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

2021-02-14
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more

2021-02-10
Chick Corea RIP – The sad news has reached us that Chick Corea has Returned to Forever, so to speak. The innovative keyboardist and composer died on February 9 at the age of 79. With a career that spanned from the 60s until shortly before his death, Corea touched many listeners with the incredible variety of music he produced in his lifetime. » Read more

2021-01-18
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more

2020-12-09
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more

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


Previously in Exposé...

Quarkspace - Spacefolds 3 – Space-rockers from Columbus, Ohio, Quarkspace are back with volume three in their Spacefolds series. This four track EP, while rooted in traditional space rock a-la Hawkwind nevertheless manages to...  (1998) » Read more

Stinkhorn - Stinkhorn & Tunguska – Stinkhorn was one of Seattle’s most challenging modern jazz quartets, blending John Zorn style motifs and English fusion approaches. Strong comparisons to George Cartwright and Curlew can be made...  (2006) » Read more

Philip Pickett - The Bones of All Men – The subtitle on the cover continues after the title: “and of several remarkable curiosities therein occurring being a compendium of Dances, Pavannes, Steps and such, played this time by Mr Philip...  (1999) » Read more

Mari Boine - Eight Seasons & Remixed – NorthSide’s releases of Wimme’s CDs have provided the most visible presence of Sami music in North America, but Mari Boine has been recording longer, and is fairly well known in the world music...  (2003) » Read more

Biglietto per l'Inferno - Biglietto per l'Inferno – Like Banco and Corte dei Miracoli, Italian's Biglietto were a dual-keyboard led group although their music was a much heavier affair than either of those two bands, with a style influenced by hard...  (1995) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues