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Porcupine Tree - Metanoia CD (album) cover


Porcupine Tree


Heavy Prog

2.96 | 208 ratings

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Symphonic Team
2 stars 'Metanoia' consists of the outtakes during the recording of 'Signify'. The sessions are virtually jam sessions, no sounding like the finished material of the album to come but still interesting and a curio for collectors. I don't think this is one to grab for newcomers to the band as it is so different but it has some spacey textures and enough to grab the listener's attention. The tracks pound with a consistent rhythm but are highly experimental and explorative. There is a live feel throughout due to the improvisational approach, and most of it simply feels like background mood music. There is nothing that is memorable, per se, but occasionally some moments jump out.

It begins with improv ambience with driving tempos on 'Mesmer I', and then a more dreamier vibe is on 'Mesmer II'. I like the guitar on this with sustained held notes and some passages of psychedelic space rock. 'Mesmer III/ Coma Divine' follows clocking 13:18, opening with slabs of weird dialogue and then moving into a low drone, gentle guitar and keys and an ethereal atmosphere. This tested my patience though as it seemed thrown together and was avant in approach and I prefer PT on their more constructed compositions.

'Door to the River' is a weird thing with atmospheric percussion, avant keyboard effects, and swamp noises like on a river. It has a creepy atmosphere, but just floats along meandering like a stream going nowhere. The 14 and a half minute 'Metanoia I / Intermediate Jesus' is a soft piece, with a Tangerine Dream ambience, though I am not a fan of this style. It is spacey and builds with psychedelic flavours, but is interminably long and simple relaxation mood music, with a New Age vibe at first, then moves to a percussion and bass beat. 'Insignificance' is ambience and some strong bass pulses, with sporadic drums, and reverb guitar jamming. 'Metanoia II' cranks along a nice bassline, atmospheric keys, building to trippy guitar effects and spacey textures. I like the strange sounds emanating and the way it is nothing like the Porcupine Tree of modern times. 'Milan' is like an interview about eating food or ordering in Milan I think, and they swear a bit.

This is a real oddball release, pure instrumental and jamming over improvised phrases. The album will appeal to those who want to delve deeper into the earlier sounds of Porcupine Tree when they were exploring psychedlica and space rock sounds. It is strictly for collectors though and is a genuine acquired taste as it is so ambient and devoid of any real songs. It would make a nice bonus disc for "Signify" but alone does not really deliver much more than nice background music.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 2/5 |


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