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Porcupine Tree - Voyage 34 - The Complete Trip  CD (album) cover

VOYAGE 34 - THE COMPLETE TRIP

Porcupine Tree

 

Heavy Prog

3.30 | 397 ratings

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Roj
Special Collaborator
Neo Prog Team
4 stars This is nothing like the band that would later produce In Absentia, Deadwing et al. Far from the heavy prog of modern PT, this is a trippy, mesmerizing mixture of psychedelic space rock, ambient and techno. The album actually dates back to the early 90s, despite the relatively recent release of this edition.

Voyage 34 is a concept album, which tells the story of a bad acid trip which befalls the central character, Brian. It's completely instrumental, except for various recurring vocal samples and narration throughout the album. Incidentally one of the narrators sounds uncannily like Alec Baldwin!

Divided into four long pieces (Phases), it's a full-length album. Thanks to Steven Wilson's use of Gilmour- soundalike guitar, various sections of the first two Phases are reminiscent of The Wall-era Floyd. These though are the best two tracks, and there is much more to them than that. You will also find walls of dark and ambient industrial noise which remind me of Aphex Twin. In addition, both the first two pieces develop into uplifting rockier sections with excellent guitar solos from Wilson.

My favourite part of the album though is the first 4-5 minutes of Phase Two, which I find absolutely spellbinding, with a hypnotic rhythm over a threatening wall of synths. Superb.

Phase Three is easily the weakest, and regularly attracts my usage of the skip button. Phase Four is much better, in the same vein though not as good as the first two.

I have to be in the right mood for this album, however, if I want to listen to a trancey and ambient album with plenty of progressive input, this is always a very good option for me. Whilst it's not flawless it's an excellent album.

My rating is four stars. If you're a fan of early PT, it's a must-have. If you're into Floyd circa 68-75 and have not heard Porcupine Tree yet, you could do a lot worse than give this a go.

Roj | 4/5 |

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