Blackfield IV is the fourth studio album by Aviv Geffen and Steven Wilson. The two formed Blackfield in 2000 after Wilson’s band Porcupine Tree performed with Geffen in Israel. This album contains 11 tracks with a run time just over 30 minutes. Members of Suede, Mercury Rev and Anathema all take guest vocal spots on the LP. “Jupiter” is a beautifully written number that includes strings, keys and acoustic guitars to convey emotions. Wilson performed lead vocals for “Jupiter” as well as for “Pills.” The production of “Pills” is worth taking notice, as it creates a mix of haunting yet beautiful vibes. Blackfield does a great job of using layers that work well together to form a wall of sound. The melodies in “The Only Fool Is Me” are exceptional, with this short cut being the highlight for me. “Xray” and “Faking” follow the same format with strong vocal performances from Vincent Cavanagh and Geffen that blend in well with the music.

“Lost Souls” is an upbeat gem that makes great use of clean chords and backing vocals. The fretwork in the background brings out perfect melodies that give the song an extra layer. “Springtime” features bright tones and picked chords that contrast well with the vocals. “Sense Of Insanity” starts off slow and soon erupts with a fast cymbal/snare drumbeat. Drums start “Firefly” off with a nice tom/cymbal beat that drives the quick pace of the song. Slightly reminiscent to the classic rock era of the ‘60s and ‘70s, the elements of pop and rock play a key role in this band’s success.

A lot of work was put into Blackfield IV and the end result showcases that. The production by Geffen is truly impressive as strings, keys, acoustic and electric guitars all provide background for the various vocalists. Blackfield IV stands out amongst the rest of the releases of 2013.

In A Word: Engaging

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