Having accomplished what he felt he could with Porcupine Tree, Steven Wilson embarked on a solo career in 2008. With his first 2 solo albums, ‘Insurgentes’ and ‘Grace for Drowning’, Wilson explored new instrumentation, songwriting arrangements and mostly strayed completely away from his Porcupine Tree days. With his 3rd album, 2013’s ‘The Raven That Refused to Sing’, Wilson hit his high-water mark. Combining his love of ’70s classic Prog albums with his solo experimentation, and a hint of a return to his previous band, ‘Raven’ became the most successful album of his career.
The 6 tracks on the album cover a lot of territory, from the aggressive opener “Luminol” to the gorgeous ballad “Drive Home” to the epic story “The Watchmaker”. With an excellent band behind him including Nick Beggs (bass), Marco Minnemann (drums), Guthrie Govan (guitar), Alan Holzman (Keys), and Theo Travis (Flute/Saxophone), the performances are flawless. But the highlight of the collection is the title track, a haunting song about loss and death.
In an interview with The Prog Report, Wilson described “The Raven That Refused to Song” as the best song he has ever written. “I think the Raven is the best song I ever wrote and I say that to the audience. It’s a song that I will struggle to better the rest of my career. Well you know what, the great thing about it is, I wrote it 20 years into my career and to be writing your best music 20 years into your career, I’ll settle for that.”
Find out more about the album in the book ‘Essential Modern Progressive Rock Albums’ here.
Wilson followed up the album with another that would surpass it in sales, ‘Hand.Cannot.Erase’ in 2015.