Steven Wilson: Insurgentes

Music ••••½ DVD-Audio Mix ••••• Extras ••••½
The once and future king of surround has done it again - or, rather, anew. Insurgentes, Porcupine Tree architect Steven Wilson's first proper solo album, pulsates with the confidence of a master creator at his peak in crafting the multichannel mix for this CD+DVD-Audio release.

"No Twilight Within the Courts of the Sun" opens with jazzy interplay between bassist Tony Levin and drummer Gavin Harrison before furious guitar solos from Wilson and Mike Outram swirl around you in a veritable maelstrom. The album's climax comes with "Get All You Deserve," as fuzzy, densely layered NIN-like guitars build in all channels à la "A Day in the Life."

Extras are equally stunning: 18 minutes of visually adventurous excerpts from an upcoming long-form making-of documentary, two album trailers, and five additional 5.1 tracks.

In short, Insurgentes is utterly immersive. Music in surround doesn't get any better than this.