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Porcupine Tree - Voyage 34 - The Complete Trip  CD (album) cover


Porcupine Tree


Heavy Prog

3.31 | 406 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars Turn on, tune in, drop out

Let me start by saying that people used to Folk-Rock or Symphonic Prog probably will not understand this album. And they will hate it for it. I believe Mr. Wilson tried in this album to give the proper feeling of an LSD trip. And like any trip, its important to have what Timothy Leary described as an adequate "set and setting". If you have a lifestyle where you have to hear ten new albums per day, in order to reach two thousand reviews, you probably didn't care about finding a proper "set and setting". The trick here is to let your mind go. Once you do so, Voyage 34 becomes one hell of a ride.

Originaly released as two separate singles now combined, one has to say that this compilation works like an original concept studio album.

Phase I and Phase II alone are worthy of masterpiece status. Phase I begins with vocal introductions and soundscapes, and then a wonderfully hypnotic drum and bass driven rhythm highly inspired by Pink Floyd's The Wall. It is complemented by several distinct sounds. Narration comes and goes, setting the scene for the following change in music. Eventually Wilson gives a great kick to the song by introducing some distinct guitars and a beautiful electric guitar solo. More narration makes the transition to the next phase.

Phase II has an eerier beginning, filled with quoted from Timothy Leary and statements from LSD users describing their experience. A third into this phase, the music gains some more spunk by the re-introduction of the electric guitar and drumming, giving it a bit more of a rock edge. It tones down a bit, but then rises up again for the finale, complemented by yet another Wilson guitar solo.

Phase III and Phase IV are wonderful complements to a fantastic first half, toning down on the sensational musical bursts in the previous phases. The first time we listen to these pieces, we get slightly disappointed, as we are waiting for more of those "rockier" bursts that never arrive. But the second time, around, we get over it and enjoy them as they are. Less "musical" than the first part, more sound- oriented, their constant rhythm and beat serve their purpose as hypnotic pieces.

Definitely a different progressive rock album, with its tasteful use of trance and electronics to give it a hypnotic feel, and really making our mind travel. Music for the mind. The key question posed along the album, Is this trip really necessary?, the album answers itself - no, it isn't. You don't need to be high to enjoy this record: the music will suffice, if you set your mind to it.

Kotro | 5/5 |


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