Album : The Raven That Refused To Sing (And Other Stories) [2013] ; Artist : Steven Wilson


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Steven Wilson has proved that the Devil signs the deal with him and not otherwise. The artists on this album are the paramount of what they play. If you thought ‘Storm Corrosion’ was an album beyond others you had heard then I wouldn’t say think again, I say don’t even consider that thought. This album is a production dream I have eagerly awaited since before the birth of Storm Corrosion.

Steven Wilson himself is the bloody Great Wall of China in the progressive genre, Guthrie Govan – the Taj Mahal of guitarists, Nick Beggs – the Petra of the Bassists and Chapmanstick players, Marco Minnemann – The Colosseum of drummers, Theo Travis – the Christ Of Redeemer of flautists and saxophonists, Adam Holzman as serene as Machu Picchu of Jazz Keyboardists.

Only mentioned last but way up there in the list, the eldest, the solemn, the respected oracle and the prophecy: Mr. Alan Parsons – The Great Pyramid of Giza of Sound Engineers.
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Track 1. “Luminol” redefines progressive extravagance .Flawless as far as creative fronts and technically far beyond us mortal souls. The focus on solos is strange. It’s full of solos and breaks and fills but it’s not where the concentration lies for a listener. Hearing this track for approximately three quarters of an hour I couldn’t absorb anything from it, as blank as a sheet. Where the attention goes to are sweet chords and keyboard arpeggios trills, dreamy pipes and the bass lines to blow your mind and keep your head bobbing.

Track 2. “Drive Home” at its prelude reminds me of Dance of Death. It is a progressive easy listen from start and goes into a gamut of progressive expression. I see the usage of Reynolds Number from sublime Laminar to Transient flow making use of factors such as density, velocity, length and viscosity in the structural arrangement.

Track 3. “The Holy Drinker” is introduced is rotary vibrato proceeding into an amalgamation of constructive confusion until it crashes into a wall with no recoil. From there on its motion in cruise control from flats to slopes using variable power but at the same speed. Up until hitting the open roads with no traffic drifting into urgency where the tank goes empty with panic.

Track 4. “The Pin Drop” is where Steven Wilson returns to his Porcupine Tree roots of arrangement and harmony up until Theo steps in to rip it apart. The maturity of this composition is ineffable but I find it inane.

Track 5. “The Watchmaker” is a ballad in every right with an eerie tale to fill it, gorgeous pipes, flamboyant mellotron scaping, mandolin emulations and Guthrie snipped his leash. That’s just the first half of the song. From there on it takes to a psychological childlike happy place up until reality comes to slap you in the face, putting you back into place.

Track 6. “The Raven That Refused To Sing” is symbolic of a melancholy representing long-lasting sadness, gloom, sorrow, dejection and depression. All that with beauty, grace and marvel is what is brought to enlightenment here.

I can’t explain the sort of joy and satisfaction I have listening to this album. The sense of fear I experienced when I thought of reviewing this album was an adrenaline rush in its purest form. I don’t know how will Steven Wilson take it further from here. He’s such a genius he selected Guthrie Govan for guitars knowing the fact he wouldn’t have to worry about chemistry already having Marco Minnemann on board with him. Marco and Guthrie kill it in “The Aristocrats” jams.

Rating: 9.3/10

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