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steven wilson

CD review BLACKFIELD "V"

Veröffentlicht am 24. Februar 2017 von Markus W. in Blackfield, Rock, Prog Rock, Hardrock, News, CD, Ambient, KSCOPE, Steven Wilson

(9/10) “V” marks, how could it be different, the fifth album of the genius cooperation of Aviv Geffen and Steven Wilson. These guys started their collaboration after Geffen, a big fan of Porcupine Tree, invited the band to Israel for a concert. What start in 2000 led to the two musicians working on some first songs together resulting in the “Blackfield” album that was published in 2004.

Blackfield stick, with the exception of “Welcome to My DNA”, to a numbering of their record and therefore it’s a logical consequence to entitle this longplayer “V”.

The two iconic musicians deepened their cooperation with each longplayer, being supported by Seffy Efrati, Tomer Z. and Eran Metelman.

The album starts with a classic intro named “A drop in the Ocean” which an atmospheric piece of music that brings some calmness into nowadays hectic life. “Family Man” is next and provides a more rocking vibe. The song never gets really loud, but it reaches a level of intensity that is outstanding. What surprises is the fact that each of the tunes in “V” is very spot-on. You might expect long epical tunes on such a record but not in this case. Two tracks go above a four minutes length while the rest stays within a framework of 3-4 minutes.

There are more of these beautiful rocking anthems on “V”. “We’ll Never be Apart” is one of them and “Later” unveils the rocking passion of the duo.

Next to their tunes there are the soulful moments like “Sorrys”; songs built on beautiful melodies and wide soundscapes that makes each of these numbers to a delicious acoustic experience. Like with intro, these songs are best while taking you earphones, and closing your eyes. The music will take you to a cinematic journey that comes with a lot of emotional depth. Fragile moments next to powerful sections provide the listener with a constant arc of suspense from beginning to end.

“V” is Backfields’ fifth studio longplayer and it’s hopefully not their last. This pair of experienced and passionate musicians brings beauty in this grayish world. Excellent music done by outstanding musicians. Two thumbs up.

 

(9/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. A Drop in the Ocean
  2. Family Man
  3. How Was Your Ride
  4. We’ll Never be Apart
  5. Sorrys
  6. Life is an Ocean
  7. Lately
  8. October
  9. The Jackal
  10. Salt Water
  11. Undercover Heart
  12. Lonely Soul
  13. Fromm 44 to 48

 

Label: KSCOPE

Genre: Progressive Rock

Release Date EU: February 10th, 2017

CD review BLACKFIELD "V"
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CD review STEVEN WILSON "Transcience"

Veröffentlicht am 18. Oktober 2016 von Markus W. in Steven Wilson, Porcupine Tree, Prog Rock, Rock, News

(*/10) It was, almost to the day, one year ago when Steven Wilson released an album called "Transience" which contained 13 tracks of the master of progressive and soulful rock music. It covered an era between 2003-2015 and at that time the longplayer was released as vinyl only. Now, twelve months later, "Transience" will be published as CD.

In general there isn't that much of a difference which means that you can get a lot of insights in the earlier posted vinyl review. However, there is with "Happiness III" a bonus track on this CD version which acts as an extra treat for the fans. Actually I think that an album like this works best on the good old vinyl but that's not more than my own opinion. It's of course far more handy to have it on CD too.

Anyhow: Excellent music which is a must for Steven Wilson fans and rock music enthusiasts.

 

(*/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Transience (Single version)
  2. Harmony Korine
  3. Postcard
  4. Significant Other
  5. Insurgentes
  6. The Pin Drop
  7. Happy Returns (edit)
  8. Deform to Form a Star (edit)
  9. Happiness III
  10. Thank you
  11. Index
  12. Hand Cannot Erase
  13. Lazarus (2015 recording)
  14. Drive Home

Label: Kscope

Genre: Prog Rock

Release Date EU: October 16th, 2016

CD review STEVEN WILSON "Transcience"
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CD review OLD FIRE "Songs From the Haunted South"

Veröffentlicht am 24. Juni 2016 von Markus W. in Old Fire, Steven Wilson, Anathema, Prog Rock, Rock, Psychedelic Rock, Ambient

(7/10) Old Fire is a project started by Texas based programmer John Mark Lapham who is known from The Earlies and The Late Cord. Mid June the first album of Old Fire will be released and it features thirteen songs that are kept silent and sphereful.

Joining the world-class rooster of KSCOPE, including artists/bands like Steven Wilson and The Pineapple Thief, Lapham developed this longplayer based on an album concept that comes from a 4AD project.

This record is, as most of the label's releases, a quiet and emotional journey through various soundscapes. This album isn't about being loud, having mighty riffs in the forefront. "Songs From the Haunted South"'s music is build on an instrumentation including piano, cello and guitars, played by various musicians.

The title of the album already indicates the atmosphere you can expect on "Songs From the Haunted South". It's not about swinging music with sing-along moments and light-hearted vibe. Each of the thirteen tunes has a melancholic vibe which gives Old Fire's debut a wistful expression. The artwork, kept in grey and done by designer Vaughan Oliver, is reflecting this very well and makes the longplayer to a complete package where things just fit together.

If you like the earlier mentioned bands as well as Anathema & co. you should listen to this album too. It's worth it even thoug it doesn't reach the extraordinary class of these bands. 

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Old Fire 3
  2. Along Came A Sadness
  3. Helix
  4. Know How
  5. It`s Easier Now
  6. A Stranger in The Family
  7. Bloodchild
  8. Faust
  9. Shadows
  10. A Slight Grip, A Gentle Hold
  11. Laser Beam
  12. The Orchids
  13. Deadhouse Dream

 

Label: KSCOPE

Genre: Prog Rock

Release Date EU: July 23, 2016

CD review OLD FIRE "Songs From the Haunted South"
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CD review STEVEN WILSON "4 1/2" EP

Veröffentlicht am 8. Januar 2016 von Markus W. in Steven Wilson, Prog Rock, Rock, Hardrock, News, CD Review

(9/10) What a start into 2016. The master of prog rock, Steven Wilson, surprises us with new songs. "4 1/2" is the name of a release that should help to bridge the waiting time between the last album "Hand.Cannot.Erase" and the upcoming longplayer. And what name would fit better for a release inbetween album four and five than "4 1/2".

This EP features five new songs that are presenting Steven Wilson at his best. Four of them are taken from the "Hand..." session and it's amazing to see/hear, what kind of tracks didn't make it on the album. A lot of other bands would give a fortune for this kind of compositions.

The staring point into this progressive rock journey is called "My Book of Regrets" which is a nine minutes long masterpiece. It's a relaxed opener with epical solo parts and an energetic outburst towards the end.

"Year of the Plague" is the second leg on this trip. It's one of those silent songs that pay so much attention to details. This number isn't written for headbanging. This tune is a for closing your eyes and dream away.

The next number, "Happiness III" instead brings some swinging ease into Wilson's sound. The title is well chosen since it feels, with it's positive vibe, like a sonic sunrise. You justget happy.

And what follows the sun? Indeed, rain. "Sunday Rain Sets in" is a piano-based tune that has a lot of finesse and a well-chosen counterpart to the previous song.

For the ones of you that miss the more heavy riffing and the groove, I can recommend "Vermillioncore". Take from the "The Raven that Refused to Sing" session, the composition is another example for an excellent song that didn't make it on the original record.

The last chapter is called "Don't Hate Me" which is a Porcupine Tree song from 1998. Magic moment are the vocals that Wilson shares with Ninet Tayeb, plus the extensive saxophone parts.

There is no way around this EP, at least not if you appreciate advanced rock music on a Champions League level. "4 1/2" is a great bridge till the new album will see the light of day and it's, in itself, another pearl in Steven Wilson's rich discography.

 

(9/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. My Book of Regrets
  2. Year of the Plague
  3. Happiness III
  4. Sunday Rain SetsIn
  5. Vermillioncore
  6. Don't Hate Me

 

Label: KSCOPE

Genre: Prog Rock

Release Date EU: January 22nd, 2016

CD review STEVEN WILSON "4 1/2" EP
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LP review STEVEN WILSON "Transience"

Veröffentlicht am 27. September 2015 von Markus W. in Steven Wilson, Porcupine Tree, Prog Rock, Rock, News, CD Review, LP Review, Vinyl

(*/10) You might wonder if the header is a typing error. No, it's not. This album is an LP only. "Transience" is a double album, yinyl only, that comes with 13 songs from the master of progressive soundscapes. As Steven Wilson states in the label info he always resisted to do compilations, but this time he couldn't resist.

The thirteen tracks on "Transience" have been written between 2003 and 2015. The tunes are spread out on three sides of the double album. The fourth side is reserved for 'etching' of the original handwritten lyric sketches for "Happy Returns" - one of the tracks on the album. Already this is something that makes the longplayer to a sonic goody for all fans and collectors.

But "Transience" isn't only for die-hard fans. Quite in contrary. Also for new fans, the ones that have been always 'afraid' of Wilson's complex and multilayered songs, it's this vinyl that offers thirteen great entrypoints into the musical world of Steven Wilson. Each of the tunes is easier to diguest than some of the other compositions of the dedicated musician and the tracks are also kept shorter too. The song itself gets the attention by still keeping the passion for arcs of suspension a la Wilson. Big soundscapes meet outstanding melodies that provides you with an hour of dreamful music.

Next to Steven Wilson songs the album also contains "Lazarus" from Porcupine Trees in a 2015 version that is based on a live recording from the current Steven Wilson line-up.

"Transience" is special and a beautiful piece of music. This album deserves, no, it demands vinyl. If you love rock music and if you have a passion for big melodic compositions you have to call this record your own.

 

(*/10) 

 

Tracklist:

Side 1:

  1. Transience (Single version)
  2. Harmony Korine
  3. Postcard
  4. Significant Other
  5. Insurgentes

Side 2:

  1. The Pin Drop
  2. Happy Returns (edit)
  3. Deform to Form a Star (edit)
  4. Thank you

Side 3:

  1. Index
  2. Hand Cannot Erase
  3. Lazarus (2015 recording)
  4. Drive Home

Side 4:

Etching

 

Label: Kscope

Genre: Prog Rock

Release date EU: September 25th, 2015

 

 

LP review STEVEN WILSON "Transience"
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CD review STEVEN WILSON "Hand.Cannot.Erase"

Veröffentlicht am 7. März 2015 von Markus W. in Steven Wilson, Rock, Prog Rock, Prog Metal, CD Review, News, Classic Rock

(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.

 

(9/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. First regret - 3 years older
  2. Hand cannot erase
  3. Perfect life
  4. Routine
  5. Home invasion - Regret #9
  6. Transience
  7. Ancestral
  8. Happy return - Ascendant here on

 

Label: Kscope

Gerne: Prog Rock

CD review STEVEN WILSON "Hand.Cannot.Erase"
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New video from STEVEN WILSON

Veröffentlicht am 5. Februar 2015 von Markus W. in Steven Wilson, Rock, Video, News, Prog Rock

On February 27 Steven Wilson will release his new album "Hand.Cannot.Erase". The first video is now online. The track is called "Perfect life" and it a typical very shereful Steven Wilson song. But it's not only the music that is fascinating. It is also the video that was done by Youssef Nassar.

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BLACKFIELD will release new album in August

Veröffentlicht am 29. Juli 2013 von Markus W. in Blackfield, Steven Wilson

Blackfield is releasing their new album on August 30. The album will be simply called "Blackfield IV" and is the cooperation of two great musicians: Steven Wilson and Aviv Geffen. Both guys are supported by Jonathan Donahue and Vincent Cavanagha from Anathema. The first single is called "Sense of insanity" and is an excellent rock song. The song is convincing by perfect harmonies combined with a positive vibe. If the song is representive for the entire album we can expect a really good Blackfield record. Furthermore there ia new video available for "Jupiter" - also from the new album. This a actually a quite relaxed song with some more pop approach. For me a little bit too catchy.

Tracklist:

  1. Pills

  2. Springtime

  3. XRay (featuring Vincent Cavanagh – Anathema)

  4. Sense of Insanity

  5. Firefly (featuring Brett Anderson – Suede)

  6. The Only Fool is Me (featuring Jonathan Donahue – Mercury Rev)

  7. Jupiter

  8. Kissed by the Devil

  9. Lost Souls

  10. Faking

  11. After the Rain

BLACKFIELD will release new album in August
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