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Articles Home » 2013 Articles » Blackfield - 2013 IV
Blackfield - 2013 IV

ARTIST: Blackfield
LABEL: Kscope
YEAR: 2013


LINEUP: Aviv Geffen - lead & backing vocals, guitars, keyboards * Steven Wilson - lead & backing vocals, guitars * Seffy Efrati - bass * Tomer Z - drums, percussion * Eran Mitelman - piano, keyboards

Additional Musicians: Vincent Cavanagh, Brett Anderson, Jonathan Donahue - lead vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Pills * 02 Springtime * 03 X-Ray * 04 Sense Of Insanity * 05 Firefly * 06 The Only Fool Is Me * 07 Jupiter * 08 Kissed By The Devil * 09 Lost Souls * 10 Faking * 11 After The Rain



These days there's no escaping Steven Wilson, he's everywhere. Be it producing, mixing, or releasing his own music on an increasingly prolific level; the bespectacled godhead of progressive rock is unstoppable at the moment although that's not necessarily a bad thing. His new Alan Parsons produced solo album 'The Raven That Refused To Sing (And Other Stories)' is one of the best, if not the best progressive album I've heard this year as is the latest from Blackfield, his long-running prog pop project with Israeli superstar Aviv Geffen. Blackfield formed when Wilson's immensely popular Porcupine Tree was invited by Geffen to play a gig in Israel. The pair hit it off and since 2004 have released five albums together although with Steven's hectic schedule, his contributions to the latest Blackfield project 'IV' has been limited to mixing and a handful of guitar and vocal appearances.

The Songs
Perhaps Wilson's part-time shift was a good thing as this is Blackfield's strongest album to date. Geffen is no second rate musician and with an extensive solo career as Israel's David Bowie; he's pulled in a few friends to help out including Brett Anderson from Brit-popsters Suede, Mercury Rev's Jonathan Donahue and Anathema vocalist Vincent Cavanagh. The results are impressive to say the least. Melodic, mainstream and richly orchestrated with a striking blend of Pink Floyd meets ELO and The Beatles; 'IV' is exhilarating although a mite too short, clocking in at just over a half hour. Quality over quantity as Wilson sings on two of the discs best tracks, opener 'Pills', a commentary on our sadly medicated society and the cosmic Jeff Lynne influenced 'Jupiter' while sharing vocals with Geffen on the poignant but catchy 'Sense Of Insanity' which has been smartly picked as the album's first single. The always stylish Brett Anderson slinks his way through 'Firefly' with a Scott Walker-ish croon, pulsating beat and cinematic stings, it's my favourite of the set and although Blackfield venture a little too close to run-of-the-mill alternative on the Foo Fighters styled 'Lost Souls', 'IV' is a compelling album that should have wide appeal for GD readers and melodic fans in general.

In Summary
Steven Wilson will be touring with Blackfield in 2014 so maybe his 'here and there' relationship with this album has been much ado about nothing. Geffen already has plans for a sixth Blackfield album with a short list of art pop personalities he wants to work with. Can't wait! Finally a not needed but I'll do it anyway plug for Kscope which next to Esoteric is the best progressive label running at the moment. Their catalog is knee-deep in modern prog goodies and well-worth checking out. Start here.

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#1 | englandashes on September 16 2013 12:15:50
Beat me to it Eric with this article!, yes totally agree with Eric on this one, very impressed with this album, the use of different singers worked, especially Brett Anderson, who I never really bothered with in the past. At only 30 odd minutes, it still works and more Geffen influence rather than Wilson has only made this better. Great album.
#2 | Jez on September 17 2013 21:55:49
I've really liked all 3 previous Blackfield albums and this one is no different. Great songs and performances. My grumble is the same, i'd like at least a 40 minute album not 30 with songs this good.
#3 | gdazegod on September 18 2013 00:56:52
Chris, there's nothing to stop you from writing your own synoposis of this album..
#4 | Eric on September 18 2013 03:14:33
#5 | englandashes on September 21 2013 17:58:25
Will do, chaps! many thanks
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