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

THE SKY MOVES SIDEWAYS

Porcupine Tree

 

Heavy Prog

4.09 | 953 ratings

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Queen By-Tor
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Prepare yourself

Porcupine Tree's third studio album and first attempt as a full fledged band. What's clear in this album apart from it's predecessors is that this is really where the Heavy Prog tag starts to stick. The music is heavy and yet it retains a very large amount of the psychadellia from the band's first two albums (especially it's older brother, the fantastic Up The Downstair). Long songs run rampant, although some shorter more typical ''songs'' are included in between the book ending title track. With a great amount of variety and exceptional performances, this is Porcupine Tree's first essential album.

The title track, The Sky Moves Sideways (Phase 1 & 2) runs at a colossal 35-minutes, and is, luckily, the standout of the album. Starting and continuing with some very Pink Floyd inspired space rock riffs and a kind of pseudo-eclectronica feel to it this is a song which is driven by heavy moods and wandering instrumental sections. Indeed, the entire Phase 2 of the track is entirely instrumental, spare some voices (not with any words, mind you) from an amazing female performer by the name of Suzanne Barbieri which fits the piece very well. Though it may increase in volume and seeming focus from time to time this track is still one which demands attention and will certainly take you for a ride as so many fantastic prog-rockers have been able to do since the genre's conception.

The middle tracks are all also worth mentioning, as they're also incredible. Dislocated Day is a heavy, bass-driven piece with Wilson's modified and haunting voice filling the small amount of room not already taken up by the enormous sound of the music on it's own. Quite dark and semi-eerie, this is a song that reflects where the band would later take the project. The Moon Touches Your Shoulder is a song that follows up the previous rather strangely, as it's a very mellow track geared more towards the Floydian influences with its soft guitars and vocals.

Different versions have had modified track listings, for some Stars Die, the dark and brooding track which would later become the title of a compilation, and Moonloop would be included on the album. The version which I have only includes those tracks on the bonus disc which was the Moonloop EP. These tracks are also very good, but more for the PT fans. People of all (progressive) musical backgrounds will very much appreciate the studio album as is, despite the tracklisting, however.

A fantastic effort from Porcupine Tree worthy of 5 dying stars. Versions vary from place to place and master to master but despite the confusion this is a marvelous product of the Psych/Space Rock/Heavy Prog genres and is recommended to all.

Queen By-Tor | 5/5 |

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