Bryan Reesman recently attended a press day & listening session for SW’s upcoming album ‘Grace for Drowning’ in New York, and he’s posted his impressions and details of his overall experience over on his blog here.

He revealed some key information about the album that we didn’t even know about, until now.

Here are some extracts from his article.

‘Grace For Drowning’ features a bevy of talented musicians: bassists Tony Levin, Nick Beggs and Trey Gunn (also on Warr Guitar), sax, flute and clarinet player Theo Travis, drummer Nic France and keyboardist Jordan Rudess, among others. A London string orchestra and a choir were employed for some tracks and arranged by Dave Stewart.

The music is jazzier and more free-flowing than Insurgentes or anything by Porcupine Tree or Blackfield. Upon hearing the entire album, I thought of influences like Brian Eno, Gong, Univers Zero and King Crimson.

Wilson certainly concurred with the latter two, he loves them both.

So, that confirms that Dream Theater’s keyboardist, Jordan Rudess, appears on the album in some form! I suppose we will figure out what track he’s featured on when the album is released in September.

Wilson’s new album opens innocently enough with the title track, a lush tapestry of gentle piano chords and rich vocal harmonies, before diving into the album’s denser sonic realm where dissonance and melodic beauty juxtapose one another and occasionally grapple for dominance, as on “Sectarian” and “Track One,” the latter tune reminiscent of “Abandoner” and “Salvaging” from Insurgentes.

“Deform To Form A Star” is a pretty ballad with a Seventies rock flavour, while “Raider Prelude” sounds like fantasy soundtrack music. Meanwhile the mammoth, 23-minute piece “Raider II” moves everywhere between acoustic beauty and demonic incantations. The 5.1 surround capabilities get used in creative ways throughout Grace For Drowning, such as when “machine gun” bursts of electronic drums dance between the speakers during the brooding “Index” (which was inspired by the John Fowles novel The Collector) or the psychedelic flitterings of flute swirl through the mix of “Remainder The Black Dog”.

Bryan also took some photos while at the event, which you can see in the gallery below!

Two of the photos show stills from Lasse Hoile’s video for ‘Index’ which apparently features Steven in several scenes with mannequins. Bryan described the video on his blog as being strongly influenced by David Lynch. Steven Wilson has said on numerous occasions that he would love to work with David Lynch, preferably to write the soundtrack to one of his films.