Sound — 9
Steven Wilson has always been a musician keen on quality when it comes to music. Both he and Aviv Geffen made sure this album would have excellent sound. If anyone has listened to Porcupine Tree's album "The Incident" one would note the similar kind of quality -- this is a good thing since the PT's album was nominated for a Grammy in Surround Sound. Anyway, the music in Welcome To My DNA is a bit different from their previous two albums. This work is a little darker and more emotional. However, the blend of strings, guitars, percussion, and vocals are superb. This is melancholic/art rock and it sounds great. SW's vocals with Geffen's are a good mix. Apart, on the other hand, is a different story. Steven sounds a bit stiff and Aviv is bit too soft and a bit off maybe (Dissolving with the Night). Overall, Welcome To My DNA delivers on sound quality in comparison to other bands.
Lyrics — 9
I understand that this album is includes topics ranging from love, sadness, and God (according to Aviv Geffen), and they fit with the music perfectly. Blackfield represents beauty and simplicity -- correlating to the music and lyrics, respectively. As stated above, Steven and Aviv sound great together but average alone. This could be due to the mood of this album compared to I and II.
Overall Impression — 9
This album should not be compared to Porcupine Tree. Blackfield is a different SW project -- a collaboration between him and Aviv. Now onto the songs: 01. Glass House: 8 A great album opener meshed with soft vocals, guitars, and strings. Listening to this song while looking at the album cover will create a better album-intro experience. "Glass House" is missing something though. Maybe it is too short? 02. Go to Hell: 8 Yes the lyrics repeat but they were used for a reason. This song presents the new side of Blackfield by giving them more of an edge, which is what Welcome To My DNA represents. I was expecting more of a build-up toward the end of this song (a happier tone instead of minor keys). It's still good nonetheless. 03. Rising of the Tide: 10 Smooth jazz-like guitar riffs, soft piano, vocal blends -- enough said. This song is one of my personal favorites. If only this song were longer. "Rising of the Tide" is a good song transition to "Waving." 04. Waving: 10 Another one of my favorites. "Waving" is performed on a more positive tone and it's quite catchy too. Steven did this song justice. Even though the song is comprised of two chords, it's still magic. 05. Far Away: 8 The acoustic guitar really brings out the beauty of this song. The vocals are not spectacular but nice. "Far Away" calms one down after hearing "Waving." 06. Dissolving with the Night: 6 I do enjoy long, 20 min + psychedelic pieces but this song is more like a repetitive, five-minute build-up that drags on too long. Geffen's voice was a bit mediocre in this song (compared to his previous solo works), and turned me off. Oh well. Every album has its imperfections. 07. Blood: 8 Wow, I did not see this coming. This is Blackfield's heaviest song to date, but I hope the band doesn't get harder than this. Blackfield represents dreamy art rock and should set itself apart from the progressive metal sound of Porcupine Tree. "Blood" is still an awesome piece with an inter-cultural blend too. (You have to hear it to understand.) The simplistic lyrics complement the complex blend well. 08. On the Plane: 8 Yes, "Daddy is on the plane." SW returns with the hammond organ. "On the Plane" is a pleasant and mellow song which is needed after hearing "Blood." A bit too bland though. 09. Oxygen: 10 Another favorite. Aviv outdid himself on this one. A catchy and positive tune with a mixture of melody, percussion, voice, and energy. Geffen's soft voice really compliments this song. 10. Zigota: 9 Aviv wrote this song, I believe it was translated as well, and the outcome was a an airy and atmospheric piece of art with a good twist towards the end. 11. DNA: 10 A fitting song to close the album. If the album's title is still unclear, then "DNA" will explain it. "DNA" has blend of strings and Aviv/Steven vocals, meshing nicely -- satisfying my purchase even more. Overall: 9 The first full-album listen did not strike me. It took a good 2-3 times worth of listening to pull me into Welcome To My DNA -- making me glad to have waited and bought this album. Thank you so much Blackfield for this work of art. Props to Aviv, Steven, Eran, Tomer, and Seffy. I hope to see you in San Francisco.