Review by: Ali Ghoneim
Album assigned by: Roland Bruynesteyn
Steven Wilson has been behind many of the recent reissues of classic prog rock albums, and after listening to one his own albums, it’s easy to see why. This is a guy who is thoroughly familiar with the prog sound. Unfortunately, while that makes him suited to helming reissuing projects, it doesn’t help make albums like Grace for Drowning terribly exciting. The album faithfully reproduces elements of ITCOTCK-era King Crimson — the apocalyptic choirs, soothing mellotron, hysterical sax, etc. – and mixes them in with drum machines and some metal guitar heroics. The end product bears much of the form of a prog rock album, but in my opinion little of its spirit. I can’t put my finger on it, but the album comes off like the pet project of someone who is more of a producer than a songwriter, making all of the songs seem a bit perfunctory. Instead of being an independently vital and distinct work, Grace for Drowning ends up sounding like a generic calling card for Wilson’s skills as an excellent producer.
To be fair, I should probably give his other albums a shot before I write him off like this.