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


Porcupine Tree


Heavy Prog

4.26 | 2606 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars Porcupine Tree's 'Fear Of A Blank Planet' is, for me, the finest PT album ever released. Absolutely everything clicks together on this album - the instrumentation, the song structures and the vocals all work brilliantly over the duration of the album to deliver Wilson's bleak vision of technological isolation and dependence on prescription drugs, as told from a young persons perspective. Perhaps I'm of the right age that this album resonates so well with me - I understand deeply many of the lyrical themes that Wilson has penned on this album, and for me that makes the music even more powerful.

Musically this isn't a huge change from the previous two PT albums - there is still the progressive metal influence found here which marks it apart from the earlier albums of the 90's. But in true Porcupine Tree style the metallic element is only part of the story - there is of course the almost obligatory spaced out ambient sections, smooth acoustic breaks, judicious use of electronic synthesizers and some good old fashioned prog rock moments.

The obvious highlight of the album is the seventeen minute opus 'Anaesthetize'. What an incredible journey this track is. Though comprised of a single track, this is really three separate tracks cleverly arranged together with interwoven lyrical themes. So in that respect it's a little bit like Genesis's 'Suppers Ready'. Individually the three musical sections are wonderful compositions, but when arranged together they really do mesh brilliantly together and tell a disturbing story that is the cornerstone of the album's concept. There is also the small matter of the sublime Alex Lifeson guitar solo during the first movement of that song - that alone is probably worth the price of the record!

Every song offers something a little bit different and I'm sure any fan of progressive music who hasn't already heard this album will definitely find plenty on offer to get enjoyment from. For me this is the best Porcupine Tree album, and, assuming the band doesn't get back together, will probably be the crowning achievement of the band, at least from my perspective. Pretty sure this is the only PT album worthy of the sacred 5-star rating - so that's what I'll give it!

AndyJ | 5/5 |


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