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


Porcupine Tree


Heavy Prog

4.26 | 2604 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

3 stars Lots of great reviews here, but still, couldn't resist to add mine! Admitted, it is very difficult to come up with an original piece of music nowadays. Everything is already played once. It is very hard to get out of the shadow of the masters, or even yourself. It is even harder than to write an original review for an album that is released almost a year ago. Indeed, there are a lot of reviews of Fear of a Blank Planet by Porcupine Tree. Check for example Dutch sites dprp and progwereld. And now as well, Steve Wilson did not succeed to create something really original. The record stays on the same line as it's predecessors. But, it is so much better! Typically, but this time I agree with the authors of so many "best of 2007" prog-lists on the net, with Porcupine Tree above.

But first a few small but may be interesting facts. 1. There are a few interesting collaborations again on this record: this time it's Alex Lifeson (Rush) en Robert Fripp (King Crimson). The contribution of Fripp with his soundscapes is actually not really irreplaceable, but the formidable solo of Lifeson should be there, it ads a new dimension to the epic Anesthetize. 2. The music was first played live. And just after quite some gigs the band went to the studio. The temptation is great to say, that exactly this fact influenced the high quality of the album. But no, I personally think that Steven just wrote an excellent piece of music. And above that, he was this time really critical to the ratio quality/(length+number) of the tracks.

Once again, that sort of facts gives absolutely no guarantee for a good record, but it creates a certain atmosphere of expectation. Once more, the expectation is this time surpassed, even more after a little disappointing Deadwing.

After the heavy start of the title song the album goes on in the famous Porcupine wave stile. There is enough space for thrill and relaxation. The ballads are melancholic and invite for daydreaming. Well, you think now and then that you've heard them before, but it really doesn't matter now. The heavy, Opeth-like pieces come at precise the right moments and are always quite welcome. The fantastic solo of Alex on Anesthetize puts you in the midst of Permanent Waves. By the way, this long number is not really a sympho track. It seems to exist of three different pieces which are put together to complete the story. However, they are put together musically clever as well, they flow one to each other as pieces of one whole. Well, that's why they are put together, I suppose. After this epic comes more, fortunately. All the songs get 10 from me, as well as the arrangement and production of the whole. After 50 minutes listening the record ends with a well thought-out combined play of pulsating synthesizers of Richard Barbieri and The London Session Orchestra Strings. Actually, it ends to early.

This is an album with lots of good music, nice poetry and it's own specific atmosphere.

justaguy | 3/5 |


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