ALBUM REVIEW: Porcupine Tree – Closure – Continuation


“Progressive rock” is a term that can encompass a wide variety of sounds. At one point or another in their 35-year history, Porcupine Tree — the brainchild of Steven Wilson — have probably touched upon most of these. Having put out several albums of electronica-infused psychedelic space rock since their formation in 1987, the band reached a peak of critical and commercial success in the 2000s with the metal-influenced experimental songcraft exemplified by In Absentia and Fear of a Blank Planet. By the start of 2011, however, Porcupine Tree appeared to be no more, with Wilson announcing a hiatus to focus on his solo career; he stated as recently as 2018 that getting the band back together “would seem like a terribly backward step”.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Marillion – An Hour Before It’s Dark


Those who stumble across the hallowed pages of Ghost Cult with any degree of regularity, or have had the misfortune to know me and feel obliged to read my writings on any recurring basis, will know that I am not a fan of writers breaking the fourth wall. However, honesty is such a core tenet of Marillion that I feel that starting this review off with full disclosure is not only the best option, but probably the only one.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Soen – Imperial



Analyzing the evolutive process of an artist of a band tends to be a journey full of debacles and details that are indeed interesting. Taking into consideration the personal issues that every artist deals with while writing an album is a very impactful and important aspect of how the final product comes out and one thing is for certain, COVID-19 and all that we lived through 2020 will be a heavy influence in all the albums that we listen to this year. Soen’s Imperial (Silver Lining Music) is no exception. An album as captivating as their last effort Lotus (Silver Lining Music), the Swedish band is expanding what could already be considered their signature sound: strong, beautiful, and catchy ballads that mix heavy sections here and there. Maybe, as mentioned, it is because of all the different situations that everyone went through last year that made the band go through a route that is perceived as sentimental but, more than anything, it feels real.

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John Wesley- Disconnect


John wesley album cover

 

Although not the most household of names, John Wesley is a very important contributor to modern day progressive rock. Most notably John was band and touring guitarist for Porcupine Tree during their acclaimed period of In Absentia through to final album The Incident, as well as an understated solo career, with Disconnect (Inside Out Music) the latest.

Still under the prog rock banner, Disconnect is linked to the genre rather loosely, sharing considerably ground with some of the more inconspicuous components of prog and even at times with moody, post-grunge American rock. Reference points seem to include the likes of A Perfect Circle and Porcupine Tree whilst the likes of ‘Mary Will’ even have some ties with Goo Goo Dolls and the like.

As strong as John’s vocals are here, the real star is his guitar work which interchanges to strong melodic leads to a lower rumbling powerhouse, culminating on the clean acoustics of ‘Satellite’. At times the guitar tone even invokes Adam Jones of Tool’s unique tuning and use of short, but powerful notes. Alex Lifeson contributes to the track ‘Once A Warrior’ too.

Overall a brooding and melancholic album, Disconnect puts John Wesley’s formidable guitar chops right at the forefront, leading some very strong, straightforward and memorable song writing. Not hugely mind-bending and off-kilter as some under the progressive umbrella, but still with plenty of versatility, Disconnect is a highly recommended gem in a very low key solo career.

8/10

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CHRIS TIPPELL