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

FEAR OF A BLANK PLANET

Porcupine Tree

 

Heavy Prog

4.22 | 1798 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Tursake
4 stars Fear Of A Blank Planet by Porcupine Tree is a concept album describing the life of an eleven-year-old child. The album is the bands take on modern society, lyrically dealing with problems affecting youth such as bipolar disorder and ADD, and also behavioural problems such as abuse of prescription drugs and social alienation. As a teenager myself I can relate to the lyrics, although the use of drugs in Finland is not a common problem. But problems like social alienation are very prominent at the moment.

Musically the album is a throwback to Porcupine Tree's earlier work with clear space rock influences (especially from Pink Floyd), but at the same time the album also develops their metal sound even further than in Deadwing but in a different way. The album retracts from Deadwing's heavy use of guitar and the focus is more in the overall performance of the band, also the emphasis on Barbieri's keyboard and synth are stronger than before. Although the album is widely claimed to be progressive metal I would still call it heavy prog, even with all the metal influences and the middle part of Anesthetize sounding like extreme metal, the focus of the music isn't nearly as technical as it is in metal. The clear highpoints of the album are Fear Of A Blank Planet and Anesthetize with Anesthetize being the first real epic since The Sky Moves Sideways. Alex Lifeson (Rush) and Robert Fripp (King Crimson) also make appearances in the album, with Lifeson playing the first solo in Anesthetize and Fripp doing the soundscapes for Way Out Of Here and having the lead guitar on Nil Recurring (part of the minialbum Nil Recurring sometimes issued with FOABP).

I thought of talking about all the songs on the album but I don't really have much to say about them besides that they're all more or less excellent, I'm only going to focus on Anesthetize now. As I already said Anesthetize is the first real epic PT has done in over 10 years. The song starts by building up tension with some very eerie moments and continuing on to the moment where the power chords come in, which is almost immediately broken by Lifeson's excellent solo. After the solo, the songs main section sometimes referred to as "The Pills I'm Taking" begins, with the tension still building up and finally climaxing at about 11 minutes with the extreme metal sounding part which I also mentioned earlier. After that the song calms down and we get some very eerie moments again until the song finally fades out.

All in all the album is one of PT's finest and delivers a very good message about the modern society, the album is just a tad short of being a 5 star album for reasons I can't really explain. Highly recommended!

Tursake | 4/5 |

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