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STEVEN WILSON

Crossover Prog • United Kingdom


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Steven Wilson biography
STEVEN WILSON, perhaps most widely known for his role as the frontman for the popular act Porcupine Tree, is an artist from the UK who, through his various side projects, has spanned a vast number of musical ideas and concepts. Some of the styles he has been known to utilize are heavy prog, psychedelic, electronica, post-rock, ambient music, drone, metal, and art rock. Furthermore, WILSON is intensely focused on production values, dynamic mixing and mastering, and all other sorts of building albums that sound best in high-quality systems. In short, WILSON has always been an artist that appeals to audiophiles and fans of meticulously produced music. This shows up strongly in each of his bands and projects, but it plays even more of a role in his solo efforts.

Though some of his earliest musical recordings were demos that predated even Porcupine Tree, his solo releases did not truly start appearing until his "Cover Version" singles began in 2003. Essentially releasing one a year, each "Cover Version" contained a particularly unconventional song that WILSON chose to reproduce and one original song by WILSON. Also, in 2004, WILSON put out his experimental electronic album "Unreleased Electronic Music Vol. 1." Neither the "Cover Version" singles nor "Unreleased Electronic Music" feature any other performers, aside from some input from THEO TRAVIS on the latter.

That trend changed at the end of 2008, however, when WILSON released his first full-length, proper solo album, "Insurgentes." Featuring, among others, PORCUPINE TREE drummer Gavin Harrison, Prog bass legend TONY LEVIN, current DREAM THEATER keyboardist JORDAN RUDESS, and saxophonist/flautist THEO TRAVIS, "Insurgentes" proves rather quickly that it is not simply another ambient or electronic release. Toying with many of the styles that can be seen in PORCUPINE TREE, "Insurgentes" is a mature, laid-back album marked by less metal and more noise than PT's later albums. WILSON has stated that the album draws a lot of influence from shoe gazer, post-punk, and drone music.

Essentially, before "Insurgentes," WILSON used his solo moniker for a final catch-all for some of his music, making it difficult to draw comparisons to other bands. Nevertheless, "Insurgentes" makes it possible to site some bands with similar sound. Of notable similarity or inspiration are RADIOHEAD, JOY DIVISION, GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR, THE MARS VOLTA, and other WILSON projects such as BASS COMMUNION and PORCUPIN...
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Hand. Cannot. Erase.Hand. Cannot. Erase.
KSCOPE 2015
Audio CD$8.29
$6.95 (used)
The Raven That Refused to Sing: And Other StoriesThe Raven That Refused to Sing: And Other Stories
KSCOPE 2013
Audio CD$7.49
$6.59 (used)
Insurgentes (CD & DVD)Insurgentes (CD & DVD)
Kscope 2009
Audio CD$10.79
$7.00 (used)
Grace for DrowningGrace for Drowning
Kscope 2011
Audio CD$6.67
$4.28 (used)
Cover VersionCover Version
Kscope 2014
Audio CD$6.99
$6.50 (used)
Get All You Deserve [Blu-ray]Get All You Deserve [Blu-ray]
Multiple Formats · Blu-ray
Kscope 2012
Blu-ray$10.01
$10.00 (used)
Nsrgnts RmxNsrgnts Rmx
Kscope 2009
Audio CD$6.37
$5.99 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Immersion by Pendulum (UK) CD ELECTRO TECHNO Steven Wilson PRODIGY USD $1.04 [2 bids]
52m 36s
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7h 16m
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13h 13m
CD - Steven Wilson (Pocupine Tree) - Hand. Cannot. Erase. - (PROG) - 2015 USD $4.50 [1 bids]
13h 30m
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USD $69.99 Buy It Now
15h 28m
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16h 24m
STEVEN WILSON**HAND.CANNOT.ERASE**CD USD $11.95 Buy It Now 16h 57m
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Steven Wilson Raven Demos 12" Picture Disc EP- Luminol / Watchmaker RSD 2013,New USD $29.99 Buy It Now 17h 30m
Storm Corrosion "Storm Corrosion" CD Porcupine Tree Opeth Steven Wilson USD $5.00 [1 bids]
17h 37m
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18h 32m
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STEVEN WILSON The Raven That Refused To Sing Double 180g Vinyl Lp NEW USD $35.26 [0 bids]
20h 45m
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YES CLOSE TO THE EDGE STEVEN WILSON DVD-A 5.1 DTS 2 DISC USD $24.95 [0 bids]
23h 53m
Steven Wilson: The Raven That Refused to Sing (An (2013, Blu-ray New) BLU-RAY/WS USD $16.18 Buy It Now 1 day
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Steven Wilson Luminol Demo on 12" vinyl picture disc RSD OOP USD $25.00 [0 bids]
USD $45.00 Buy It Now
1 day
Blackfield Official T Shirt (Steven Wilson Porcupine Tree No Man Aviv Geffen) USD $8.96 [0 bids]
1 day
BASS COMMUNION - Cenotaph (Vinyl, Nov-2011, 2 Discs, ToneFloat) Steven Wilson USD $69.95 Buy It Now 1 day
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PORCUPINE TREE - "Shallow" 2005 US Promo CD *RARE* Produced by Steven Wilson USD $149.99 Buy It Now 1 day
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Steven Wilson - Grace for Drowning - SIGNED USD $14.94 [1 bids]
1 day
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Porcupine Tree Steven Wilson - Coma Divine - Out of Print 3LP + Bonus 7" New USD $250.00 Buy It Now 2 days
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2 days
Steven Wilson: Insurgentes [Mini LP] [HQCD] (Japan) USD $53.92 Buy It Now 2 days
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Jethro Tull A Passion Play LP 180 Gram Vinyl Steven Wilson Stereo Mix NEW SEALED USD $32.50 Buy It Now 2 days
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2 days
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PORCUPINE TREE ...Sunday Of Life ORIGINAL DELERIUM Vinyl 2 LP '92 Steven Wilson USD $59.95 Buy It Now 2 days
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Opeth "Still Life" 2LP Black Vinyl Sealed [Storm Corrosion Steven Wilson] USD $32.83 Buy It Now 2 days
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Insurgentes [VINYL], 0802644880815, Steven Wilson USD $34.09 Buy It Now 2 days
Porcupine Tree: Japan #2 Promo Poster [no cd man steven wilson crimson king Q USD $31.50 Buy It Now 2 days
PORCUPINE TREE The Incident Steven Wilson NEW SEALED 2 LP USD $59.97 Buy It Now 3 days
STEVEN WILSON NSRGNTS RMXS 2009 K Scope UK Ltd. 12" EP SEALED NEW Porcupine Tree USD $40.65 Buy It Now 3 days
PORCUPINE TREE Deadwing 2005 US CD DVD-A STEVEN WILSON 72 page hardback book NEW USD $135.00 Buy It Now 3 days
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PORCUPINE TREE MOONLOOP BLACK VINYL LIMITED EDTION NEVER PLAYED STEVEN WILSON USD $79.00 [0 bids]
3 days
Steven Wilson Luminol The Watchmaker Kscope 838 Vinyl SEALED Porcupine Tree USD $55.00 [0 bids]
3 days
Porcupine Tree The Incident Limited Edition Box Sealed Steven Wilson USD $169.00 [0 bids]
3 days
I.E.M. 1996 - 1999 Cd Sealed Porcupine Tree Steven Wilson USD $49.00 [0 bids]
3 days
Steven Wilson Unreleased Electronic Music 2lp Vinyl Sealed Porcupine Tree USD $79.00 [0 bids]
3 days
Blackfield Promo Cd Pain - Helicon New Porcupine Tree Steven Wilson USD $39.00 [0 bids]
3 days
PORCUPINE TREE STEVEN WILSON WE LOST THE SKYLINE BLACK VINYL SEALED NEW USD $69.00 [0 bids]
3 days
Blackfield Promo Cd Hello - Helicon New Porcupine Tree Steven Wilson USD $39.00 [0 bids]
3 days
Steven Wilson Catalogue Preserve Amas Kscope 827 Vinyl SEALED Porcupine Tree USD $65.00 [0 bids]
3 days
PORCUPINE TREE SAMPLER 2008 CD STEVEN WILSON NEW AND SEALED VERY RARE USD $29.00 [0 bids]
3 days
Porcupine Tree Octane Twisted 2cd With Bonus Dvd And Card Sealed Steven Wilson USD $49.00 [0 bids]
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Porcupine Tree In Absentia Sealed Double Vinyl Steven Wilson USD $39.00 [0 bids]
3 days
Steven Wilson - Hand. Cannot. Erase. (2015) USD $8.99 [2 bids]
3 days
STEVEN WILSON/OCEANSIZE Stoneage Dinosaurs/Fear 7" white vinyl Porcupine Tree USD $19.43 Buy It Now 3 days
JETHRO TULL War Child LP 11 Track - 2014 Stereo Remix By Steven Wilson, Heavy Vi USD $34.09 Buy It Now 3 days
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3 days
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3 days
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Steven Wilson Pineapple Thief Visions Magazine Anniversary 7" PORCUPINE TREE USD $49.99 Buy It Now 4 days
Robert Plant (Steven Wilson, Dream Theater, Cult): 2013 A5 sized UK Tour flyer USD $1.48 [0 bids]
4 days
STEVEN WILSON - HAND. CANNOT. ERASE.: CD ALBUM (KSCOPE316) (March 2nd, 2015) USD $14.94 Buy It Now 4 days
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No Man Days in The Trees UK Vinyl 12 inch Single Porcupine Tree Steven Wilson USD $69.99 Buy It Now 4 days
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STEVEN WILSON 2 (TWO)***SIGNED*** AUTOGRAPHED CDS USD $72.99 Buy It Now 4 days
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Steven Wilson Hand Cannot Erase (2015) CD USD $6.28 [4 bids]
4 days
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Marillion - Misplaced Childhood CD 1st Pressing France steven wilson fish camel USD $11.99 Buy It Now 4 days
Steven Wilson . Hand Cannot Erase . Limited Deluxe Cd Box Set . Blu/Bonus Tracks USD $157.06 [0 bids]
4 days
No-Man "Schoolyard Ghosts" *RARE* cd/dvda 2008 Sealed [Steven Wilson Tim Bowness USD $15.69 Buy It Now 4 days
Nosound - A Sense Of Loss CD/DVD 24bit 5.1 steven wilson porcupine tree USD $10.99 Buy It Now 4 days
LP catalogue / preserve / amass (record store day 2012 exclusive - limited)
STEVEN WILSON
~ USD $30.50
LP grace for drawning
STEVEN WILSON
~ USD $29.41
LP insurgentes
STEVEN WILSON
~ USD $31.49


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STEVEN WILSON shows & tickets


  • Steven Wilson at The Circus, Helsinki on 19 Apr 2015
  • Steven Wilson at Sentrum Scene, Oslo on 21 Apr 2015
  • Steven Wilson on 23 Apr 2015
  • Steven Wilson on 8 May 2015
  • Steven Wilson at Teatro Cariola, Santiago on 9 May 2015
  • Steven Wilson at Teatro Vorterix, Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires on 12 May 2015
  • Steven Wilson at El Plaza Condesa on 15 May 2015
  • Steven Wilson at El Plaza Condesa on 16 May 2015
  • Steven Wilson at The Palladium, Worcester on 19 May 2015
  • Steven Wilson at The Egg, Albany on 21 May 2015
  • Steven Wilson at Berklee Performance Center, Boston, MA on 22 May 2015
  • Steven Wilson at Sunoco Performance Theater, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on 23 May 2015
  • Steven Wilson (this is a seated show) on 26 May 2015
  • Steven Wilson at Keswick Theater, Glenside on 28 May 2015
  • Steven Wilson at Best Buy Theater, New York on 29 May 2015
  • Steven Wilson at Best Buy Theater, New York on 30 May 2015
  • An Evening with Steven Wilson: Hand Cannot Erase Tour on 2 Jun 2015
  • Steven Wilson on 4 Jun 2015
  • Steven Wilson on 5 Jun 2015
  • Steven Wilson on 6 Jun 2015
  • Steven Wilson at Varsity Theater, Minneapolis on 7 Jun 2015
  • An Evening With Steven Wilson on 9 Jun 2015
  • Steven Wilson at The Grove of Anaheim, Anaheim on 12 Jun 2015
  • Steven Wilson at The Wiltern, Los Angeles on 13 Jun 2015
  • Steven Wilson on 14 Jun 2015
  • Steven Wilson at The Neptune Theatre, Seattle on 17 Jun 2015
  • Steven Wilson at Vogue Theatre, Vancouver on 20 Jun 2015
  • Steven Wilson at Theatre Junction GRAND, Calgary on 23 Jun 2015
  • Steven Wilson at The Danforth Music Hall, Toronto on 26 Jun 2015
  • FIJM: Steven Wilson on 27 Jun 2015

STEVEN WILSON discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

STEVEN WILSON top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.83 | 743 ratings
Insurgentes
2008
4.21 | 1286 ratings
Grace for Drowning
2011
4.30 | 1349 ratings
The Raven That Refused To Sing (And Other Stories)
2013
4.30 | 461 ratings
Hand. Cannot. Erase.
2015

STEVEN WILSON Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.26 | 148 ratings
Catalogue/Preserve/Amass
2012

STEVEN WILSON Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.48 | 120 ratings
Insurgentes - The Movie
2010
4.59 | 232 ratings
Get All You Deserve
2012

STEVEN WILSON Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.84 | 90 ratings
Nsrgnts Rmxs
2009
3.00 | 59 ratings
Cover Version
2014

STEVEN WILSON Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.72 | 36 ratings
Cover Version
2003
3.62 | 34 ratings
Cover Version II
2004
3.67 | 36 ratings
Cover Version III
2005
3.75 | 36 ratings
Unreleased Electronic Music
2005
3.85 | 32 ratings
Cover Version IV
2006
3.41 | 37 ratings
Cover Version V
2008
4.48 | 60 ratings
Harmony Korine
2009
3.67 | 47 ratings
Vapour Trail Lullaby
2010
3.58 | 34 ratings
Cover Version 6 plus full collection bundle
2010
3.67 | 6 ratings
Demos
2010
4.12 | 41 ratings
Postcard
2011
4.07 | 15 ratings
Cut Ribbon
2012
3.91 | 68 ratings
Drive Home
2013

STEVEN WILSON Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Raven That Refused To Sing (And Other Stories) by WILSON, STEVEN album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.30 | 1349 ratings

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The Raven That Refused To Sing (And Other Stories)
Steven Wilson Crossover Prog

Review by Dobermensch

4 stars It's plagiarism a-go-go with 'The Raven that Refused to Sing'.

Despite this, it's an excellent and very emotionally pleasing album from Steven Wilson. The whole gamut of his forebears is on display from 'Yes' 'Genesis' 'Rush' ''Floyd' and in particular 'King Crimson'.

What sets him apart from these artists is the beauty and distilled grandeur in the execution of most tracks. I'd far listen to this than any of the aforementioned bands (perhaps with the exception of 'Floyd').

There's such a huge variety of sound at play and he even makes flute sound cool in 2013 which should be an impossibility in itself. Wilson has that lucky fluke of nature where he sounds just perfect for the role with his pleasant, tuneful 'Proggy' vocals in this decade.

The fact that he's the mastermind producer of the 5:1 surround re-masters of King Crimson's back catalogue should give you some idea of the kind of artist we're dealing with here. He has the perfect ear in defining musical dynamics. Crystal clear recording techniques and a wide variety of musical styles make this a very engaging album despite his reliance on past artist influences.

It's structurally near perfect, with so much space between each 'recording track' that it gives a feeling of depth and freedom that you're unlikely to hear elsewhere on the Archives.

There are some true moments of sheer beauty on tracks such as 'Pin Drop' which has a succinct build up of layered sounds and delicate vocals quickly leading to a highly memorable chorus with swirling guitars and thudding bass that I find very difficult to get out of my skull after the finish of the album.

I decided to write this after hearing ' Hand Cannot Erase' for the first time. Despite that album's multitude of plaudits, I for one find 'The Raven that refused to Sing' much more engaging, dramatic and emotionally involving than it's successor. To me this is the peak in Steven Wilson's discography.

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 Grace for Drowning by WILSON, STEVEN album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.21 | 1286 ratings

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Grace for Drowning
Steven Wilson Crossover Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Nobody fills almost every genre of progressive rock better than Steven Wilson, the busiest man in progressive rock today. Every album he has put out under his own name beginning with this up to the current day has been a masterpiece. The overall feel of his music is dark but that is what he does best, whether it's a soft quiet passage or a loud dramatic filled section, there is always a huge amount of emotion tied to his music.

SW says the golden era of rock music was the late 60s into the 70s because that is when music was album oriented and this allowed rock music to expand it's boundaries into both the classical and jazz realms by borrowing from the elements of those composition styles. Everyone knows, at least in the prog world, that he has had a huge part in bringing the classic progressive albums into the modern era by providing the best listening experience possible in the remastering of these albums. He was working on the King Crimson back catalog when he was writing this album, hence the heavy influence of adding brass instruments to some of the music on this album. You definitely hear shades of "20th Century Schizoid Man", "Lizard" and "Starless" in the music here, and I completely welcome this because I love how they are incorporated in the music. In fact, those passages that feature those instruments, along with the heavy guitar in some places, are the best parts of this album. The tracks "Secretarian", "No Part of Me", "Remainder the Black Dog" and "Raider II" have some of the best sections that include heavy guitar and brass together since King Crimson's "Red" album.

The other songs on here are also great compositions and all of the tracks feature amazing dynamics, from the softest murmurings to the loudest blasts of power, everything carries feeling unlike what most music can do. These songs are all well composed and thought out studies of emotion, sound, dynamic and orchestration. Although, SW plays most of the instruments here, he has also surrounded himself with amazing musicians like Tony Levin, Steve Hackett, Theo Travis, Pat Mastelotto, Jordan Rudess, Mel Collins, Dave Stewart among others. There is also many passages here with the symphonic sounds of strings and choir, each used in not an overabundance, but used when needed to add to the dynamics of the songs here.

There is so much to hear on this album, and everything is amazing. The only weak point comes early in the track listing in the song "Deform to Form a Star" which is a little too mediocre compared to the other powerful tracks on this album. Even the mostly acoustic interlude "Belle De Jour" is a lovely short instrumental that introduces the 2nd part of the album, and it has it's place and rises far above filler material.

There has been so much said about this album, and not everyone agrees with it being masterpiece material. I think a lot of the lower ratings come from the fact that a lot of SW's music is quite dark, some say it's too mellow while others say it's too loud. Well, it is all of that. I love the fact that there is so much emotion and dynamics in this album and I love that the songs fill all of the dynamic ranges from soft to loud, just like classical music does. I also love the addition of the jazz instrumentation, chord changes and other elements that are present from time to time. I also don't mind that he borrows from another favorite of mine King Crimson. No doubt that he has Robert Fripp's blessing in doing so, because he can do it in a completely believable manner.

To me, this is nothing but a masterpiece of beauty, dissonance, dynamics and emotion. But it incorporates large portions of progressive elements, which is the most apparent of all the elements here. Many people have reviewed this album, so there really isn't much more to say that hasn't already been said. The overall consensus is that it is a masterpiece, but so are most of SW's other solo albums. If you haven't heard this or any of SW's more recent albums, then what have you been waiting for, it's time to decide for yourself. If you have heard them, then you already know what I am talking about. Amazing music and amazing song writing. 5 stars without question.

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 Hand. Cannot. Erase. by WILSON, STEVEN album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.30 | 461 ratings

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Hand. Cannot. Erase.
Steven Wilson Crossover Prog

Review by Slartibartfast
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I missed out on the preorder for the deluxe version of this album so I wll focus on the surround sound DVD and talk about on on a more personal level as there are already many detailed reviews of the music itself.

This is an album that will mark my 50th birthday for the rest of my life. It arrived about a month prior and will be one of three 2015 releases to do so, but this one will likely have the most meaning as time progresses. If you peel away the surface story, it's all about growing older, which we do everyday, and the regrets you encounter over a lifetime. Particular touching for me are the lyrics in Happy Returns addressed to a brother that one has lost touch with, but I will spare you the details.

I was amused to see an interview with Steven, where he was asked about the possiblity of a Porcupine Tree reunion and about his moving on to a "solo" career. To paraphrase: he felt he had said all he had to say through Porcupine Tree and moved on to the self titled albums so he could explore new musical territory that he couldn't in the band due to the other members particular musical tastes and what that brought to the band. This album actually impresses me as the most Porcupine Tree like music of his solo albums so far. It is particularly reminiscent to me of the albuma around and after Lightbulb Sun. Sure there are no females in the mix with PT, but come on. Not that I am complaining. Steven has a knack for putting out albums that alway appeal to me even if the feeling is not universal amonst some reviewers. This one is of course no exception.

I do have one question about Regret #9. What exactly is the regret here? That Steven didn't play anything on the track? That Adam Holzman is borrowing heavily from Jan Hammer and didn't give him a thanks a credits? That there are no vocals? I don't understand. Actually if this is reflective of a new band (the same musicians were present on The Raven That Refused To Sing) then I have no doubt their next album be equally as enjoyable.

So, I would recommend going with the blu-ray version if you have the means to play it back. It is certainly worth it for the surround sound listening experience, of which I think Steven is the undisputed master of. He has a real talent of surrounding you with the sounds be it his own music or remixing, progressive rock classics. It appears that all the artwork you would get in the deluxe version show up on screen as a coordinated slide show. Whoever laments the loss of the old LP sit down and listen experience, an album relased in this format certainly brings it back without the audio limitations and flaws of the vinyl medium. And after all it is a concept album.

Tons of bonus material on this version. A duplicate of the music with slide show and no vocals. Karaoke anyone? Some alternate version of the tracks.including a radio edit of Hand Cannot Erase (no Steven no!!!) There are also some additional images/slides included to go along with these tracks. Finally a studio documentary.

For those who can't do blu, there is a mediabook version with a high quality DVD audio disc, a standard CD version (no pretty video pictures though, as well as, sigh, a double LP version. He may have been able to spread the grooves far enough to overcome some of the audio limitations of that format, plus you get a nice LP package. I suppose you could also just download it, sigh, but why deprive yourself of a better listening experience?

At the Burning Shed store site it says Steven is a "four-time Grammy nominee and founder member of cult legends, Porcupine Tree." I knew the latter but not the former. That might explain why I saw a copy of the standard CD version available at a local chain electronics and appliance store...

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 Hand. Cannot. Erase. by WILSON, STEVEN album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.30 | 461 ratings

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Hand. Cannot. Erase.
Steven Wilson Crossover Prog

Review by M27Barney

5 stars I am duty bound to give this five stars - because I reckon that based on musicianship, composition, and concept alone - this CD will be the finest out this year and if a CD does surpass it - than it will also be a five star effort by that fact alone. I would have had to give it five stars for the moog-solo alone - because it's so rare that a solo of such haunting perfection is attempted in todays prog - even those that are intending to be somewhat retrospective and attempting to re-capture the essence of the old- style concept album. The CD has all kinds of old-style influences merged in - I get Genesis, Rush, Yes, Floyd , Camel and Anthony Phillips - I am not going to bother taking you through the tracks again - a lot of other people have done that already - A final thought must go on the thought provoking and superb atheist lyrics - Ancestral "Distracted by their faith, ignoring every proof" - a better line I have yet to find in any CD in my collection.....This is definitely a must buy for 2015!!!

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 Hand. Cannot. Erase. by WILSON, STEVEN album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.30 | 461 ratings

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Hand. Cannot. Erase.
Steven Wilson Crossover Prog

Review by Bonnek
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

3 stars Wilson's fourth solo album welcomes the same musicians as 'The Raven That Refused To Sing' but it sounds entirely different and that is not just due to the Theo Travis's all but absent flutes and saxophone. While the 'Raven' was a tribute to the sound of early Yes/Genesis/KC, this is very much a modern prog/pop album trying to find a middle ground between late Porcupine Tree, Blackfield pop and the delicious instrumental freak-outs from Wilson's excellent band.

It begins with a slow moody start 'First Regret', featuring some electronic beats reminding me of 'The Incident'. The 10 minute '3 Years Older' hits the scene with its already renowned 'Rush riff' that hurls us through the first 4 instrumental minutes and reappears at the end supporting a crazy organ solo from Adam Holzman. Unfortunately, the song part that sits in the middle is a very conventional and actually forgettable light pop tune. This gets worse on the next two songs. The title track sounds like a leftover from later Blackfield albums and the 'Perfect Life' is probably the cheesiest moment ever on a Wilson/PT album. All in all, despite the 'Rush' riff, a very bad start.

Then something interesting happens, 'Routine' still starts with the same type of singersongpop vocals of the previous 20 minutes but quickly turns for the good when guest singer Ninet Tayeb takes over and takes this album to a next level (well make that 5 levels up given how low we were). Even a little boys' choir joins in to spice up this interesting duet. It paves the way to what I find the most fun 25 minutes of Wilson's solo career so far. 'Home Invasion' starts like a jazzy/metallic take on 'Mother and Child Devided' but halfway in it turns into a groovy funky song. Wilson's vocals are again a bit underwhelming at first but he finds a better voice in the chorus, which seems to come straight off some Signify-era PT. I'll spare you my inadequate wordings for what happens on the instrumental 'Home Invasion'. It's a synth and guitar solo fest that's simply too good to be true, very Floydian but more virtuoso.

'Transcience' is the only 'song' on this album that I fully enjoy, it's a 'Heartattack in a Layby' meets Nick Drake doing Pink Floyd's 'Goodby Blue Sky' type of thing. Wonderful. It's followed by the exceptional 'Ancestral', another multipart long track with a 5 minute trip-hop like vocal section building up to a wonderfully epic chorus, it ends with an 8 minutes instrumental 'King Crimson in space' closing. The ending 'Happy Returns/Ascendant' suite is the type of ballad we've come to expect as a Wilson album closer. It's ok but he's done better.

Hand. Cannot. Erase. is an album of contrasts touching almost any style Wilson explored before, with some new angles on top. The main schism for me is between the (unbearable) old-school poprock of the first half and a second part that is rather dark and crammed with instrumental workouts. I must say I'm surprised of the very positive reception it got, I had taught more people would be struggling to make sense of the contrasting styles and moods on offer. Maybe Wilson's fans developed very eclectic (schizoid?) mindsets over the years.

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 The Raven That Refused To Sing (And Other Stories) by WILSON, STEVEN album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.30 | 1349 ratings

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The Raven That Refused To Sing (And Other Stories)
Steven Wilson Crossover Prog

Review by Flucktrot
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Having recently reviewed Hand Cannot Erase, I realized that I had yet to review this gem. Given that I focused that review almost entirely on the main man, I want to devote this review primarily to all of the musicians involved, and if there is ever a non-instrumental album to devote to discussion of musicianship, this might be it!

Theo. I love his contributions in just about anything, from Steven Wilson to the Tangent. What I really appreciate it his versatility and ability to add to the texture without having to be cranked up to the max for solos every so often. This is clearly not the Theo Travis band, but this album--in particular the delicate and softer parts, but also not to forget the freaky crescendos--would not be nearly as interesting without his contribution.

Guthrie. What a pro. He brings the blistering solos, the intricate picking, and everything in between. Again, and to his credit, I'm sometimes amazed to hear one of Guthrie's original and creative riffs and then hear the guitar gently fall into the background: usually when you hear something that interesting, it's only a precursor to later overindulding.

Nick. I had never heard of this guy before, but shame on me for allowing that to happen. Steven really needs creative basswork to bring his music to life, and it's great how Beggs can work effectively out in front as part of the melody (Luminol) or resisting the urge to simply be a straightforward rhythm player when others might (the Watchmaker).

Marco. Just like Nick, I had no idea of the quality of Marco's work...until of course I started reading reviews and heard over and over how much of a monster Marco is. It's all true, as he is a fantastic drummer, but I really appreciate his ability to add distinctive fills and patterns to already difficult time signatures.

Adam. Solid throughout, and left me wanting more (which I'm glad I would eventually get with the subsequent album). The jazz influence is clear, but not as pronounced as I was led to believe based on previous reviews. The really remarkable quality of his performance for me here is creation of eerie and surreal soundscapes that are simultaneously reminiscent of Steven Wilson's best work but also not as all derivative.

Steven. I suppose I should mention this guy eventually! Great creativity in songwriting, particularly in balance of instrumentals and orchestration. The one minor critique I would have about this album involves Steven's voice: he goes more often with his basic, thin technique, where a little goes a long way. My favorite vocals from Steven's work involve his work with vocal effects and harmonies to great effect, and perhaps a bit more creativity in this aspect would have brought this album over the top for me.

Regardless, a solid album throughout--interesting, varied, and extremely well played and mastered--with bonus points for the haunting animated videos to the Raven and Drive Home to boot. I'm not ready to call it a masterpiece, but it's definitely at the very next highest level in my book, and a powerful and lasting experience.

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 Hand. Cannot. Erase. by WILSON, STEVEN album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.30 | 461 ratings

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Hand. Cannot. Erase.
Steven Wilson Crossover Prog

Review by Flucktrot
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I have to admit that Steven Wilson as an artist has been a slow grower for me over time, but due to the sheer immensity of his output, and the need to listen to his material more often to really appreciate much of it (particularly the softer, more delicate, bits), my appreciation for his music is now quite high, and I now have to pay attention to basically any stuff he puts out.

There are things such as In Absentia and Raven, which have tons of material that iss easy to love upon first listen and never look back. This album, on the other hand, and similar to much of the rest of Steven's work, takes multiple listens and some focused thinking about the subject matter to truly appreciate. I admit that I might perhaps be in the minority, as some folks appear to have loved this album right from the get-go, but I really have had to give this the benefit of time and persistence to fully appreciate.

Regardless of what might be said about this album and Steven's current status in general, let it be clear that his solo collaboration still sounds quite fresh. Generally avoiding even a hint of staleness with the volume of material associated with Steven is something to appreciate in itself. Part of this freshness must stem from the source: the haunting story of Joyce Carol Vincent, which has captured my thinking and imagination at least as much as the music itself. I'm not sure I would have learned about this case study without Steven's music, so thanks to him for that alone, as the penetrating themes of isolation, deindividuation and bystander effects only seem to be more prominent as the technological and virtual era marches on.

Now to the music!

Highlights: Home Invasion/Regret #9, 3 Years Older, Hand Cannot Erase, Ancestral. I'm basically listing these in order of my favorites on down, and like most, the Home Invasion/Regret sequence represents the best merging of Porcupine Style songwriting, psychadelic freakouts, and exception intensity and musicianship. Quite simply the best part of the album for me, although 3 Years Older is not far behind in terms of creative structure, melodies, and energy. The title track is also quite nice, as it is certainly poppy, but beautifully recorded and catchy. Finally, I almost hesitate to include Ancestral here, as is--sorry to say--disjointed in places, particularly toward the end. But the positives (haunting first half, interesting Magma-meets-metal vibe later on) outweigh the negatives (clunky transitions in spots, overextension of some of the riffing).

Overall, I'm more than happy to have this piece of music, as I--at least for the time being--keep coming back because it leaves me with questions and blurred images that need clarification. Long term, however, I will probably keep to my favorites and skip the whole album experience, because there just aren't quite enough interesting things happening musically in spots.

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 Hand. Cannot. Erase. by WILSON, STEVEN album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.30 | 461 ratings

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Hand. Cannot. Erase.
Steven Wilson Crossover Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars While being a reverent but discreet fan of Steve Wilson ever since seeing a PTree concert showcasing "Fear of Blank Planet", I was extremely predisposed to be unusually harsh with my expectations, finding enjoyment but not adulation with his preceding solo albums (though "The Raven?" did provide many hot chills), while "The Incident" did leave me somewhat puzzled, like many other proggers here and beyond, as it undoubtedly signaled some kind of temporary or perhaps permanent finality, in regards to PTree's future. I read some of the initial reviews and noticed the high ratings, as well as the gorgeous artwork, followed all the gab in the lounges, where there was talk of a surging masterpiece. I must grudgingly admit that, once again I have been proven wrong and deserve a guilty sentence. This latest offering has a very designed mood that permeates all the tracks, from beginning to end taking the rabid fan or the critical dissenter to a new level completely, forging some new kind of modern prog, laden with old , new and futuristic schools and methods that will cause some serious consternation in music land. Firstly, this is head music that just cavitates and captivates, spanning the entire rainbow of contrasts, from ultra-soft to 'ka-bang' heavy, encapsulated even within one song, the colossal "Ancestral". Not only are the returning instrumentalists deliriously proficient but they choose to explode into some distant sonic set that defies gravity, speed and light. The phenomenal Nick Beggs needs no more introduction, guitarist Guthrie Govan has a level of creativity that goes somewhere where no one has gone, yet. Keyboardist Adam Holzman is a timid type, doing magical things discreetly, so in my mind, he is a 'compadre' of Richard Barbieri, mood manipulators par excellence, a savory mix of Eno and Wakeman (he was a Miles Davis and Mahavishnu Project member in the past) . Marco Minnerman is a beast, we all have heard the applause and we are aware of the fame.

My first and ongoing impression was coherently focused on how this album was divided into mini-blocks, autonomous musical regions firmly entrenched within an overall confederation. There are also some linking messaging between pieces, common denominators blatantly exposed in the lyrics on "3 Years Older" and "Perfect Life". The mixture of past PTree glories and current mercies. Clever and brainy, Mr Wilson.

Showcasing a layering of styles that work well together, "3 Years Older" is a bass heavy ramble that combines all the talents mentioned above, Guthrie Govan in particular shining brightly on his electric guitar, flirting with countrified tones, 'I will love you more than I will ever show 'being a fine example of Wilson's simple yet exciting lyrics and an explosive instrumental part that, just as suddenly, veers into 'pianofied' jazz. The piece then evolves into a cameo spotlight for each soloist, starting off with Holzman's rushing organ, pursued closely by a spiraling missile lead guitar from Govan and even Beggs doing his Chris Squire thingy, better than recent Chris Squire! A slight wink to his previous PT classic track "She Moved On", off Lightbulb Sun can and should make one smile.

Another tasty block of songs that wink at more Blackfieldian horizons, yet with more dreaminess perhaps, is launched by the lovely ear candy title track, the more melancholic "Perfect Life" and its tendency towards foolish entitlement and sarcastic disbelief. Wilson's ongoing fascination for apathy is not hard to understand as it has rapidly and insidiously infected our world, rather completely. Apathy towards society, politics, even the arts, human interaction being now ruled by some stupid i-phone, banks screwing up deposits and withdrawals, lack of any customer service anywhere, people in England applauding suicide victims to jump. Apathy towards human interaction , being now ruled by some stupid i-phone, banks screwing up deposits and withdrawals, lack of any customer service anywhere, people in England applauding suicide victims to jump. Yeah, bad! Happens to fit nicely with the more developed 9 minute long case in point "Routine", another masterful track dripping with ennui, a spotlight on Guthrie Govan again, his slithering axe quivering like a frazzled leaf in agony. Someone mentioned Mark Knopfler-like , interesting !

The most overtly perfect tracks are actually within another group of tunes piled up together, leading the charge with the edgier and spectacular "Home Invasion", a thoroughly trembling slice of fizzy prog, and featuring a lively electric piano rant that will shock anyone listening, some brash and rash guitar frills embracing the insane drum fills. The first moments offer up a groove that sleeps between sheets of abyss and cloud, brooding and confusing, like fear itself. Creepy synths crawl into the delirious maelstrom, a feverish steamrolling beat that is just plain thrilling, as Steve sings convincingly; this is modern prog at its finest, adventurous, sonically illuminating and profoundly exhilarating. A slick slide guitar scours the scene of the crime, bleeding directly into the tectonic "Regret #9", an extended synthesizer blowout that sends shivers down the spine, recalling the spirit of PT track "Sentimental", well-muscled by some dynamic drum patterns and a gritty imagery that has melancholia in abundance. For those who enjoy electric guitar soloing, you will not be disappointed with this scorching Govan spotlight (wow!). There is also a nice Rush-like dynamic in the rhythmic assault, though this piece has a special feel that defies categorization.

The suave "Transience" serves as a gentle intermezzo between two cannonading sections, a pastoral and spacy ballade that reminds us of structure, contrast and expectations being appeased. Voice, acoustic guitar rule the waves, a solemn bass synth rumble painting the sky and serenity galore. 'It's only the start?..' he trills .

Now "Ancestral" may very well qualify as one of Steve's finest compositions, easily up there with "Anesthetize", for example. An outwardly explosive soundtrack of intensity and expression, erected within simple but effective sonic architecture, evolving from a serene onset and slowly morphing into a gigantic vortex of sounds. I sent this to a lovely lady friend who was not familiar with prog and she replied the following" I don't think I have ever listened to music like that and to have had so much emotion evoked inside me". Emotions, feelings, pulse and heartbeat. A raindrop beat pushing electric piano, jagged guitar slivers, a heavily echoed SW voice, flute in fluttering tow, the atmosphere is intoxicating, surreal and emphatic. Lush symphonics take this to a higher plane, rushed along by a celestial chorus, and a Govan slither job on the fretboard. This is so amazing, it verges on the laughable (when something musically is beyond my capacity to comprehend, I giggle nervously). Mid way through, the mood becomes tempestuous with clinical weaving that would shake Robert Fripp's stool, a whistling Holzman synth leading into a veritable mellotron deluge. Beggs begs to differ (pun) as he adds a colossal riff to the proceedings that has Red era KC (as well as an overt ELP wink) stamped all over it. Minnerman slams fast, hard and with purpose, making this a classic 21st century epic of seismic proportions.

Finish off with"Happy returns" the most accessible piece, a very enchanting, typically English mood piece, that I can admire but not go gaga over, this is the one piece that I find needless. Perhaps due to the preceding splendor, I just rate it somewhat skin-deep only. Finally, a brief moody outro, almost ambient, definitely relaxed "Ascendant Here On" will prove a perfect au revoir.

Some will like, some will hate but no one will deny the talent at play here. His best yet, I feel is still to come.

4.5 ears cannot erase

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 Hand. Cannot. Erase. by WILSON, STEVEN album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.30 | 461 ratings

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Hand. Cannot. Erase.
Steven Wilson Crossover Prog

Review by TheBear

5 stars Steven Wilson is one of the few "buy on sight" artists for me (Steve Hackett being just about the only other).

I was wondering what Mr Wilson would do after "The Raven..." - would he "do an Oldfield", rest on the laurels and make a "The Raven II"? or would he once more surprise and challenge us? I sure hoped for the latter and I was NOT disappointed by Hand.Cannot.Erase. - it is pure genius.

Musically he takes us places we haven't been before without losing the connection to where he's coming from, and lyrically he sets new standards. Having read up on the story ("concept") behind the album, the final lyrics, the closing lines on "Happy Returns" - superficially the most accessible song on the album, and no doubt thus causing the purist to froth at the mouth - was like a punch in the gut. I can't shake it off, yet the song stays on repeat a lot.

Only possible regret is that Theo Travis is used less on this album (and will be absent from the tour as far as I have heard), but that's Mr Wilson's decision - he just didn't write so much for wind instruments this time. But that is a minor detail. The album is an undisputed 5-star; this is a masterpiece of progressive rock music and essential in any collection.

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 Hand. Cannot. Erase. by WILSON, STEVEN album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.30 | 461 ratings

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Hand. Cannot. Erase.
Steven Wilson Crossover Prog

Review by Mebert78

5 stars There's no denying that Steven Wilson's solo career has been on one heck of a roll. Since Porcupine Tree's The Incident was released in 2009, Wilson has focused entirely on his blossoming solo efforts -- releasing 2011's Grace for Drowning and 2013's The Raven Who Refused to Sing, the latter of which was Album of the Year at the 2013 Progressive Music Awards. However, his latest effort, Hand. Cannot. Erase., is perhaps the best of the bunch -- and one that will be mentioned by prog enthusiasts many years, if not decades, from now. It will also stay in my car stereo for a long, long while.

The first thing listeners must consider before digesting Hand. Cannot. Erase. is the unique subject matter. This is a concept album inspired by the case of an English woman named Joyce Carol Vincent who passed away back in December 2003, but remained undiscovered for three years. She was surrounded by gifts wrapped for Christmas, and her television and heat remained running, according to media reports. Half of her rent was being automatically paid by benefit agencies, but housing officials decided to repossess her London bedsit after enough unpaid rent had accumulated -- finally finding Vincent's corpse, which was so badly decomposed she had to be identified through dental records. Wilson learned of the story through the 2011 documentary "Dreams of a Life," and decided to explore how a young person could become so isolated, ignored and overlooked in today's tech-heavy world.

Honestly, there is so much to discover and ponder in Hand. Cannot. Erase. that it's difficult to do in just a few listens. We're not just talking about a collection of songs here -- there's the thought-provoking artwork, a special edition with stereo and 5.1 surround sound mixes plus a 40-page booklet, and a blog (handcannoterase.com) written through the eyes of the album's female character that further brings the story to life. You gotta respect the efforts, with Wilson turning the album into a full artistic experience spanning a variety of mediums. But most importantly, of course, is the music itself. And Wilson doesn't disappoint at all. As sounds of kids playing fade in on the first track "First Regret," you know it's buckle-up time. You're about to embark on a special journey that will run the gambit of emotions.

The ending of "First Regret" features a simple, yet catchy, piano part that is repeated in the second-to-last track "Happy Returns," giving the album a cohesive feel. But between those songs are a ton of magical moments. The second track, "3 Years Older," explodes with an instrumental section that illustrates the talents of every band member before quieting down with acoustic guitars and Wilson's well-crafted lyrics. "You cross the schoolyard with your head held down, and walk the streets under the breaking clouds," Wilson sings. Some of the upbeat moments here are reminiscent of The Who and, in fact, I hear a wide range of prog influences scattered throughout the 11 tracks -- from Pink Floyd to Opeth to Rush.

The album also includes a pop-esque title track, which fits surprisingly well in the scope of the album, and a female spoken-word track that is also very refreshing called "Perfect Life." The album's dynamics are also expertly done and songs like "Routine" and "Ancestral" are excellent examples of this -- flowing from loud to soft, and soft to loud, with complete ease. Then there are ever-changing time signatures in "Home Invasion" and solos on songs such as "Regret #9," which scratches me right where I itch for prog rock. It's a five-minute song comprised of a kick-ass key solo followed by a Petrucci-esque guitar solo. Beautiful stuff.

My favorite song on the album is definitely "Happy Returns," which wraps up the story well and leaves me with an eerie feeling knowing the fate of Joyce Vincent. My only criticism is the album does give off a pervasive melancholy vibe, which could make it a difficult listen for all occasions. But it's a small issue. The truth is, I can't imagine how Wilson will top Hand. Cannot. Erase., but I said that about The Raven Who Refused to Sing. The bottom line is, everything he touches turns to gold -- and, as a fan, all you can do is just enjoy the ride.

- Michael R. Ebert (progzombie.blogspot.com)

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Thanks to dean for the artist addition.

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