Who: Damian Wilson
What: mainstream melodies with progressive leanings with a singer-songwriter seasoning.
When: year of origin 1997
Sounds Like: Marillion meets Supertramp meets James Taylor.
There is so much good music and never enough time to catch it all however reviewing music helps minimize these losses. No better case than how my paths crossed with Damian Wilson who got his first big musical break as far back as 1993 as the vocalist for the progressive metal band Threshold. My exposure to this way overlooked vocalist did not occur until I heard him while reviewing Celestial Fire, the 2014 solo album of Iona’s keyboardist-guitarist Dave Bainbridge where Wilson made a few appearances.
Damian’s upper register voice was immediately impressive and unique, powerful yet delicate that I immediately went on the internet and quickly found out about his contributions to the critically acclaimed progressive metal band Threshold. I was also pleasantly surprised that he had his own very polarized solo career in tandem with his work with the band, the former dating as far back as 1997 courtesy of his solo debut Cosmas.
Even better this unique vocalist is currently active with his latest solo recording Built For Fighting released in 2016 that is a melodic beauty no matter what the mood and there are many dispositions. From the more immediate upbeat moments of the opener “Thrill Me” or the toe tapping straight forward “All I Need” to the downright naked and stripped down “Fire” equaled by the reflective closer “Battlelines”, no matter what the mood the melodies and music are exquisite. Add in the pure emotional expressive voice of Wilson along with his heartfelt lyrics assisted by his long time producer Andrew Holdsworth the results are built for success.
Needless to say the results of Built For Fighting are so impressive that you will feel compelled to look for the entire body of his solo work but good luck with that. However, at minimum go look for the self depreciating title I Thought The World Was Listening 1997-2011 that covers his first 4 solo albums and also includes 9 unreleased tracks. Needless to say there is enough in there to entice both the initiated and the uninitiated. And Wilson’s producer Andrew Holdsworth sums it up best and I quote when he describes Damian as a man and artist who “…lives life deeply far more deeply than you or I, and he is willing to share the darkest and brightest part of his extraordinary experience.” As a result his music is plain and simply a rainbow of brilliance and to miss out on this extraordinary vocalist/lyricist would be a plain shame.
New Artists coming at you all the time.