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Porcupine Tree - Deadwing CD (album) cover


Porcupine Tree


Heavy Prog

4.10 | 1868 ratings

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4 stars Deadwing was the first album in which Porcupine Tree turned up the "rock" in progressive rock. Though still featuring the slower melodic passages in the ballads Lazarus and Glass Arm Shattering, for instance, the dominant sound is best described as downright heavy. Comparisons with past work would probably be Signify (the song, not the full album), and possibly Slave Called Shiver as well as Hatesong from the Stupid Dream and Lightbulb Sun albums respectively. Prog-wise, it certainly delivers yet again, demonstrating the band's ability to create a heavier sound while retaining a distinct Porcupine Tree flavor.

However, when recommending a heavy Porcupine Tree listen, the other contender would certainly be In Absentia, and it is certainly a valid one. Personally, I prefer this one due to the balance between the heavy and the mellow, while In Absentia seems to me to be just a little over the top. Nevertheless both are excellent albums.

In other words, Deadwing is an album, which to me demonstrates the ability of a band to show their talent in creating a range of sound, from the heavy to the mellow.

Track Listing

01 Deadwing

The title track and opener, it encapsulates the general sound of the album in some 9.50 minutes. A very good track, with some industrial sound, a nice and tight rhythm, and excellent mixing. A nice preparation for the rest of the album, I really have trouble finding anything bad to say about this song.

02 Shallow

The second track, Shallow builds on the industrial sound of the previous track. I could compare this even to some of Tool. Yet even with the heavy sound, there are the nice breaks which make this a rather enjoyable listen, even if you're not into that sort of heaviness.

03 Lazarus

I could probably wax lyrical over this song. This is, by far, one of Porcupine Tree's greatest ballads. Listen to it, a description doesn't do it justice.

04 Halo

Hmmm... A song about the ills of human society being rooted in technology, why does it sound so familiar? Though that's just my interpretation, it may be simple religion bashing, I believe this may have been the prelude to Fear of a Blank Planet. The bass on this song is rather catchy, I would compare it to Tinto Brass or Hatesong.

05 Arriving Somewhere But Not Here

The title should already be catching your attention. Well, this 12 minute monster is probably one of the best tracks on this album. It does take a while for it to grow on you though.

06 Mellotron Scratch

Another atmospheric ballad, though after Lazarus, nothing compares. It is good in its own right I suppose. An interesting guitar riff, but other than that, I'd say its not one of the album's strong points.

07 Open Car

Back to the heavy stuff... Open Car is similar in sound to Shallow. Next to Lazarus and Deadwing, this is one of my favourite tracks, so I'm rather afraid of giving it too much praise, since it is after all a highly personalised opinion.

08 The Start of Something Beautiful

Did the title catch your eye? A nice rhythmic intro,

09 Glass Arm Shattering

Officially the last track on the album, Glass Arm Shattering wraps up the album in the style of Feel So Low and Fadeaway, a slow end to a great album.

Bonus Track: Shesmovedon

A different version of the same song on Lightbulb Sun, with Mikael Akerfeldt of Opethsinging backing vocals, mixed differently and I believe with a slightly different solo.

Overall Rating

One of Porcupine Tree's best albums, I give it 4 stars, 8.5/10, 1.5 subtracted for Mellotron Scratch which I personally, and I stress personally, did not enjoy very much. Definitely a must-have for fans and newcomers to the band, a great introduction to the later Porcupine Tree sound.

Uziel126 | 4/5 |


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