Steven Wilson - The Raven That Refused To Sing (And Other Stories)

Ghostly tales make no horror story

When Steven Wilson gave us
the majestic Grace For
Drowning in 2011 it seemed
like an unquenchable
outpouring of stylistic
experiments that still coalesced
into a whole. While hard to love,
it was a towering achievement.

This follow-up is a more
restrained six songs across 55
minutes (though there are
a number of formats available,
including a 2-CD, DVD and
Blu-ray box set), with Wilson
focusing on Victorian horror
stories, taking inspiration from
the works of Edgar Allan Poe
and the Welsh supernaturalist
Arthur Machen. It’s an album
concerned with resonance and
echoes from the past: the
imprints that are made on
locations by individuals’
passions and life-forces; in that
sense it has a lingering quality
that lilts somewhere between
the pastoral and the esoteric.

As with Grace For Drowning,
there’s a merging of Canterbury
jazz with a smoothly progressive
symphonics and heavier rock
outlook. Anyone looking for
Wilson’s intriguing twists and
turns won’t find them here,
though. Despite the eclectic
background material, it feels
like a consolidation rather than
a development.

3 stars 3 stars 3 stars

Kscope | KSCOPE 240

Reviewed by Ian Abrahams
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