Friday, April 17, 2015

April 17th, 2015 - The Three-Eyed Raven That Refused To Sing...

Good evening!  I'm gonna get a bit wordy on you tonight.  The Meista here tonight pairing a Game Of Thrones: Three-Eyed Raven Dark Saison Ale from Brewery Ommegang and Steven Wilson's "The Raven That Refused to Sing (And Other Stories)"!  This one goes out to my brother Dain-o!!  Cheers bud!!

Album Info:
  • Artist: Steven Wilson
  • Title: "The Raven That Refused to Sing (And Other Stories)"
  • Recorded: East West Studios, Los Angeles September 15th through 21st, 2012
  • Release date: February 25th, 2013 (3rd solo studio album by Steven Wilson)
  • Record company: Kscope
  • Album cover art: Hajo Mueller
  • Personnel: Steven Wilson  (lead vocals, mellotron, keyboards, guitars, production, and bass guitar on "The Holy Drinker") with Nick Beggs (bass guitar, Chapman Stick on "The Holy Drinker", and backing vocals), Guthrie Govan (lead guitar), Adam Holzman (keyboards, hammond organ, piano, and Minimoog), Marco Minnemann (drums and percussion), and Theo Travis (clarinet, flute, and saxophone)
  • Additional musicians: Jakko Jakszyk (additional vocals on "Luminol" and "The Watchmaker"), Alan Parsons (haw-haw guitar on "The Holy Drinker"), and strings arranged by Dave Stewart and performed by the London Session Orchestra
  • Musical style: Progressive rock, art rock, jazz-fusion
  • Sound: With the inventive and melodic tenacity of bands like Genesis, King Crimson, Pink Floyd, and Yes along with the rock and roll sensibility of The Beatles, Steven Wilson's "The Raven That Refused to Sing (And Other Stories)" is a profoundly breathtaking experience.  The guitar work of Govan alone is worthy of a pairing!
  • Major themes: A concept album in the sense that each song's subject matter is based in the supernatural, but analogous to the despair, mistakes, memories, pain, love, etc. that we all face in life.  (See more below in the track descriptions.)
  • Tracks (with Steven Wilson's descriptions of the subject matter/themes of each song): 
  1. "Luminol" - "somebody could be a ghost in life, as well as a ghost in death, somebody who’s completely ignored even in their lifetime – it hardly makes a difference; and death doesn’t make a difference, either; it doesn’t break the routine."[
  2. "Drive Home" - "about a couple driving along in a car at night, very much in love; the guy is driving, and his partner – his wife or girlfriend or whoever she is – is in the passenger seat, and the next minute she’s gone." The ghost of the woman eventually returns, "saying, ‘I’m going to remind you now what happened that night.’ There was a terrible car accident, and she died, etcetera, etcetera – again, the idea of trauma leading to a missing part of this guy’s life. He can’t deal with the reality of what happened, so he blocks it out – like taking a piece of tape and editing a big chunk out of it."
  3. "The Holy Drinker" - "a guy who’s very pious, very religious, preachy and self-righteous. I’m thinking of TV evangelist-types – guys who are prepared to tell people that they’re living their lives wrong and that they’re missing something because they don’t believe in God or whatever it is." The man is an alcoholic and unwittingly challenges the Devil to a drinking competition.   "Of course, you can’t beat the Devil at a drinking competition – you can’t beat the Devil at anything – and so he loses. ... He gets dragged to Hell."
  4. "The Pin Drop" - "the concept that you can be with someone because it’s comfortable and convenient, not because there’s any love or empathy.  The song is basically sung by the wife. She’s dead, she’s been thrown in the river by the husband, and she’s floating down in the river while singing this song – from beyond death, beyond the grave, as it were.  The idea... that sometimes in a relationship there can be so much tension, so much unspoken resentment and hatred, that the tiniest thing can set off a violent episode, and in this case, one that ends in tragedy. The sound of a pin dropping on a floor can be the thing that instigates the fury."
  5. "The Watchmaker" - "the story of the watchmaker, the guy who is meticulous about his craft, but he never has any kind of emotional outburst, nor does he express violence or any extreme emotions whatsoever." He's been married for "50 years or more, purely because it was convenient and comfortable.  The watchmaker ends up killing his wife and burying her under the floorboards of his workshop. But, of course, she comes back, because she’s been with him for 50 years; she’s not going to leave him now.  The wife comes back to take him with her, which is another classic ghost story, in a way."
  6. "The Raven That Refused To Sing" - "an old man at the end of his life who is waiting to die. He thinks back to a time in his childhood when he was incredibly close to his older sister. She was everything to him, and he was everything to her. Unfortunately, she died when they were both very young." He believes a raven in his garden is "a symbol or a manifestation of his sister. The thing is, his sister would sing to him whenever he was afraid or insecure, and it was a calming influence on him. In his ignorance, he decides that if he can get the raven to sing to him, it will be the final proof that this is, in fact, his sister who has come back to take him with her to the next life."

    Brew Info:
  • Brewery: Brewery Ommegang (Cooperstown, New York)
  • Website:
  • Brew: Game Of Thrones: Three-Eyed Raven Dark Saison Ale
  • Style: Dark Saison / Belgian Dubbel / Farmhouse Ale
  • Serving: 22 ounce bottle
  • ABV: 7.2%
  • Pour: Pours a deep, dark mahogany hue with a huge rocky, 2 to 3-finger, light mocha head that slowly fades down to a frothy cap, leaving layered lacing.
    Nose: The nose of the Three-Eyed Raven Dark Saison is characterized by lots of fruit ester, spices, doughy bread, and a slight hint of barnyard funk.  There are aromas of plums, raisins, grapes, pumpkin spice bread, lemon zest, ripe banana, nutmeg, cocoa, and vanilla.
  • Taste: The flavor follows the nose and is a wonderful blend of chardonnay and dark fruits along with Belgian yeast.  There are flavorful and richly textured notes of white grapes, lemon, banana, soft pumpkin, Tootsie Rolls, exotic spices, and a hint of vanilla extract, pink bubblegum, and spiced rum in the finish.
  • Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate to high carbonation, the Three-Eyed Raven Dark Saison is very frothy, crisp, somewhat tart and biting, and refreshing.  The finish is dry, slightly hoppy, and full of lingering spices.
Overall pairing: The stellar musicianship and writing of the brilliant Steven Wilson requires an ale of complexity, depth, ingenuity, and intrigue... thus the Game Of Thrones: Three-Eyed Raven Dark Saison Ale from Brewery Ommegang!  Like the ale, "The Raven That Refused to Sing (And Other Stories)" is a richly textured blend of artistry and passion!

Cheers to you!

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