(9/10) "Hand.Cannot.Erase" is the title of the new album of multi-instrumentalist Steven Wilson. Known from his solo records, his participation in Porcupine Trees and other prog projects the exceptional artist created another masterpiece of progressive rock.
The inspiration for this conceptual album comes from "Dreams of a life" - a documentation about Joyce Carol Vincent. It became a very emotional album that covers feelings like love, hope, sadness and anger. Steven Wilson managed to put all those human feelings into the different songs on the album and achieves a masterpiece that combines rationality and emtions in an awesome way.
Already the opener is impressive. "First regret" marks the instrumental start before the song seamless goes over to "3 years older". Both compositions together are one unit, built on great soundscapes that show a lot of different colours of progressive rock music. More silent part turn into grooving rock section before great vocal lines bring the song to another level.
With the title track, "Hand cannot erase", the journey through melodies and harmonies continues. The song is in a moderate pace and the catchy melody makes the tune easy approachable. But of course a multi-instrumentalist, like Wilson is, builds in also many details which you will discover step by step - a few more each time you listen to the track.
"Perfect life" is another great moment on the album. Spoken female words combined with a hypnotic electronic sound based on samples and keyboards create a piece of music that is excellent. And it's singer Ninet Tayeb's vocals that puts the crown on this song.
She has also an impressive part in the eight minutes long "Routine" that starts with piano and vocals of Wilson. Everything sounds very melancholic in the beginning before it gets more rocking in the second half. This song is big and a definite highlight on "Hand.Cannot.Erase".
"Home invasion-Regret #9" is a cool groover with heavy guitars - very complex and with some unexpected twists. It's a muliti-layered song that provides many surprises like some funky parts in "Home invasion". I would call it catchy experiemental heavy music.
The two and a half minutes long "Transience" is an emotional acoustic bridge with guitars and vocals only. A nice moment to breathe through again after the demanding previous track.
"Ancestral" is another epical long piece. It takes 13 minutes and is an emotional journey through various soundscapes. The track starts slow and peaceful before it has a first burst after four minutes. It is this interplay between almost fragile silent parts and heavy sound eruptions that gives the song its charm. And as almost nobody else in these days Wilson combines all this into one solid unit that fits together very well.
"Happy returns" rounds of Steven Wilson's fourth solo album. The tune has a very positive vibe and has a swingning touch. It feels like the silence after the storm, called "Ancestral". And with the choir that is build into the tune it shows some cross-references to Pink Floyd.
Stop reading - start listening.
- First regret - 3 years older
- Hand cannot erase
- Perfect life
- Home invasion - Regret #9
- Happy return - Ascendant here on
Gerne: Prog Rock