CD Review: Steve D. Wilson “Ad Astra Per Aspera”

Posted: February 27, 2020 in Music
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Steve D. Wilson is an ex-soldier-turned-singer-songwriter from Dallas, Texas who is currently creating his own music as a solo artist. But that wasn’t always the case as he once had been the frontman of the Texas-based Alternative Rock band called The Black Doves. That band would create one album entitled Moments of Clarity, an album that made waves back in 2008.

While the band of The Black Doves has been rather quiet over the years (although they are currently in the middle of creating their long-awaited sophomore release), Steve D. Wilson has kept himself rather busy on his own with his own music. Wilson’s personal collection of original music includes the 2012 EP entitled Discovering Gravity and several other singles that have been released much more recently. In fact, Steve D. Wilson created his latest EP of music only last year. That 2019 EP from Steve D. Wilson is entitled Ad Astra Per Aspera, a Latin phrase that translates to “From Hardships to the Stars”.

Ad Astra Per Aspera from Steve D. Wilson begins with the track entitled “Cheyenne”. Like with both the music of The Black Doves and with his previous EP of Discovering Gravity, “Cheyenne” is a track that features a strong Alternative Rock approach. This track instantly brings to mind the music from the album entitled Moments of Clarity but also some of Wilson’s solo release of Discovering Gravity. In fact, “Cheyenne” finds Wilson taking what had been created musically with his band and shaping it so that there is a familiarity to the music while still feeling different than what had come before. And with the energetic pace of the music, “Cheyenne” gives Wilson’s new release a strong start.

The new release from Steve D. Wilson continues with one of the older songs on the release, “Coming Back to Texas,” a song that was first released back in 2018. With this track, Wilson adds a bit of twang to his music with the use of the slide on the electric guitar. But as the singer-songwriter hails from the state of Texas himself, the addition of the twang to his music seems rather natural. “Coming Back to Texas” is a slow-paced track that finds Wilson singing about returning to where he began. The lyrical content of the track is somewhat bittersweet as he seems to suggest returning but for one last trip.

Steve D. Wilson new EP continues with the track “To Be Honest Juliet”. Wilson continues the slow pace of the music with this song but also brings the energy level up a little at the same time. With this track, the singer-songwriter finds himself in a battle with his own mind as thoughts of a love long gone come back to haunt him. The song’s emotional lyrics are matched up with a slow pace and easy feel to the music, while also including a little energy to the music so that the emotional side of the track is not so prominent.

The next song on the Ad Astra Per Aspera release is the track “Worth It”. And yet again, Steve D. Wilson and the rest of the musicians who brought the release to life create a track with a slow pace to the music. But with this song, the feel of the music changes as this track features the piano as the musical focal point instead of the guitar that has been present on every track up to this point. The easy pace to the music and the use of the piano as the main instrument gives the track the most unique feel of any of the five songs on the release. “Worth It” features lyrics that seem to follow in line with those that were included on the previous track of “To Be Honest Juliet”. Where that song finds Wilson singing of a love long gone, “Worth It” features lyrics about a steamy relationship that seems to fall apart. But things may not be what they seem. The keys and the strings on the track combine to create the most emotional track on the track.  

The latest release from Steve D. Wilson comes to a close with “This Journey Never Ends,” the second of two tracks that had existed before the EP was finished. The final track of the five-song EP brings back the sound of the guitar…in a big way. This track features the electric guitar in a much more prominent manner. On this track, the instrument is played with a lot more energy than on any of the previous tracks that featured the guitar. The result is more of a Power Rock approach to the music rather than an Alternative Rock approach. The track features Wilson creating a song with a slightly Christian feel to lyrics about how tough the journey in life always seems to be.

Ad Astra Per Aspera from Steve D. Wilson is an EP that features several different musical styles throughout the five tracks that make up this release. Throughout the EP, Wilson creates tracks with Rock and Roll, Alternative Rock, even some Power Rock included in the music. That mixture along with the alternating between strong Rock and Roll and lighter musical approaches blend together to make a release that definitely keeps the attention of the listener as they make their way through this short but sweet release.


For a taste of the music from Steve D. Wilson, check out the video to the song “This Journey Never Ends”.


(For more reading about Operation: Encore, check out the review for the first album, the second release of Monuments, the first review for Rachel Harvey Hill, the review for Andrew Wiscombe, the review of Steve D. Wilson, the review for The Real Doug Lane, the review for Stephen Covell, the review for Unknown Rider, the review for Jerry Maniscalco and the review of Logan Vath by clicking on the links that are highlighted.)  

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