Steven Wilson – “Luminol”
I often find myself thinking about how Steven Wilson – Porcupine Tree frontman and renowned solo artist – was born into the wrong era of music. I mean can you imagine this guy making prog in the 60s or 70s? It feels like he was transposed from those decades, thrust into the present through some accidental time warp. But then again, as strange as it is to hear Wilson make some of the best 70s prog ever in the year 2013, it’s a reminder of just how fortunate we are. I feel lucky to be witnessing one of the most creative minds in music – a wildly untamed talent – at his absolute peak.
And to me, that’s exactly what The Raven That Refused to Sing is. Notice that I name-dropped the album there instead of just one song, because choosing from the six masterpieces on that record is an impossible task – so I went with the one I find myself returning to the most often. “Luminol” is in essence bass-driven prog wizardry, replete with guitar solos, pan flutes, synth flourishes, lush piano reprieves, and Wilson’s sparse but angelic self-harmonizing vocals. In “Luminol”, I hear flashes of just about every masterful prog band from before my time – only updated and blended together in a delectable whirlwind of vision and brilliance. The song rises and falls, finding room to breathe between its many creative ventures; it feels as though it could have been its own self-contained mini-EP. If Raven is Steven Wilson’s solo masterpiece, then “Luminol” is the best possible representation of the lighting that he caught in a bottle for that six-track slice of prog heaven. What a beautiful moment to behold.