Steven Wilson, as all modern Prog lovers will know is the brains behind Porcupine Tree and he and his band have been instrumental in bringing the genre back from the dead. But if you wrote a list of his musical endeavours you would wonder if he ever sleeps and marvel at his eclecticism. It’s not just Porcupine Tree’s records that have kept him busy, there has also been Blackfield, No Man, Bass Communion, IEM, Storm Corrosion and other projects as producer or collaborator (Swedish band Opeth being the best known). There’s also the cover version singles where he covers Abba, Alanis Morrisette, The Cure , Prince and others. Then there’s the mixing projects – Anathema, King Crimson’s albums from In The Court Of The Crimson King onwards, Jethro Tull’s Aqualung, Caravan’s In The Land Of Grey And Pink and Nonsuch by XTC. It’s official, he never sleeps.
The Raven That Refused To Sing is his third solo album and his best. The band line up has Guthrie Govan on lead guitar, Nick Beggs on bass, Marco Minnemann on the drums, Theo Travis playing saxophone/flute and Adam Holzman on keyboards. Recorded live in the studio, the idea was to take a band of great musicians, learn the songs and then record them quickly, keeping the spark. It was recorded by legendary producer/engineer Alan Parsons, the idea worked and from the first track this album is vibrant, melodic high quality Progressive Rock with imaginative lyrics, challenging arrangements, heat of the moment blistering guitar solos, moody segments, and dynamics that rise and fall like the dusk and the dawn.
I won’t specify tracks as I like to listen to Progressive Rock albums as one piece even when they are not conceptual and have songs rather than pieces. Another aspect of Wilson’s output has been his beautiful artwork, multi-formats and atmospheric visuals. The track Drive Home has already appeared on the In Deep site.
As far as the future for Steven Wilson, he is an in demand remixer and has recently stated that Porcupine Tree have not split up but he doesn’t know when there will be a new record, although a fourth solo album is on the cards. He has officially left Blackfield to his partner from that project, Aviv Geffen due to workload. What next? When? Who Knows? But I will be queueing up to get it.