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THE HARMONY CODEX

Steven Wilson

Crossover Prog


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Steven Wilson The Harmony Codex album cover
3.64 | 219 ratings | 20 reviews | 25% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2023

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Inclination (7:16)
2. What Life Brings (3:39)
3. Economies of Scale (4:18)
4. Impossible Tightrope (10:44)
5. Rock Bottom (4:25)
6. Beautiful Scarecrow (5:21)
7. The Harmony Codex (9:50)
8. Time Is Running Out (3:59)
9. Actual Brutal Facts (5:06)
10. Staircase (9:27)

Total Time 64:05

Line-up / Musicians

- Steven Wilson / vocals, guitars, keyboards, sampler, bass, percussion, programming

With:
- Adam Holzman / Rhodes piano (1,4,7), piano (9), DFAM loops (10), Modular synthesizer (1,3,6), Moog synthesizer solo (10), Wurlitzer organ (5)
- Ben Coleman / violin (4)
- Craig Blundell / drums (2,5,6,10), hi-hat (9), percussion (6,9)
- David Kollar / lead guitar (1,9), ambient guitar (4)
- David Kosten / programming (1,10)
- Guy Pratt / bass (2)
- Jack Dangers / electric beats (6), programming (9)
- Jason Cooper / tom drum (6)
- Lee Harris / psychedelic guitar (4)
- Nate Wood / drums (4)
- Nick Beggs / Chapman Stick (6,10)
- Niko Tsonev / guitars (1,4,10), lead guitar (5,8,10)
- Nate Navarro / fretless bass (1), bass (9)
- Nils Petter Molvaer / trumpet (1)
- Ninet Tayeb / vocals (5), guitars (5), backing vocals (1,2)
- Pat Mastelotto / drums & percussion (1)
- Rotem Wilson / voices (7,10)
- Samuel Fogarino / drums (10)
- Theo Travis / flute (1), saxophone (4), duduk (6)

Releases information

Label: Virgin Music
Format: Vinyl, CD, Blu-Ray, Cassette, Digital
September 29, 2023

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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STEVEN WILSON The Harmony Codex ratings distribution


3.64
(219 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(25%)
25%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
38%
Good, but non-essential (24%)
24%
Collectors/fans only (10%)
10%
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)
3%

STEVEN WILSON The Harmony Codex reviews


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by LearsFool
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars The prog rock and beyond legend Steven Wilson continues to explore new horizons in his music, and in the process befuddle many of his fans, myself included. I have to say that as the singles for this record dropped I became ever more excited and intrigued in ways I haven't been for his solo material since 2013's almost predictable yet amazingly performed The Raven That Refused to Sing. This was in marked contrast to the three solo LPs proceeding The Harmony Codex, where I experienced such disappointment that I didn't even bother to listen to The Future Bites's singles before the project came out as a whole and I was happily surprised by most of the results. The course of the singles pulled listeners in many different directions, an eclectic cornucopia when taken as a whole that teased not only a partial return to Wilson's more capital-P Prog stylings but a sort of fusion of that into his electronic inclinations. The final package replicates these twists over the first half before evolving into a mostly straight sequel to TFB, if markedly improved over said solid predecessor. The result is an excellent album.

It's prudent, if a tinge dispiriting, to divide an analysis of the instrumentation in half. First then is the more conventionally *prog rock* forms that dominated the singles and the first part of THC. These make up most of the truly striking parts of the record even though they are often rooted in some of prog's more typical stylings, as they are rather new to Wilson's palette and he and the dizzying array of backing and guest musicians on deck play them fairly uniquely and always powerfully. Wilson has also given over some of the guitar solos across the record to Niko Tsonev, most notably the plaintive post-Floyd climax to "Rock Bottom". The height of all this is appropriately the monumental "Impossible Tightrope", an almost-instrumental that tests the limits of both Wilson's nature as a musical factotum and the skills of the aforementioned fellow players. By turns floating in either the sea or the sky (in part with the "ambient guitar" of David Kollar) before barreling through frenetic drums (Nate Wood of the band Kneebody), bass (Wilson), keys (Adam Holzman), and guitar (variously Wilson, Tsonev, and Lee Harris's "psychedelic guitar") featuring great solos including some of Theo Travis's most energetic saxophone blasts.

Making up both the very opening and the second half of the album are the new electronic idioms Wilson has come to use, which strike me as overall more mature than those on TFB and successful in his stated desire to move beyond that record and its overt pop direction. While more or less by their nature tending to be somewhat static in their core beats and arpeggios, Wilson and his keyboardist guests like Jack Dangers of Meat Beat Manifesto have sought to diversify these soundscapes with industrial upsurges and some excellent guitar solos. There's also the turning point in the opener "Inclination" that shows the power of silence in music and heralds what's almost a new song, and some evolution in the cuts that peak with arguably THC's finest stretch, "Beautiful Scarecrow". Indeed, the project's only sub-par cut is the title track, which abandons all that to float listlessly in an ambient wasteland that is terribly ungripping and ends up feeling hopelessly out of place on the record. While arguably failing somewhat in delivering on Wilson's pledge that every last track would be significantly different from each other, the consistently dour and even unnerving electronic cuts are delicious and avoid the mid-album drop in quality that capsized To The Bone.

On top of all this is the strength of vocals and much of the lyricism on The Harmony Codex. Wilson has challenged himself to not only improve those vocal stylings he has previously used but to try some new ones. The main example of this comes from "Actual Brutal Facts" where he for the first time slowly yet bitterly raps a broadside against the likes of Patrick Bateman businessmen and the kind of megaphone malcontents attacked in Porcupine Tree's "Rats Return", cloaked in sinister effects and with a vile cackling acting as his hype man. All the same he shines in his more usual singing voice, with "Beautiful Scarecrow" and "What Life Brings" as highlights on that end. This is alongside the triumph of "Rock Bottom", which is the long awaited scaffolding upon which Ninet Tayeb has been able to show the full power of her mellifluous voice, which Wilson was able to match in a superb duet. The project also benefits from some of the best music videos associated with Wilson's oeuvre. Interpretive dance defines both "Economies of Scale" and "What Life Brings", with the latter an arresting picture of the shattered lives of a car accident that befits Wilson's lyrics of loss, with the man himself the observer of lost possibility as he directly addresses his audience. "Rock Bottom" is given a direct perspective of our singers, while "Impossible Tightrope" and the title track have arresting visual landscapes, the latter's futuristic yet abandoned London deserving a far better cut.

In summation, The Harmony Codex truly is the best solo work Steven Wilson has put out since The Raven if not Grace For Drowning, a marvelous and forward thinking record that is a solid compromise between his prog rock and various electronic directions. I look forward to the "alternate version" of THC that is the deluxe edition's Harmonic Distortion. My final words I will use to encourage every current and former SW fan to try this LP, which I believe has something for everyone and a superior take on TFB's styles well worth listening to.

Review by Necrotica
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Colaborator
4 stars Let's start this off with a quick exercise. First, I want you to take a listen to Steven Wilson's 2013 opus The Raven That Refused to Sing. Even if you've heard it many times before, just take a moment to re-absorb that vintage prog majesty once again. The elaborate bass lines, the lush mellotrons, the jazz fusion tinges... yeah, that's good stuff. Now that you're done with that, let's fast-forward to 2021 and revisit The Future Bites. The electropop sound, the (attempted) social commentary of the lyrics, the cold sparse atmosphere... now, that's a stylistic 180 if I've ever heard one. Obviously Wilson was building up to the style found on The Future Bites -- To the Bone definitely primed the pump for that -- but when jumping straight from one end of his catalog to another, it's enough to give one whiplash.

More than anything though, To the Bone and The Future Bites served as a message to his fans: expect the unexpected. For every elaborate prog number like "Luminol" or "Raider II", there might be a dance-pop tune like "Permeating" or a bluesy rocker like "Eminent Sleaze" to catch you off-guard. And it's this type of thinking that got me extremely curious about what Wilson would bring with The Harmony Codex. After all, what stylistic turn could he make after going all-in with the pop and electronic influences?

Well, Wilson did the best thing he could in this situation: take what actually worked on the previous record, and expand it into a more sprawling, cinematic experience. And he seemed poised to fully take advantage of this direction both aurally and visually, as the video for lead single "Economies of Scale" features two people dancing in a large chapel space with impressive choreography, shot entirely in one take. Oh, and Wilson himself makes a cameo appearance! See if you can spot him. Meanwhile, the music itself is just as grand and engaging; Wilson creates a complex tapestry of layered vocals, as the skittering Radiohead-style percussion gives the ornate instrumentation some grounding and tension. More than anything, "Economies of Scale" served as an excellent bridge between The Future Bites and the rest of The Harmony Codex.

Of course, much of the record delves even further into this sweeping musical territory. The other big single, and the one that Wilson really wanted people to be hyped for, is the 11-minute "Impossible Tightrope". And how many lyrics do we get throughout this lengthy excursion? Three lines. That's all we get. The rest of the track is an ambitious exercise in worldbuilding, including (but not limited to) the following highlights: wailing sax lines, cold post-punk-esque guitar leads, jazzy keyboard breaks, and a beautiful ambient section in the middle to cap it all off. And it's at this moment that I realized something: The Harmony Codex as a whole is basically an olive branch between the traditional and modern prog sensibilities of Wilson's solo career (granted, I suppose we already got this earlier on with Hand. Cannot. Erase., but still...).

While "Impossible Tightrope" might be the best example of that bridge, but it's certainly present elsewhere too. For another extended tune that exhibits this middle ground extremely well, we get the highly atmospheric title track. The guitars and synths drone on hypnotically as Wilson's wife Rotem provides some lovely narration to flesh out the ambiance of the piece. From then on, it's mostly a suspenseful post-rockish buildup for the rest of the song -- simple in concept, but strong in execution. Still, this is not to say that Wilson's abandoned that more tender, singer-songwriter side of his DNA, as cuts like the pensive alt-rocker "What Life Brings" and the emotionally gripping ballad "Rock Bottom" prove. The latter is especially notable because it marks the return of longtime collaborator Ninet Tayeb, as she and Wilson embark on the first duet together since 2017's "Pariah" -- and, as always, Tayeb brings the house down with her raw, passionate delivery.

Despite all of this praise, I can't help but feel as though something's missing here. It might have to do with the overall lack of these more self-contained, concise moments, but the aforementioned worldbuilding could stand to be reined-in at times. While the extended, sprawling pieces are neat from a conceptual and atmospheric perspective, they also make The Harmony Codex more emotionally distant at times and -- dare I say -- even a bit hollow. I did mention earlier that "Economies of Scale" was like a way of connecting The Future Bites and The Harmony Codex together, and this does apply to some of the other songs as well. Unfortunately, that also comes with the former album's baggage, whether it be in moments of questionable songwriting, dull vocal inflections, or an overly synthetic vibe.

Still, this shouldn't deter Steven Wilson fans from checking out The Harmony Codex, as it's a huge step up from its predecessor. If anything, this is basically the direction he should have gone in immediately after To the Bone, as it seems like a logical development from that record's electronica-tinged prog-pop style. In any case, this is basically Wilson's "cinematic" album, and allows him to play around with a wide variety of fun styles and experiments using that theme. It's sprawling, it's immersive, it's widescreen, and -- most of all -- it's a sign that our favorite(?) modern progger still has plenty left to say, even over 30 years into his illustrious career.

Review by rdtprog
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Heavy, RPI, Symph, JR/F Canterbury Teams
4 stars Unlike this previous album, Steve Wilson has no idea what kind of album he wanted here; that's why it comes as a more diverse album. If "Futur Bitres" has not reached a consensus amongst critics and fans, this one could do the same if you expect music in the style of his first solo albums on every song. After the first three songs, I was about to give up on less-inspired electronic pop songs. But then in the song "Impossible Tightrope" the magic started to happen with the electric guitar, and it was the first rock song that took us back to the albums "Raven" and "Grace for Drowning". After those songs, every song is much more inspiring, even though we are far away from the shredding guitars of his previous releases before "Futur Bites". The music can sound like a soundtrack with various atmospheres. "Rock Bottom" with Nanet singing can sound similar to the song "Don't Give Up," but with a nice guitar solo added. "Beautiful Scarecrow" shows a Peter Gabriel soundtrack style of music. The title track is a beautiful ambient song bringing to mind the dreaming state of a dystopian world, a recurrent theme in Steve Wilson's imagination. "Time is Running Out" is in the style of "Futur Bites," with some electronic pop music, cool voice effects, and nice percussion patterns. "Actual Brutal Facts" has a nice crescendo where the guitars are more incisive until the end. "Staircase" is in the style of the "To The Bone" album, with a pop influence and a terrific bass part in the middle before returning to the dream state of the title track. We have come to a full circle...
Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Damned if you do and damned if you don't, whilst contemplating the sad reality of how negative news, comments and opinions seem to garner more favour (as well as likes, subscribers, and revenues) than positive, upbeat feelgood vibes. Nobody is perfect except those who claim that their opinion is the truth and at the same time bellowing that everything has a dark side (like the moon). Slick being a never wrong lawyer masquerading as an always correct blogger. Always thought that it's the artist who decides the direction his craft needs to go and not the audience's prerogative to dictate what said artist should have done. Damned if you do and damned if you don't. If you put out the same hit album over and over again, you are milking the cow and taking no chances but if you dare go off on another tangent, you have let down your fans and lost your way (a cross and rusty nails await). Steve Wilson the artist (not the castaway volleyball) has changed course a few times in his long career, but the latest swing has brought out many of the hate-mongers who seemingly know better what he should be doing (which is what exactly?). I am not a judge, jury or executioner, there are more then enough of them going around. I see, I hear, I write, and you get to decide. But if I don't like it, I won't even touch it. I obviously like The Harmony Codex (and posted no review for To the Bone or The Future Bites, because I was not into it, at the time). Okay, rant over.

The slightly oblique electronica of "Inclination" has a typewriter-gone-mad section that is super clever, a tasty intro to a thundering beat , courtesy of Pat Mastelotto, perhaps one of the finest prog drummers around, before blooming into a dense art-rock cocktail that has a later era Roxy Music feel, Steve wielding a microphone with inner- city flair and urban chic like a modern day Bryan Ferry, smirking flute and trumpet flutter, martini glass shattering Niko Tsonev guitar, reverberating piano and jungle jangle clatter. It's not classic prog but definitely classy music. Two shorter tracks that seek to define the mood as opposed to the over technical disposition of what is to come after. First, the silky smooth "What Life Brings" has drummer Craig Blundell and Guy Pratt on bass, grooving to a shimmering Wilson lead guitar, very accessible material not too far from Blackfield and the follow up "Economies of Scale" which is a densely orchestrated choir and effects arrangement armed with minimalist piano, a soft forlorn vocal and percussive programming ejections.

Sounding like climbing up an "Impossible Tightrope", this nearly 12-minute romp comes across as a progressive roller coaster of colliding extremes, a massive choir work that defies gravity flowing into a raging intensity bordering on fever, a scintillating Adam Holzman e-piano avalanche, a trio of guitarists (ambient, psychedelic, and electric), a slippery violin, a hardy sax, tons of synths and fertile drums from Nate Wood. All that was missing was some kitchen plumbing. The plaintive "Rock Bottom" is an album high point (sorry for the pun), featuring the rather remarkable Ninet Tayeb, a modern day Claire Torry or Durga McBroom, who can wrench every drop of saliva out of her sultry voice (you can feel it in your bones). The resonating e-piano acts as an emotional foil for the naked arrangement, enhanced by the orchestral adornments that is off the charts. Brilliant piece of gut-wrenching poise. Niko Tsonev carves the remnants of decorum left with a surgical guitar scalpel that shows no remorse. A look back to the past with "Beautiful Scarecrow", a track that would have fitted nicely on Insurgentes or The Raven Refused to Sing. Nick Beggs on Chapman stick, Blundell on the sticks, duduk courtesy of Theo Travis

A complete reversal of style is shockingly unexpected on the Vangelis meets St-Peter in heaven "The Harmony Codex", that slings this album into a ten-minute reflective elevation that could (and for some critics is) become a tricky deviation into a cul-de-sac that might spell disaster. I own 48 Tangerine Dream records, so I won't be a candidate for Ariadne's Thread. I get to chill a bit, which is always prudent. We arrive back to the opposite spectrum, the simple British electro-pop of "Time Is Running Out", very close to recent Peter Gabriel, cinematic voice effects blending with percolating percussives and an elastic guitar burst from Niko. Modern stylistics and secure cleverness.

With clanging guitar arpeggios, narration-like voices (no, its not rap for crying out quiet), blender on puree synths, electronic pitter patter, all kinds of argy-bargy going on in the background, "Actual Brutal Facts" is an ear-opening hodge podge of troubling sounds, neither harsh nor saccharine but certainly disturbing. Great bass line that had me winking at the latest Riverside "Id.entity", and a highly futuristic vibe that pushes the boundaries quite a bit. "Staircase" is a killer final track, another farsighted piece that has a breathtaking pulse (an oft seen Wilson attribute in all his previous incarnations) with impeccable vocals, both lead and harmony, a wicked bass gurgle (SW) and solid rhythmic backbone from both the athletic Blundell and the booming Samuel Fogarino, and some Rotem Wilson narration that winks anew at the fluttering elasticity of the title track. So before shielding myself from the imminent onslaught of derisive reply, let me say that I was born and raised on my first and continuing icon, the entire Roxy Music catalog has always been my musical bible. It should therefore not come as a surprise that this stunning 2023 album resonated with me so deeply. Comfortable slippers and my feet aren't numb.

4.5 congruence manuscripts

Review by A Crimson Mellotron
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars 'The Harmony Codex' is the latest addition to the ever-expanding Steven Wilson catalogue. This ambitious solo album comes after the general disappointment that 'The Future Bites' was, when Wilson incorporated techniques and sounds coming from synth pop and electronica (releasing a massive four-disc set full of new tracks, demos, covers, and what have you), and after the great return of Porcupine Tree (this time as a trio) with 'Closure/Continuation', an album that received rave reviews, deservedly.

'THC', however, sounds like none of these aforementioned albums, as Wilson likes to draw a clear line between his solo releases and the releases of the bands he's in, whether it be PT, No-Man, or Blackfield. In this sense his 'Codex' is quite unique, as it stands as the undoubtedly most stylistically diverse of all SW solo works, so much that it could hardly be classified into a specific category, meaning that his attempt to create a genre-less album has been successful. It could be described as the evolution of 'Hand. Cannot. Erase' through a filter of TFB, some Pink Floyd, and some 80s alt rock and art pop, if this makes any sense.

This is well portrayed by the unusual opener 'Inclination', a great track that builds up slowly, entirely instrumental in its first half, and pretty much not featuring any "real instruments", if tapes, sequencers, and computer programmed effect could be considered "unreal" instruments. The mood of this song fits the typical Wilson-esque melancholic dread that everyone goes to him for. This is followed by a beautiful ballad in the style of early 70s psych prog, featuring Ninet Tayeb, the fantastic Israeli female singer that has helped him very often in some of his best songs - 'What Life Brings' is a tranquil and somber, unlike the previous track on here. 'Economies of Scale' is one of the highlights on the album, and the best representation of what interests Wilson most musically. It sounds like an upgrade of one of the songs on TFB, it features beautiful vocals, a picturesque build-up and a fantastic experimental instrumental. 'Impossible Tightrope' is the big 10-minute prog and fusion extravaganza, once again featuring some great playing. It is worth noting that the cast of musicians contributing to this album is absolutely massive, as the listener could see the names of Adam Holzmann, Craig Blundell, David Kollar, Niko Tsonev, Nick Beggs, Pat Mastelotto, Guy Pratt and David Kosten, among many others in the liner notes. One must say that knowing this for sure takes away the experience of listening to a band performing its collective work, which, of course, this album is not. The desired genre-less final product might have motivated the large cast of guest musicians but this also results to an extent in a bit of a disconnection here and there, as something is surely missing, another dimension that can be felt on other SW solo albums, a sense of intimacy that might have slipped away somewhere.

'Rock Bottom' is a strong duet between Wilson and Ninet, another one of the stronger compositions on the album, once again very melancholic and downtempo. 'Beautiful Scarecrow' is interesting but is not the best thing Wilson has produced, as it falls a bit short on having a particular direction or moment of release. The title track is a 10-minute electronic sequence, strongly resembling something that could have been done by Tangerine Dream in the early 70s. All I could say is that this is one of the tracks I can hardly stand. 'Time is Running Out' sounds a bit uninspired, both lyrically and musically. 'Actual Brutal Facts' is a very grim electronic rock exploration, definitely something new for Wilson, curious addition to the album, that unfortunately could not have saved the second half of the 'Codex' from sounding infinitely more tedious than the first one. 'Staircase' is another longer song, finally quoting Pink Floyd again in the nylon guitar strumming that is in the background. Rock instrumentation mixes beautifully with the electronic soundscapes on this track, that sounds a most like a synthesis between HCE and TFB.

It is always great to have one of your favorite artists come back with a new album but the strength of 'The Harmony Codex' seems to me not corresponding to the hype created before its release. As a project it is quite ambitious, quite sonically bold and showcases Wison's musical interests in a perfect way but to me the album suffers from the missing element mentioned before, making it more difficult to connect to it. It is richly produced and bolsters a great sound, but the quality of the songs and the creativity have both suffered from the shifting of interest from musical material to sonic presentation.

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars With Porcupine Tree a going concern again thanks to Closure/Continuation, Steven decides to take a less purist prog approach on The Harmony Codex, his latest solo album. That's no surprise - after all, on albums like To the Bone and The Future Bites he'd already steered his solo releases away from the prog approach of albums like The Raven That Refused To Sing. Here, he seems to dabbling in a wide range of electronic sounds, with influences ranging from Nine Inch Nails to Vangelis to Air all detectable.

Painstakingly engineered and impeccably produced, it perhaps lacks a little in terms of sonic cohesiveness, but as far as collections of songs giving Wilson an opportunity to air his multi-instrumentalist skills, it's rather charming, and the sheer lushness of the sound of these compositions goes a long way towards making up for the lack of focus.

Review by The Crow
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Two years after "The Future Bites" and having released another album with Purcupine Tree in between, the prolific Steven Wilson returned to his old ways with another solo adventure called "The Harmony Codex"!

It is an album produced by Steven Wilson himself that abandons the more pop paths of his two previous works to once again enter a more progressive and experimental path, but which unfortunately fails to recover the brilliance of works like "The Raven that Refused to Sing" and "Hand Cannot Erase."

Perhaps for me the worst defect of this album is the style of many songs that seem repetitive and lacking in ideas, many of them turning out artificially elongated. That is something serious for someone who is used to listening to songs lasting more than half an hour without getting bored.

In any case, Steven Wilson fans are in luck, since at least this "The Harmony Codex" does manage to at least surpass the quality of the mediocre "To The Bone" and "The Future Bites". It is something!

Best Tracks: What Life Brings (the best song on the album and the only one that reminds us of Wilson's classic period. I especially like the accompaniment work on the keyboards), Impossible Tightrope (a song that recovers the instrumental brilliance of yesteryear, at least in part) and Time is Running Out (a track that makes another original use of the keyboard and offers us vocal melodies very typical of Wilson)

My Rating: ***

Latest members reviews

4 stars Hello fellow music lovers. Caught by surprise, this album didn't have much hype before its release apart from the great video of impossible tightrope which is how I found out about the album. This album seems to be in a similar category to "to the bone" however Steven Wilson as usual has put to ... (read more)

Report this review (#3050720) | Posted by Aussie_Philosopher | Sunday, April 28, 2024 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is the album SW is most proud of because it is the culmination of many decades struggle to find the right balance between aspiration and realization. All the Porcupine Tree albums were a search for effective jadedness, which essentially means people who don't like pop music have an outlet. ... (read more)

Report this review (#3036862) | Posted by maxsmusic | Thursday, April 11, 2024 | Review Permanlink

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 m ... (read more)

Report this review (#2985146) | Posted by Devolvator | Tuesday, January 23, 2024 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I'm writing this review after maybe six listens and although I usualy give all Steven Wilson and Porcupine Tree releases five stars, I can't give this any more than 4. As usual the production and overall sound quality are as expected from a man like SW, but the tracks, I don't know, it's just no ... (read more)

Report this review (#2975316) | Posted by LakesideRitchie | Sunday, December 17, 2023 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The new Steven Wilson album defies several rules that progressive rock hard police finds a treason to the genre. As it happens to other bands that have tried to generate and think outside of the 70s canon, the idea of mixing electronica and prog rock is considered by many as a sort of devious pu ... (read more)

Report this review (#2957107) | Posted by santisoux | Tuesday, October 3, 2023 | Review Permanlink

4 stars An objective chronicle. 1. Inclination and the Arabic intro, a little wind, that's all it's prog for; good, a deafening bass that can cast doubt, a trance-like air of déjà vu on layers of sampled wind instruments, the obvious break that leaves on an airplane runway; 3 minutes and Steve arrives, h ... (read more)

Report this review (#2957103) | Posted by alainPP | Tuesday, October 3, 2023 | Review Permanlink

2 stars controversial one no doubt. some may think this record is the second arrival of christ and some may think it's electronic crap. I, for one, think this is a very overhyped, overblown disc, and if it had been released by any unknown artist, no one would be talking about it. maybe they would be ask ... (read more)

Report this review (#2956079) | Posted by patrishiou | Sunday, October 1, 2023 | Review Permanlink

5 stars As a big fan of old Porcupine Tree space rock albums, The Harmony Codex is a very pleasant surprise to me. While the album is a deeper approach with the sound started with The Future Bites, I've found myself reminding Steven's earliest works, with the use of lots of synths, electronic beats ... (read more)

Report this review (#2955947) | Posted by Deadwing | Saturday, September 30, 2023 | Review Permanlink

3 stars The Harmony Codex is an eclectic release of pop, electronic, ambient, rap, prog, and a smidge of jazz through the songs. Overall the music is drab and depressing, a common theme found with any Wilson release. So what is different this time? The use of electronic beats is abundant, so if ... (read more)

Report this review (#2955699) | Posted by Grumpyprogfan | Friday, September 29, 2023 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Steven Wilson has always hated classifications and fans pigeonholing him into a single genre or style, making disappointment inevitable when you don't fit into those parameters. And in this latest work he wanted to give us a little bit of everything: from touches of classic progressive, electronic p ... (read more)

Report this review (#2955561) | Posted by DiversionConVinilos | Friday, September 29, 2023 | Review Permanlink

1 stars So much hype with this record. I listened to the album immediately with some hope. If you saw SW social media during the last weeks you may have seen many videos with teasers and himself explaining things about production. That was just a tiny part of what the album is, just a few seconds. That's th ... (read more)

Report this review (#2955541) | Posted by progrockeveryday | Friday, September 29, 2023 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Steven Wilson, in an attempt to decompose music as a historical stratum and reconstruct it as a whole disarticulated and even contradictory piece, lifts his discography through a set of songs that go from the emblematic protestant quality against technology present in Porcupine Tree's most emble ... (read more)

Report this review (#2955538) | Posted by Argentinfonico | Friday, September 29, 2023 | Review Permanlink

2 stars In listening to this album, I respected Steven's method of listening in the dark with good quality headphones. I was excited to go on a journey with Steven's new album. I'd heard the singles and was intrigued to see what general direction his music would be taking now. I've only listened to th ... (read more)

Report this review (#2955480) | Posted by Wisdom Moon | Thursday, September 28, 2023 | Review Permanlink

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