STEVEN WILSON – Transience

STEVEN WILSON - Transience


Label: Kscope
Release date: September 25, 2015

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For a long time Prog Rock has been something of a dirty word in music circles. Sneered at and ridiculed for self-indulgent, long drawn out, complex musical arrangements and a penchant for capes and more keyboards than the Starship Enterprise. Few people if any have done more to turn around the fortunes of the genre then Steven Wilson.

In Porcupine Tree, he dragged Prog Rock kicking and screaming into the modern age combining elements of Trance, Psychedelia, Hard Rock and classic Prog into a potent brew that was totally contemporary and able to cross into boundaries that no other Prog band had been able to before. No goblins or mythical lands were mentioned instead taking on a more real life perspective that helped steer clear of the clichés of old.

Alongside Porcupine Tree Wilson has been involved with a hugely diverse range of projects including No Man, I.E.M, Bass Communion, Blackfield and the collaboration with Opeth’s Mikael Akerfeldt, Storm Corrosion not to mention his ground breaking surround sound mixing work breathing new life into old classics from King Crimson, Jethro Tull and Yes.

If that was not enough work to keep him busy for two lifetimes, Wilson also found time to develop a solo career. Since 2008 Wilson has released four solo albums to huge critical acclaim that has seen his reputation soar ever higher.

Much of Wilson’s solo work is not background music or something you can casually dip in and out of. It takes work and concentration but that effort pays huge dividends for those who persevere. Yet for every sprawling epic or complex master work there is a something altogether more immediate and compact and it is that side of Wilson that Transience caters for.

The idea behind Transience is to bring Wilson’s more accessible side to one place to form an introduction to his work and maybe tempt people to dig a little deeper. Back in the day many may have created a Rush mixtape containing the more streamlined songs such as Closer To The Heart, The Trees and Bastille Day to convert their friends to the joys of Canada’s finest. Transience is Wilson’s “Rush mix tape”.

Featuring songs from across Wilson’s solo career from 2003 to 2015 including a re-recorded version of Porcupine Tree’s Lazarus together with Alanis Morssette’s Thank You, a cut from his series of covers EP’s along with single or edited versions of his album tracks pressed across three sides of vinyl with an etching on the fourth side. Transience features 13 tracks and over one hour of music with a download code included for those who prefer to take their music on the move. The vinyl only issue is sure to become a much sought after collector’s item once the first and only pressing is sold out.

From the opening title track to the album closer, Drive Home, Transience delivers on its promise to give new listeners the perfect introduction to Wilson’s music and even for longstanding fans it gives the opportunity to reappraise his work in a slightly different context. From whichever angle you approach this album, one thing is indisputable, Drive Home is quite simply one of the most beautiful songs from the last few years making Transience an essential purchase for that reason alone.


  • Mick Burgess

    Mick is a reviewer and photographer here at Metal Express Radio, based in the North-East of England. He first fell in love with music after hearing Jeff Wayne's spectacular The War of the Worlds in the cold winter of 1978. Then in the summer of '79 he discovered a copy of Kiss Alive II amongst his sister’s record collection, which literally blew him away! He then quickly found Van Halen I and Rainbow's Down To Earth, and he was well on the way to being rescued from Top 40 radio hell!   Over the ensuing years, he's enjoyed the Classic Rock music of Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, and Deep Purple; the AOR of Journey and Foreigner; the Pomp of Styx and Kansas; the Progressive Metal of Dream Theater, Queensrÿche, and Symphony X; the Goth Metal of Nightwish, Within Temptation, and Epica, and a whole host of other great bands that are too numerous to mention. When he's not listening to music, he watches Sunderland lose more football (soccer) matches than they win, and occasionally, if he has to, he goes to work as a property lawyer.

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