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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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The Raven That Refused to Sing: And Other StoriesThe Raven That Refused to Sing: And Other Stories
KSCOPE 2013
Audio CD$7.49
$12.21 (used)
Insurgentes (CD & DVD)Insurgentes (CD & DVD)
Kscope 2009
Audio CD$9.99
$9.99 (used)
Grace for DrowningGrace for Drowning
Kscope 2011
Audio CD$6.46
$4.86 (used)
CoversCovers
Kscope 2014
Vinyl$27.99
Drive HomeDrive Home
Kscope 2013
Audio CD$9.42
$11.23 (used)
Get All You DeserveGet All You Deserve
Kscope 2012
DVD$7.49
$12.26 (used)
Drive Home [Blu-ray]Drive Home [Blu-ray]
Kscope 2013
Blu-ray$12.54
$15.21 (used)
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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 | 617 ratings
Insurgentes
2008
4.19 | 1091 ratings
Grace for Drowning
2011
4.33 | 971 ratings
The Raven That Refused To Sing (And Other Stories)
2013

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

4.23 | 115 ratings
Catalogue/Preserve/Amass
2012

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

3.43 | 103 ratings
Insurgentes - The Movie
2010
4.56 | 184 ratings
Get All You Deserve
2012

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

2.80 | 71 ratings
Nsrgnts Rmxs
2009
3.72 | 23 ratings
Cover Version 6 plus full collection bundle
2010
4.00 | 1 ratings
Cover Version (Vinyl)
2014

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

3.64 | 33 ratings
Cover Version
2003
3.63 | 32 ratings
Cover Version II
2004
3.68 | 34 ratings
Cover Version III
2005
3.71 | 32 ratings
Unreleased Electronic Music
2005
3.80 | 31 ratings
Cover Version IV
2006
3.33 | 33 ratings
Cover Version V
2008
4.44 | 54 ratings
Harmony Korine
2009
3.63 | 43 ratings
Vapour Trail Lullaby
2010
3.67 | 3 ratings
Demos
2010
4.11 | 35 ratings
Postcard
2011
4.13 | 8 ratings
Cut Ribbon
2012
3.81 | 33 ratings
Drive Home
2013

STEVEN WILSON Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Cover Version 6 plus full collection bundle by WILSON, STEVEN album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2010
3.72 | 23 ratings

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Cover Version 6 plus full collection bundle
Steven Wilson Crossover Prog

Review by Gallifrey

3 stars In Which Steven Comes Second, For Once

This was Steven Wilson's first true solo album. Unless you count Unreleased Electronic Music Vol 1, this was Wilson's first actual release under his own name, and it's the only actual release under his own name that is a real solo album. Sure, Insurgentes had the whole experimental- weird-[&*!#] solo album vibe to it, but this one has the singer-songwriter, vocals-and-guitar vibe, it's really just Steven singing by himself for the most part, along with some covers of a rather diverse range of stuff. This album was released over several years from 2003 to 2008, as a series of CD singles, each containing one cover, and one original track, most being off-cuts, or tracks that Steven started to write, but never developed completely. And now, we finally have a legitimate CD version of Cover Version, released through Kscope as a single CD or double vinyl.

But honestly, the weirdest part of this album is how weak Steven's original material is in comparison to the covers here. Steven has long been my favourite composer, and I can honestly say that every single one of his albums, with the exception of a couple of No-Man records and I.E.M., contains material that I absolutely love, I just simply adore the way he writes music. But the tracks here that he has penned are just a bit low-end and uninteresting. Even Blackfield, Steven's pop rock project, had some of the best pop songs I have ever heard, and the music here certainly feels closest to that project than anything else he has done.

Pretty much everything here, including most of the covers, is arranged rather simply, with most of the instrumentation on this record being acoustic guitar and piano overlaying each other. On some songs, the piano takes the lead, and the guitar provides accompaniment, but there are songs that flip that. Occasionally, an organ or a mellotron will provide some distant ambience, usually as the track builds, and there are even drums in one track here ('Please Come Home') and a bass makes a brief appearance (played by Steven himself, during 'The Day Before You Came'). But pleasant as they are, Wilson's original contributions to this record rarely feel like much more than interludes, and in the first few listens to this record, I barely even noticed them passing. It's certainly obvious that many of these are scrapped ideas for Blackfield tracks, where Wilson has decided against developing them early on, so what's left is a brief 3-minute venture of vague niceness. Out of the acoustic ones, 'Well You're Wrong' is probably the only one that's slightly memorable, containing a wonderful vocal melody, and is quite a bit happier than many of Wilson's Blackfield material

But on the flip side, the covers here are exactly what I would want from a cover record. Most covers albums take a bunch of tracks and play them, more or less identically to the original, and it becomes the same track with a different vocalist. Here, Steven has taken six songs from completely different fields within the music world, and changed them up to fit his quaint alternative singer/songwriter vibe of this album, despite them all coming from different places musically. I don't know any of the original versions of the songs here, although I'm sure I've heard 'The Day Before You Came' before, I can't really tell whether I have actually heard it or it's because every ABBA song has the same vocal melody. The album opens with Alanis Morissette's 'Thank U', which certainly fits nicely amongst the guitar-and-vocal tracks Steven has penned, but honestly sits comfortably above them compositionally. I won't talk about the rather average lyrics here, but the 'thank you disillusionment' hook line in the chorus is rather beautiful, although Steven certainly strains a bit going out of his range. It's not a massively groundbreaking track, but one simple little hook is all you need to make a singer-songwriter track go from meh to amazing, and that certainly is one of them.

But the real highlights of this album, and I'm sure nearly everyone will agree, are the tracks that foreshadow the dark and mysterious style that Insurgentes would continue ' the covers of 'Sign O the Times' and 'The Forest'. After hearing this, I've decided that I truly must get my hands on that Prince album, because if a skinny white boy can make this track sound bad ass, then the original must be phenomenal. But Steven brings some of his own devices to this track that certainly make it sound like him. This is the only time on the album when Steven's characteristic distorted guitar comes in, ripping the lead riff after that chorus, with him singing the hook in full telephone-voice mode. I'll admit, I'm not too fond of the way the track starts, and how the rather irritating beat continues even into the heavy part. Steven does sound a bit weak (and white) in the verses, but when he gets his metal raging in the chorus, it really pulls off. And then after the second chorus, when you're really starting to get into it'

Wall of [%*!#]ing noise.

Steven's obsession with this wall of noise was my favourite part of Insurgentes, how he'd take a relatively standard track, play it out for a few minutes, then just destroy it in this harsh drone, and it was absolutely amazing. This here, as well as the cover of 'The Forest', is the true seed of Steven's solo project. Once again, I am not familiar with this Cure track, but its origin within the dark post-punk scene is obvious, Steven has taken the darkness and put his own twist on it, with some weird electronics and effects on his voice, and even a driving synth line that reminds me a lot of 'Abandoner', so much that this could actually have been the inspiration for it. I must also mention briefly the Wilson original track here 'The Unquiet Grave' because it is not only the longest here, but it's also the only one that breaks the singer-songwriter vibe of the other originals. It's a textbook Wilson track from his solo albums, dark and moody and covered in mellotron. I would like it, but I have heard that kind of ambience from Wilson at least a hundred times, even down to the exact same mellotron sounds, and the melody isn't terribly unique either.

In the end, the best parts of Cover Version are the parts that would come onto Insurgentes a short time later, but aside from Prince and The Cure, we have a rather nice series of acoustic tracks. They don't break any ground, and they're pretty low-level even compared to Blackfield, but for SW completists, this release isn't entirely unnecessary, and I'll be grabbing myself a copy when the CD release drops.

6.3

Originally written for my Facebook page/blog: www.facebook.com/neoprogisbestprog

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 The Raven That Refused To Sing (And Other Stories) by WILSON, STEVEN album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.33 | 971 ratings

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

Review by BatBacon

5 stars A collection of some of the most beautiful songs you will hear in life! I don't know why I didn't see the beauty in this album the first time! Probably because its so different from Grace before drowning, which is the kind of album you expect the first time you hear it. Instead of the instant beauty of Grace? you get this typical neo prog-ish opening, pretty dirty and hard-rocking with a complex, techy rhythm. The kind of opening of an album that makes you go "Aha, so thats what its going be about. Boooooring", because you heard it so many times already in modern prog. But those who know Steven Wilson well also know that he would not do anything even near that boring neo-prog, and this is not an exception! Soon enough the opening song magically turns in to the Wilson-songwriting we all know and love so much, painfully beautiful and sad enough to make the sun cry. If you liked his other work, both solo and Porcupine Tree, you will be very very satisfied with this album!

I will admit it, the first time I heard this album it thought of it as a collection of standard Wilson- songs, sad sounding guitars, metallic but slow drumming and melodies that would fit perfectly at your funeral. Depressing, beautiful, I heard it before. But after some listenings you start to get the hang of the songs here, you start to sing the melodies and understand the strength in them, how insanely emotional they are. You also find that compared to Grace before drowning, all the songs on this album has a life on their own. They feel more memorable and its easier to get a relation with the album.

I will not go into specific songs here, it would just sound pretentious, overblown and boring. Like describing the girl of your dreams: beautiful, mysterious, impulsive, blah blah blah. But I HAVE to mention the title track which is, honestly, one of the most beautiful songs I ever heard, it always moves me to tears. It starts with a mournful and almost silent piano and Wilsons sad but beautiful voice. Just like a great movie it slowly builds up to an epic and deeply emotional explosion with mellotron and Wilson almost shouting out the pensive melody! Its a modern classic! And don't forget to watch to music video for this one, its art when at its best!

When I think about it, its often the albums I hate in the beginning (Porcupine Tree´s "Fear of a blank planet", Van der graaf generator´s "Pawn hearts", King Crimson´s "Red" to mention some of them) that becomes my favorites. Just like a great relationship cannot always be great, it has to have weak periods when everything is tough as well, maybe the favorite album has to be bad and completely inconceivable before you can see the real beauty in it! I think me and The raven that refused to sing have a great future together!

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 The Raven That Refused To Sing (And Other Stories) by WILSON, STEVEN album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.33 | 971 ratings

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

Review by TheBear

5 stars You are warned when wanting to vote 5 stars. A good idea that: Do you REALLY think this particular album is an "essential masterpiece"? the site's robot asks.

But the answer for this album is simple and clear:

Yes.

And why? Yes, well, that is of course always difficult to pinpoint. What is it that makes a good album an essential album?

The answer to that is individual.

For this album, it has a lot to do with what Steven Wilson does to the musical genre we all love: He is taking it somewhere new while remaining respectful to the roots. His oeuvre is bewilderingly broad and he is damned difficult to pigeon-hole.

I keep hearing snippets of early Crimson, shades of early Genesis, doses of mid-seventies Floyd and Tull, a lot of early Porcupine Tree and No Man but when I focus on the particular bit, it blends into the genius that is Wilson.

This Raven does sing - and it will refuse to leave my rotation for a long time, that's for sure.

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 Grace for Drowning by WILSON, STEVEN album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.19 | 1091 ratings

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Grace for Drowning
Steven Wilson Crossover Prog

Review by Kevman28

3 stars I am sorry to say that the first few listens of 'Grace for Drowning' was mainly an experience of disappointment and a sence of wanting more from a truly great artist that has proved his worth time and time again. There are a few special moments but on the whole I felt this album lacked any substence, or anything memorable that makes me want to return to it anytime soon. When 'Insurgentes' was released I listened to it without too much expectation. As far as I was concerned Porcupine Tree were the main project so the solo album would be more experimental and have a different sound. How wrong could I be?! 'Insurgentes' had me hooked from day 1, with great ambience, great mix, great production and powerful tracks that make you go back for more. Rarely does an album give me the same shivers of excitement that say the likes of the Floyd do. Then came 'Grace for Drowning'. I can only describe it as the same as insurgentes - if you take out all the memorable stuff. Too quiet, too samey, no edge.

So why 3 stars? It's well packaged - the music is good - there are some good moments, but overall very average.

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 The Raven That Refused To Sing (And Other Stories) by WILSON, STEVEN album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.33 | 971 ratings

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

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator Symphonic Prog Specialist

3 stars Nice but not great

Before I start my review, must say that I don't care for STEVEN WILSON'S music, so would had never bought the album but it was a gift from a friend and decided to listen it before I threw it to the box of albums that I won't listen again?.But I was positively impressed, the album is quite good, not the masterpiece that most people talk about, but a cute release from the modest 2013.

I can't honestly say what's my problem with Mr. Wilson, because the musicianship is impeccable and the composition pretty decent, but it leaves me cold, there's nothing that moves me, as a fact reminds me of SQUACKET, I knew it was good, I knew that I was supposed to love it, but there's no emotional connection with the songs.

The album is opened by Luminol, a jazzy, electronic track that took me by surprise due to the excellent bass keyboard interplay that reminds me of early MAHAVISHNU, everything seems to work perfectly until we reach the 4:30 minutes mark, when an anti-climatic gap makes me sleepy. Around the eighth minute the band tries to retake the frantic and powerful entrance, but the magic is lost and the song ruined.

Drive Home is a shorter song, but seems to last forever. God it really bored me to the point of wanting to press the skip button. Again, the performance is excellent (except for the vocals), but there's no life, no strength and what is worst, no originality, a tedious ballad that repeats itself during seven endless minutes.

The Holy Drinker retakes the excellent bass ? keyboards interplay with a strong KING CRIMSON influence that keeps me at the edge of the sit until the seventh minute when STEVEN WILSON loses it again with another tedious interlude that invites the listener to bed. The closing section is better, but not enough to reach the excellent level of the first seven minutes.

Most of the reviews I read seem to dismiss The Pin Drop, but in my opinion, it's one of the highest moments of the album. The oneiric and mysterious atmosphere is really captivating, and the vocals don't annoy me. The percussion and guitar performances are simply delightful. A wonderful song that captivates me from start to end.

The Watchmaker is a hit and miss, great ideas, some vibrant moments, but others pretty forgettable and tedious, especially when the singing begins. Not much to comment, I take it as a filler and a prelude for the amazing The Raven That Refused To Sing, a magnificent track with a brilliant structure that goes in crescendo from a sweet intro to a powerful ending...A great closer for a good album.

Rating The Raven That Refused To Sing (and Other Stories) is a real nightmare, because some passages are really good, while others can only be defined as boring, the musicianship and production are brilliant but the composition has too many weak moments that really bored me, so I had to go with three stars, an average qualification for an album that could had been outstanding.

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 The Raven That Refused To Sing (And Other Stories) by WILSON, STEVEN album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.33 | 971 ratings

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

Review by ergaster

4 stars The Raven that Refused to Sing is the latest solo release from the iconic Mr. Wilson, whose leverage and influence seem to be increasing with every passing year. This album is a miracle of brevity: exactly as long as it should be with barely a wasted note or idea. Intense, technically superb, a sonic masterpiece; virtuosic performances and jaw-dropping solos...everything that the bloated Grace for Drowning was not. It makes for compelling listening from the opening sequence of "Luminol" to the poignantly beautiful title track...and yet for all its technical brilliance, I cannot love it. It does not speak to the heart, only to the rational mind, as if all the emotional hooks have been polished away. I expect I am in a minority here, but if an album holds little emotional resonance for me all the technical genius in the world cannot save it. Therefore Raven... cannot achieve the highest rating--in fact, it only ranked 8th in my Top 10 albums of the year.

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 The Raven That Refused To Sing (And Other Stories) by WILSON, STEVEN album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.33 | 971 ratings

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

Review by frippism
Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team

2 stars I guess I'll have to be the one to say it?

For me, reviewing album's I don't like has always been an absolute uphill struggle. It very hard for me to review album's as it is, mostly because I feel I need to know them back to front before I can review them. What I'm trying to say is that I usually quite like the albums I review.

Sometimes though I feel I need to write a review for an album I don't like in order to expose more light on albums which I bought and didn't enjoy them much, so that people who do consider buying an album can at least hear the naysayers. I belong to the naysayer camp. "The Raven That Refused to Sing" is a not a bad album but one that puts me in such a state of apathy and boredom I have almost come to hate it (saucyyyyy).

So yes, I have never been a fan of Steven Wilson, or Porcupine Tree, or Blackfield, or anything he has made other than half of "Fear of a Blank Planet" and his beautiful cover of Cardiacs's "Stoneage Dinosaurs". I feel that his work is many times solid, but almost never remotely interesting, or refreshing and unique enough for me to actually give it more than two listens. I was tempted to buy the album, for pretty much one dumb reason alone. The album cover is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen. If it wasn't such a mediocre album I would've probably stared at it all day. That gothic-y :O face gives me the creeps and can bring up many thoughts.

The album itself, as you probably understand, isn't worth the purchase though. It starts very positively with the awesome intro to "Luminol"- the intro is a ridiculously tight and groovy bass and drum thing and it's pretty sick. It's when the synth comes in which I was starting to re-evaluate my thoughts, but still had hope. It was when the quiet section came and then the mellotrons and Fripp sounding guitars started was when I started burning my own house. OK those parts are alright but then a really average and not really needed guitar solo comes in and kind of spoils the song for me. Things don't get much better with "Drive Home". It is an alright ballad with some pretty keyboards but the production on Wilson's voice is overbearing and not really needed in my opinion. On the other hand, "The Holy Drinker" opens with a pretty awesome fusion King Crimson style jam that's alright, but the hard rock verses are terrible, but are salvaged by their beautiful second part where the aural keyboards add a really nice touch. The jams are a deal breaker for me. I generally don't like solos, maybe because I'm a bassist and pay close attention to the rhythm section and feel that if they're just there to support some other guy's noodling I stop paying attention. "The Pin Drop" in my opinion the worst song on the album. The melodies don't really do anything for me, and the lyrics are awful ("It was not meant to be like this/ Drifting off without a kiss"?????.).

Luckily "The Watchmaker" has some very strong instrumental parts with great drum fills that make the song very enjoyable, though it is too long. The final ballad "The Raven That Refused to Sing" is actually a very touching song. With powerful lyrics and a strong harmony, I can enjoy it as a good ballad. On the other hand, it is plagued like most of the album with pretty hallow production- something I didn't expect from Wilson. The piano is really weak and lacked I certain oomph I would've wanted.

Well, as you can see, this is review doesn't much beyond skin deep. It is because I feel it impossible to dig beneath this albums fairly shallow surface, my apathy constantly pushing me away. Wilson continues to be irrelevant while being undeniably a very able musician and producer. He has not reached out of his or anyone's comfort zone instead creating a horrifically solid old-school progressive rock album. It isn't nearly enough for it to be worthwhile.

I do hope that one day Wilson will take his very much existent talents to new and interesting places because I think he has the ability to create some truly mind-bending music. Currently though, he's pretty comfortable making albums prog-heads will bob their heads too.

P.S.: Enough with the goddamn flutes already, I've had more than enough of them.

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 Grace for Drowning by WILSON, STEVEN album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.19 | 1091 ratings

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Grace for Drowning
Steven Wilson Crossover Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Steven Wilson is the undisputed leader of the modern Art Rock scene in UK and one of the most recognizable rock figures worldwide.From his teenagers years with the Neo Prog band Karma and the Electronic outfit Altamont to his more recent activities as the leader of Porcupine Tree, No-Man and Bass Communion, he developed his musical skills as an instrumentalist and composer, scanning various different styles and sources of inspiration.In 2001 he started a collaboration with Aviv Geffen in the Blackfield project, while he even developed his knowledge as a producer and collaborated with an endless list of artists and bands, including Fish, Opeth and Paatos.But he also found time to release his debut album ''Insurgentes'' in 2008 in a kind of Ambient/Art Rock mood, followed by another effort in 2011, the ''Grace for drowning'' release on the Porcupine Tree-related KScope Records.

The original output consists of 2 CD's of about 40-minutes of length each and is of course driven by Wilson's impressive multi-instrumental offerings, but also includes a nice list of guest musicians: Jordan Rudess on piano,Theo Travis on sax, clarinet and flute, Ben Castle on clarinet, Nick Beggs on bass and Chapman stick, Nic France on drums and Tony Levin on bass.Musically I bet that ''Grace for drowning'' would be the best soundtrack of a future Steven Wilson autobiographical movie, delivering most of his career sights and sounds in 80 minutes of well-crafted music.The first part of the first CD clearly shows Wilson's Retro Prog inspirations with GENESIS, KING CRIMSON and even some light Canterbury vibes around, very dominant use of Mellotron, sweet and romantic vocals ala CRESSIDA and BRACLAY JAMES HARVEST and emphatic guitar textures in a ROBERT FRIPP way, creating grandiose, atmospheric and solid musicianship all the way with jazzy, psychedelic and Classical flourishes.As it progresses the CD becomes more and more flexible with modern-sounding orchestrations pompous symphonic soundscapes combine with jazzy interludes, led by electric piano, clavinet and sax.The music is very dramatic and often bombastic, although some ambiental breaks are often present to calm thigs down.

The second CD is a bit more one-dimensional and definitely as contemporary as it gets, at least in the first three tracks, which come as a mix of laid-back Symphonic/Art Rock and Ambient music.Mellotron strings shine through these pieces, offering a haunting mood during the orchestral lines.PINK FLOYD were among Wilson's cetain influences, but become more apparent at this point.It's exactly the same point where the English mastermind chooses to place the 23-min. grand epic ''Raider II'', propably the purest amalgam of his career as an artist.Combining the stylings of both PORCUPINE TREE's and NO-MAN's efforts, it explores a progressive sound akin to KING CRIMSON, colored by extended jazzy moments with sax, clarinet and flute in evidence, powered by breaks between slow motion soundscapes and fast/furious rhythmic deliveries and adding a loose feeling through its jazzy nature.Guitar work is simply outstanding, especially when accompanied by the powerful, orchestral keyboards, the lower point being the very mellow Ambient-like passages, definitely I can see them being added as balance factor during the process, but wasn't really fond of them.Anyway, this is overall a very strong piece of Prog music.The closing FLOYD-ian ''Like dust I have cleared from my eye'' is a decent, slightly psychedelic farewell with nostalgic keyboards and very GLIMOUR-like electric solos, quite attractive even if the last 3-4 minutes are pure Ambient explorations.

''Grace for drowning'' belongs among Steven Wilson's discography highlights.Diverse Progressive Rock with 70's and modern inspirations, offering some monumental themes among the generally well-crafted music.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

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 Get All You Deserve by WILSON, STEVEN album cover DVD/Video, 2012
4.56 | 184 ratings

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Get All You Deserve
Steven Wilson Crossover Prog

Review by Gatot
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars The live video "Get All You Deserve" comes as either a DVD, a Blu-Ray or a Limited Deluxe Edition, which includes both video formats as well as the entire two-hour concert in a slip-cased, hardback DVD-size book with 40 pages of tour pictures. Wilson believes that music is released in packages that look wonderful?things to grab and to hold, as much as to hear and see. Directed by Lasse Hoile?who has been with Wilson and Porcupine Tree since first teaming up for the cover of Porcupine Tree's In Absentia. The result is a live performance video that is casted differently than a traditional live concert where at the beginning of the film is like a horror movie. It's a good experience to see this video at the first time. Recorded at Teatro Metropólitanon in Mexico City, the band undertook the fifth of what would eventually be 26 concert dates. The film includes 16 tunes with new effort called "Luminol" that would be included in the next album of Wilson. Wilson toured with keyboardist Adam Holzman, guitarist Niko Tsonev, drummer Marco Minnemann, bassist Nick Beggs and Theo Travis, who played flute and sax.

The overall concert video is an exciting thing to enjoy as the sound quality as well as the picture are excellent even though the most part of the concert was performed in dark nuance. The important thing is the angles of shooting that are different with any typical concert. As far as musician's performance on stage, I love Nick Beggs stage act even though he is quite calm throughout the show. But his bass playing is really cool and one of the important factors looking at the band play the music of Wilson. The next one is the drummer Marco Minnemann who plays wonderful drumming and of course Theo Travis with his flute and sax work. Of course I like the rockin' style of Steven Wilson who plays his vocal line excellently plus the guitar he brings and some exploration sounds using keyboard. He moves quite dynamically around the stage. I am really happy that they perform Luminol which at that time was not released as studio track yet.

Overall, it's a highly recommended live performance studio that deserves full five stars rating. I really love this video. Keep on proggin' ?!!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

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 The Raven That Refused To Sing (And Other Stories) by WILSON, STEVEN album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.33 | 971 ratings

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

Review by Gatot
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars Unique music and a masterpiece! ...

Everytime I plan to write my views about this album I always refrain myself as I wanted to be ensured by myself that what I am writing is really representing the truth, ie. what I do really feel about the album. And to tell you the truth it's hard for me to do so as I was not certain about my views as it was quite contaminated with how I felt with his debut album "Insurgentes" that I did not consider as a good album in some ways. But then I was impressed with his second "Grace for Drowning" which for me was an excellent one knowing his debut was so and so. But with this "The Raven" I put many doubts about it despite my first positive impression especially the first time I heard "Luminol" that really struck my head heavily. But now .. I am ready to write my views having spun more than eight times in its entirety. and I have to admit that this album has become my regular playlist.

The overall album represents good memorable tagline melodies for every song it contains. I can relate the melodies lean themselves from the music of Porcupine Tree (Steven's band). It also has some sorts of complexities from the musical segments it has from start to end complete with change of styles as well as tempo and also some excellent transition pieces in silent segments among the tracks. The harmonies the album produces are really great and sometimes I feel like I am in the middle of something that I enjoy and suddenly it changes to a different nature. Amidst different styles and tempos of the tracks or in fact within the track itself there are many changes in style, the album has solid structural integrity from start to end.

"Luminol" (12:10) blast off the opening experience with powerful and solid basslines by Nick Beggs and brings the music into dynamic and upbeat tempo at start. It's like listening to a kind of progressive metal music with no guitar riffs but it moves excellently from one segment to another. The inclusion of flute work by Theo Travis makes the music is richer in textures. It's really a great and masterpiece track especially when it has changes of styles and temo as the music slows down into silent parts where vocal starts to enter. Oh man ... this is really great opening track! It's not an exaggeration when I say that I have never the kind of music like this Luminol. It's wonderful, really!

"Drive Home" (7:37) is melancholic in style featuring ambient vocal line by Steven that makes the music is interesting to enjoy. The guitar that accompanies the singing line is excellent. It moves straight forward with the kind of Porcupine Tree music, I think. "The Holy Drinker" (10:13) is another energetic and interesting track and it has become my personal favorite as well together with Luminol. Time signatures that Steven plays with his vocal is excellent! There are silent segments that were made to create the rich textures of the music. It reminds me to the Porcupine Tree style.

"The Pin Drop" (5:03) starts solo and melancholic with unique vocal quality of Steven Wilson. It again reminds me to Porcupine Tree. "The Watchmaker" (11:43) starts beautifully with acoustic guitar that later accompanies Steven Wilson vocal. I really enjoy the melody that Steven sings throughout the song. It serves like a musical break until the acoustic guitar fills play differently backed with flute and keyboards. Somewhat I feel like in the vein of early Genesis even though it's different and ...here they go ...!!! Theo Travis plays his flute wonderfully continued with stunning guitar solo. Oh my God ... this is really great! The song moves in crescendo wonderfully! It moves through changes of styles as well as tempo. The end of the track is a dynamic music combining bass guitar and guitar in the vein of King Crimson (a bit).

"The Raven That Refused To Sing" (7:57) is like a requiem at the end of the album indicating ambient vocal line of Steven with piano work played softly. His singing style is really great. At approximately minute 5 the drumming enters the music but the tempo is still mellow and dark, maintaining the nuance of the first five minutes of the song. The mellotron-like sound also demonstrated at the end of the track altogether with piano.

Overall this is a perfect album that deserves five star rating. Despite the musical excellence like I describe above, the performance of the musicians is also great. I love the bass playing by Nick Beggs and also drumming by Marco Minnemann. Theo Travis also plays wonderfully. It's highly recommended whether or not you love Porcupine Tree / Steven Wilson. Sonic quality of the record is also top notch! .... Keep on proggin' ...!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

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