Exposé Online banner

Steven Wilson — Insurgentes
(Kscope 114, 2009, CD)

by Jeff Melton, 2009-07-01:

Insurgentes Cover art

Porcupine Tree leader Steven Wilson is a shrewd businessman in this era of file sharing and limited edition recordings. His first official solo recording under his own name (aside from a few collectable singles) is a catchall for his various undertakings linking his Bass Continuum, Blackfield, No-Man and band efforts to come up with the possibly the most important Goth release for this year. His role as project architect brought him to several exotic (not necessarily safe) locations to paint a bleak post-Bush world picture that also will appeal to fans of Nine Inch Nails ("Only Child") as well as Pink Floyd and the Cure. Across the ten well crafted and sound sculpted songs, Wilson and drummer Gavin Harrison literally pummel through the hasher rhythmic tracks ("Abandoner" and the epic "No Twilight within the Courts of the Sun"). Metal fans will have much to soak in from this convincing concept album approach. Then the listener gains a few moments of clarity ("Significant Other") and eventual disorientation (finale title track). Wilson's friend (Dream Theater keyboardist) Jordan Rudess plays some profound piano on the closing track as well before the shroud completely falls. With a new band effort scheduled for this fall, it will be interesting to determine how many audio methods he chooses to differentiate from group efforts. Regardless, Wilson is clearly enmeshed in an all out assault for his personal statements than could manifest into that elusive mainstream recognition.


by Paul Hightower, 2009-07-01:

Steven Wilson has single-handedly re-shaped modern prog rock through his various bands and projects that include Porcupine Tree, No Man, Blackfield, Bass Communion, IEM, etc. So for him to take time to produce a solo album is a Big Deal. Fans sometimes divide along those who favor Wilson's earlier, more space and psych-oriented music versus those who have come on board during his recent shift towards dirge-y alt-rock and metal. Insurgentes is likely to please both camps. The album starts off strong with "Harmony Korine," a slab of unadulterated alt-rock bliss that showcases the sort of melodic invention and sound design that Wilson has built his reputation on. With the single out of the way, Wilson tackles more experimental and obtuse material, including the dreamy and ambient soundscapes of "Abandoner" and the instrumental "Twilight Coda," the elegant voice and piano of "Get All You Deserve," and the brutal "No Twilight within the Courts of the Sun" that features Wilson's most intense guitar solo to date. Wilson often delights in playing off extreme contrasts, evidenced in "Significant Other," that alternates between a dreamy waltz and stabs of heavenly overdriven ecstasy or the Radiohead-esque "Salvaging" that features Dave Stewart's string arranging. Other guests include Tony Levin and Gavin Harrison providing most rhythm section work with Jordan Rudess and Theo Travis popping in to help flesh out several of the arrangements. If anything, this album proves that Wilson could set the phone book to music and it would still be amazing. Recommended.


Filed under: New releases , Issue 37 , 2009 releases

Related artist(s): Tony Levin, Steven Wilson / I.E.M., Theo Travis, Gavin Harrison, Jordan Rudess, Michiyo Yagi

More info

Latest news

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Genre Peak - Ends of the Earth – Genre Peak is the trio of Martin Birke (vocals, drum programming, percussion), Daniel Panasenko (Stick, upright bass), and Stephen Sullivan (guitar, guitar synth, backing vocals). I reviewed an album...  (2008) » Read more

Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso UFO - Interstellar Guru and Zero – I find it extremely challenging to keep up with this prolific band with their myriad lineups and bazillions of releases. This time around, the band is Tsuyama Atsushi (monster bass, tortoiseshell...  (2010) » Read more

Magma - Théâtre du Taur - Concert 1975 - Toulouse – The long awaited fourth release on Christian Vander's AKT label is a legendary concert from September 24th, 1975 in Toulouse. The lineup here includes Christian and Stella Vander on drums and...  (1994) » Read more

Gary Husband - Dirty & Beautiful Volume 1 – The idea of Jan Hammer and Allan Holdsworth playing together on a single recording (likely a fantasy of fusion fans everywhere) has come to pass on this new album from Gary Husband. Husband’s...  (2011) » Read more

Ax Genrich - Wave Cut – Hey, anyone in the mood for a cheery toe-tapping experience courtesy of the pleasantries of MIDI sequencers, drum machines, and other groovy techno devices? False alarm! You won't find it here....  (1997) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues