Today’s Progarchives’ review:
Studio Album, released in 2013
Songs / Tracks Listing
1. Luminol (12:10)
2. Drive Home (7:37)
3. The Holy Drinker (10:13)
4. The Pin Drop (5:03)
5. The Watchmaker (11:43)
6. The Raven That Refused To Sing (7:57)
Total Time 54:43
Line-up / Musicians – Guthrie Govan / lead guitar
– Nick Beggs / bass guitar
– Marco Minnemann / drums
– Adam Holzman / keyboards
– Theo Travis / saxophone, flute
– Steven Wilson / vocals, guitars, keyboards
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