional guitar work to finish off this 8+ minute track. "A Cold Gray Morning" goes for a smooth jazz fusion feel and a laid back groove mostly established by strummed guitars. Added synths add an expansive feel on the 2nd verse. The accessibility of the music does not lessen the excellent quality of the sound and the musicianship on the album. "Into the Dead Calm" begins with simple acoustic guitar and vocals with a slow melody. They try for a feeling of vulnerability here, however, it sounds a little forced and intentional to be authentic. Fortunately, it's the only weak track so far. Unfortunately, however, this 5 minute track doesn't change through its full duration.

"The Tempest" brings back in the feeling of unease, and it also speeds up the tempo again, but leaves you with a feeling that there is impending trouble on the horizon. The central idea of the album is all expressed in the lyrics of this track. The track is vocally heavy, but there are still plenty of short instrumental interludes separating the stanzas and most of that is done by guitar. "A Random Disturbance" continues to move in the darker direction with a repeating synth riff and a feeling of unease being reflected in the timbre of the vocal. The guitar comes in again stirring things up with another great solo.

"The Confluence" is the longest subsection of the album at over 10 minutes. This subsection has its own subsections as it moves through various moods. The lyrics in this track follow a fisherman who is down on his luck. The protagonist waits for a lucky break that never happens and sails out to sea to try his luck at getting a catch of his lifetime only lose his life at sea. The track again tries for the vulnerability at the beginning, but this track features a lot more dynamics and utilizes all of their instrumentation, so moves through some more variant passages. The ending moral is a timely one: "The sea gives up what she will, so go and catch your fill, but be prepared to her debt; sometimes with her strife?.sometimes with your life". After this declaration, there is a great synth solo and later guitar solo against a heavy and driving background.

"Resurgence" is the only instrumental on the album, but even then there are some vocals in there. An anthem-style guitar melody gets improvised treatment as it plays against a moderate beat. Some of the theme from the album return during this track, tying it all together. The final track is "Epitaph" and it ends the album pensively with a message that doesn't leave much hope in the end, the words of a dying man.

This is an excellent album and is done quite well, even if it doesn't have a lot of complex melodies or passages. However, like I said previously, just because it is not complex doesn't mean that it isn't any good. Quite the contrary, its accessibility is a strong trait, but there is still enough here to make it all progressive enough, especially in the Neo-prog style. I admit that I consider the first half of the album the strongest as things tend to sag a bit on the 2nd half, the main problem being the attempts at what seems to be forced vulnerability. But this is easy to get around especially with the subject matter, and the strong first half of the album. This is definitely one of the stronger releases this month, but with the weaker last half, it doesn't quite make it to masterpiece status. But it is a strong 4 star album nevertheless.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Quite a step down from previous efforts such as 2011's In the Last Waking Moments and their masterpiece, 2013's Last Breath Before November, the music here feels like a hodge-podge--a bunch of old demo or unfinished tracks that have been attempted to shape, "finish," and polish and yet fail miserably on all counts. While I appreciate the effort, Pete Trewavas' effort to continue (or finish) the work he and Eric Blackwood started, I think it may have been better to have left well enough be. At the same time, I wish to point people back to their amazing contributions to Prog Valhalla in the above-mentioned sonic and emotional gems. Skip The Disturbance Fields and go back to bathe in the glorious beauty of their previous albums--you will not be sorry.
Review by lazland
5 stars As one of the original "Children of Edison", it was a no-brainer that I would pre-order the new work when the campaign was announced earlier this year. Indeed, I am a massive fan, so I would suppose that there would be an expectation that the collaborator who introduced the band to this site with an accompanying interview for the debut album, In The Last Waking Moments, and a five star review, might be somewhat given to wax lyrical about any new release.

Guilty as charged, m'lud. However, to begin this review, I think it is important to reflect on the words of one of the main protagonists, one Pete Trewavas of Marillion fame. In a video to accompany the pre-launch of this work, Pete made reference to a glowing career, which includes fine collaborations such as Transatlantic and Kino, and stated that the works he had composed and realised with Eric Blackwood in Edison's Children were amongst the finest in his career. He is absolutely spot on, because what we have here is something of wonder, a fine album which demands to be heard as a whole; you know, a throwback to the days when we purchased, listened to, and treasured a work as an entire piece, rather than a mere picking point for a small number of songs on a digital playlist.

If one ignores the "keep us going" patchwork that was Somewhere Between Here And There, The Disturbance Fields is the third original release by this fine ensemble.

There are some major changes to report before considering the work itself. Alongside Blackwood and Trewavas, the act now boasts the full time services of Rick Armstrong (son of Neil) on guitars (this owing to Eric's recent health issues) and Henry Rogers (best known for his work with Touchstone and DeeExpus) on drums. There is also a very welcome drum guest spot by Lisa Wetton, the widow of the late great John, and damned fine she is too.

As a result, this album has the real feel of a band, rather than the previous mighty fine collaboration. The album was produced by the band, and mixed by John Mitchell of Marillion fame. It sounds fantastic from the first waves to the last soundscapes. Lush, wholesome, and a joy to listen to, it contains everything that is wonderful about them, the ability to marry differing moods in the turn of a bar.

Edison's Children describe themselves as playing "hauntingly epic rock", and certainly the first two albums gave themselves much to debate about the meaning inherent within space and horror themes. This one, though, is, if anything, far more haunting and horrific in its theme, because it is entirely based around the power of Mother Earth herself, with the tempest that Pete and Eric suffered whilst recording previous works. Nature can be terrifying in its majesty and power, but also, even in the wildest moments, quite exquisitely beautifully terrifying, and this work takes that and provides these moods to the listener in spades.

The album is a complete suite entitled Washed Away. Fourteen movements, with sub parts therein. An album demanding to be considered as a entire work.

We begin with the calm of The Captain's Ledger, the serenity of the sea, but with the inherent loneliness of the old sea dog, although there is in the lyrics more than a passing reference to the unknown fate of the hero of albums past. There are some staggering passages of orchestration in this album, and they begin to rear up in the second track, providing us with the premonition of nature's fury to come. Thus is the scene set. The sound here, as throughout, is wholly symphonic and lush.

Throughout, the album is awash with sound effects, thundering rhythm, and a narrative which codifies the impact of nature's fury on individual lives and our precious planet, which, be in no doubt, is in peril. Many of us are, literally, in danger of being washed away. Indeed, the menace of swirling guitars, throbbing bass, and crashing drums accompanying the warning inherent within Indigenous exemplify this perfectly.

When Trewavas was introducing this work in the video, he played The Surge, a track which really deserves a huge amount of radio AirPlay, with its ridiculously catchy main theme, strong vocal performance of his, and bursts of gorgeous power. A single in the making? Any fan of Marillion will recognise this, the ability to marry messages, themes, power, and beauty into one seamless, and, yes, commercial, whole. Armstrong's guitar solo is really quite lovely here.

You are lulled into a wee bit of a false sense of security again Into The Dead Calm, a lonely narrative setting out into the sea. The Tempest then builds the scene vocally, with some lilting and screaming guitars. What follows is the promised wrath of nature, her revenge. I have heard much of these passages described as Floydian. Yes, in parts I suppose, but I prefer Edisonian, because this lot are unique. A Random Disturbance brings back the orchestral keys to such a menacing effect, on the face of it a simple loop, but a damned sight more than that when set against all else, especially some incredible guitar work at the denouement, and leads us nicely into the longest, at ten minutes plus, passage, The Confluence, the centrepiece of the album, formed of five mini-suites.

The band have had some heavy moments in previous works, but, by God, this one tops them all. If any band have ever managed to better this description of man sometimes meeting his match, and losing his life, as he confronts the disturbance fields, in such a huge storm of music, then I would like to hear it. When The Beast is revealed in Resurgence, it is, paradoxically, a passage of musical beauty, Armstrong's textures quite lovely set against more lilting keys, pacy rhythm ( Wetton compliments Trewavas wonderfully here), and Eric's haunting voice, before it falls back to that wonderful loop we heard previously, and we enter The Epitaph, where everything that ever was is washed away, closing our theme perfectly and fading with chilling effect.

This is a wonderful piece. This is my album of 2019. What is more, we are promised future albums already written. I cannot wait.

So, to return to the start of this review; yes, I am a fan; yes, my name does appear on the cd credits. You know what? Damned proud of it I am too. Eric and Pete, with their wonderful band, have created something truly special in this album. It might also, hopefully, get you to engage in a serious conversation, and reflect, as it has with I, about the true horror which confronts us in the world in the here and now.

Five stars. About as perfect as modern progressive rock gets. Forget to buy it at your peril. Oh, and Wendy's artwork is worth the entrance price alone -totally lush.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Edison's Children - The Disturbance Fields Edison's Children is the side-project of Marillion bass player Pete Trewavas (who sings and plays many instruments) and Eric Blackwood (who also sings and plays even more instruments). They are also joined by Rick Armstrong (son of Neil Armstrong) on gui ... (read more)

Report this review (#2284025) | Posted by Prime Half Century | Monday, November 25, 2019 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Its been quite awhile since an album grabbed me like The Disturbance Fields does and it is a bit of a miracle that it exits at all. Co founder and guitarist extraordinaire Eric Blackwood was horribly injured in a work related accident (he's a movies special-fx guy) that resulted in one of his a ... (read more)

Report this review (#2283538) | Posted by SteveG | Friday, November 22, 2019 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The 7 year long wait for the release of a new epic by Edison's Children was perhaps the most long awaited and anticipated album for the fans of the Neo-prog / Epic Prog outfit who have taken the time to know this band enough to become "infected" by them. The Marillion / Transatlantic side projec ... (read more)

Report this review (#2281420) | Posted by The Shrubbery | Friday, November 15, 2019 | Review Permanlink

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