Label: Kscope Music 2011
Review by Martien Koolen
As frequent reader - if not then it is about time - of this website you may know that I am a huge Porcupine Tree fan. Founder, guitar player, singer and main composer Steven Wilson is a true workaholic and besides PT also involved in Blackfield and No-Man. In 2008 Wilson released his first real solo album and I found it rather too dark, too melancholic, too experimental and too weird even for my taste... Now, three years later Wilson comes up with a double album called "Grace For Drowning" and again it is dark, melancholic, experimental and sometimes weird however I think/feel that the music on this new release is much better than on its predecessor. CD1 called "Deform To Form A Star" kicks off with two instrumentals being "Grace For Drowning" and "Sectarian" and they are both rather jazzy and filled with lots of piano passages. These songs set the trend for almost the entire album as the more metal oriented work from Steven is again hard to find on this record. So if you only like Wilson's heavy music then I think that you might be disappointed, but give this album a chance and you will hear the beauty of it.
Musical highlight is the 23 minutes epic "Raider 2", a very complex song with lots of musical influences from the roaring seventies and while listening I got memories of notorious bands like Van Der Graaf Generator, King Crimson and even Camel. The guest musicians list on this abum is impressive as Wilson called in the help of Theo Travis, Nick Beggs, Jordan Rudess, The London Session Orchestra and the Synergy Vocals Choir, both led by Dave Stewart. The music on this album is overwhelming and after a couple of spins you seem to get addicted; so try it out, play the album at maximum volume and be amazed!!