Tuesday, September 9, 2014

09 September 2014 Goblin: "Suspiria" & Timothy Pure "Island of the Misfit Toys"


Goblin (also Back to the Goblin, New Goblin/Goblin Rebirth, the Goblin Keys and Simonetti's Goblin) is an Italian progressive rock band known for their soundtrack work. They frequently collaborate with Dario Argento, most notably creating soundtracks for Profondo Rosso in 1975 and Suspiria in 1977. CD re-releases of their soundtracks have performed well, especially in Germany and Japan. Goblin returned with a series of live concerts in Europe in 2009 and in North America in 2013.
Initially named Cherry Five, the band has been influenced by Genesis and King Crimson. Their early work spawned one eponymous progressive rock record, and they were then called in to compose the soundtrack for Profondo Rosso. The band changed their name to Goblin, rewriting most of the score, originally written by Giorgio Gaslini including the famous main theme. The 1975 soundtrack album was a huge hit.[where?] After a reshuffle in their line-up, and they put out an instrumental progressive rock album Roller, before working with Argento again for 1977's Suspiria. Other film soundtracks and a concept album (Il Fantastico Viaggio Del Bagarozzo Mark) followed, then the score for the European version of George A. Romero's 1978 Dawn of the Dead. Tracks 1, 2 and 5 from the European version are also in the American version of the album.
Despite their success, membership continued to be a revolving door, and the band also struggled to maintain their credibility. The remaining members continued to work on further soundtracks, and there was a partial reunification for Argento's Tenebrae (1982) (although each member of the band was credited separately, not as Goblin). The last collaboration with the director took place in 2000, with the film Non ho sonno (Sleepless).

Suspiria (pronounced [susˈpi.ri.a], Latin for "sighs") is a 1977 Italian horror film directed by Dario Argento, co-written by Argento and Daria Nicolodi, and co-produced by Claudio and Salvatore Argento. The film stars Jessica Harper as an American ballet student who transfers to a prestigious dance academy in Germany, which she discovers is controlled by a coven of witches. The film also features Stefania Casini, Flavio Bucci, Miguel Bosè, Alida Valli, Udo Kier, and Joan Bennett in her final film role.
Timothy Pure biography
American progressive rock band from Georgia has made 3 albums so far, two of them are concept albums. With a lush songwriting approach and a conceptual and highly symbolic perspective on lyrics, the band excels in building up structures of emotional richness that allow for an uninterrupted storyline immersed in drama and sharp social analysis. Their music is a mixture of sweet atmospheres and fine prog passages. Certainly influenced by PINK FLOYD, they manage to produce a typical dark and melodic sound with very strong lyrics.

"Blood Of The Berry" is a concept album that tells a story of love and sacrifice. The music features light and dark musical tones and flows which is what makes this American band so good. The last album "The Island Of The Misfit Toys" (2000) is something more than a prog album: music and words seem to tell us a story you never would be over. This album describes the problems and nightmares children and adolescents deal with nowadays (mainly because of war or child abuse). Matthew Still has a beautiful and emotional voice, the instruments are played in a very subtle way and the production is high standard. Fans of bombastic or overly complex music would be advised to look elsewhere. This is very emotional music which should appeal to fans of concept albums. A must!

02 September 2014 Back to School

Tonight's theme is "Back to School" featuring groups from Alice Cooper to the Kinks to Patti Smith and beyond.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

26 August 2014: Jethro Tull and King Crimson

(from Wikipedia) Alongside Thick As A Brick, 1973′s A Passion Play is Jethro Tull’s most overtly Progressive and conceptual release, featuring a complex poetic narrative framed by the most adventurous music of the band’s career.
A #1 US hit on its release, the album offers dazzling virtuoso instrumental passages, evocative synthesiser sequences, and fuses Folk, Jazz and Rock influences in a strikingly unique, wholly Jethro Tull way.
A Passion Play (An Extended Performance) features new Steven Wilson mixes (stereo and 5.1) of the album, alongside Steven Wilson mixes of the infamous ‘Chateau Disaster’ recordings that preceded it.
A Passion Play (A new Steven Wilson stereo mix):
1. Lifebeats/Prelude
2. The Silver Cord
3. Re-Assuring Tune
4. Memory Bank
5. Best Friends
6. Critique Oblique
7. Forest Dance #1
8. The Story Of The Hare Who Lost His Spectacles
9. Forest Dance #2
10. The Foot Of Our Stairs (+ 2 extra verses found on end of multi-track reel)
11. Overseer Overture.
12. Flight From Lucifer
13. 10.08 to Paddington
14. Magus Perde
15. Epilogue



 

 

 

 

 

 
 Steven Wilson on Remixing King Crimson
In addition to his work on a solo album and the upcoming new album from Porcupine Tree The Incident, in stores Spetember 14th, Steven Wilson has also been working on 5.1 mixes of King Crimson's back catalogue (as mentioned in this previous interview). We asked Steven about his work on the albums and below you can read about what he calls, "a real labor of love"...
The reworking of King Crimson's back catalogue was a real labour of love for me. These are albums I grew up listening to, and their influence on my teenage self still forms a large part of my musical DNA. So to be able to actually go inside the music and hear how it was all put together was both an honour and an instruction. What made it even more enlightening was to have Robert Fripp in the room while I was doing it, recounting (mostly unrepeatable!) anecdotes about the recording process and the people who played on the records. Some of these memories still made it painful for him to hear the music, and often at the end of a session both of us left my small studio drained - he from reliving the music and the struggles involved in creating it, and me from wanting to do the legacy justice.
The job at hand was to create 5.1 surround sound mixes, make new stereo mixes where appropriate, and to mix any out-takes and unreleased material I found on the reels.
The first stage was to have the tapes transferred to digital files by a professional tape archiving company, then to recreate the stereo mixes as closely as possible. Being so familiar with the originals, I aimed to be as faithful as I could, so if you hear deviation from the original stereo mix it's probably because Robert didn't like it the way it was and took the opportunity to change it. The tapes were in various degrees of (dis)organization (and as I write some tapes are still completely missing for In the Wake of Poseidon, and Starless and Bible Black). The 80s albums were carefully recorded, compiled, and annotated, but for many of the earlier albums there were many reels of tracking sessions and alternate takes, so the trick was to find the version used, or which parts of which versions were used. Sometimes a track would be made up of small parts of different takes edited together, as with the title track of Lark’s Tongues In Aspic, which was recorded in about 10 short sections, with multiple takes of each.
For personal reasons one of the very first albums I wanted to revamp was Lizard, which is the one album in the catalogue that tends to divide the fans between those that love it and those that find it almost unlistenable. I’m one of those that adore it, and could make a pretty good case for it being one of the most adventurous rock albums ever made. But I also knew it could work better in 5.1, as it’s almost as if there is too much information bursting out of the tracks to be contained in mere stereo. This is not the case in surround sound, where everything has the space to breathe, and the genius of Lizard’s progressive avant-garde jazz rock experiment finally blossoms in all its glorious folly.
Although originally not part of the plan it become apparent that some of the albums could also be made to sound sonically better in stereo as a result of that tape transfer and remix too, and Lizard was definitely one of those. The debut album In the Court of the Crimson King also benefited from us being able to go back to the original multitrack slave reels – in those days the band were using 8 track recording, and so every time the 8 channels were filled up (say with drums, bass and guitars) it was necessary to bounce it down to a one or two tracks of a second tape in order to keep overdubbing the multiple mellotrons, or vocals. Sometimes this would happen 2 or 3 times before a track was ready to mix, so the instruments recorded first had by then become second or third generation copies, with all the problems that brings (tape hiss, reduced frequency range...etc..). We were able to go back to the very first session tracking tapes and synchronise them with the overdub reels, so for the first time in the new mixes of the In the Court every instrument heard is first generation.
We also found several fascinating out-takes and alternate versions which had never been mixed down before – most of these will appear as bonus tracks on the new editions, which will all be CD/DVD combinations (the DVDs will contain any available archive video forage from the appropriate era, as well as the 5.1 mixes and high resolution stereo).
What impressed me (among many things) about the way these albums were made was the economy of overdubbing - these days I'm used to mixing records where there might be guitars tracked 4 or 5 times, drums split out over 20 channels...etc... But often with King Crimson albums you are hearing what is essentially a live band in the studio, with little or no overdubbing. And yet even with only a guitar, bass, drums line up they still sounded huge. It’s a recording art that has been partly lost in the age of computer recording, where there is no limit to the amount of times that you can layer instruments to make them sound heavier. But sometimes it’s heavier without all the overdubbing – check out the new power trio mix of the title track of Red if you don’t believe me!



Saturday, May 25, 2013

28 May 2013: Blow Up Hollywood

         Blow Up Hollywood is an underground American rock band. Their eclectic sound, built over a decade of recording, incorporates many different styles, diverse as progressive rock, post-rock, experimental, pop, classical, jazz and ambient soundscapes. Founded by Steve Messina and Nik Chinboukas in 2001, the group has evolved into more of a collective than a band, as some of their members have changed over the years. Take Flight was released in 2010. 
        In 2006 the band released what would become their most popular CD, both nationally and internationally. With the debate over the war in Iraq raging, the band released another concept album, The Diaries of Private Henry Hill. Based on the journal entries of a young, deceased soldier from the Iraq war, Blow Up Hollywood takes us on Private Henry Hill's surreal journey as he joins the army out of necessity rather than patriotism.
      The band is currently raising money from fans for the release and promotion of its latest creation, blue sky blond.   You can help out here.


Monday, May 20, 2013

21 May 2013: The Doors featuring Ray Manzarek

In recognition of the passing of Ray Manzarek, Tuesday night's FreeForm will be selections from the first three Doors albums. Blow Up Hollywood will be featured next week.
Raymond Daniel Manczarek, Jr., known as Ray Manzarek (February 12, 1939 – May 20, 2013),[1] was an American musician, singer, producer, film director, writer, and co-founder and keyboardist of The Doors from 1965 to 1973, Nite City from 1977 to 1978 and Manzarek-Krieger from 2001 to his death. Manzarek died on May 20, 2013, of complications related to bile duct cancer.[2]

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

14 May 2013: Also Eden "Think of the Children!" and King Crimson "In the Wake of Poseidon"

  
   Also Eden is a British Rock band, formed in 2005, when vocalist Huw Lloyd-Jones and keyboardist/vocalist Ian Hodson, who had been working on material together up to that point, invited Simon Rogers to join them.[1] As of 2012 the band have released three studio albums and an EP, and have toured the United Kingdom and Europe since the mid-2000s, including four appearances at Summers End UK, and slots at Night Of The Prog at Loreley in Germany and The Cambridge Rock Festival (2011).[2] Also Eden's third studio album, Think of the Children!, was released in October 2011 via F2 Records and received an 8/10 review from Geoff Barton in Classic Rock (magazine)
     The band's sound draws influences from classic progressive rock artists such as Yes, Genesis, Marillion and Rush, as well as inspiration from the “metal, fusion, classical and classic rock genres".[3] The band has also cited contemporary bands such as Porcupine Tree and The Flower Kings as influences. 
The tracks:

  1- Think Of The Children - I(6:59)
  2- Hiding In Plain Sight(3:53)
  3- Oversight(6:28)
  4- Cijfers(3:22)
  5- The Greater Game(9:28)
  6- Stealth(5:40)
  7- Dream Without a Dream(6:50)
  8- 1949(9:57)
  9- Think Of The Children - II(9:02)

In the Wake of Poseidon is the second studio album by the progressive rock group King Crimson. By the time this album was released, the band had already undergone their first change in line-up, however they still maintained much of the style of their first album, In the Court of the Crimson King. Also like their first album, the mood of this album often changes from serene to chaotic.
All songs written by Robert Fripp and Peter Sinfield, unless otherwise indicated.
Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Peace – A Beginning"   0:49
2. "Pictures of a City" (including "42nd at Treadmill") 8:03
3. "Cadence and Cascade"   4:37
4. "In the Wake of Poseidon" (including "Libra's Theme") 7:56
Side two
No. Title Length
5. "Peace – A Theme" (instrumental)  (Fripp) 1:15
6. "Cat Food" (Fripp, Sinfield, Ian McDonald) 4:54
7. "The Devil's Triangle" (instrumental)  (Fripp, McDonald)
  • I. "Merday Morn"
  • II. "Hand of Sceiron"
  • III. "Garden of Worm"  
11:36
8."Peace – An End"  1:53

Monday, May 6, 2013

07 May 2013: Ian Boddy Din 42 "Liverdelphia" + KRAAN


DiN42 | Ian Boddy | Liverdelphia 
  Limited to 555 copies

In the autumn of 2012, Ian Boddy played two concerts on opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean. The first was his fourth solo appearance at the Gatherings, hosted by Chuck van Zyl, in Philadelphia, USA. Four weeks later he then played at the Capstone Theatre in Liverpool, UK. There might have been over 5,000 kilometres separating the two gigs but Boddy played the same set at each and both his performances were multi-track recorded.
Back in his studio Boddy then proceeded to edit the audio down to a single CD length and to merge the two shows to create a composite concert. Nothing additional was added, but rather, a careful mix was made of the best sections from each performance to create a unique album that was true to the spirit of the original concerts.
In the field of electronic music, Boddy has played live more times than most. He is currently clocking in at around 150+ concerts and the effortless way he manipulates his music in a live setting is a testament to this experience. The music rises and falls in a series of organic, analogue soundscapes. Beautiful moments of musical tenderness are contrasted with large, grandiose orchestrations. The sequencer sections crackle and sparkle with pent up analogue power, with Boddy weaving a web of intricate Moog solo lines and mellotron chords.

The album is released in a strictly limited edition run of 555 copies, in a beautifully designed digipak, featuring the "pumpkin synth" design by Chuck van Zyl for the posters of the Philadelphia show. Thus "Liverdelphia" is a perfect showcase for the unique style of live electronic music created by this well respected UK musician.

 

Kraan is a German band based in Ulm and formed in 1970. It had several minor hits through the 1970s and 1980s. After a break of ten years, the group reunited in 2000. Their early style can be described as Krautrock that turned later to fusion, combining elements of both rock and jazz.
 From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Kraan
Kraan (Wiesbaden 2008-05-25).jpg

Kraan in Wiesbaden (25. May 2008)
Background information
Origin Ulm, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Genres Krautrock
Jazz fusion
Years active 1970–1990;2000–present
Labels Spiegelei/Intercord, EMI, Wintrup Music
Website http://www.kraan.de

Members Peter Wolbrandt
Hellmut Hattler
Jan Fride

Past members Ingo Bischof
Johannes „Alto“ Pappert
Udo Dahmen
Joo Kraus
Gerry Brown
Eef Albers
Mark McMillen
Tommy Goldschmidt



Monday, April 22, 2013

23 April 2013: Steve Hillage et al "Cyberwar" Soundtrack and Area, Italian jazz fusion

        Cyberwar, a video game loosely based on Lawnmower Man, consists of three discs but also includes a CD with the soundtrack featured in the game. The soundtrack includes a number of tracks scored and played by Steve Hillage of Gong and System 7.   Copies of the soundtrack are very rare and difficult to come by as the CD itself was never available as a separate release.
        The game was briefly popular in the 1990s:  The player is assigned the role of Dr. Angelo, sent in to Virtual Reality to defeat Jobe, who, in the film was born simple but increased his brain capacity by 400% using Virtual Reality. He eventually leaves his physical body and enters VR permanently. The various gameplay elements are based on the Virtual Reality segments seen in the original film. For instance, one of the levels has the player flying through tunnels avoiding multiple objects, much like one of the games in the film.
       The game did not have multiple lives, but just one - if the player missed any part of any challenge, he would be sent to the "cyber-hell" where he would die. This proved brutal to many who played this game, but the puzzles were colorful and innovative - at least one required the player to remember a code from the first disc to be used in a room on the second disc. If the player entered the wrong code, he would die. 
      This game is now very rare but can sometimes be found on auction sites.

           Arbeit macht frei is the debut album of the Jazz fusion band Area. It is notable for featuring Patrick Djivas (which is now known better for his work with Premiata Forneria Marconi) on bass and Eddie Busnello on saxophone, which parted after the release of the album. According to the booklet the lyrics were written by Frankestein (which is an alias for Gianni Sassi), and the music was written by Patrizio Fariselli. "Luglio, Agosto, Settembre (nero)" became Area's first hit (even if most of the 7" censored the word "nero", which was a reference to Black September). It was only released as a juke box only item, and the b-side was the song "Miña" by Italian prog band Aktuala. On the posthumous live release "Concerto Teatro Uomo", Demetrio Stratos says that "L'abbattimento dello Zeppelin" was composed after a pub on which they were playing asked them to perform "Whole Lotta Love". They didn't know the song and played that one instead, and they got fired. Guitarist Paolo Tofani can be heard quoting the main riff during his solo. "L'abbattimento dello Zeppelin" was also released as a 7", backed by the title track of the album, but failed to hit any charts.
           "Arbeit macht frei" (German pronunciation: [ˈaɐ̯baɪt ˈmaxt ˈfʁaɪ]) is a German phrase meaning "labour makes (you) free".[1] The slogan is known for having been placed over the entrances to a number of Nazi concentration camps during World War II, including most infamously Auschwitz I, where it was made by prisoners with metalwork skills and erected by order of the Nazis in June 1940.

Track listing 

Side one

  1. "Luglio, Agosto, Settembre (nero)" – 4:27
  2. "Arbeit macht frei" – 7:56
  3. "Consapevolezza" – 6:06

Side two

  1. "Le labbra del tempo" – 6:00
  2. "240 chilometri da Smirne" – 5:10
  3. "L’abbattimento dello Zeppelin" – 6:45

Personnel

  • Eddie Busnello - Saxophone
  • Giulio Capiozzo - Drums, Percussion
  • Patrick Djivas - Bass, Double Bass
  • Patrizio Fariselli - Piano
  • Demetrio Stratos - Vocals, Organ, Steel Drums
  • Giampaolo Tofani - Guitar, Synthesizer
  • Ria Gaetano - Engineering

Monday, April 15, 2013

16 April 2013: Sound for Good Records Space Rock Compilation

The Sound for Good record label has partnered with the Farm Sanctuary to help educate people by offering the new release, "Space Rock: The Compilation" by Various Artists exclusively to everyone who donates just $1 USD (or more) to the Farm Sanctuary. This is our special gift to say thanks for helping to protect farm animals. In this way, artists can reward people for supporting good causes by offering something special they cannot get anywhere else.
Over 100 artists from all over the globe have generously donated tracks to this incredible collection. Take a journey through space with over 14 HOURS worth of psychedelic, tranceinducing music, while helping animals at the same time!

Released 31 October 2012
Farm Sanctuary has created a safe haven for hundreds of animals rescued from factory farms. All of the animals at Farm Sanctuary are named and cared for--each one as a separate individual with his or her own personality, likes, dislikes and desires. They are free to enjoy beautiful pastures, fresh air and play for the remainder of their lives. Visitors can learn about the animals, and meet them in person. It is an experience to see how friendly, gentile and forgiving these animals can be, considering what each of them has endured.
Farm Sanctuary is also an important educational center where people can learn about the billions of animals used for food every year. The conditions in which these animals are expected to live, and become nothing more than products, are shocking and appalling. Farm Sanctuary is working hard to have laws changed that would protect the rights of each of these animals, and have seen strides in the phasing out of gestation crates for pigs and battery cages for laying hens. Read more at www.farmsanctuary.org

The wonderful album cover featuring the artwork of Paul Nicholson was designed by Tony Gerber. Check out more of Paul's work at www.bluecanvas.com/paulnicholson/

Sound for Good is Record publishes and promotes new and innovative music as a means to support good causes. This is an independent project that is supported directly by the artists and is not for profit or monetary gain in any way. All the artists time and your donation are focused on support a good cause. Check out this and other music releases in our online catalog available for instant download at sound4good.bandcamp.com

NOTE: All recordings have been published directly from the files received. No processing or adjustments have been made to the original recordings. You may experience differences in track volumes, loudness, and other inconsistencies from track to track that were are part of the original material.

Monday, April 8, 2013

09 April 2013: Carmen and Long Distance Calling


    Carmen was a British-American band active from 1970-1975. Their style was a fusion of rock music and flamenco music and dance.
     Carmen's stage performances typically featured Amaral and Angela Allen dancing on a specially amplified stage floor, so that their flamenco zapateado became an integral part of the music. Additional Spanish influences in their sound included acoustic guitar interludes in flamenco style, occasional Spanish lyrics, themes of betrayed love reminiscent of Federico Garcia Lorca, and castanets, all supported by a traditional rock rhythm section.

Long Distance Calling is a German Post Rock band formed in 2006 in Münster. Their melancholic tracks, usually lasting five or more minutes, are mostly instrumental, but some of them feature guest vocalists: Peter Dolving from The Haunted (Built Without Hands, album Satelite Bay) John Bush from Armored Saint Ex- Anthrax (Middeville, album 'Long Distance Calling) and Jonas Renkse from Katatonia (The Nearing Grave, album Avoid The Light). Long Distance Calling have released two singles and three full-length albums, all of which were received very positively by critics: Satellite Bay (2007),[1][2][3] Avoid the Light (2009)[4][5][6] and Long Distance Calling (2011).[7][8][9] In 2008 the band played at the Rock am Ring[10] and Roadburn festivals; the band toured Germany in 2009.[11] In 2010 Long Distance Calling and Finnish Swallow The Sun supported Katatonia during the New Night Over Europe tour.[12] They most recently supported Protest The Hero on their 2012 European tour.

Members

Current members

  • David Jordan – guitar
  • Janosch Rathmer – drums
  • Florian Füntmann – guitar
  • Jan Hoffmann – bass
  • Martin Fischer - vocals and sounds

Discography

Studio albums

Demos & Split-EPs



Tuesday, March 5, 2013

5 March 2013: Steven Wilson and North Atlantic Oscillation

The Raven That Refused to Sing (And Other Stories) is the third solo album by British musician Steven Wilson, released by Kscope Music Records on 25 February 2013. Each track on the album is based on a story of the supernatural. Alan Parsons, well known in part for his involvement in Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon, was responsible for engineering the album. (More below)
North Atlantic Oscillation are a post-progressive rock and electronica band from Edinburgh, Scotland. They are signed to the Kscope record label and released their debut album Grappling Hooks on 22 March 2010. The band currently consists of Sam Healy (lead vocals, guitars, keyboards), Ben Martin (drums, programming) and Chris Howard (bass, bass synth, backing vocals).
Their music has been compared to contemporary American bands such as Grandaddy and The Flaming Lips, Scottish bands such as The Beta Band, and 70s prog-rock band Pink Floyd.[5] Their music combines elements of electronic beats with alt-rock guitars and "hazy vocals".[2] The band are responsible for the production of every one of the samples used in their recordings.[1]

The Raven That Refused to Sing

Background

After finishing the touring cycle for Porcupine Tree's The Incident in 2010, Wilson would spend the rest of the year, and 2011, recording and releasing his second solo album, Grace for Drowning, and Blackfield's third album Welcome to my DNA. While initially planning on returning to Porcupine Tree in "early 2012",[3] this soon changed, with Wilson announcing that he would continue to focus his future on his solo career. This new focus included a second leg of touring in support of Grace for Drowning, in the first half of 2012, and then returning to the studio with the live band to record a third solo album.[4] aiming for an early 2013 release,[5] with plans for touring in support of the album for "much of the year" – throughout 2013.[6]

Writing and recording

"Luminol" was first performed by Wilson and his band on the second half of his Grace for Drowning tour. The song takes its inspiration from a busker, who, according to Wilson, is "there every single day. It doesn’t matter what the weather is like; he’s always there, playing his acoustic guitar and singing these songs. Snow, rain, gale force wind – nothing will stop him from being in his spot. ... He’s the kind of guy who is so set in his routine that even death wouldn’t stop him." Wilson considers the notion "that somebody could be a ghost in life, as well as a ghost in death, somebody who’s completely ignored even in their lifetime – it hardly makes a difference; and death doesn’t make a difference, either; it doesn’t break the routine."[7]
"Drive Home" is based on a suggestion from illustrator Hajo Mueller. It is "about a couple driving along in a car at night, very much in love; the guy is driving, and his partner – his wife or girlfriend or whoever she is – is in the passenger seat, and the next minute she’s gone." The ghost of the man's partner eventually returns, "saying, ‘I’m going to remind you now what happened that night.’ There was a terrible car accident, and she died, etcetera, etcetera – again, the idea of trauma leading to a missing part of this guy’s life. He can’t deal with the reality of what happened, so he blocks it out – like taking a piece of tape and editing a big chunk out of it."[8]
According to Wilson, "The Holy Drinker" concerns "a guy who’s very pious, very religious, preachy and self-righteous. I’m thinking of TV evangelist-types – guys who are prepared to tell people that they’re living their lives wrong and that they’re missing something because they don’t believe in God or whatever it is." The man, who, despite criticising other people's lifestyles, is himself an alcoholic, unwittingly challenges the Devil to a drinking competition, with disastrous consequences: "Of course, you can’t beat the Devil at a drinking competition – you can’t beat the Devil at anything – and so he loses. ... He gets dragged to Hell."[9]
"The Pin Drop" addresses "the concept that you can be with someone because it’s comfortable and convenient, not because there’s any love or empathy." Wilson explains that "The song is basically sung by the wife. She’s dead, she’s been thrown in the river by the husband, and she’s floating down in the river while singing this song – from beyond death, beyond the grave, as it were." The song considers "The idea... that sometimes in a relationship there can be so much tension, so much unspoken resentment and hatred, that the tiniest thing can set off a violent episode, and in this case, one that ends in tragedy. The sound of a pin dropping on a floor can be the thing that instigates the fury."[10]
The fifth track on the album explores "the story of the watchmaker, the guy who is meticulous about his craft, but he never has any kind of emotional outburst, nor does he express violence or any extreme emotions whatsoever." It concerns "a couple who have been together for 50 years or more, purely because it was convenient and comfortable." Wilson explains that "The watchmaker ends up killing his wife and burying her under the floorboards of his workshop. But, of course, she comes back, because she’s been with him for 50 years; she’s not going to leave him now." The song concludes when "the wife comes back to take him with her, which", Wilson suggests, "is another classic ghost story, in a way."[11]
The title track explores the story of "an old man at the end of his life who is waiting to die. He thinks back to a time in his childhood when he was incredibly close to his older sister. She was everything to him, and he was everything to her. Unfortunately, she died when they were both very young." The man becomes convinced that a raven, who visits the man's garden, is something of "a symbol or a manifestation of his sister. The thing is, his sister would sing to him whenever he was afraid or insecure, and it was a calming influence on him. In his ignorance, he decides that if he can get the raven to sing to him, it will be the final proof that this is, in fact, his sister who has come back to take him with her to the next life."[12]

Release

A music video for "The Raven That Refused to Sing" was released on 8 February 2013. The video, based on Hajo Mueller's artwork,[13] was directed by Jess Cope and Simon Cartwright, who were also responsible for the video for Storm Corrosion's "Drag Ropes".[14] The album was released on February 25, 2013.

Reception

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 84/100[15]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars [16]
The Guardian 5/5 stars [17]
Metal Hammer 9/10 stars[18]
musicOMH 3.5/5 stars[19]
Sound & Vision (favourable) [20]
Sputnikmusic 4.0/5 stars[21]
The album has been generally well-received. The Guardian praised the album for being "stripped-down art rock thud before morphing seamlessly into all manner of wildly evocative soundscapes, melodic crescendos and mellotron-drenched fever dreams ... this album shows Wilson to be one of modern rock's most cunning and soulful protagonists."[17] Allmusic deemed it "the best of Wilson's three solo projects", stating that the album is "skillfully written music with expertly arranged compositions of color, nuance, texture, dynamics, narrative, and artfulness played by a group of stellar musicians."[16]

Track listing

All music composed by Steven Wilson.
No. Title Length
1. "Luminol"   12:10
2. "Drive Home"   7:37
3. "The Holy Drinker"   10:14
4. "The Pin Drop"   5:03
5. "The Watchmaker"   11:42
6. "The Raven That Refused to Sing"   7:57