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Porcupine Tree - Deadwing CD (album) cover

DEADWING

Porcupine Tree

 

Heavy Prog

4.08 | 1479 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

The Prognaut
Prog Reviewer
4 stars A modern ghost story that is anything but spooky. Ironically how, it's got the thrill and the mystery that certainly gives the creeps on anyone's skin. Personally, I find "Deadwing" among the top productions of the band since it's got not only the typical wit of Steven WILSON but the genius of the whole band immersed in this world of creativeness that bloomed into an unexpected wonder. Also, working along with OPETH's leading voice Mikael ÅKERFELDT and crimsonian guitar player Adrian BELEW definitely meant a plus for the "Deadwing" effort. And last but not least important, the lyrical togetherness displayed by WILSON and Mike BENNION; essential for full appreciation.

The harshness of the instrumentation is heavier than ever. Although I compare this production to what's been done by the band on "In Absentia", this is a whole different level taken by PORCUPINE TREE. I'd like to specifically point out Gavin HARRISON's work on drums against Chris MAITLAND's where the first named drummer cranks it punchier and harder dominating the metric technique amazingly while on the other hand, performance of former drum player is more precise and polished, keeping it down to an almost purist level. Both are great on what they do though, but face-offs are inevitable to me.

Now, let's get down to it. A great album urges a great captivating opener and "Deadwing" has got it alright. A powerful self-titled track that introduces among other coming attractions on the record, Mikael ÅKERFELDT behind the mic. How's that for a disturbing intro? Crunchy enough to my ears. Then "Shallow" carries on with the heavy metal topic quite briefly but devouring alright. Its sound resembles a straightforward rock ballad and even though, it's got an inner demon of its own.

Moving on this review I found "Lazarus" so harmless and peaceful that made me surrender to its plain yet touchy lyrics. In the past, I declared myself a basher and disposer of soft, schmaltzy songs on any rock album but this time I gotta take that statement back and just enjoy. Right after relaxing a bit for the upcoming flood of chords, "Halo" broke in my ears stealing away my will of acting freely. The song is this sort of hymn facing desire against hypnotic, straight commands flying out of a cynical preacher. I would say the subliminal message in here is pretty clear: "You have the right to do what we tell you".

Further ahead, the cornerstone out of the entire album to me: "Arriving Somewhere But Not Here". A breathtaking masterpiece so perfectly executed and written that pushes your senses up to the wish of stopping the album from moving on at this point. With this song, PORCUPINE TREE retakes the meaning of "epical" applying it so beautifully to the concept and purposes of "Deadwing". The acid lyrics and the upbeat instrumentation kick in rapidly to catch anyone's ears into this land of confusion and inexplicable regressions to deceitful and repentant passages. Simply astonishing and already locked and loaded to be shot out of my deepest feelings over and over again.

Settling down my passion again, "Mellotron Scratch" revealed a pleasant place for me to stay and kick back to the music played in the subconscious background. It is indeed a rather particular track that fits suitably all along. Coming right up, "Open Car" crashes inside your mind superbly, taking away the steadiness in you to toss yourself into this world of pure smashing strings and thunder-struck beats. The ending has nothing to do with the whole track, but it totally breaks your anger in one single movement.

"The Start Of Something Beautiful" makes me recall my first PORCUPINE TREE experience somehow through elaborated passages and impeccable crafted progressiveness taken in hand by the voice of WILSON right to the very end. A very spirit-rising song. The final episode, "Glass Arm Shattering" wraps it all up nicely through kind, soft lyrics and musical quietness. It certainly ends the trip and the ghost story perfectly. All in all, "Deadwing" is a complex work of art. And then by letting the record spin for a while, you'll bump into a fresh, renewed version of "Shesmovedon", the reward for the patient ones. Must belong to any respectable Prog Rock library!

The Prognaut | 4/5 |

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