Exposé Online banner

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

by Paul Hightower, 2009-07-01:

Insurgentes Cover art

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.


by Jeff Melton, 2009-07-01:

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.


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

2020-11-20
25 Views of Worthing Finally Gets Released – A while ago, we wrote about the discovery of a "long lost" Canterbury-style gem by a band called 25 Views of Worthing. And now we're pleased to find out that Wind Waker Records has released their music on an LP. » Read more

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


Previously in Exposé...

Wyatt / Atzmon / Stephen - ...For the Ghosts Within – Canterbury icon Robert Wyatt steps out of his comfort zone with acclaimed sax man Gilad Atzmon in an unusual collection of light orchestral covers of standards (and a few re-arranged Wyatt classics)....  (2011) » Read more

Hermetic Science - These Fragments I Have Shored against My Ruins – It’s been close to forever since Hermetic Science’s last album of new material. In fact, one listen to this new disc might offer some partial clues as to why it took seven years....  (2008) » Read more

Ozone Player - Frozen Paint on Boiling Canvas – What an opener for an album! I’m talking about “The Sprawl.” Fine sounds, imaginative sequencing, nimble-fingered playing, stunning composition. Ozone Player is a composer from...  (2006) » Read more

Shingetsu / Serenade - Shingetsu, Night Collector & Akai Me No Kagami – Shingetsu was one of the classic Japanese symphonic bands, and their self titled Shingetsu album from 1979 is highly regarded, and often compared to classic period Genesis, if only for the ten minute...  (1996) » Read more

Martin Velíšek & Už Jsme Doma - Jaro, Peklo, Podzim, Zima (Spring, Hell, Autumn, Winter) – This upstart Czech ensemble occupies firm Rock in Opposition territory, with honking horn fanfares over rhythmically tricky power chord riffs. However, this generalization doesn’t quite work...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues