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Porcupine Tree - Signify CD (album) cover


Porcupine Tree


Heavy Prog

3.85 | 1364 ratings

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5 stars Signify is the sound of a band in transition. Porcupine Tree's previous album, The Sky Moves Sideways, was a masterpiece of pure space psychedelia the likes of which only first-era Porcupine Tree can provide. That album was very chilled and relaxed, and boasted more a Tangerine Dream likeness rather than much of a tendency toward metal the band would later develop. The album following Signify, Stupid Dream, still maintained the signature Porcupine Tree mellow rock sound that would stay with the band until In Absentia. The songs on Stupid Dream were less psychedelic and more normal, in a Brit-pop sense, but still retained the spacey flavor of past Porcupine Tree albums. So, in the middle of these two very different albums, we have Signify, which straddles both sides rather well, but in the end leans more toward the past. The album begins with a spoken-word introduction, echoing Porcupine Tree's most psychedelic outing, Voyage 34. It's clear the band wasn't yet ready to launch forward into a new beginning, and it's fortunate that that is the case.

We're treated to the best that Porcupine Tree has to offer with "The Sleep of No Dreaming, "Waiting (Phases One and Two)," "Sever," and "Dark Matter," all of which flow with the utmost relaxation save a few high-energy sections. "Waiting" is a particular favorite of mine, especially the second phase which feature a smooth groove and a piano theme that I just love. "Signify" is a heavier, faster tune than anything else on the album, and seems like a good fit for fans of Deadwing or Fear of a Blank Planet. "Pagan" is a simple interlude that serves no other purpose than creating atmosphere. "Every Home is Wired" is more of what we would come to hear from the band on Stupid Dream. Memorable, but perhaps a bit out of place. "Idiot Prayer" builds to intensity while "Light Mass Prayers" plays like a short Klaus Schulze piece, segueing into "Dark Matter." "Intermediate Jesus" is an interesting song, as it features the voice-over of a fervent preacher talking about souls being saved. Clearly, this is a sarcastic take on religion--or at least this preacher's view of it--by Steve Wilson. With this song and several other track titles from the album, we get the feeling there may be some sort of theme about religion permeating the fabric of the album, but there's no defined concept. "Dark Matter" closes the album with an esoteric, dream-like feel that is, for lack of a better verb, Porcupine Tree-esque. Signify is essential for the Porcupine Tree initiate, and honestly a good recommendation for anyone interested in the band.

stonebeard | 5/5 |


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