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

FEAR OF A BLANK PLANET

Porcupine Tree

 

Heavy Prog

4.23 | 1824 ratings

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Epignosis
Special Collaborator
Eclectic Prog Team
5 stars Fear of a Blank Planet was my introduction to the band known as Porcupine Tree. This album continues the trend of heavier music and decidedly darker themes. While the lyrics are based on the novel Lunar Park by Bret Easton Ellis, the overriding subject matter deals with a topic I have often considered during my time as a college student and subsequently a high school teacher: Adolescent nihilism. Young people in these times can frequently only be stimulated by video games, music, and television, shutting themselves up from the world, as the parents drug up their children, believing their erratic and depressing behavior is natural and excusable. It's a depressing but otherwise pleasant collection of music.

"Fear of a Blank Planet" The acoustic introduction here (not to mention the sound of someone typing on a keyboard) is a nice touch and an excellent way to start this album. The lyrics are spot on when describing the pseudo-anguish many young people go through, the fašade that life is a vulgar travesty not worth living through, and the self-absorption that many youth indulge in. The chorus states the problem succinctly, and is also memorable in a way that most Porcupine Tree music tends to be.

"My Ashes" A mournfully beautiful song, this one is full of a sense of pining for a lost childhood and days long gone. The strings and the acoustic guitar are effective in conveying such a sorrowful mood, as are Steven Wilson's vocals. The music flows steadily, like a river a young man has tried to drown himself in.

"Anesthetize" This track took me several listens to finally get into, but now that I have, it is one on the album I look forward to hearing. We get the privilege of hearing Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson also. Whereas I once thought of this track as repetitive and somewhat boring, further hearings gave me a greater understand of the composition as a whole, and I appreciate its place in the context of the album.

"Sentimental" This is about as depressing as it gets, especially from the first lines: "I never want to be old, and I don't want dependents." It is mainly piano driven, with some unsettling timings. The drums sound like a mix of samples laden with effects and the real deal. The chorus is catchy, and the music remains pensive. This chorus will be reprised in the later EP Nil Recurring, as will the title of this song.

"Way Out of Here" Here, Porcupine Tree again juxtaposes heavy riffs with quieter passages, only to a greater extent. The track also features legend Robert Fripp. It is a bleakly hate-filled song, loaded with discontented phrases and a dismal spirit. There is an excellent bass-lead groove at the end of this song, making one want to hear it again.

"Sleep Together" The final song is the weakest track, although by no means dispensable. It seems a bit longer than it should be, and therefore somewhat repetitive. The last three and a half minutes is a settled but disquieting instrumental section that does make this song stand out.

Epignosis | 5/5 |

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