STEVEN WILSON – Grace For Drowning [2020 reissue / remix]
K-scope is reissuing today a 3-disc remix of “Grace For Drowning“, the critically acclaimed second album from STEVEN WILSON, containing the double album across 2 CD’s, and a surround mix Blu-ray.
Steven Wilson, four-time Grammy nominee, multi-instrumentalist, producer, and founder member of Porcupine Tree, released his critically acclaimed album ‘Grace For Drowning’ in 2011, an eclectic record working as a modern homage to the late 60s and early 70s spirit mixing prog, rock, pop, jazz, classical and more. An album that can’t really be described, but it urgently calls to be heard.
“Grace For Drowning” is the second album released under Wilson’s own name, and builds on the artistic inroads he forged with his 2009s exceptionally well received previous effort.
This truly is Steve Wilson’s most ambitious musical project to date. Not only are the instrumentals simply superb but the layering of sounds creates such a wonderfully atmospheric experience reminiscent from the late 60’s to 70’s classic progressive rock music.
Steve managed to take the sounds and feelings of some of the best artists of that era while still making it distinctly his own. King Crimson, ELP, Jethro Tull, ELO are among some of the strong influences that this recording exudes.
The album features a bevy of talented musos: bassists Tony Levin, Nick Beggs and Trey Gunn (also on Warr Guitar), sax, flute and clarinet player Theo Travis, drummer Nic France and ex Dream Theater keyboardist Jordan Rudess, among others. A London string orchestra and a choir were employed for some tracks and arranged by Dave Stewart.
“Grace For Drowning” is certainly a work of art.
The gentle, lullaby-esque title track begins the first disc in a disarmingly tranquil fashion before the riffs of instrumental “Sectarian” twist and turn in a style that would make Robert Fripp proud.
The piano led “Deform to Form a Star” is genuinely beautiful and the metallic trip-hop of “No Part of Me” makes for a bewildering detour.
By the time the first disc closes with the double header of “Raider Prelude” and “Remainder the Black Dog”, the album is veering into progressive jazz territory with delightful results. Yet despite the menagerie of influences and genres present nothing feels out of place.
The second disc again starts off gently with “Belle de Jour”, but progresses into disturbing territory on the creepy “Index” and into full on avant-garde jazz land on the mammoth twenty-three minute “Raider II”.
By the time “Like Dust I Have Cleared from My Eye” closes the album completely, Wilson has managed to lure the listener in not just with incredibly atmospheric soundscapes but also the odd genuine hook or two, and of course some incredible musicianship.
“Grace For Drowning” is a fascinating experience, it takes a good few listens to fully appreciate, but the reward of perseverance is astonishing.
Although there are occasional moments of genuine heaviness, this is not a heavy record. Whilst some of Porcupine Tree’s recent albums could easily be filed in the proggy metal section, this is an album that uses heaviness as a tool only sparingly, making it doubly effective.
Without doubt this is one of the most original records produced in many years and in years to come. It should, with any justice, be remembered as a landmark release by one of the world’s few true ground-breaking artists.
The recording quality / production / mix of the CD’s is excellent which isn’t surprising.
If you are a fan of progressive rock or genuinely good music in general, you owe it to yourself to finally pick up “Grace For Drowning” now it has been reissued.
1 – Grace For Drowning
2 – Sectarian
3 – Deform To Form A Star
4 – No Part Of Me
5 – Postcard
6 – Raider Prelude
7 – Remainder The Black Dog
1 – Belle De Jour
2 – Index
3 – Track One
4 – Raider II
5 – Like Dust I Have Cleared From My Eye
Steven Wilson – Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards
Tony Levin – Bass, Stick
Nick Beggs – Bass
Trey Gunn – Bass, Warr Guitar
Jordan Rudess – Keyboards
Theo Travis – Sax, Flute, Clarinet
Nic France – Drums
Additional recordings made by musicians on location in the UK, USA and Germany