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Porcupine Tree - Fear Of A Blank Planet CD (album) cover


Porcupine Tree


Heavy Prog

4.26 | 2606 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
5 stars I was surprised to read a review in the Toronto Sun newspaper of this album and I want to share the short analysis with you. "For most bands, six songs is an EP. For these veteran U.K. proggers, they're a 50-minute concept disc about technology and teen escapism, complete with mathy time signatures, widescreen arrangements, swirling orchestrations, psychedelic textures and impeccable musicianship-including contributions from like-minded guitar heroes Alex Lifeson and Robert Fripp." Not bad eh ? I must say this one took a lot longer than I thought it would to really like it. I wasn't wowed right away that's for sure. In fact it took seeing them play these songs in concert three different times for it to click with me. I have to mention that the band thanks in the liner notes OCEANSIZE, ANATHEMA and PAATOS. This record doesn't have the commercial sounding songs that are found on most of PORCUPINE TREE's records as the focus is more on the album as a whole (the concept) than individual songs.The subject matter is about teens who are hooked on drugs and modern technology and so are detached from reality. The overall feel is dark and melancholic.

The first song "Fear Of The Blank Planet" really lays out the story of the concept for us. Lines like "TV, yeah it's always on" and "I'm stoned in the mall again" and "X-box is a god to me" and "My father gave up ever trying to talk to me" and "The pills i've been taking confuse me" and "In school I don't concentrate".You get the picture i'm sure. As for the music of the title track ? It's an uptempo song with a great beat although it does have some spacey moments. I love the background synths.The drumming is incredible ! "My Ashes" can be described as dark, beautiful, melancholic and emotional. There is some orchestration as well. "Anesthetize" is the epic at over 17 minutes in length. The drumming is relentless and Alex Lifeson graces us with some guitar 4 minutes in. We get vocals after 7 minutes, but it's the drumming that impresses me the most on this song. We get some brief heavy riffs as period of calm settles in then the dreamy vocals slowly rise out of the tranquility. Clearly one of PT's best tracks ever. "Sentimental" opens with a piano melody as drums and vocals follow.

"Way Out Of Here" doesn't really kick in until 2 minutes. Nice guitar solo and Fripp adds his special soundscapes to the song. Some heavy riffs arrive later. This song blows my mind. So emotional. The final song "Sleep Together" is a beauty. I read where Steven Wilson said this was his favourite song off of this record.The vocals are almost mechanical sounding and it's very atmospheric and spacey.The drums kick in as the song gets intense. There is a prolonged instrumental to the end of the song.

Favourite songs are "Fear of the Blank Planet", "Anesthetize", "Way Out Of Here" and "Sleep Together". To me this is a combination of "Deadwing" and "The Sky Moves Sideways" with a blanket of darkness thrown over top of it.

Mellotron Storm | 5/5 |


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