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Porcupine Tree - XM  CD (album) cover


Porcupine Tree


Heavy Prog

3.68 | 138 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars A great (semi) live album from PT!

Originally released in 2003 under the band's own Transmission label, Porcupine Tree's live album XM has been out of print for a while. Due to a recent online MP3 release of the rare recording, I decided to cash in. What you get for your money (6.35GBP for 256KBPS MP3's or 8.30GBP for FLAC's. This download also comes with a PDF of the album art work) is a great live recording worthy of any PT fan. Unfortunately, this is recorded without the presence of an audience - while this means you can much more easily hear the band playing, it does feel somewhat sterile. This does not ruin the recording, although lends it a different quality.

The recording quality, however, is fantastic, and lends the songs (particularly Gravity Eyelids, The Sound Of Muzak and Blackest Eyes) some lovely dynamic qualities. The guitar sounds are all distinguishable, and the instruments all play perfectly. The drum presence from Mr. Harrison is much stronger than on the studio recordings, and the tracks have a much more rhythmically heavy feel.

The set-list is also good, but not great in this reviewer's opinion; the decision to combine Even Less and Slave Called Shiver into the same track is a bit annoying, although nothing major. The highlights are Strip The Soul, Gravity Eyelids and Wedding Nails, all which have an ecstatic live sound and energy. Six out of the Eight tracks here come from In Absentia (Blackest Eyes, The Sound Of Muzak, Gravity Eyelids, Wedding Nails, Heartattack In A Layby and Strip The Soul) and the remaining two tracks come from Stupid Dream (Even Less and Slave Called Shiver).

By no means essential, but definitely a worthy addition to the collection of any PT fan. Its a shame this is no longer available on CD.

Four out of 5 stars for XM! -Joel

progkidjoel | 4/5 |


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