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Porcupine Tree - Signify CD (album) cover


Porcupine Tree


Heavy Prog

3.85 | 1364 ratings

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4 stars Based on my experience with progressive music, there are three categories of prog albums based on my listening experience. Category A is the album that blew my mind at first listen and it became my all-time favorite and I kept on playing the CD at my player on and on. Examples of this Cat A includes: Marillion (Fish era), Arena, IQ, Dream Theater, post Syd Barrett Pink Floyd, Yes "Fragile", Yes "Going For The One", Yes "Drama" etc. Category B is the album that was hard for me to accept at first listen but it grew with number of spins and by (typically) 8th (eighth) spin it became my favorite. Examples include: Gentle Giant (except "Civilian"), Yes "Tales from Topographic Ocean", Yes "Relayer", Pain of Salvation "Perfect Element Part 1" and "Remedy Lane", Fates Warning "Disconnected", "FWX", etc.. Category C is the album that did not attract me to have other spin due to weak composition (lack of structure or melody) or lack of originality of its music (too much influence of other bands). I don't want to give examples of this, actually, as it would create further controversy with other prog listeners.Albums under this category might move to Category B. Disagreement with my view is welcome as we are talking about prog, aren't we?. It's not prog at all if I do not welcome any disagreement or differing views.---

Porcupine Tree "Signify" is to me under Category A. Well, actually I purchased the CD (with bonus disc, remastered) because of my wonderful experience with the band's "Comma Divine" album - a live set which blew me away at first spin of the CD. I fell in love with "Waiting" Phase One and Two.

"We invite you wherever you are - whether you are at home or whatever to have the kick your shoes are ..lean back get a cup of coffee, join us and relax. We'll have relax music for a couple of hours .!

That's basically the opening narration of "Bornlivedie" (1:41) which sets the overall tone of the whole album, nicely. "Signify" [tut!] and then the guitar fills enter the opening part of "Signify" (3:26) - a track with hard driving rhythm section in ambient symphonic space nuance (through the sounds of keyboard) and metal elements (through hard edge guitar riffs). It flows beautifully without vocal line. Wow! ""The Sleep of No Dreaming" (5:24) continues the music with a kind of bluesy style and attractive slow beats especially through the work of drums and bass lines. The vocal quality of Steve Wilson is great. This song is best played with full powered stereo set in LOUD volume. By doing so you can get the subtleties of sound effects and soundscapes produced throughout this track. Even the voice of Steve Wilson has excellent soundscape! It's not recommended to enjoy this track with laptop speaker (even though it's equipped with Harman Kardon). You might get the subtleties as well through headphone.

"Pagan" (1:34) is a short bridge which brings to a great track of my favorite "Waiting Phase one" (4:24). It's a simple composition with good combination of percussion, acoustic guitar and vocal at opening part. Simple? I don't really think so. Give the chords and melody of this song to other people and let them play. I don't think it's work as fine as the original version like this one. The most difficult part is probably the soundscape produced. This is especially true with the continuing track "Waiting Phase two" (6:15). This track has repetitive rhythm section but the textures slowly change from one segment to another with the use of keyboard, guitar and sound effects. The combination of percussion, drums, bass and effects are really stunning!

"Sever" (5:30) and "Idiot prayer" (7:37) are excellent tracks as well. On "Intermediate Jesus" (7:29) the band brings their explorative style pushed forward with much more obvious effects and long sustained sounds in ambient space psychedelic mode. "Light mass prayers" (4:28) is another Steve Wilson exploration and experimentation with sound scape. This must be listened to with decent stereo set. "Dark matter" (8:57) concludes the track in bluesy and spacey style, powerful vocal harmonies.

I would not review Disc Two as it contains demo material and I don't want to include into final rating. I consider this as bonus disc, no need to review.

Overall, it's an excellent addition to any prog music collection. As with other Porcupine Tree albums, those who like Pink Floyd have a great chance to like this album. The songwriting and composition are excellent - the same thing with performance and musicianship. Highly recommended. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Gatot | 4/5 |


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