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Porcupine Tree - The Sky Moves Sideways CD (album) cover


Porcupine Tree


Heavy Prog

4.06 | 1268 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

3 stars Porcupine Tree offer an acutely melodic, fluid, harmonious excursion into the realm of expanded-consciousness with this one. The Sky Moves Sideways is Wilson's first album with a faithful 'official' band. Two years before this one, Up The Downstair was recorded featuring future band-mates Richard Barbieri and Colin Edwin. It was still largely a Steven Wilson solo project. This is the first band collaboration, I believe.

There are numerous similarities to be noted between this release and Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here. Even the song format: a lengthy piece, followed by three shorter tracks, concluded by a second part of the longer track. There are many Floydian keyboard voices, with Gilmourian guitar played on top. Much of the guitar work is steller, and much different than Pink Floyd's. The acoustic guitar that appears is the most hypnotic thing on the album, and when a melodic electric guitar plays alongside it, completed by a constant humming of soothing keyboard, there is no doubting that this is genuine spacey prog. The album is mainly passive and light, with the exception of Dislocated Day, a faster, aggressive psychedelic trip, which shows the beginnings of Porcupine Tree's harder side. This first step into that world is polished and atmospheric, with powerful and clean riffs. More acoustic guitar is to be found on the beautiful The Moon Touches Your Shoulder, with some of Porc Tree's most compelling psychedelic guitar in their catalog.

After a short ambient piece, Prepare Yourself, the albums picks up once more with a very Pink Floyd-influenced, but somewhat simpler phase of the title track. At times, a somewhat dissonant melody appears, but it is generally rather good besides that. The melodies of the first phase are infinitely superior. Depending on what version of this album you've acquired, you may have a 17 minute edit of Moonloop, or the 16 and 4 minute edits. This is some genuine electric jamming. It's not at all droning, but extremely hypnotic. Tree perfect their jamming skills with the Metanoia release, if you ask me. Stars Die is a great song, featured only on some versions, I believe. The alternate version of the title track is basically phase one and two combined.

The overall image this album creates is extremely melodious and smooth, and yet still very spacey and experimental. This is one of Porcupine Tree's better releases, and it is very accessible and an excellent starting point. This is a masterpiece of psychedelic music, a great prog album, and an essential album for Porcupine Tree fans. Some sections are a bit uninspiring, but overall it is great.

Shakespeare | 3/5 |


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