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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 | 1827 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

EatThatPhonebook
Prog Reviewer
5 stars 10/10

"Fear Of A Blank Planet" is so far Porcupine Tree's most accomplished and most refined effort.The must have Heavy Prog album of the last years.

After eighteen years of music, after eight wonderful albums, here comes Steven Wilson's masterpiece. Released only in 2007, "Fear Of A Blank Planet" is so far Porcupine Tree's most accomplished and most refined effort, an unforgettable album where all the musicians reach their highest peak, technically speaking and also for songwriting.

"Fear Of A Blank Planet" is a concept album about a kid, concerning today's problems of adolescence, which are basically isolation, the massive presence of technology in their lives, the insecurity, and the depression. The album is very well structured: six songs, with alternated moments: from tense, heavy riffs, with some violent moods, to nice, memorable ballads, spacey soundscapes, and interesting experimentation here and there. This is "Fear Of A Blank Planet". The first and last time excluding this that we've seen a six song PT album, was "The Sky Moves Sideways", a hymn to the most sincere ambient and psychedelic music. In this new album, the style is completely different. After 2002's album "In Absentia", the band reached a new sound, which reaches the highest point in this album. So, in a way, this album has new elements for the sound, and at the same time it comes back to the origins somehow.

The album starts with the title track, where after the brief intro starts with a tense, but catchy guitar riff . When the rest of the band comes in, the sound is even more tense. Great chorus, a repetition of the verse, and then comes in the middle part. We find here some mild jazz influences in these thirty seconds or so, until the song explodes once more with a heavy hook, until the finale arrives, where the mood is more relaxed, yet with always a tense feeling, as Wilson sings the last piece of the lyrics of the song. The track overall is amazing, surely one of my favorite tracks by PT.

"My Ashes" is a wonderful, mellow ballad, with many memorable moments. Great chorus, great keyboards, the main instrument in this track, and surprisingly good, haunting vocals by Wilson, accompanied by John Wesley. Definitely a song that you wouldn't want to miss.

"Anesthetize" is the epic, 17 minute piece, one of PT's best song and one of their highest peaks of their long career. Basically it can be divided in three big parts. In the first, which goes for five minutes, is a little builder, with interesting keyboards, and with another great performance by Wilson on vocals. This part increases in tension, an a solo comes in, until the second part starts. Now we a one note riff by a crunchy, heavy guitar that initially lays in the background, and meanwhile we hear a keyboard/ drum jam that starts. Right after that, the second part officially starts, with a heavy and powerful riff, and right after the main riff starts. Now the atmosphere is definitely tense. There's a chorus, a repetition of the verse, the chorus again, and then a middle part, that turns into a brief solo by keyboards, the middle part is then repeated, until it get's really heavy when he some crazy drums, with a powerful double bass section, and guitar, and then the chorus repeats. After a few moments, the second part is over.The third part starts with some fascinating keyboards, followed by a very mellow mood played with guitar mainly. The vocals make an interesting but fundamental contribute. It goes on like this until the song ends. Brilliant, epic masterpiece.

"Sentimental" is an enjoyable ballad, with a beautiful keyboard section, and played with a drum machine most of the time. The verse is nice, the chorus is very melancholic and kind of sad sounding. The middle part however is more cheerful and hopeful, thanks to the great melodies brought to you by an acoustic guitar. Overall a very nice, enjoyable song that is worth the listen.

"Way Out Of Here" starts with some electronic soundscapes, played by a surprising Robert Fripp, accompanied shortly after by the rest of the band, playing a mellow and sad sounding tune, until the chorus explodes, a beautiful and haunting melody, and then the song gets a little more enlivened. After a while, we hear a pretty good guitar solo, and then the song becomes calm again, and only guitars and keyboards are playing a nice, delicate tune, until suddenly a heavily distorted guitar dominates the scene, a brief repetition of the chorus, and then again a masterful Harrison shows how amazing his drumming can be, since the heavy part is still playing. After this, the aftermath: a nice, relaxing mood comes, with a great Fripp part. Shortly, the song ends.

"Sleep Together" seems to be too underrated. It's one of my very favorite songs of PT. One of the catchiest songs of the album, it starts with some electronic, wild sounding soundscapes, and Wilson comes in a little after. The chorus is very catchy, enlivened, and kind of violent, and very explosive. The song overall is fantastic, and a great closer for this album.

"Fear Of A Blank Planet", like I said, is the best and most refined PT yet, despite the many masterpieces the band has put out in their career. A perfect start for whoever wants to give the band a try. The must have Heavy Prog album of the last years.

EatThatPhonebook | 5/5 |

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