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on 7 November 2011
A pleasant surprise. This double CD shows a maturity of musicians say their composition and musical creativity. No doubt a great job that takes us to sound engaging and stimulating.
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on 31 July 2016
Just brilliant
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on 2 October 2011
When I first got news that Steven was going to record a second album I was so excited about it I couldn't wait. Every vid on his sight I watched. And I was on the sight every other day. When the song track one was released I loved the vid with Steven playing the guitar then the sound distorts a little the vision in the background. Simply amazing. Then index which I loved the song and is still my fav from the album. Then reminder of the black dog which is a long song which the intro seems a little bit long but when you get into it the song is amazing. Then I got the album and I could not wait to play it all. My only disappointment was that the order from amazon has the cardboard slipcase over a plastic case which I prefer the small books for the look and feel of them. The artwork is similar to insurgentes which I like allot with the photos of Steven with the weird effects on then the occasion shot of nature. There are some standout tracks on this album like (deform to form a star, postcard, index and like dust I have cleared from my eye) all are amazing and I love the songs with vocals most from Stevens new album or albums as this is 2 albums in one.
Music is a hard business and I'm sure it was good hard work getting 80 mins of music that is to a degree original yet still distinctive to Wilson. the only track than I myself can't get into that much is raider II as it is long but it still has allot of change thorough but it's just not in my personal taste the rest of this album is pure gold and every listen is more enjoyable than the last.
I think this album is defiantly on my top 5 from Wilson out of all his projects and his many years of righting and I think it is better than insurgentes which was a top notch album.
Stevens work just keeps getting better
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on 4 October 2011
Steven Wilson never does things by halves. And Grace For Drowning is no exception. With this being one of my most anticipated releases this year (along with Opeth's Heritage) I was hoping that it wouldn't disappoint, and I can happily say that it doesn't.

Broken up into two discrete albums, Grace for Drowning starts with the beautifully mellow title track which leads into the thumping instrumental Sectarian. It's a driving, energetic piece which shows it's roots in seventies Prog and also alludes to the more jazzier sections which will appear on the album later on. Sectarians leads into the 'title track' of the first album, which is Deform to Form a Star. Now this to me embodies everything that Steven Wilson is all about. A beautiful ballad, incredibly well constructed and performed. Lush harmonies make up the sublime chorus, and to me, one of the best songs on the entire record (sorry, showing my age there). No Part of Me is up next, and this feels a lot more laid back - a light and airy track laid on a bed of soft electronica which leads into a heavier closing section. If anything, this track highlights the level of diversity which appears on the album as a whole - it would be impossible to label this album, or to pigeon-hole it into any one category, as there are bits of everything in here - and that is a good thing believe me. As the glitchy electronica fades, the soft piano of Postcard kicks in - and again, another one of Wilson's masterstrokes. An impossibly sad song, which climaxes in strings and choirs - magical stuff. Raider Prelude is exactly what it says, a short instrumental piece which prepares the listener for the second album's centrepiece. A short number, but it doesn't need to much more than it is. The final track on "Deform" is Remainder the Black Dog - an unusually titled piece which drifts from Jazz to Rock and back again. This track feels darker than the rest and is a good closer, as it paves the way for disc two.

Like Dust I have Cleared from my Eye is the second disc of the album and opens with Belle De Jour, a pretty little instrumental which lightens the mood a little after the closing strains of Remainder, but the mood isn't lightened for long, as the listener is then taken into the dark side of Wilson's imagination with Index - a dark and brooding piece where Fender Rhodes and electronic beats are the foundation for some of Wilson's darkest words - this track swings from minimalistic to frenetic and the ending could be described as epic as it builds into a crescendo of strings and electronica. Immediately crashing down from Index, the listener is taken into the quiet Track One, which has a few twists and turns of it's own to offer. The opening notes of Raider II really set the scene - this is the centrepiece of the entire record, clocking in at over 23 minutes. This track has everything - dark and mysterious, wild, rocky, jazzy, slow, epic, electronic - all under one roof - it really is a special piece of music. If there was one track to showcase the wonderful musicianship which went into making this album, this would be it. Absolutely wonderful. The second disc closes with it's title track which is a melancholy ballad set over electric guitar, and fades out to the tones of a hammond organ.

This is wonderful listening experience. The whole offering takes the listener on a wild ride of ups and downs, and is everything that you would expect, and probably lots that you wouldn't expect from a Steven Wilson project. This is not Porcupine Tree, it's not Blackfield or No-Man - but you can hear their influences - this is Steven Wilson doing exactly what he wants without the constraints of anyone else, and the result is incredible. Buy it now, you won't be disappointed.
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on 28 September 2011
I am well impressed with this album. Steven has made remarkable things in the past but never as eclectic in style. If you like long musical passages with layers of sound, composed and produced with a great attention to detail, you will find it all here. I believe this album will appeal to a wide spectrum of fans, including those yet not familiar with Steven's great talent. There is something for rock, jazz and even classical music fans. I find the album more mature and in many ways better than his debut. It is hard to say if any of the songs can become potential classics, perhaps there are no hit songs, but the album seems to have good odds to become a classic as a whole. I rarely hear albums so elaborated, still interesting and enjoyable after a few careful listens. If you already are a Porcupine Tree/Steven Wilson's fan this album is simply a must. I could as easily recommend it to anyone with a taste for a high quality progressive rock, certainly too demanding to reach the so called mass audience. Thanks to Amazon for a quick download.
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on 24 December 2011
I found this disc (my first ever Blu Ray Audio disc) a bit daunting with so much music available, the original stereo version, the 5.1 version, the demo's and the video clips. It has taken me weeks to really get a good listen to this and I have concluded this is a brilliant piece of work and deserves to be put in that category of musical excellence.

I have seen Porcupine Tree in concert and this disc does represent a more sedate music, however there is a lot of power in beauty and this disc really captures the musicianship and craftsmanship of Steven Wilson.

I didn't buy this on Amazon.Uk as they don't seem to be bothered to list it, I brought it at JB Hifi in Australia.

A must get.
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on 20 October 2011
It's very rare to find an album, let alone musician whose music is a timeless piece of art and creativity. With the second solo release from Steven Wilson, I am nothing less than impressed with his ability to create and layer sounds that I would never expect, or have ever heard before on an album. He has a unique skill to be able to put emotions in to each chord, and each note that comprises a song and album as a whole. This album can be listened to countless times over and what makes it most special and separates it from most music today is that it can be listened to as a whole without having to skip a song, or just play your favorites. Greatness does not even begin to describe how well put together and what pure genius this album is. Buy it. Enjoy it. Share it with everyone you know!!!
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on 6 October 2011
With Grace For Drowning, Steven Wilson achieves musical apex.

Grace For Drowning seems a long time coming for Mr. Wilson. The range of influences in this album are incredible, and manage to create an amazing listening experience. Dark, experimental, jazzy, lonely, and erratic are some ways to describe Grace For Drowning... but the only way to really "describe" the album has to be done through careful listening. GFD gets only better and better with each listen. The production value, as always, is extremely good. Steven's main collaborator on this record is obviously Swede Lasse Hoile, and his artwork is a great companion to the music.

Without a doubt certainly one of Steven Wilson's greatest works. If you're a fan of experimental, dark, or jazz music, please do yourself a favor and purchase this LP. You will not regret it. Bravo, Mr. Wilson, you have once again surpassed all expectations!
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on 22 October 2011
I am a relative recent fan of Steven Wilson.I got into Porcupine Tree about 3 odd years ago and therefore am more familier with his PT catalogue, this is my first experience of his solo work and I must say I'm completely blown by it.

I will not give detials on songs as most of the reviews have covered the songs pretty well. I will give an over all feel of the album from the perspective of a PT fan listening to Steven's solo work for the first time.

Though not as mainstream as the PT albums in respect to the riffs or the vocal consistency there are elements in this album that reminds one of PT (the slower ballads). That said, this album is far greater in breadth and depth and though a casual listener may not be able to appreciate this album much any investment of multiple listens will give the listener pleasure as great if not greater than the more popular PT releases. The intricacies and depth of some of the songs is mind boggling. Small twists and build ups with classic melody and instrumental passages at times slow that work towards atmosphere creation with keys, Synths (not being a musician I may be a bit off track here) guitar and background vocals and at other times jazz/70's influenced passages.

As indicated in other reviews the first CD is more mainstream, the second is darker and far more experimental with the exceptionally brilliant 23 minute 'Raiders II', a slow snail paced start to a fantastic instrumental build up with flute (or flute sounding instrument) and quite a few twists and turns. If you are willing to put the effort and give time to this song it will more than repay you with many listens with ever changing favourite parts for you. I disagree with some posts stating this song is too long and would have been better if shortened. To me this could be amongst the real great 20 minuters ever.

All in all this album needs a few listens to grow on you as any good progressive album should. Steven Wilson has not disappointed and has made a gem, the production of the album is fantastic a forgone conclusion given that Steven is at the helm. Opeth's 'Heritage' is also a great record to come out at this time and comparissons between the two is bound to happen considering the close association of Steven with Opeth. I personally feel that this album is more fulfilling than 'Heritage' as it is keeps the listener guessing all the time and flows better.

Overall wonderfull stuff, very rare to get mainstream musicians bringing albums of this quality on personal releases. I feel this will be a classic in the days to come. A fantastic effort by Mr. Wilson.
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on 5 October 2011
If looking for a quick and summarizing review - you owe it to yourself, whether you are familiar with Steven Wilson or a complete newcomer, to buy this album and experience it for yourself. It is timeless.

Coming from a fan of a wide range of music, ranging from jazz, to classic and progressive rock, to extreme metal, etc...This an album for anyone who loves music and the complete merging of passion and emotion with sound. There are some of the most soothing, beautiful, well written melodies I've ever heard throughout the album. Yes, I do mean ever. From the opening title track, to Deform to Form a Star, Postcard, and the absolutely beautiful closing track Like Dust I have Cleared from my Eye...it is song writing at a level that few reach in their career. Timeless perfect melodies without the need for complexity or arrogance. Just...pure.

The album itself must, without doubt, be viewed as the piece that it is. The beauty of the album is how the aforementioned melody and beauty is intertwined seamlessly with dark, jazzy, unconventional at times songs as well. The song track 1 itself is representative of that contrast blending a smooth and beautiful acoustic/vocal with a heavy, brooding, dark sound. There are moments on the album I only can think to describe as dark jazz....I've really heard nothing like it. The album is absolutely heavy at times...but not in the traditional loud guitar way. It's a heavy, brooding bass that drives home the heaviness in a much more cerebral way. Sectarian and Raider II (which itself could have a review written of it - a complete epic journey of a song representing SW's mastery of his influences) are good examples...Every song, without sparing a second, is top notch and a perfect small piece of the whole that is Grace for Drowning.

Timeless song writing, perfect production (the concepts/art work of Lasse Hoile are as wonderful as ever), and an album with just an absolutely gorgeous blend of emotions on every level. I really could not ask for more in a record. That is what makes those albums throughout time that hang around and always have something to offer you, no matter how many spins, or how many years its been since the first experience. A true five star album.
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