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Porcupine Tree - Deadwing CD (album) cover


Porcupine Tree

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5 stars Somehow "They did it again" doesn't sound quite right here. This is ther best work so far. And i won't hold back in saying that this AIN'T an opinion, it's a fact. This album is somehow heavier than In Absentia in some parts and also more Elegant than Stupid Dream in others. It all starts with the AWESOME deadwing,kicking you out of whatever chair you're on. this track changes so much that you will get scared sometimes when it gets you as a surprise, the best opening track made by porcupine tree so far. After that we have Shallow, a pretty rocking track that reminds of newer Rush songs. The awesome songs continue unbeatable with Lazarus, problably the best ballad they EVER made (and i'm not forgetting trains and such)(also, try to listen to this holding someone you really like and just keep hugging), and Halo only to get to another album highlight, Arriving somewhere (But Not Here), a 12 minute piece that just stuns you from beggining to end rendering everyone who likes music speechless. then back to other almighty tracks, such as Mellotron Scratch, Open Car (another AWESOME song) and the start of something beatiful. to close with a AWESOME TRACK, galss arm shaterring, makes you wanna listen to the whole thing again. Remember that just because i didnt comment on a few songs, this doesnt mean theyre highlights AT ALL, in fact if any of the songs were to be singles, they were good enough for it. And i think this is it about it, really worth buying. Unless you dont like prog rock that is
Report this review (#34349)
Posted Tuesday, March 15, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars Edited 09/27/05!

This latest album of Porcupine Tree is very easy to get impressed by on the very first spin, having a great rocking opener and excellent production. But actually after repeated listens I've to say I prefer the albums they did before STUPID DREAM. That one and IN ABSENTIA did not convince me that much anymore, because I got more and more the impression that they moved more towards an ALTERNATIVE ROCK and METAL approach and they included more elements of GRUNGE in their music that is not so much "my cup of tea". And DEADWING is for me in fact the final prove for my impression. But let's get now to the songs of this album.

The title song is a quite versatile one trying to blend elements of nu metal, progressive metal with typical floydian PT ones. It's not really bad, but I couldn't also tell, that it blew me away. In "Shallow" they show a tough alternative metal sound, they never did before, I can't find this one that "progressive" as well. "Lazarus" is a typical modern ballad, very common in many other British alternative pop/rock bands, probably very impressive if you've just fallen in love freshly, sorry I'm not in this enviable situation. "Halo" is again a trial to blend the typical floydian and spacey PT elements with alternative and death metal ones. I've to say this song did not give me much in the beginning, but I started to like it a bit more when I watched them playing it on a concert I visited recently. PT is an excellent live band I've to admit and their playing was much more convincing than on the studio albums. I was fascinated especially by the work of Gavin Harrison on his enormous drum kit. "Mellotron Scratch" is a quite nice acoustic type PT song, nothing special and I think they've done already better ones in that vein. "Open Car" is again a song in a rather typical alternative metal vein showing little or no prog-ish resemblance at all. Sometimes I get the impression I'm listening to a more spacey reincarnation of Smashing Pumpkins. "The Start Of Something Beautiful" is the usual mish-mash as before between heavy (alternative) rocking elements and more mellow ones. Quite nice, but I've to say after repeated listens it quickly loses attraction and becomes rather boring, like most of the alternative rock stuff. Last song "Glass Arm Shattering" is a song quite in the "old" PT vein and the first one of the album I really appreciate.

Overall I would say this one is a nice album in general and an enjoyable listen but not a real essential one in progressive rock.

Report this review (#34353)
Posted Thursday, March 17, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Ignore comments posted by "prog listeners"... they are the ones that pigeon-hole bands like Porcupine Tree and apply the moniker "progressive rock". Porcupine Tree write and play MUSIC... period... lets dispense with the labels and assess it on its own merits. I'm sure Steve Wilson doesn't sit down to write songs that sound "progressive". Deadwing is a phenomenal album, with something for just about any musical taste... can wait to see the live interpretation....
Report this review (#34354)
Posted Friday, March 18, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars I love Porcupine Tree, I have all of their records and I always listen to them. "In Absentia" was a great step forward, and "Deadwing" is a big step backwards. Don't get me wrong... This is an excellent album if you like pop rock or alternative rock, but you won't find too many prog songs here. Someone has said that "Lazarus" is better than "Trains," and other stuff like that, but these new song are not even close to the older ones (unless you like pop). Surely you're gonna like this, but not for too long; it's a good album, but not excellent.
Report this review (#34355)
Posted Friday, March 18, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Well this is the new PT album, what more to say!? They changed indeed but... life changes, people changes... why can't a band change?! For some people this is good, for old prog listeners... may sound bad, but not 'cause the album is bad, maybe 'cause they miss songs like Dislocated Day or Radioactive Toy, and I do miss them. This album has more groovie riffs than any other, but the essence of PT stills there... on Colins bass, Barbieri synthesizers and especially on Steve's voice and guitars. The album is not only good, if you listen it as a single album (not comparing with the others PT albums) this album is excellent, but for some people they can do better, and of course they can... This is what a band fan expects, or not?! Great album, buy it, and lets wait for many many others excellent albums from PT.
Report this review (#34356)
Posted Saturday, March 19, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Porcupine Tree is at it again - I was completely satisfied with Blackfield's newest album entitled "Blackfield," which is Steve Wilsons other side project with Aviv Geffen. I wasn't expecting yet another creation to come out of the woodwork this year from Porcupine Tree... it was a nice suprise to see 2 great CD's to come out of the studio! I seriously have never heard ONE bad track from Steve Wilson and PT... all the albums are as good as gold through my eyes. Anyone who is a fan or even liked their last record "In Absentia" should check out this one... their music has grown so much more, I can't even begin to imagine what's next from Wilson... he's a mastermind! It does seem like there's more of a hard rock influence on this album - I would of liked it to have more tracks... 9 tracks just wasn't enough for me and every time I listen to it, the album flys by. Like I said, Blackfield's album made up it... if you haven't heard them yet, CHECK THEM OUT NOW0.

The tracks on this album DO have a much different sound from PT's other records, but not too different. The opening track Deadwing sounds like something they've never done before. I have to get used to HALO I think, it's got a catchy sound but it's not their sound I'm used to hearing from previous records. Overall the best songs are Arriving Somewhere, but Not Here... it's the longest and most beautiful song... one of my favorites of all time by PT... and the last one which is Glass arm Shattering sounds like it could be a song off of Stupid Dream or In Absentia... classic sound. Check out this one, all harcore fans will adore it.. you won't be disappointed. Even if you're not a big PT head - you'll still enjoy!

Report this review (#34360)
Posted Tuesday, March 22, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars From 'On The Sunday of Life...' to 'Deadwing', there definetly have been some significant changes. But who is to say change isn't bad? Ofcourse this album is not as progressive as the previous works of Porcupine Tree. But that is no reason to deny giving this album a shot, unless you only listen to one genre, and that genre is prog. The Cd opens up with the amazing title track, 'Deadwing'. The song sets the mood for the whole album in one piece, changing in various parts, becoming heavy and melodic. Shallow is the typical rock song, reminiscent of 'Blackest Eyes'. Following up is 'Lazarus', a ballad that is questionably one of Porcupine Tree's most intimate, soothing songs. It's been put next to 'Trains' as far as it's sweetest and melody goes. Following is 'Halo', which seems to be the least liked track on 'Deadwing'. Now, I would agree, as it is not my favorite song. However, I do still like this song a great deal. It is not so much of alternative as many say. It has the simplicity of 'Four Chords That Made A Million' and 'Shesmovedon', yet the dark effects of 'The Creator Has The Mastertape' and 'Strip the Soul'. Still a good track. Thus, it is followed up by one of, if not the, best track on the Cd. I instantly fell in love with 'Arriving Somewhere (But Not Here)' for it's initial mood. It breaks every boundary of music, flowing every mood and emotion into one feeling within a 12-minute period. 'Mellotron Scratch' is another softer track, but the overdrive will come on again from time to time. And there is a small section towards the end that reminds me of 'Russia On Ice' with the small drum fills. 'Open Car' in my opinion was one of the most powerful tracks on the Cd. Between the lyrics, and the vocals in the chorus, the song will once again drag you through different emotions. And it is not your typical song, having an off-beat timing throughout the verse. 'The Start of Something Beautiful' mixes all the great elements of Porcupine Tree together. It includes the great synth, pianos, clean guitars. The time scheme of the song reminds me a bit of 'Sound of Muzak', while it says in a mood that is more towards 'Last Chance to Evacuate Planet Earth Before It Is Recycled'. And the last song is yet again a great epic, with 'Glass Arm Shattering'. Steven Wilson harmonizes with himself in classic PT fashion, and ends this great Cd with a track in which you can get lost in the music. Overall, I dont think it is their best piece. But I dont believe this is a must have if you like Porcupine Tree. Not if you are a prog fan, or if you like alternative, or metal. If you like Porcupine Tree's music, and if you appreciate their talent of songwriting and ability, then this combination should not let you down, regardless of what genre is slapped onto it.
Report this review (#34362)
Posted Tuesday, March 22, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars First of all I have to say that PT is not a prog band in the way of copying seventies bands. If King Crimson or Yes (etc) would have been copycats of the beatles (for instance) no one would remember them now. So, to me, PT is a trully progressive band in the true meaning of the word, that is an ahead-looking band, they developed a trully own sound and are proyecting it into the new millenium. Pt is not afraid of sounding pop or rock or psych....they just CREATE and thats really a difference to other bands that look back in time before making their music, bands deeply on the cliche of sounding like Genesis to be respected these days. we have the new PT album (sorry i couldnt wait and just downloaded it, but Im really gonna buy it) and its a really good album, but not a masterpice (In Absentia Size).

It features all the elements that make PT as great as it is. On tracks like "Glass arm shattering" and "The start of something beautiful" we hear the band delivering a dosis of classic PT sound. The beautiful (smart)pop rock ballad "Lazarus" and the PT style metallick rock of "Shallow" keep on maintaining the search of a sound that will get some new rocker fans to the bands, great tracks anyway.

The epic "Arriving..." (longest song and longest title) mixes in a good way the more classic "prog" sound of the band with the new metal influences. I disagree with the one who said that the heavy riff on this song is like new metal(korn, deftones,etc)...I think its more like modern metal, with a weird and complex structure.

"Halo" is the difficult track here..... more dense and the chorus is hard to get into, but with sucessive listens I got the bands intention on this one.... and I liked it .

Deadwing is an excelent album that suffers from being the In Absentia follow up. Recomended to anyone who likes excelent music.

Report this review (#34364)
Posted Sunday, March 27, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is the Perfect PT album. Yes they could have done better, but nothings "perfect". I like deadwing way better than In Absentia, because it has those memmorable songs like Arriving Somewhere But Not here. The whole alubum is loaded with interesting songs. WHile people might say its "alternative pop/rock". IT ISNT. Its still prog, but with new riffs and sounds. Its typical PT. BUY DEADWING!
Report this review (#34368)
Posted Thursday, March 31, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Why should people present evidence to the fact that they think this album is a masterpiece? Art is subjective. If you don't think Deadwing is that great, that's fine, but please don't bother with espousing your opinions as fact in an opinionated review of a piece of art. Porcupine Tree is NOT prog (not in the sense that the word is used now anyway i.e. music that never really progresses but veils it's lack of progression with needlessly complex arrangements). It is progressive in the sense that, yes, Porcupine Tree have not recreated any previous album. In my opinion, In Absentia is a better album than Deadwing. I think (here's my opinion) both of these albums are top notch pieces of songwriting and I'd dare anyone to write something better. For me, In Absentia is Porcupine Tree's masterpiece, but Deadwing is a damn fine follow up because it hearkens back to the PT of old and mixes it with the harder sound of IA and also covering new sonic territory. It's an adventurous album, especially for a major label release, and deserves to be heard several times (on a hi fi sound system of course).
Report this review (#34369)
Posted Thursday, March 31, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album is incredible, the band shows so many different sides to their music and the ability to make each work beautifully. The drumming is phenominal and the music is simply tight every track. Shallow is clearly a hit single, the remake of shesmovedon is light years ahead of the one on "Lightbulb Sun" and are the two I think really stand out on this albuim. Unlike so many bands of today, Porcupine Tree seems to be getting better with each release, a sign of promising and gifted musicians and incredible songwriting abilities. Wouldn't change a thing about the album, I guess there is something to be said for waiting a good amount of time between releases becuase I thought "In Abesntia" would be very very hard to follow up, but PT has done it magnificantly
Report this review (#34371)
Posted Friday, April 1, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars PT is back with their power to make great songs, based on a perfect balance between floydian prog, alternative pop and heavy rock. I was waiting impatiently for this LP to be released and the result just astounded me, for every songs are truly addictive. I can quote "Lazarus" ( perfect balad ), "Arriving somewhere but not here" and "The Start of something beautiful" ( two of their greatest prog songs ever ), and "Shallow" ( catchy, very heavy, and a potential hit-single ), for instance. This LP doesn't leave my HI-FI since I bought it. Great work, guys... Once again. Now, I expect a big show together with Anathema for their unique french date.
Report this review (#34372)
Posted Saturday, April 2, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Firstly, I want to put some weight to the fact that this in not an any kind of review. There is usually that disturbing feeling of making some kind of official and complete statement when writing reviews. This is surely not the thing when I want to say something about new Porcupine Tree release. The music they make is more or less sacred for me so I don't want to spoil the future listening experience with any final judgement from myself. But let's see what I've been waiting for a long time. "Deadwing" must be one of...or maybe even the most awaited album I've come across. It is obvious that these kind of awaited albums can easily dissapoint you because of so high expectations. Somehow I recognized this fact this time. I'm not sure if it has anything to do with the other fact that my expectations became fullfilled totally with this record. PT's previous album "In Absentia" was already a direct hit for me. I felt it was actually composed for me because I love it so much in its entirety :-D. Why is the awaiting of new PT record so exciting then? Well, because each new record has been completely different compared to the earlier ones. And that which is possibly the oddest thing this time is that the new one really is not that different. I have listened "Deadwing" few times now and I can say that they haven't shedded their skin by this release. The general feel is that there is something for everyone. And by everyone I mean the fans of every PT album....hahah. There is some heavier stuff a´la "In Absentia" and some sound textures by Richard Barbieri likewise in "Sky moves sideways". There is even something to compare with the music of No- Man and Blackfield (The other projects of the PT composer, producer and multi- instrumentalist Steven Wilson). So maybe this can't be called tight and complete product which hasn't been the thing on last few albums either. This is more like a collection of excellent and beautiful songs. Beautiful and emotionally powerful songs...Hell yeah... That really is what they are able to create!
Report this review (#34373)
Posted Sunday, April 3, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars This review must be separeted into two parts: my personal feelings and the true facts... 1st. The record is a highly anticipated piece, and certainly is a good one, with a lot of heavy riffs, nice singing and good craft in all the songs, really. BUT... 2nd. Is (of course) a little less adventurous than IN ABSENTIA, is an obvious evolution, but not a surprising one, we must admit that the mastermind of WILSON is almost perfect and has it's limits, and he figure that out by inviting 2 nice important figures in music. Anyway. The music is very kind, but has "things" from another established bands that made my personal point of view very hard. In the end, is a very good record, a very solid one, but not the first one to hear if your trying to learn something from this band... to be honest Wilson and company spent almost 3 years trying to reach out different places other than PT, and part of that research is shown in here. Let's be a little bit open and enjoy the record "as is". As usual, the "lost" songs from the album are quite more representative of the true spirit of the sessions. Try to locate the LAZARUS promo, what a piece!!!! peace
Report this review (#34374)
Posted Wednesday, April 6, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars what confuses me is whether prog fans like prog music or just the bands that play the 'prog template' produced by bands like genesis, floyd, king crimson. In my humble opinion progressive music for me is one which explores new ideas and keeps challenging itself, and i think deadwing suceeds on both levels it takes the ideas presented on In absentia to another level. A lotta prog fans are gonna be put off by the fact that the album seems uncomplicated without any obvious math rock excursions, nor any real spacy soundscapes but i would ask all these people to actually look beneath the crunchy riffs of the heavier songs like deadwing and shallow to find the layers of electronic soundscapes that these riffs leverage upon, the melodies of the quieter songs are so beautiful that they actually hurt especially lazerus which has to be one of the most delicate compositions ive heard form the band. the guitar leads are extremely different in feel than the ones on previous albums. The biggest progression according to me is the lyrics the real genius of deadwing are the lyrics read em up and the pieces will fall into their places. DEADWING IS A MASTERPIECE.
Report this review (#34375)
Posted Wednesday, April 6, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars I just love PT.So it is normal that i love "deadwing".... there is just a little bit missing to this album to make it as good as "in absentia"(a masterpiece for me). I found "deadwing" very very neo prog rock. It is more rock than the previous ones but it's prog as well.. I love this album it gives me shivers and that is a good thing. When i am listening to music i want to forget all the little problems of the day and Deadwing does it so it is a great album for me!!!!

Report this review (#34377)
Posted Wednesday, April 6, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars The new album is a grower and intially I was disappointed but having heard the new stuff live, I went back and listened again to what is on the album rather than what I thought should be on it, and it sounds great. I despise Shallow on this album and it reeks as if the record company have told SW to put out a nu-metal/rock single in the USA. This is the poorest song that SW has composed but its only 1 on the whole album. AHBNT is stunning and love it so much as it reminds me of Sky Moves/Signify era PT.

BTW, I have the 2 songs that did not make the album and "Half Light" should have been used as the closing track. GAS is fine but this is more classy and heartfelt. Beautiful and one of Steve's best ballads.

Report this review (#34381)
Posted Monday, April 11, 2005 | Review Permalink
2 stars I'm stunned! When I first heard In Absentia I was amazed at the musicianship and creativity of this band I had never heard of. After listening to their earlier works my amazement grew. I couldn't wait until the release of Deadwing! I should have waited! I'm so disappointed with this release I can hardly form my thoughts! Crap! That's the only thing I can Say. Crap! I guess all the good press went to their heads. I gave Deadwing 2 stars because I couldn't bring myself to give it one!
Report this review (#34383)
Posted Thursday, April 14, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars I believe that PT have once again done well and produced an excellent album. In fact, this album seems to harken back to the Signify days with more of a focus on atmosphere. Stand out songs are Lazurus, Arriving Somewhere but not Here, and Mellotron Scratch. Enjoy!
Report this review (#34384)
Posted Thursday, April 14, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars For me, In absebtia and Deadwing are masterpieces.... Even if Deadwing is more metal than it was expeted, it's a mix of all Steven Wilson's work... But I think we may listen to it in his DVD version, cause it was recorded for it... Melodies are more and more beautiful...

Report this review (#34385)
Posted Saturday, April 16, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars I think that again Porcupine tree achieve a great album. All the songs belongs to differents stages in the PT life because there are songs stronged linked to the "Signify" and "The sky moves sideways" age with quiet sounds of instruments and voices. In otherwise there are songs with a print or sign linked to "In absentia" and "Stupid dream" albums, despite all "Deadwing" marks are force, concentration, technical and inspiration. Excellent album with the Adrian Belew and Mikael Akerfeldt helps.
Report this review (#34386)
Posted Saturday, April 16, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars i think that porcupine tree canot do something realy bad. i am a proud fan of porcupine and they never let me say that they lost it. but evreytime i put deawing on my stereo i fell something different, not bad but i feel that sw has changed and that there is a new porcupine... tuffer, harder and stronger. i wonder if they will ever play something quiet like collapse or feel so low again, and if i will hear the lovely acustic after the riff. in absentia days... come back!
Report this review (#34387)
Posted Monday, April 18, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars I've dipped into the Porcs for a while now, being especially interested in In Absentia, with its spacey moments and heavier sounds. My first listening to Deadwing resulted in disappointment - and I'm not sure why -as this has been a real grower.

Personally, I like the more ambient and electronic - blips - thing they do. Skipping past the rigid conformity of deadwing with its embarrassing spoken Maerican stuff and the crassness of Shallow and Halo, there is much beauty to be found in lazarus, Meeotron Scratch, and the quite sublime Arriving Somewhere But Not here. The shift from ambient to heavy and back again is extremmely clever and subtle and makes beautiful, powerful listening. Is it me, or is ther a pattern in this type of music developing? Compare this track to Pineapple Thief's Remember Us and Archive's Again. There's this kind of Radiohead influence stretched into a lovely long song in each case, combned with a smidgeon of Floyd.

I also like Glass Arm Shattering as a dreamy finale - fans of PT please stick with this one and play over - there are some moment s that are among Steve Wilson's finest.

Report this review (#34388)
Posted Monday, April 18, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars The more I listen to this album, the more disappointed I am. Some tracks seems like Robin Williams sings there. Some people said it's heavier album. Heavier than what? In Absentia? No way. Heavier than Robin Williams? Maybe. To be honest - this album is quite nice to listen, when you're lying in bed just before sleep, but nothing more. And the most disapointing is the lack of creativity."In Absentia" or "Stupid Dream" were very good albums full of musical surpirises. "Deadwing" is not. And in fact has nothing to do with prog, it's just pop-rock, and in most part - boring pop-rock. For me it's a step backward, although still listenable.
Report this review (#34389)
Posted Thursday, April 21, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Lugn, bara lugn. Who said "Deadwing" was bad? I'd say, the best PT album so far. Let the best PT reviewer in the world (världens bäste porcupinetreeänmalare) speak!

I thought I would be disappointed, after some people here called "Deadwing" crap (I'd very much like to see how these people look like, to find out what their age and education is what else they consider crap). On the first listening, the first track, 'Deadwing', might be indeed slightly disappointing because the first part of it is played almost on one note - no development of melody. But when I listened to it a few more times, I started to understand its structure and it became more and more accessible. Other tracks are simply brilliant - not a single boring piece (of which we can find several on, say, "Stupid Dream") and a lot of yummy progressive sound! My personal fauvorites are 'Halo' and 'Arriving Somewhere But Not Here'. I think "Deadwing" is the most balanced and mature PT album (and probably the heaviest) - it sounds like a good mix (or shake) of "The Sky Moves Sideways" and "In Abscentia". And if these two albums are certainly five stars each, then "Deadwing" should not trail here. Five stars! Excellent, very enjoyable work! I am certainly going to see the group during their US tour!

Report this review (#34391)
Posted Friday, April 22, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Deadwing is the most brilliant PT albumto date. Far more cohesive than In Absentia, the album has a totally unique atmosphere to it. From the emotional, epic chorus of Open car, the sporadic weirdness of the title track, the brutality of the heavy section of arriving somewhere but not here and the dream-like quality of glass arm shattering, this is a masterpiece!
Report this review (#34393)
Posted Monday, April 25, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars Deadwing is a good album. That's all. I wait much more from Porcupine Tree. I can't see the sense of a track like "Glass am shattering": that's simply the first part of "The sky moves sideways"! I think that this album is a good album, as usual for Porcupine Tree, but it's a useless album too. Maybe it's good for the younger fans. But the sonwriting and the arrangements are really tired. There is nothing in this album that you can't hear (and sound better) in the previous releases.
Report this review (#34394)
Posted Tuesday, April 26, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Hi from Italy! Tonight I went to the Porcupine Tree show in Rome, and I'm writing this review to tell everybody that "Deadwing" is a fantastic album, especially when played live. Steven Wilson is a great composer and a great performer, he is able to interact with his public and also the other members of the group. A great concert, also because of the opening show of "Anathema", which played a lot of beautiful songs with energy (incredible version of "Lost Control"). But let's go back to the album. Maybe a song like "Lazarus" is not the kind of song you expect to find in a PT album, but anyway is worth a listen: "Shallow", "Arriving Somewhere....", "Mellotron Scratch", "Halo", are all beautiful tracks, and well composed and played. This is not "Signify" or "Stupid Dream", but it's not an album for the young listener: every fan of PT should listen to it, good lyrics too. I got a copy autographed by every member of the band! Cool! Bye.
Report this review (#34395)
Posted Tuesday, April 26, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars yeah! these guys never let me down. 'Lazarus' is the most beautiful ballad I've ever heard, and it brings tears to my eyes every time I listen to it (often). this band is so wonderfully diverse. who else can do metal, mellow ballads, techno, and psychedelic, and do it with perfection? I can't give this review five stars, but it comes very close. keep it up guys. the creativity is stunning. Mister Wilson, you're a born musical genius. yeah!
Report this review (#34397)
Posted Wednesday, April 27, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars The latest entry from this outstanding band shows them further fine-tuning their musical vision. Judging by many reviews on this site, I was concerned that they had completely changed their sound. On the contrary, this is a natural evolution of their music, on a straight line drawn from Signify through In Absentia. PT have always had the harder rocking numbers on their albums, such as Signify, Tinto Brass, Lightbulb Sun etc. The ones here seem to turn it up a notch, and for a few moments here or there you are wondering if you are listening to Black Sabbath or Metallica. But there are plenty of soothing ballads too, my favorite is Mellotron Scratch which is deceptively simple and seductive. Glass Arm Shattering is amazing, and even the "hit" candidate "Shallow" is top notch. Adrian Belew turns in some nice guitar solos, and Opeth's singer contributes some good backing vocals. If you like PT, you really can't go wrong...this is as good as any of their stuff in my opinion.
Report this review (#34398)
Posted Friday, April 29, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars I have been a fan of Porcupine Tree since Lightbulb Sun, and the band has an incredible and rare talent of always being fresh and inspiring.

Unlike so many bands, you don't get to the 2nd track and know what the album is going to be like. Every song is a new journey of discovery, this is songwriting at it's very best. I have listened to this album almost every day since I bought it, (over a month ago), and still can't get enough of it.

If you buy one album this year, make it this one. Porcupine Tree's finest to date, and one album that will bring you listening pleasure for many years to come.

Report this review (#34402)
Posted Monday, May 2, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Hi from Canada Porcupine fans! I give this album 4 stars but really it should deserve 4 1/2... I can't give 5 stars to an album after listening to it for only a couple of weeks.. One thing i don't understand though is how somebody call this album crap after only a few listens.. This is the kind of album you have to listen repeatedly to get the essence of it, specially the longer songs. I was disappointed after my first listen, but then, usually, when your first listen is disappointing it is a good sign sometimes... I'm a longtime fan of Porcupine, i think all of their albums are really good and stand the test of time. (except maybe Lightbulb Sun that i don't particuraly like that much) I'm kind of surprised by people saying that they have changed too much. I think this album has a little bit of everything Porcupine is about. Porcupine Tree is not a copy of older prog band (thank you very much for that!!). I used to love prog music a lot and i still do for some bands (Gentle Giant, King Crimson). But there is one thing that has bored me with prog over the years. Always trying to sound prog, that's the problem of too many bands (IQ, Spock's Beard, Flower Kings, things like that...) I like music that makes me feel something, and Porcupine always does.. Songs like "Deadwing", "Arriving Somewhere But Not Here" and "The Start Of Something Beautiful" are absolute great songs with great musicianship and feeling too. I don't think that when Pink Floyd made Meddle or Dark Side, they sat down and told themselves "we have to sound prog"... They just played with their hearts and their great musicianship.That's exactly what Porcupine is about.. Forget the labels. To me a band that is labelled to only one genre is pretty one dimensional and boring... Maybe it is a little bit more mainstream then Up The Downstairs or The Sky Moves Sideways but that really doesn't matter... Pink Floyd sold millions of albums over the years, does that mean they're not a good band? Radiohead was #1 with OK Computer, but it is one of the best rock albums ever made too... Even a band like Tool was near the top of the charts with Lateralus, are they a pop band? I don't think so... It just means that these bands can interest different styles of music lovers. I can't wait to see Porcupine in Montreal on May 16th. I saw them twice allready and they were great! So buy this album it is worthwhile... unless you like one dimensional bands that replay the music you heard in the 70's. See you!
Report this review (#34403)
Posted Thursday, May 5, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars After listening to this release for a couple dozen times now, I am hooked!

Now regarding the growing division between the two Porcupine Tree fan bases that started with the release of "In Absentia".

PT's "Deadwing" and preceding "In Absentia" may be heavier than earlier releases, but what is wrong with that? It is also and often very soft. The contrast of the two makes it interesting. A heavy or scary sound is just one more tool for the composer to express a feeling or an ambiance, similarly to what we hear in a movie score. PT always makes extensive use of sound effects to attain this goal as well as demonstrated in Deadwing. Steven Wilson himself suggests that you should listen to a PT album like you watch a movie.

It is interesting to note that the same kind of division happened among Genesis fans, years ago. There was the Gabriel era fan base and the after Gabriel fan base: 2 different bands. What difference does it make now? No band is eternal and sooner or later, bands and fans alike have to move on. What SW has done in the past and is doing now is building his legacy. We, listeners, are just the witnesses. We have no right to demand that he satisfies our wants. PT's sound is unique and appealing because its creators like what they do and they do what they like, not what others like. It is also unique because Steven Wilson is in charge; thank God for that. If Mr. "Everybody" was in charge, PT would sound like everybody and become just another band. MTV presents those daily; these bands reach some level of success, and then most disappear after just a few years, without leaving a trace. PT has already left a trace and they are not done.

History has shown time and time again that important and influential bands are the ones that hold their ground. They are led from the inside by strong willed individuals. Think of Jimmy Page, Frank Zappa, Peter Gabriel, Jimi Hendrix, Sting, to name a few. Yes, most of them are dead or, let's say, mature. We will see in a few years what the younger generation has to offer, but it is safe to affirm that Steven Wilson will be on that list.

A band that is led from the outside by a strong willed producer or record company typically does not last very long. Music industry nowadays strives to take advantage of such a band's potential commercial success for quick profit; this is achieved by re-using a proven production recipe. Well, fortunately art is not about formulas, it is about creation. Thanks go to Steven Wilson for reminding us that via all PT albums.

Listen to "Deadwing", "In Absentia" or any previous PT albums with an open mind... You will discover rich harmonies and textures, interesting rhythmic structures more commonly found in jazz such as 7/4 (In Absentia - "The Sound of Musak"), 9/8 (Deadwing - "Start of something beautiful") This music will surprise you and make you visit places...

Report this review (#34405)
Posted Friday, May 6, 2005 | Review Permalink
2 stars Despite all the other reviews, I think that Deadwing is not a good album. For sure it is not the best album to approach Porcupine Tree: there is nothing here of the magic of other masterpiece as "Signify" or "The Sky..". The sound is rough and heavy, very much trendy. The songs does not contains good ideas and they seems all the same. Richard Barbieri seem to sink between the guitars sound and his support does not seem much. Only hard guitars and few ideas. Try again Steve.
Report this review (#34406)
Posted Monday, May 9, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars Well not as good as In Abesentia, but not bad. There are a couple of excellent songs on here, like Arriving Somewhere (But Not Here) and Mellotron Scratch, which are more in the way of older PT, though with newer influences as well. Other songs such as Shallow, Lazarus, Deadwing, and The Start Of Something Beautiful are all good, but I can't see myself listening to them very much. Open Car and Halo are very different from PT's older sound, Open Car with some pretty damn horrid lyrics and Halo...well, it's...different. It's alright, but it sounds way too much like alt with prog undertones VERY deep down.

The song that is most remeniscent of oldder Porcupine Tree is definitely the last song, Glass Arm Shattering. It's a good song that, although it doesn't rival masterpieces like Burning Sky or The Sky Moves Sideways phase one and two, or even the more recent songs Hatesong from Lightbulb Sun or .3 from In Absentia. It comes close, though. Just...not quite. I'd have to say my favorite tracks are all three of the more mellow songs (with some heavier parts), Mellotron Scratch, Glass Arm Shattering and Arriving Somewhere (But Not Here). All three are worthy editions to PT's already awesome list of good songs in my eyes. Tracks like Shallow and Lazarus are also quite good, but nothing that really stands out. It's been done before and better. Just don't think it's a bad album; it's definitely not. It's just not a masterpiece, simply a good album with a few awesome songs and one or two bad ones. The rest...are simply good.

Rating: 3.5

Report this review (#34410)
Posted Thursday, May 19, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars At the first listening I was not much impressed about this album.. Music of most of the songs was quite anonym to me and I was a little disappointed by this product. Then I must admit, after I saw PT in their recent concert in Rome, I started listening more carefully to songs, and I must say I changed my mind. I like most of the songs except Glass Arm Shattering (quite boaring). Deadwing and Shallow are good songs where Wilson is showing his strong power and his talent in playing guitar. Lazarus is a melodic song where the piano arrangements could dare a little more than what they actually do. Arriving Somewhere but not Here, is the perfect Radio Hit, which can attract new listeners, while Halo and Mellotron Scratch are more prog oriented songs. Special mention to new drummer, who has given more presence to drums and percussions than before. At the end I must say it is a good album, which deviates anyway from PT pure original style, but I believe this will surely attract more fans than previous albums. Prog Music is not for all...
Report this review (#34411)
Posted Friday, May 20, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Deadwing is beginning to show the direction that Prog Rock should be moving. If you listen to early Floyd, Any King Crimson and Any Yes the theme slowly tends to wear itself out and you begin to urn for soomething different. In my opinion PT is that something different. Lyricly the writing has improved leaps and bounds since In Absentia and makes you put in more thought to what he is singing as well as how the music is being played. The album/band is moving in a more progressive direction while still keeping Gorgeous song structure, something I found myself weening for in Trip 34. This is a great album and if you like Progressive rock or not you can get hooked on the cuts off of this album, everyone that I have let listen to this album has enjoyed this album to the point where the go onto the iTunes music stor and buy their own copy right then and there, this album should end up being one of the most celebrated albums of the year but do to todays Popy standards this album will never get the credit it deserves, and now without further rambling I will restate my score for this album which is a Godly 5 out of 5!
Report this review (#34414)
Posted Tuesday, May 24, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars Absolutely overated. This is not progressive rock, people. The album lies in a monotony that amazed me. Sometimes sounds like grunge, sometimes like Tool, sometimes like other thing... but never, never progresses to nowhere. Boring to the death. Progressive rock is more than 7/8 frames and mellotron. I've heard the album abot 5 times and didn't remember a chorus. I don't give it 2 stars, because is not for collectors or fans. They should be as pissed as I am. Good for altenative rock FM stations and MTV broadcasting.
Report this review (#35917)
Posted Thursday, June 9, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars John 11:43: 'After he said those things, he shouted mightly: 'Lazarus, come outside!'

A shrewd blend of grace under pressure. This album could upset people due to the high and disturbing level of heavyness in some points. The same pattern's been used in In Absentia but with the VU meter in the red for a longer time.

Who cares if it's not as Pink Floydesque as before? Maybe they refined their style a bit more. Anyway, the contribution by a member of Opeth should give you the idea of the jagged, powerful and armaggedonesque style it could give.

As for the high points, one has to be underlined with a marker: Lazarus. A great melody, hypnotic piano line and charming Teenage Fanclub/ Treble Charger vocals. Coldplay, Radiohead, Travis and Doves, britannia is aiming on the softer and melodic style these years. Porcupine Tree's trying in the vein, but only better.

Prog purists will spit on thid considering the relatively high FM material it contains. For others who'd like to spend a good time in the company of UK's highest hopes, grab it when you see it. The kind of album you cannot feel ashamed of playing in front of chicks.

'Come to us,'s time for you to go."

Report this review (#35933)
Posted Thursday, June 9, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I tend to agree with what colleague collaborator Bryan Adair has put in his review that it's not really prog. Two meaning on this, I think. First it's not really prog if we compare with the traditional prog scene of 70s. Second, and I think is the most important thing is that in terms of musical progression this album proves that Porcupine Tree does stand still with their music style and no significant progress compared to their previous albums. It does not necessarily mean that this album is bad - nope, not at all! The music is really rewarding and really good. This album came out when I was not really ready to enjoy as I had a lot of CDs that arrived at the same time that I needed to enjoy first for at least five spins. Because there was nothing new I found when I first spin the CD after opening the amazon box, this CD did not win the competition for share of spin on my CD player. How could I compare this "no progress" album with Pain of Salvation Be Live DVD that remarked major change in terms of style from Pain of Salvation music? PoS is a good example of a band that ventured in progressive way. And, I still had Echolyn "Stars and Gardens" DVD in my viewing queue? So, I put Deadwing on my shelf for future spins.

As the old adage says "Don't judge a book by its cover!" - it applies here as well: the cover of Deadwing is so lousy and it's probably the trademark of Porcupine Tree as I think In Absentia cover is lousy too. The cover projects dark nuance and the CD sleeve notes are not clear on what it means by all comical pictures there. It's like the inlay of Radiohead OK Computer, I think. At the opening page there are statements of ALLAHU AKBAR meaning GOD IS GREAT. I agree. But I don't know the linking pin that connect with this album. No lyrics printed in the sleeve notes. Nevertheless, the music is really good!

My CD package comes out as enhanced CD with "the making of" video and one hidden track at the end: "Shesmovedon" as bonus. The album comprises nine good tracks. It opens with the album title Deadwing (9:46) that flows smoothly with Porcupine Tree's style music. Structure-wise it's an almost straight forward modern rock music with some bluesy touch. There is a nice quiet passage insertion of ambient music augmented with guitar, followed with basslines and good drumming combined with stunning guitar. It's an excellent album opener! Shallow (4:17) starts off with guitar work that characterize classic rock music performed with modern sound. You may associate this track similar with the kind of Audioslave music. The only difference is the use of piano in this track. It's a good rocking track and pretty straight forward in terms of structure. Lazarus (4:18) is a psychedelic ballad with nice piano work reminiscent of RPWL kind of music.

Having been in a slow mode of Lazarus the band suddenly comes up with an upbeat tempo track Halo (4:38) with basslines as beat keeper augmented with drumming. Singing is performed with a distant vocals - typical Porcupine Tree music. The interlude part with basslines and rocking guitar is really good especially when it's combined with sound effects. Wow man .!! Next is a realtively long track titled Arriving Somewhere But Not Here (12:02) which starts with an ambient music exploring keyboard. It's a quite long silent mode but I find it enjoyable especially when keyboard gives its mark for acoustic guitar enters the music followed with distant vocal in melodic style. I do enjoy this opening nuance. This track represents the kind of music Porcupine Tree has been composing and playing: ambient, psychedelic, guitar riffs, distant vocals combined with acoustic guitar fills. Everything about the band can be seen here. The guitar solo is really stunning, performed mostly with long sustain style. At approximately minute 8, I find a segment that really similar with a segment in Heart of Sunrise from Yes "Fragile" album. I don't is it by accident or Porcupine Tree has widen his musical influence to Yes as well? Only Mr. Wilson knows. I encourage you have a copy of this album to have it checked about what I find here.

Looking at Mellotron Scratch (6:56) title I thought it's gonna be an intensive use of mellotron sounds, but it's heavily dominated with floating and ambient music with acoustic guitar work. It's quite boring at the opening but luckily it has different form at the ending part. Open Car (3:46) starts with excellent guitar work. The Start Of Something Beautiful (7:39) is a mellow track with stunning guitar solo. Glass Arm Shattering (6:12) is a quite boring track positioned at the end of the album. What puzzled me really is that it has approx five minutes leftover part that should not be there at all.

Overall, it's an enjoyable album even though I experienced a feeling of getting bored after track 6 or 7 because it lacks variations, I would say. But individually, each track is a good track. Overall rating is 3 1/2 out of 5 stars. It's really up to you whether to purchase this album or not as the music is basically the same with their previous styles. For me, purchasing this CD was mainly for the sake of completeness as this is the band that I should collect all the albums. The part that similar to Yes in terms of sound and melody must be confirmed as this may erupt the band's originality of ideas. Otherwise ..keep on proggin' .!

Progressively yours,

GW - Review #315

Report this review (#35943)
Posted Friday, June 10, 2005 | Review Permalink
1 stars This is a quite a letdown for me. In Absentia was my introduction to the band and I quite liked the "heavier" elements of that release, along with it's great harmonies and variety. Since then I have purchased their entire catalog from Up the Down Staircase forward. I even resorted to ebay for "Stupid Dream". All this is to say I have loved all the band's transitions. But Deadwing is just okay. Which for these fellows is not acceptable. To straightforward and for the most part predictable. And where are the harmonies? At times Steve's vocals are so buried in the mix it is scarcely audible.

A great effort for most bands, but not for these guys. But I can't blame them for going where the market is. A man's gotta eat.

Report this review (#35946)
Posted Friday, June 10, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars A beautiful album. It is not a prog masterpiece, because you have to put it in relation to In Absentia and Lightbulb Sun, and then of course to the really complex prog masterpieces. But it's definitely a sophisticated, yet fun to listen to album, never get's boring, and the melodies really grow on you pretty fast.

I can understand why some people call this alternative, as it has an alternative touch. But Porcupine Tree has always been difficult to describe, a quality that's not uncommon for prog artists. I'd say that this is a good starting point to get to know Porcupine Tree, if you don't mind a rough edge towards prog metal or alternative.

People looking for the Floyd centric mellow records which Porcupine Tree are famous for should go for Sky Moves Sideways or Voyage 34, Deadwing is considerably more heavy.

Report this review (#35959)
Posted Friday, June 10, 2005 | Review Permalink
Founding Moderator
4 stars Having admittedly not heard anything between Signify (which I reluctantly gave two stars) and Deadwing, I do not know the internal "progression" (in the literal sense) of the band over the past nine years. However, when I heard Deadwing, I felt I was listening to a totally different group. True, the Floyd and quasi-Crimson influences were still there, though much better channeled. However, on Deadwing I hear influences ranging from heavier groups like Arena, Ark and IQ to The Church (and even a subtle nod to the Red Hot Chili Peppers). Indeed, some parts of Deadwing straddle (quite succesfully) the line between psychedelic/space rock and (intelligent) prog-metal. / The album opens with the quasi-prog-metal "Deadwing," a terrific rocker with touches of Floyd (3:45-4:15, 5:45-7:30) and IQ (5:15-5:45), as well as some neat guitar dissonance from guest axeman Adrian Belew. Next we get "Shallow," a solid, fairly straightforward rocker in the Arena/Ark vein (it even has a Zeppish touch - one can only imagine what Plant would do with it), and a short jam at 2:40-3:15 that brings to mind recent Crimson. This is followed by "Lazarus," a beautiful ballad that sounds suspiciously like something we've heard before. Still, it holds its own. "Halo" is an almost unclassifiable piece, with more Beleweirdness at 3:20-3:40. Which brings us to "Arriving Somewhere But Not Here," the most extended track. The opening brings PT back to their PF roots, with a Gilmour-esque guitar figure, and Floydian melody and vocal echo. There are nice harmonies in the bridge, and two really neat breaks, an Arena/Ark/IQ-type jam at 6:30- 8:10, and a beautiful guitar break at 8:45-9:45. The overall effect of the piece is PF as channeled by The Church. "Mellotron Scratch" gives us a deceptively simple arrangement through 4:30, followed by a heavier jam. There are also some really nice layered harmonies in the chorus. (And where have I heard that opening theme before?...) "Open Car" is a simple, neat rocker: indeed, how many groups could write a really good prog-rock "hit" that comes in at under 4 minutes? "The Start of Something Beautiful" is the other extended track. Simple but effective, it plays subtly with 9/8 and 10/8 time signatures. "Glass Arm Shattering" closes the album with a shamelessly Church-esque composition. With the exception of a brief harmony passage at 4:00- 4:30, the entire piece could have appeared on any of The Church's albums from "Hologram of Baal" to "Forget Yourself": here are Kilbey-esque vocals, and the kind of heavily textured arrangement that is practically a Church trademark. Still, the composition is quite good, and holds its own. / As I have noted previously, the success of any post-seminal group is determined primarily by how well they channel their influences, and how interesting, new and even compelling the result is. On Deadwing, Porcupine Tree does a superb job in this regard. They also use studio effects well in some of the intros and outros, and Steve Wilson's lyrics are consistently interesting and well-supported by the music. / Two final comments. First, I would bet dollars to donuts that PT was listening to (or are at least serious fans of) The Church (especially AENT and FY) and Skeleton Key, particularly their most recent album, "Obtanium," the approach of which shows up in "Shallow," "Halo" and "Open Car." Second, although I believe I am being a bit generous in my rating (the album probably deserves 3.5 stars), I gave the album four stars because (i) I am just so happy to see how much PT has matured since "Signify," and (ii) as my friend and musical co-traveller Dusty Wright said when he insisted I hear this album, "You're gonna like it despite yourself." Thanks, Dusty: I do - very much.
Report this review (#36392)
Posted Monday, June 13, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Wonderful. This album is beautiful. Lazurus' piano haunts you and makes you truly follow the song. Halo is also a great song with the images of where God is. I LOVE Shesmovedon. One of my personal favorites from PT. It was a great surprise to find out that they had redid it on put it on "Deadwing". My friends and I saw them at their first "Deadwing" concert in the U.S. and Steve Wilson was brilliant. He and the rest of the group were jamming the new album and was a terrific night. I know that there has been some disscussion whether this album is truly prog or not. For me I do think that it is for most parts, but whether it is truly prog or not, this album is still brilliant and you should get it.
Report this review (#36994)
Posted Sunday, June 19, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars I was having a conversation with a friend recently, we both agreed there isn't enough "riff" based rock around anymore apart from a handful of bands. Seems the Trees are here with Deadwing to set that straight. This to me is a perfect marriage of the earlier more signature floaty, psychedelic approach of creating space and proximity and some really upfront heavy riffs. Steven Wilson is careful not to overdo the headbanging and no one song is totally dominated by aggression (Shallow the exception), it seems its only used when its immediate to lifting the song and so gives it more impact. Another thing that strikes me about this album is to my ears it is immaculately produced.

I don't suppose SW and his cohorts know there stylistic destination or are even trying to contrive one, it seems they are indulging themselves in making the music they enjoy.

Report this review (#37337)
Posted Thursday, June 23, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars PT and this recording disappoints me on several levels which I'll briefly describe here. First off, I'm a HUGE PT fan, which is why I give this CD only 3 stars. Recorded by anyone else, I would consider going 4.

Disappointment 1: I first heard this album performed "live" in concert in Montreal... I don't like hearing new material live in concert for the first time. This is because the "deluxe edition" with CD, DVD-A, and hardcover book that I ordered directly from the band's website was delayed for over a month. Not happy.

Disappointment 2: The band arrived over 1 hour late for the gig, and only put on a 90 minute show with no warm-up. The concert was general admission and most folks had been waiting for over 2 hours. Not happy.

Disappointment 2: The "deluxe edition" package that I paid big bucks for doesn't even include all the bonus tracks offered on other editions. How many editions are there, anyways? Again, part of the problem is the psychotic marketing this band adheres to. Why, several of their best albums are out-of-print after only a few years. Not happy.

Disappointment 3: A re-recorded SHESMOVEDON "bonus" track? Hey SW, this song is PERFECT as it is/was on Lightbulb Sun. No need to mess with it. Not happy.

Disappointment 4: This is the follow-up to "In Absentia"? A step backwards, in my view. There's not much going on in most of these tracks. Rather ho-hum and unispired, overall. Where is the artistry in the keyboard work? RB sounds like he's practically sitting on the mellotron through most of the affair. Yes, "Lazarus" is lovely and "Arriving Somewhere (But Not Here)" is probably the best track here, but that's probably because Adrien Belew (King Crimson) dropped by and infused some tasty lead guitar that finally woke me up. Not happy.

Disappointment 5: Mellotron Scratch is likely the worst PT track I have ever heard. Makes me want to put a gun to my head. [not really]

Nuff said... Second thought, 2 stars. No. Maybe. Whatever. At the end of the day, this will be the best-selling PT album to date for all the wrong reasons.

Report this review (#37606)
Posted Saturday, June 25, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars My overall rating: 3.75/5.00. A good album from PT, but by no means their best effort. This is, IMO, a dichotomous album, with some part of it being less prog-oriented (I am tempted to call it "commercial"), and the other being vintage PT stuff. This dichotomy also takes something away from this work holding together as a comprehensive album. Not the best album to start with if you are going to try PT for the first time. A track-by-track breakdown:

1. Deadwing - Nice track. Quite heavy as compared some of PT's earlier work, but contains good prog pieces. 2. Shallow - Useless. An out-and-out hard rock/heavy metal track that any of scores of current mainstream/commercial bands out there could have produced. 3. Lazarus - Nice sound, but cannot be called prog by any stretch of imagination. As another user commented, it sounds like something out of a COLDPLAY CD. 4. Halo - Ok. Starts to incorporate some prog elements again. 5. Arriving somewhere but not here - Great song, marred by an inexplicable 30-45 second heavy metal riff in the middle, which IMO is completely incongruous with the general tone of the song. Could have been a classic, but for this. 6-9. Vintage PT stuff. All these 4 tracks are very nice ("Mellotron Scratch" could have been improved a tad bit though - it is too one-toned at times). "The Start of Something Beautiful" is my favourite track on this album, by some distance. Truly something beautiful.

I am still puzzled about the few commercial-sounding elements of this album. I wonder if PT just ran out of ideas and used them as fillers, or if they might be preparing to increase their popularity in the U.S. by incorporating mainstream-sounding stuff in their works (especially given that the release of this album coincides with their first U.S. tour). Afer listening to the album multiple times, I am more inclined to believe the latter. I sincerely hope I am wrong...

Report this review (#37689)
Posted Saturday, June 25, 2005 | Review Permalink
2 stars Only a "medium" album, expecially if compared with previous very good, innovative and strongly personal works. Moreover, and unfortunately, their vein is addressing to harder music (prog?), nothing to share with, e.g., Signify, or Lightbulb Sun, or (so on...). I bought this album "convinced" by very good reviews on this site (I think it's better to put major attention in reviewers' evaluations...), and by the desire of assisting their show in Italy, this summer: don't know if they will play all this last album, but I strongly hope not!
Report this review (#37920)
Posted Tuesday, June 28, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars "In Absentia" was an impossible act to follow, one of those once-in-a-lifetime events that an artist almost has to overcome in order to be allowed the freedom to move on. "Deadwing" is up to the task. It is a brilliant piece of work, a powerful and very compelling next chapter in Porcupine Tree's ascent to stardom. Keep listening, these guys are going places.
Report this review (#38037)
Posted Thursday, June 30, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Excellent!! Go buy it! Great pianos, drums and guitars. You will hear one of the best songs you probably have ever heard, called "Lazarus". Wanna bet? I will not get in to that about, if it is prog or not, heavy or alternative, etc. Of course if you hear "The Sky Moves Sideways", then "Blackest Eyes" and then "Lazarus", don´t worry, you do not have a drinking issue. It is the same band. It is simply called growing up, as a lot of great bands, who have had significant changes through the years, as far as they keep on making good music. Do not loose the point. What is really important here, is that Steve Wilson is an amazing musician and PT have built an extraordinary and unique style. Not bad for a sound that started as an experiment from a one-man band. I am certain that, as Lazarus was told to wake up and walk, this song and album will help PT to walk in to another level.
Report this review (#38772)
Posted Thursday, July 7, 2005 | Review Permalink
King of Loss
3 stars Porcupine Tree- Deadwing is their latest release from Atlantic Records. Here, Steven Wilson and Co. continue to explore the heavier, Progressive Metal assault that was so sucessful for them from In Abstenia. Songs like Shallow, Arriving Somewhere But not Here are extremely heavy at parts and Progressive Metal to the core. Shallow is a catchy 4 minute, chord-progression obsessed song and Arriving Somewhere But Not Here is a longer 12 minute song which explores the heavier and lighter parts of Porcupine Tree's arsenal. The guitars, drums and the whole band thrives in this album and this is a good example of Porcupine Tree's music, even though I must say its not the greatest of releases. This is a good solid 3 1/2 star album, but rounded down due to the fact that is just a very average album from a band such as Porcupine Tree. I recommend "In Abstenia" or "Lightbulb Sun" instead.
Report this review (#40639)
Posted Wednesday, July 27, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars 3.6 Stars

A great album. This album focuses more in heaviness contrasting with mellow passages (especially on epics like the title track, Arriving Somewhere But Not Here, and Start of Something Beautiful), and unfortunately the gorgeous vocal harmonies of In Absentia are lacking in quantity and quality in this release. The contrasts are also present one song from the other (The alt-rock heaviness of Shallow with The piano ballad called Lazarus). There are also short tracks that differ from the typical Porcupine tree song (like Halo and Open Car), which unfortunately for the latter is not very enjoyable. The title track and Start of Something Beautiful are similar in structure in the way that its structure differs from the normal pop song, and takes many turns and changes every couple of minutes. Mellotron Scratch is a successful track that has its an excellent moment at the end of it (PT vocal harmonies in a Neal Morse Way!). Glass Arm Shattering is a typical mellow Porcupine tree song, and the big epic of the album is one of the best and most mature songs I've heard from the band. It combines all the musical qualities found in each album to form a majestic psychedelic/rock trip. I think Arriving Somewhere But Not Here is the ultimate Porcupine Tree song.

Song Ratings:

1). Deadwing 8.5/10 2). Shallow 6.5/10 3). Lazarus 6/10 4). Halo 6.5.5/10 5). Arriving Somewhere But Not Here 9.5/10 6). Mellotron Scratch 8/10 7). Open Car 4.5/10 8). The Start Of Something Beautiful 8/10 9). Glass Arm Shattering 5.5/10

My Grade : B-

Report this review (#42711)
Posted Saturday, August 13, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars With "Deadwing" Porcupine Tree let us hear they are a very mature band. After dozens times listening to "Deadwing" I have to admit that it is a very complex and powerfull record. Songs like Deadwing, Lazarus, Arriving somewhere but not here, Start of something beautiful are really good compositions wich make this album really adicting to me. If we talk about prog rock then this is it. I don't like to compare music with other bands from the past and with this album I really can't because it is an unique sound they delivered here.
Report this review (#44433)
Posted Saturday, August 27, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Some people say that they miss Porcupine Tree's "melodic side" in DEADWING compared to "Signify", "Stupid Dream" or " Lightbulb Sun". Or they miss their "Floydian style" that they used in "The Sky Moves Sideways". Some even doubt that you can still label PT a prog-rock band!!!

Why does every band have to fit in a certain "box"? And what does PROGRESSIVE really mean?? Is it only because we think progressive rock should sound like Pink Floyd or King Crimson or does it mean that they really are progressive themselves? Meaning they like to move forwards instead of doing the same album over and over again. Or in other words: exploring their musical limits and changing styles? My answer to this question would definitely be the latter part!

No matter how you want to label this band, everything Steven Wilson lays his hands on seems to have some magic in them. Take the collaboration with Opeth or with Israeli singer/songwriter Aviv Geffen (BLACKFIELD) for example. Great stuff! Who would have thought that as busy as he is Steven Wilson found the time to make this studio album with his own band Porcupine Tree?

The result: I have to admit it, as with many albums this one takes time to get better. Good thing is that it is only getting better each time you will listen to it. I must have listened to it more than a couple of dozen times by now and I even started to like the songs DEADWING and SHALLOW, while I thought they were a bit too heavy for me at first.

Highlight of the album definitely is the +12 minute masterpiece ARRIVING SOMEWHERE BUT NOT HERE. Half ways the song it seems to take you in a completely different direction to eventually guide you back to the path you were on. This is why I love PT so much! Sometimes there seem to be 2 completely different songs in only 1 track. Only the best get away with this!

LAZARUS is a very warm ballad that will give you time to take a breath after having been blown away by DEADWING and SHALLOW. The fourth track Halo really liked at first, but now seems somewhat disappointing. The fifth track ARRIVING SOMEWHERE I already discussed. Only one word comes to mind: MASTERPIECE!

MELLOTRON SCRATCH also took time to "grow". The last few minutes are very catchy and at first it seemed to be an entirely different song to me. Where have you heard that before?? Now after dozens of "listens" I must say it's another highlight of DEADWING together with the very delicate tracks THE START OF SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL (which is just simply beautiful, especially the last instrumental part!) and GLASS ARM SHATTERING. OOPS! Almost forgot the powerful OPEN CAR! What can I say? This Album ROCKS whether you want to call it PROGRESSIVE or NOT!


P.S. don't throw DEADWING in the bin after only one listen. This album takes time to grow and will become more beautiful each time you listen to it!

Porcupine Tree - Deadwing : 5 stars all the way!

Report this review (#44528)
Posted Saturday, August 27, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars brilliant but not awesome as "in absentia". for the first time i've had the impression that PT have made no step further in their musical investigations. if this was their first lp i'd regard it as a great one, but knowing well their discography and how they've grown over the years, i'm a little bit disappointed. that said, most part of the stuff is good, except for the radio-friendly lazarus (a great disappointment). also, "arriving somewhere" sounds as "welcome to the machine" pt.2. embarassing...
Report this review (#44534)
Posted Saturday, August 27, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars (excuse my spelling) I was so suprised that they could do it again! after porcupine trees deadwing, porcupine tree became my favorite band they are just so versitile. The song deadwing is very hard song with great melodey, witch not enough bands do, deadwing was a great why to start the album out.The sound change between swallow and Lazarus just blows my mind, shallow is a type of hit I haven't hired tree do before its very soundgardeny and I can't believe It didn't get much radio play. Lazarus on the other hand is simpley the beatles sound of steven wilson's writing, the piano brives the song and the words are haunting. The next song, halo is very bassy like ''slave called shiver'' off stupid dream or ''creater has a master tape'' off in absentia, the song has great words and a unbelieveable jam. ''Arriving somewhere but not here'' in many whys is the gem on the album. The song is sung with such melodey that it finds a place in my soul. Then it takes a very aggresive turn that is probrobley the hardist I've hired tree get... The song has two amazing guitar solos and has a brillent fad out ending. Theres not one bad song on this album it's a complete masterpiece, I saw most of this materal live and it just blow me away.
Report this review (#45154)
Posted Thursday, September 1, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars I must admit I waited a long time to listen to this band. Don't know why, but maybe because of this site I discovered a lot of great bands. I mention Pendragon, Arena, Collage, Symphony X, Riverside, Magic Pie, Gentle Giant etc. So time must be the factor.... I started with Deadwing and right now I'm working my way through their catalogue. In Absentia is a great album too.

Deadwing is a very good album to get into their music in my opinion. The influence of Pink Floyd is very obvious, although there are also metal influences. Everything is blended together to become very enjoyable and listenable. The highlight for me is Arriving Somewhere But Not Here. The overall sound is hypnotic and driven, with emphasis on melody and details. Al the sounds are well structured and everything is in its place. The vocals sometimes remind me of Beatles (am I allowed To Say that?).

**** for this album. There is a chance they deliver a album that I can rate 5 stars. Recommended!

Report this review (#45698)
Posted Tuesday, September 6, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Well it's about time I actually got down to writing this review, having put it off for so long. I've put it off for a good reason though, and the reason is this: I can't stop listening to the album!

I'm going to cover the tracks individually so that it makes it easier for you [the viewer] to pick out which tracks you'd be interested in listening to! Before I do however I'll just cover some introductory grounds first.

Deadwing is the first ever Porcupine Tree album I heard, I had always wanted to check these guys out after I heard the track 'Sever' on a classic rock CD that came free with the magazine, but didn't get round to hearing a full album till only last month. Having checked the bands website I downloaded and watched the promotional video for the album which I enjoyed watching Steve Wilson and Co mess around in the studio. So right after watching it, I thought the time is now and immediately ordered a copy, and I wasn't let down when it arrived.

Now there are two kinds of people [in my opinion] when listening to Progressive Music, the 1st would listen to the album once, form an opinion [usually a bad one] and move on. The 2nd person is like I am, an active listener and actually gives the album a chance by many repeated listening's. Truth be told I heard the album once, even twice and thought its alright, nothing special, but nothing could be further from the truth, for it's essential to have many repeat listenings before it strikes you just how good this album is. Then the quality and production of this album really hits you!

'Now enough with the babbling I hear you shout'! 'What are the tracks like, pray do tell?

'Well some are good, and some are absolute masterpieces, which includes the title track, here we go:

Deadwing: Opens with some soft synth in a repeating rhythmic phase, it catches your attention because on the first listen you have no idea where the song is going, and this is crucial for the opening track. The wham, straight into a F# - F progression that's in drop D [gotta love lowering your bottom E!] it carries for a few measures and then, 'what's this your saying?' it sounds like Opeth, yeah it does but with a bit of PT magic in there, SW goes crazy on the guitar and gives us a meaty palm muted riff. Then his voice enters 'Something warm and sumptuous passed me by' he softly sings, what can he be on about, more I must hear more! 'My bleeding heart does not extend to charity.' you can almost feel pain in SW's voice, the lyrics in this song may be on the depressing side, but there's something to relate to for everyone. Midway through the song the main riff is repeated with a mini-solo that sounds cool layered on everything else, and then the best bit of this track begins. It goes all quiet the synths come back, and a guitar with a bit of delay/tremolo is introduced, this is then joined by a palm muted distorted guitar emphasising 'D'. it builds until an AMAZING guitar solo enters, It's slightly out of key [on purpose but of course] but it works wonders, so fast yet hooks you to listen. Then the main theme comes back and the song finishes on the quiet side, it is a 9-minute mini-epic that is very cleverly written. 10/10

Shallow: This track is the most aggressive [at least in the sense of all the way through] on the album, and is the most radio friendly, lets hope it gets some airtime. Nice killer riff is prevalent throughout. With gentler prechorus's and consistent drumming. I'm still trying to figure out what this song is about, I'd like to think its about how Shallow some people can be trivial and take things at face value 'it's easier to talk to my PC' and 'All I know is on my own' would seem to confirm this. The middle 8 of the song has a cool guitar based jam with some excellent sound FX's and voice manipulation, it just screams 'frustration'. This is a good track to show to potential listeners, as it will draw them in real fast! It's not my favourite track on the album though, because it's not as varied and progressive as the others. 7/10

Lazarus: This is a gorgeous acoustically led track, with some synth piano backing, it shows just how good a writer SW is, he can write soft tracks and hard tracks no problem [he combines the two perfectly in Arriving Somewhere Not Here] and this is a great chill out track. Has a sort of Banjo?? Solo near the end of the song that sounds well good as well, only a short track but it has the desired effect. 'Follow me down to the vally below, moonlight is bleeding from out of your soul' beautiful!. 8/10

Halo: My 2nd favourite track on the album got hooked on this the first time I heard it. Starts with an immense bass line, backed up with some drums and synths, then a crazy bit of fast picking guitar line enters, as the lyrics continue. This song seems to have a religious theme to it, I'm non-religious but I just love some of the lyrics, especially the chorus: very catchy 'you can be right like me, with god in a hole you're a righteous soul, I'm not the same as you cos I've seen the light and I'm gaining in height now, I've got a halo round my head' I think he trying to imply that a lot of religious people seem to think they are better then non-religious people, when it doesn't really matter. Still the song is awesome, nice heavy middle 8 with a crazy solo in it, before the main theme is reprised and the song ends. 10/10

Arriving Somewhere But Not Here: My Favourite track on the album, it's so immense and achieves its aim. The way it builds up is very clever, it starts soft and you'd be mistaken in thinking it's going to keep like that, for as the song builds up and segues into the middle 8 section, it's happy days for headbangers! The middle 8 is driven by such a forceful riff, that changes into another forceful riff, and then by the wonders of multitracking is joined by another cracking riff, before merging back into the main song after a quieter bit, that is also excellent in its execution, some rhythmic drumming almost sound like bongo's and some added acoustic guitar solo carry it through back into the main theme. Right good!!!! I also like the song title, it vagueness appeals to me. 10+/10

Mellotron Scratch: Starts with a nice clean electrically led riff, with some decent electronic percussion joins in, the SW's voice enters, sounding rather downbeat before the song picks up some pace. It's the chillout track of the album there's no doubt about that has a decent enough chorus and the lyrical content is ok. It is a little sublime though, especially the outro, which I think, is the best part of the song. Has a nice repeating riff, backed by a light electric guitar solo. My least favourite track on the album but its still top notch. 6/10

Open Car: This track has grown on me a lot; at first I thought it was just a Shallow clone, but its actually better then shallow and a lot heavier in places. Opens up with the kind of palm muted riff that Tool or Opeth would use extensively with SW hitting you with strong lyrics. Then wham into a heavy metal riff, as the drums enter. The chorus is a little lighter on the ears at least till the end, killer riff and excellent vocal work by SW, 'Head Blown in an open car' he yells! I'm still trying to figure out what this song is on about; I think maybe it's about things falling apart in your life. Nice song to rock to. 8/10

The Start Of Something Beautiful: This song is the least accessible song on the album, at least for me; the music itself is very strong, what you would expect Porcupine Tree of delivering now. I particularly like the solos, which sound quite menacing in places. The main riff is good, and the piano that follows it is a bonus. The outro is very simplistic in the fact it's just the main riff but heavier and some uplifting SW lyrics, about not giving a damn. I think this song is about being knocked down at the beginning of a relationship, when you in fact thinks its all right, but then after thinking about it not actually giving a [&*!#] about it. That's cool. 7/10

Glass Arm Shattering: The final song on the album [not counting the bonus song which I'll cover next] is wicked, perfect for rounding off what's been quite a trip throughout the whole of the album. Starts off with some static and some nice guitar, then some spacey synths enter [bonus!] before SW starts singing in an uplifting [as if he's come to a conclusion about something] voice, which is very relaxing to listen to. The track progresses quite nicely, with a nice piano led middle 8. The song finishes after a heavier section more or less as it started, nice and mellow, the lyrics lead out to finish the song. Lovely! 9/10

She's Moved On: [Bonus Track] Deadwing contains a re-done version of this song, that appeared on the PT album 'Lightbulb Sun' which is also another excellent PT album, and I'm not to sure why SW felt the need to re-record it. Sure it's better then the original simply because the guitars sound stronger, but I felt the original version was just fine. It's like SW doing a re-done version of Open Car and sticking it on the next album, pretty much pointless, although a bonus nonetheless. He probably has his reasons though. 6/10

So there you have it, its pretty much there best album to date as regards progression of there sound, since they have leaned towards an harder edge this time round, which is certainly refreshing. Be nice if the soundtrack could accompany a film of some sorts as SW originally intended. The futures bright for this band, and I eagerly await the next release, you never know quite what your going to get with this band, and that's what progressive music is all about.


Report this review (#50003)
Posted Tuesday, October 4, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars I can't understand some reviews of great prog reviewers of this site. What is progressive music after all ? Does it have a consensus definition? Or does it have on the badge that it MUST be like 70's rock ? Does not progressive music, after all, signify music that innovates, exploring new sonorities, new feelings and the people who listens to it to be OPEN minded ?

The fact is that this album has indeed some degree of innovation and offers rock a new breath. I made an experiment and offered this album to three friends of mine who don't like prog at all, and are only satisfyed listening to 3 minute songs. The fact is that they loved the album (one of them didn't even sleep that night listening to it (!). You may say that they loved it because it is commercial. But looking to the duration of songs, you see that there is a 9 minute song, an 8 minute song and a 12 (!) minute song, and, curiously, it was their favourite.

This album was made to be the soundtrack of the homonimous movie (who didn't manage yet to breack through) and comparatively to their last album, IN ABSENTIA, Deadwing is more compact (a true concept album) and it has more instrumental atmosphere parts (perhaps remembering a bit their old UP THE DOWNSTAIR) but mantaining the modern metal influences to their sound. The heavy-riff constructed song "Deadwing" has a great sonic power and is a perfect testimony of Porcupine Tree's music over the past years: it has a catchy backing vocals melody, psycho ambience and quiet atmospheres (from the "trancy hipnotic" back effects to the fantastic and original pshyco guitar solos made by Adrian Belew), excellent execution by all members (again, the excellent and solid work by the drummer Gavin Harrison) and a impecable production. It has some post-rock development, managing to conclude from the complete caos (minute 7:32). Impecable song. "Shallow" fuses classic hard-rock with 90's rock creating something new. "Lazarus" is a nice catchy ballad with a good work of keyboards creating a hypnotic atmosphere, and coexists perfectly with Shallow. "Arriving Somewhere not Here" is another gem, the best of the album, it capturates an ethereal and emotional-captivating feeling in crescendo with an interbadge of cathartic industrial rave. The album continues with the proggy "mellotron scratch" (though actually does not have much mellotron) and the simple but convincent "Open Car" and ends beautifuly with another standout, the atmospheric "The Start of Something Beautiful" and the dreammy dense "cacophony" of "Glass Arm Shattering", a great melancolic song, ending perfectly the album.

The album, in its essency, transmitts a strange form of beauty, a melancolic strange feeling that transports this album to an higher ethereal level. Combining some original elements and having solid songs with cathy mellodies, in the Porcupine Tree's style, this album should touch anyone with some overture to originality. Masterpiece.

Report this review (#51838)
Posted Friday, October 14, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars The title track, and the Tool-esque, "Shallow", are tracks that I really enjoy listening to. Finally i found some long Porcupine Tree tracks that I could sit through and enjoy. I found a lot of potential in this album, as it was a lot more rocking than usual. However, the rest of the album really didn't impress me very much. I hear good things, but not groundbreaking or incredible things. I still respect this band and the works of Steve Wilson very much but this is yet another 3 star journey of boring, uninspiring music.
Report this review (#52851)
Posted Saturday, October 22, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Porcupine Tree's Deadwing is a combination of spacey, beautiful melodies, and heavy guitar riffs. The opening track, Deadwing, is an epic filled with both beautiful and spacey, and heavy, rocking music. Next, Shallow, is one of the two heavier songs on Deadwing, and has an amazing, almost Zeppelin or Sabbath inspired riff, which is not too often heard in prog music. The third track, Lazarus, is one of their most beautiful songs since Collapse The Light Into Earth; beautiful music accompanied by Steven Wilson's haunting vocals; drums pick up later in the song, giving it a more upbeat feel, while still capturing its mood. Halo is a mixture of the two tpyes of music found in this album, and all other PT albums, moslty heavier, but with a spacey part near the end. Arriving Somewhere But Not Here, the longest song on Deadwing, is one of the best ones on here, with excellent visual imagery. Mellotron Scratch, the sixth track, has a surprisingly inventive, very memorable piano riff, which is both haunting and simple. Open Car, Is probably the second heaviest song, after Shallow, but has a strong, beautiful chorus. Start Of Something Beautiful, the second-last song, is just average Porcupine Tree, not really that much different than the other songs, but still beautiful with stong lyrics. The last track, Glass Arm Shattering, is the definition of space rock.

Porcupine Tree maintain their usual sound on Deadwing, which is a concept album based on a screenplay by Steven Wilson, while continuing to get better every album. Not as amazing as the other albums, but still just as good, if not better.

Report this review (#53700)
Posted Friday, October 28, 2005 | Review Permalink
Marc Baum
5 stars One of the best albums of the year for sure. No, three or less stars are bad jokes, and four stars are not enough. "Deadwing" reached me personal like no other album this year and is one of my personal favourites together with Ghost Reveries by Opeth. I've heard many great discs this year, but the most challenging was definitely this one. With such great records like "Lightbulb Sun" and "In Absentia" in their previous catalogue, Porcupine Tree brings some heavier tunes on "Deadwing", but still deliver us the important PT character inside of the music, which makes them a unique cornerstone of the rock genre. The heavier parts, specially in "Arriving Somewhere But Not Here" remind on a cross between Dream Theater and Tool, but always catch back the guideline of the PT sound during the piece.

Track by track:

01 - Deadwing: Rocks pretty well, changes the mood with a haunting chord change in the middle-part, takes back the rock-forward-style from the beginning and flues into an ambient-styled instrumental part, where a guitar solo by Steven Wilson takes a wider place and takes back the main-style of the song again. Strong opening! (Track rating: 9.5/10 points)

02 - Shallow: Unusual, more straight-ahead metal song, which contains a pretty cool refrain, where also some good Dream Theater-inspired riffs and breaks take control. Maybe some prog-purists feel turned off by this one, but I enjoy it very much and it's very well constructed and performed. I also hear some Tool-esque undertunes out of it. (Track rating: 9/10 points)

03 - Lazarus: A beautiful place to relax and to get a bit sentimental, with beautiful mellotron and piano and contains an haunting refrain. This song is a pure mellow piece and really can bring one to tears in a special situation. Otherwise, it's just nice. Definitely a highlight, because of it's mellowed beauty. (Track rating: 10/10 points)

04 - Halo: Another accesible track, with a complex ending part, which sounds great. Another well performed song, but can't match with the first three songs, far from beeing mediocre though. (Track rating: 8.5/10 points)

05 - Arriving Somewhere But Not Here: The heart of the album and most progressively mooding piece on "Deadwing". The intro with the stunning acoustic guitars promise much and introduces a masterful epic. The dreamy melodies and meditative arrangements let you travel to an other place, before they throw you in an uplifting part, where the pure magic of the band sound takes control. There are several heavy parts in the middle, where I also can hear Dream Theater-influenced parts in combination with Tool-esque riffs and breaks. I don't know if Mr. Wilson took these two bands as influences here, or is it just for fun, maybe I should ask him personally. The main-part of the song comes back and fades out the piece. Definitely the cornerstone of the record and needs to earn the high score. Without the track, this album would be only the half as good. (Track rating: 10/10 points)

06 - Mellotron Stratch: A mellow piece, with pretty good vocal performance of Steven Wilson and top notch instrumentation. It's a fitting piece to let the record flue well. (Track rating: 8/10 points)

07 - Open Car: A heavier song with some great powerful guitars in the refrain. The guitar rythm inside the verses underline the the spoken words of Steve Wilson very fittable. Overall another great song and very accesible. (Track rating: 9/10 points)

08 - Start Of Something Beautiful: I like the mood of this song: It's mellow, shineful happy and heavy all in one package. The crowning highlight of the song is definitely the brilliant instrumental part, which sets in after close five minutes, with the haunting piano melody, which remind me somehow on some of the big crowning moments of some 70's prog observations by Genesis or else. One of the best pieces on the record. (Track rating: 10/10 points)

09 - Glass Arm Shattering: Porcupine Tree end their records for usual since "Lighbulb Sun" with a mellow piece. This song delivers a relaxed mood, with one "shalalala" singing part, which reminds me on some Yes. The song is the fitting end to close the record. (Track rating: 8.5/10 points)

It's confirming to see how Porcupine Tree improve their sound and maturity from record to record. The people, who prefer the psychedelic/space/ambient prog 1st period, will complain again about the style-change, but all the people who know and love Porcupine Tree for their bundled songwriting-creativity, and accept the metal and alternative rock influences, which they add to their progressive rock sound, they know that they get another brilliant record, which is a real grower. I had some few problems at the beginning to find full access to "Deadwing", but the time I've spended to it was very well invested. It touched me personally after some rounds in my cd player, and this is very rare these days. The record can really be disappointing a bit on first listen, but don't let you scare off about it, because there is much to find and love about this album, you only need the personal access, which must be discovered first, before it will show off it's real brilliance. I thought it isn't as great as "In Absentia" or "Lightbulb Sun" at first, but I recognized it needs more time than these two, after all I find it as great as them, if not even better. The hit-potential of "In Absentia" is a bit reduced and don't expect a "Sound Of Muzak", "Shesmovedon" or kind of that on "Deadwing". This record got it's hidden doors, it's more in a dark vein, but the moods are always changing or mixed together, it plays in it's own category as a PT-record.

Thank you Porcupine Tree for your constantly high quality products and specially Mr. Wilson for your musicianal ambition to lead the prog scene in a modern way into the future, without throwing your roots overboard. This is a highly recommended disc!

Record rating: 9.5 + 9 + 10 + 8.5 + 10 + 8 + 9 + 10 + 8.5 = 82.5 / 9 tracks = 9.166666667 = 9.17 = 9

Porcupine Tree - "Deadwing": 92 % on MPV scale = 9/10 points = 5/5 stars

point-system: 0 - 3 points = 1 star / 3.5 - 5.5 points = 2 stars / 6 - 7 points = 3 stars / 7.5 - 8.5 points = 4 stars / 9 - 10 points = 5 stars

Essential: a masterpiece of progressive music

Report this review (#54508)
Posted Thursday, November 3, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is a true classic. PT have done a Floyd album (Sky moves Sideways), a Radiohead album (In Absentia) an experimental one (... Sunday...) and all points in between (Voyage, Lightbulb, Signify) .... their mission , if they should accept it, was to produce a genuinely brilliant and original album which is Porcupine Tree. Deadwing is that album. The range from Metallica to Coldplay displays that they have soaked up everything that Rock has to offer, yet they have delivered something uniquely brilliant. Classic Rock Magazine readers have voted this the album of the year by a distance. Nobody out thete is coming close to this. As my introduction to the band, everything else they have produced is excellent yet inferior. Is it Prog Rock- YES, the point being that PROG has no boundaries. As a fan of all things 70's and prog, this displays that PT have picked up the gaultlet and shredded it.


I have been excited by many bands

in the past - Floyd, Yes, Zep, Queen, Stretch, Montrose, Levellers, Oysterband, Eden Buning, Moody Blues,

OK - Bon Jovi, Meat Loaf, Fleetwood Mac, Mighty Lemon Drops,

recently... Mostly Autumn, Rock & Roll Worship Circus,Pendragon, The Severn Bores, yet this blows a lot away. Suddenly, I feel I have to redefine everything I know about music by this,


Report this review (#54702)
Posted Friday, November 4, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is hands down an exelent album. "Deadwing" posseses all the elements I would expect from PT. A great rock album, simple as that. It took at least three spins before I was able to completely take it all in. But suddenly it grew on me. Track 5, "Arriving Somewhere" is certainly the high point of this album and one of the best songs I have heard this year. I am sorry I put off purchasing this until recently.
Report this review (#57360)
Posted Monday, November 21, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars All I can say is that this is definitely one of Porcupine Tree's best. To me, all of PT's albums are the same concept of innocence and self-evaluation, but in brother layouts. The tracks all shift VERY craftily from one song to another, without ever losing the momentum of the last song. The transitions from heavy to soft songs are absolutely brilliant, and the entire album has the same sense of urgency, frustration, and desperation Porcupine Tree's fans have come to love.

I give it 5 stars because of ingenuity, artistic style, ingenious sound engineering, and great subject matter.

Report this review (#57361)
Posted Monday, November 21, 2005 | Review Permalink
2 stars Nothing special. It's a definitely faintest disc in repertoire of group. It "smells" a comercial...Album is tender, but lack it identity. Porcupine Tree always has problem with behavior of cohesion.There is compact it, but poorand shallow. Impression: music IS, because it was NECCESARY to record something. Must it be finished so always?
Report this review (#59916)
Posted Friday, December 9, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Porcupine Tree has certainly progressed since the early days when it was merely a side project (if even) for Steven Wilson to get his more ambient ideas out. Since then PT replaced No-Man as his primary focus and in listening to the evolution of Porcupine Tree, you can hear his dedication.

I was a big fan of the last disc "In Absentia". It was one of the densest, well thoughtout albums I've heard. Deadwing comes close but not quite on the same ground. Don't get me wrong, Deadwing has some classic tracks: the title song is very Rush like, Shallow is a hooky heavy stomp and Lazarus might be the best PT song to date! Some of what holds Deadwing back from being a 5 star album is the strength of those songs seem to "suck in" the weaker tracks. Meaning, the strong tracks tend to point out the problems with the less than strong tracks. I call it a black hole issue.

All in all, you should pick up Deadwing if you enjoyed In Absentia. Even if you prefer the older ambient days, you might enjoy tracks like "Arriving Somewhere" and "Glass Arm Shattering".

Report this review (#60103)
Posted Sunday, December 11, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars In the last years, you can easily discover a trend of many bands in the pro genre. Music is getting heavier and heavier. Examples are Symphony X or Dream Theater and other band as well. Porcupine Tree are one of them. They started with very soft "Pink Floyd"-reminding music and turned to rough "etal"now, but keeping the old signatures, so that there are less of those "metal" parts here. They're still keeping the effects, marking Porcupine Tree since their early days. The title track starts with an "effect-run", the guitar joins with some slight chords and it's already starting to get a bit heavier for a moment. After that the first chords return and the first verse begins. What I don't like are the monoton, with the time, boring drums, destroying my fantastic experience of the song a bit. The song traverses different themes, with brilliant melodies, changing from heavy to soft. "Shallow" is a typical rock song, featuring and of Porcupine Tree's definite radio hits! "Lazarus" has even been released as a single, and is a piano driven track with soft drums! The next track "Halo" starts off with a nice bass line which continues during the first verse. The pre-chorus is a spoken part, talking about god, always with "god is.", the chorus is a nice melodic piece in here. This is repeated another time and a weird heavy interlude follows. After that, the chorus follows very fluent, accompanied with an acoustic guitar this time. "Arriving Somewhere but not here" is the longest track on the album and changes again from soft to heavy, but really reaches here the rough metal vein! It starts very slowly and softly though with a nice arpeggio, played during the verse but soon afterwards that changes and an interlude introduces the very heavy part that fits quite good and sounds nice too. Mikael Åkerfeldt, guest musician on this album, adds a nice solo and the same effect after that weird part in "Halo", the arpeggio follows with an enormous power creating a great feeling! "Mellotron Scratch" is a slower track, as well as "Glass Arm Shattering", with one exception : "Mellotron Scratch" has a "heavier" part inside, that is very complicated and features a nice drum work. "Open Car" is my favourite track on this album. It starts with a staccato riff, that is the verse as well again. The pre-chorus is very soft again and prevents the fantastic atmospheric chorus, reminding me a bit of Hoobastank's "The Reason", built up just with 2 powerchords, but creating an awesome feeling, like so many scenes on this album. A final accoutic part rounds this great song. "The Start of Something Beautiful" has the same kind of chorus, but a permament soft style besides. So this is a great, stunning and varied album, highly recommended for fans of Porcupine Tree, Pink Floyd, Opeth and even some metal fans could risk an ear! I totally love it and for me it is definitely a masterpiece!
Report this review (#61460)
Posted Friday, December 23, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars "Deadwing" is an album that becomes sweeter with every taste. My first impression was not as favorable as the lasting effect delivered. My favorite tracks are "Arriving Somewhere but not Here" and "Halo." The music's affect was also supplemented by seeing the band perform live in Las Vegas.

I can feel the power in "Arriving Somewhere but not Here" every time I listen to "Deadwing." It is the brace that holds the entire album together, combining the components of all the tracks to culminate in a 12-minute journey. Steven Wilson remarked in Las Vegas how important this song was to the chemistry of the album. This could possibly be my favorite Porcupine Tree track of all time...

Sometimes when you hear such a wonderful album, the words to describe how you feel are hard to come by. That is just the case with "Deadwing." I feel as if I go on a rollercoaster of emotion and that Steven Wilson is conducting and controlling every turn. It is truly amazing and indescribable.

If I wrote this review after hearing the CD once, I would give it four stars because of "Shallow." After listening for months to the entire album as a whole, "Shallow" fits perfectly and adds to the experience. "Shallow" is a perfect example of how this album can kick you in the teeth and then calm you down to where you do not care about anything (once again, the roller coaster effect). This album really solidified Wilson as a musical genius.

In my opinion, the best way to listen to "Deadwing" is in 5.1 DTS surround sound. There are subtle details that come to the front and really add to the experience. I look forward to future albums and more of a presence in the United States and, hopefully, in Texas, where I am from. I hope to hear a new sound from the band, possibly one that would mix Stupid Dream with various styles heard in the last two or three years. Honestly, though, I have heard Porcupine Tree do no wrong.

Report this review (#61890)
Posted Monday, December 26, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars It's constantly amazing to me that people review albums based on their own preconceptions and tastes, as if failing to appeal to *their* taste makes for a bad record. For example the other day in the UK newspaper I saw a review of the new The Band career overview box set where the journalist gave it one star and said he always hated The Band. My point being that whatever someone's taste is clearly the best music of The Band is extraordinarly good. I don't like reggae but I wouldn't dimiss Bob Marley's best work as anything less than classic. On the other hand ya know it's hard to be objective about these things, and a review is after all an opinion. Well in my opinion Deadwing *is* a masterpiece. You will be hard pressed to find many other bands that continue to push the envelope about modern rock music - this has moments that people might associate with trad progressive rock (though not the cheesy aspects thank god), but on the other hand I also hear moments of pop, metal, industrial, ambience...etc. PT seem to have hardly had an interest in playing generic music of any kind, least of all progressive rock, whatever that is these days. So we should have no surprises here in the sense that PT albums continue to surprise, blending all of the above, with little regard for either the mainstream or the kind of people who only listen to albums that fall squarely into genres like "prog rock", "prog metal", or whatever. I feel that you will love this album if you think out of the box and just consider great music to be great music, period. Deadwing continues to uphold the quality (and beyond) in one of the most unique and rewarding career trajectories the music world has seen. One wonders what will come next.
Report this review (#62824)
Posted Monday, January 2, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars I barely grazed all the previous posts. Why should I break down track by track minute by minute? Progressive; doesn't that imply going FORWARD instead of staying in the 70's? Nothing wrong by borrowing a gem in a previous decade, but DEADWING (as in In Absentia) grabbed me right away with the mix of luscious melodies and harsh discordant sometimes a maniacal frenzy. Deadwing as the first track was a good intro. However I do believe that "Start of Something Beautiful" would have been a better "closer" due to the feeling of a finality of there beautifully extended coda. Perhaps track to track they might seem incongruent, but they were the best tracks. Wish that "Mother and Child Divided" had been on the disc as well. "Arriving Somewhere, But Not Here" there is a MASTERPIECE!!!!!!!!! I could never see why someone would find it less than five stars. Taste is in the beholder's mind, and "Deadwing" is in my head.
Report this review (#62922)
Posted Monday, January 2, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars I know this band well and have all of their albums except for the various compilations that seemed to be popping up every month for awhile there. I first heard "Signify" and was so struck by it that I quickly bought all of their back catalog and then of course bought everything afterward. Before I made up my mind about this new album I wanted to be sure I gave it time for my initial reactions to settle down. I've listened to this new album "Deadwing" now off and on every day or so for about 3 weeks which for me is sufficient time for gathering my thoughts about it and I have made a decision: This is, for me, their BEST album since "The Sky Moves Sideways" and I like it even more than that one.

This is where all their past has been leading to. This was the only album of theirs to genuinely make me shed a tear or two not with just emotion but an overwhelming sense of magic. These songs are a cohesive whole and tell a story that I don't understand yet but feel like somehow I'm linked to. And the music! Somehow this band has sewn together a perfect combination of metal, pop, and prog.

My absolute favorites on this are "Deadwing", which I believe to be their most perfect song in their history, "Shallow", "Halo", and "Mellotron Scratch", but I have found that this album works best when listened to in its entirety from start to finish. I have tried listening to individual songs and while they work, they work so much better as a whole. That's a uniqe craft nowadays, to be able to compose an ALBUM of music and not just singles with a bunch of filler.

Well, that's probably enough gushing, but this album has hit me like nothing else.

I'm holding back to 4 stars because a masterpiece rating of 5 stars can only be accomplished after years of an album's existence, in my opinion. This album has all the earmarks of being a masterpiece, however. Only time will tell.

Report this review (#64438)
Posted Thursday, January 12, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Although In Absentia (2003) may very well be the heaviest prog album Porcupine Tree has ever released, Deadwing certainly continues the trend of alternating between the heavier tracks on offer and the more soothing ones. Personally, I think Steve Wilson hit the ball out of the park on his latest release.

The North American version contains a previously released bonus track, "She's Moved On" (exclusive to the North American release only) while a 72 page hardback book special edition version which comes complete with a DVD-V 5.1 surround sound (but without the bonus track) which is also only available via the band's official website:

OK, lets focus on Deadwing a little bit. What attracts me most to this album is the overall quality of the songwriting, the inherent emotion-energy found therein and the good long-winded ambient space-rock moments as well...

The band really rock out on tracks like "Shallow" and "Open Car" while on other songs they spill plenty of atmosphere all over the place. Some of the long-winded atmospheric moments reminded me of Pink Floyd.

1. "Deadwing" - 9m46s - (8/10)

The album opens with a sequencer and some brief special effects before the band quickly move into high gear with an aggressive guitar riff leading the way. Steven Wilson introduces the listener to all the different vocal effects that he pretty much uses throughout the album. This includes whispers and spoken word all the way to the clean harmonies. The track includes several very different guitar solos, the first by Wilson himself and the guitar work near the end of the track is by guest musician Adrian Belew of King Crimson. There's a slow atmospheric moment mid way through the track with some eerie guitar work. The reason for the lower rating has to do with the overall length of the track and the impact this has on deadening the repeated main guitar riff.

2. "Shallow" - 4m17s - (9.5/10)

This was the US single. As mentioned earlier, the band really rock out here. The main riff is perhaps the catchiest on the album. Matter of factly, Steven Wilson himself described "Shallow" as "the closest Porcupine Tree has come to making a big dumb rock song." It is a very enjoyable track and I appreciate prog bands who can really rock out! I guess that makes me a big dumb rock song lover? (haha)

3. "Lazarus" - 4m18s - (9.5/10)

The album immediately moves to the other end of the Porcupine Tree musical spectrum with the mellow and melancholic piano driven "Lazarus." This was the other single that has only been released in Germany so far. This is the softer side of the band, though I don't think the band has ever gone this soft...or maybe they have?

4. "Halo" - 4m38s - (9.5/10)

What have we here? A track that is bursting with atmosphere, with a lot of talk about God, with a bass line to die for, with a catchy chorus, with interesting guitar licks that will put a big smile on your face, and some excellent Adrian Belew guitar work. God appears to be responsible for much in the world or is that just an excuse? Sample lyrics:

"God is freedom, God is truth, God is power and God is proof, God is fashion, God is fame, God gives meaning, God gives...pain!"

5. "Arriving Somewhere But Not Here" - 12m02s - (10/10)

OK, Porcupine Tree finally show their true colors on "Arriving Somewhere But Not Here." This is classic Porcupine Tree, classic progressive space rock with lots of atmosphere, lots of harmony vocals and lots of interesting music and effects. Mikael Akerfeldt makes a guest appearance on harmony vocals and performs the second guitar solo as well. This is the album's apogee!

6. "Mellotron Scratch" - 6m57s - (9/10)

Steve Wilson has made it known that he does not like his music to be labeled progressive rock. So, what does he do? He writes a song about the Mellotron, the instrument that is perhaps most closely associated with progressive music. And what does he say about it? Near the end of the track, there are some mixed vocal melodies and although it is difficult to make out everything he's saying, you can clearly hear the following being repeated: "blow it down, shut it down." And if you haven't guessed it already, the answer is no, Porcupine Tree don't have any use for the Mellotron.

7. "Open Car" - 3m46s - (10/10)

The stop/start opening cadence of the music and vocals in the verses with the rock like riff is misleading the listener into thinking that this might just be another single until the bridge and chorus comes along. Here the Pink Floydish influences take over for an about turn that will leave most meanstreamers perplexed about the whole thing. But, it's the combination of the two that makes this track so interesting to me and what to say about the acoustic guitar ending? The other thing I really like is the fact that it is very much a progressive influenced track that clocks in well under the 4 minute mark. That in itself is a remarkable accomplishment! I love everything about this one.

8. "Start of Something Beautiful" - 7m40s - (9/10)

More wonderful bass lines, special effects and simply over-spilling in atmosphere. I like the upbeat rock feel of the chorus but Steve Wilson's over processed voice takes away from the overall energy and impact here. I would have much preferred a dry/compressed clean approach. Anyway, the lyrics are much better here and there's an excellent balance between the softer melancholic moments and the heavier ones.

9. "Glass Arm Shattering" - 6m13s - (8/10)

The drawn out spacey ambient Pink Floydish opening moments is classic prog through and through. The track actually ends with about 10 seconds of static noise around the 6m13s mark. There is about 5 minutes of nothing but silence that follows. Now, this is the actual end of the normal version of the album and as such, this album would not have been rated as high as it has. It would have merited a solid 4 stars and nothing more. Not sure why the extended silence, but as stated earlier, the North American version I own contains a bonus track...

10. "She's Moved On" - 5m02s - (10/10) (bonus track)

The intro to this track reminds one of the opening moments of "Open Car." But this is a very different track altogether. It's moody, it's catchy, it's one of the highlight's found on an earlier album released in 2000 entitled Lightbulb Sun, one of the bands true high points. To include it here was a very smart move as new North American fans just getting into the band will know exactly what they are getting into if they go looking into Porcupine Tree's back catalog, especially the last 4 albums anyway. ;)

Concluding Remarks:

The album is an enhanced CD that can also be played on your computer. The liner notes state that the minimum requirements for your PC are Windows 95. Unfortunately, even with Windows 98 Second Edition, I was not able to access the video portion of the enhanced CD as the Windows Media version required to view the video is ONLY supported by Windows 2000 and higher. Anyway, by going to the bands official website I was able to view much of the content found on the disc. It's not all cohesive and perhaps a little scattered but it is additional information that is usually not shared by many artists of today.

The booklet does not contain any lyrics, instead it is filled with scattered images and thoughts with the exception of the last few pages which includes the usual pertinent facts about the album and of course - the mandatory list of thank you's. If you read the liner notes you'll learn that Paul Northfield and George Schilling both made guest appearances on guitar but it is not revealed where exactly? Another important piece of information included is that Deadwing was based on a screenplay written by Steven Wilson and Mike Bennion. Bennion is also credited with the artwork and montage. And for all you music equipment buffs, "this recording makes extensive use of Line 6 modelling guitars, effects, and amplifiers, and software by native Instruments". Interesting indeed!

I was never a big Porcupine Tree fan as they hadn't really released anything truly spectacular to me, always good quality music, always above par but always missing a little something to take it to the next level, to take it over the top for me. In Absentia and Lightbulb Sun were both so close, yet I still found that "something" was missing or lacking. With Deadwing that "little something" finally found it's footing for me. Steve Wilson went further than he ever has and in directions that many would have thought he'd never go. This risk taking attitude has helped Steven Wilson create and produce one hell-of-a solid album, truly one of the better prog albums of 2005!

Report this review (#64450)
Posted Thursday, January 12, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars I see that this album is rising up your top 100 - remarkable for a modern band - and I can see why. This is truly a fabulous CD. I have come to know Porcupine Tree through your website, being a big Pink Floyd fan, I was (1) fed up with being called 'Living in the Past' (a good Jethro Tull album by the way), nd (2) I wanted to find a new band to fill the gap that PF left by producing so few records after the Wall. True, they don't actually sound like PF, although they do in places - I think Steve Wilson is fed up with being compared to them, and wants to sound like 'Porcupine Tree' - well congratulations Steve, you do! And it is great music. This album has had the odd bad review, and I cannot understand why, nor can I understand why this band aren't huge by now. Why do people say this isn't Prog? Personally I think the album as a whole certainly is - the way is chops and changes through many different styles - I mean no song sounds the same. Some individual tracks are not so progressive, but Deadwing, Arriving Somewhere, Start of Something, Glass arm Shattering most certainly are. Those are cracking pieces of music. Some moan about too much heavy guitar - but whoever moaned at the Nile Song by Pink Floyd (I wish they'd done more like that). After all this isn't heavy rock - if you want that listen to Slipknot then think again - a bit of heavy from time to time really really works (keep it up!). What is Progressive anyway? - isn't what some say as 'genre-defying'. I know PT sometimes try to deny the word Progressive - that's OK, the best Progressive bands always do. They may use 'genre-defying', but for me that's the best Progressive too. Listen to the lyric 'You can be right like me with God in the hole you're a righteous soul' in Halo. He moves through this with fabulous dexterity. Deadwing and Arriving Somewhere are really moving tracks, and bring you out in goosepimples. Shallow rocks - the Opeth connection seems to come through here. My wife likes Lazarus, and I'm sure many others would do too. Waht an incredible change there is in the music from Shallow to Lazarus to Halo to Arriving Somewhere, and the slightly more peculiar Mellotron Scratch.

I really hope PT are not discouraged by some of the less good reveiws. Be encouraged - what does it matter if this is Progressive (sorry - denre-defying!), what matters is if an album is truly great music. Please don't stop - please do more albums !!!!!

I know that an album really ought to become famous to truly be a classic, ie a Masterpiece. In essence, therefore I ought to give it 4 stars, but it really is better than that, so I'm going to give it 5!

PS For old time Prog lovers dipping into modern Prog music - I've also tried the MArs Volta and Sigur Ros. These two belong to the opposite extremes of genre-defying music, and are truly brilliant - try these too! Porcupine Tree are more approachable, but sit somewhere between the above two. With these 3 bands - and I am sure there are many others - Progressive (err... genre-defying, sorry) music LIVES - and much more so than the paltry years of the 80's and early 90's. I tell you it has returned and bigger than ever with the fabulous clear recording techniques these days.

However, I still say Pink Floyd are the greatest. But try Porcupine Tree, you won't regret it!

Report this review (#65419)
Posted Wednesday, January 18, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Although I have been familiar with Porcupine Tree's music for a while now, 'Deadwing' is the first full album I have owned. The band's mellow sound has always appealed to me, as I know it has to most prog fans out there. It is pretty good, I listen to it quite a lot, though for some strange reason I feel it is lacking something.

My favourite song on 'Deadwing' is Lazarus - I love the simple, yet beautiful piano riff and poetic lyrics. Steve's voice has an almost haunting sound, which adds to the enigmatic feeling of the track. I also like 'Shallow' and the heavier 'Open Car'.

I'm not quite sure that it is the best Porcupine Tree album, but then again I haven't heard any of the others.

Report this review (#66766)
Posted Thursday, January 26, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Follows with the usual Porcupine Tree trend of getting a little heavier while retaining their great melodic sound. I'd say this is of the same quality of their previous efforts with the same pros, interesting and beautiful melodies and musicmanship, and the same cons, lyrics and sometimes the singing. Once again if the lyrics werent so bad at times this would be an amazing album.
Report this review (#68885)
Posted Thursday, February 9, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars I'm not the biggest PT fan but decided to buy this on the sites recommendation.I have to say its a very easy to enjoy prog album.Steve Wilson is a songsmith of the highest order and he is ably supported by a band that can alternately go between Pink Floyd and Dream Theater in sound at the drop of a pin.I like the up tempo feel and dark atmosphere.A good one for driving to perhaps but not really a masterpeice despite all the acolades bestowed on it.I'll go with a solid 4 star rating.Not bad at all.
Report this review (#70013)
Posted Monday, February 20, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars I'm watching "Masterchef" on the BBC at the moment (what is he on about you cry...???!). Amateur chefs are put through a series of gruelling tests from which one "masterchef" will be chosen. As we go through the heats, often there's a choice to be made between the good cook that sticks to what they know, keeps it simple, and always serves up a consistently high standard; and the cook that tries to be adventurous but sometimes falls short of the it best to play it safe or take a few chances? Which do you choose?

On "Deadwing", Steve Wilson and co play it safe. It is a fine album, one that I warmed to after just a few listens, with some strong songs (although black mark for the line "like a cancer scare or a dentists chair..."argh!). This album was picked by your esteemed Collaborators (no I am not being sarcastic) as the album of 2005 over others including the more adventurous, but flawed, "Frances the Mute". I can understand why; Deadwing has much to recommend it; no real weakness (apart from the "odd" lyric); I for one think its worthy of 4 stars; but it is the safe choice.

Oh, on Masterchef they tend to pick the adventurous ones, those that moved outside their comfort zone....

Report this review (#70189)
Posted Wednesday, February 22, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars First of all, I have to say THANKS to these guys. Among friends of mine, progressive rock is a concept hard to understand, that sounds like "metal" for most and "dream theater" to some. In a word, something not for many. But listening to P.T. these misconceptions can be subverted. They have been able, usually along their discography, to mix different genres and result "user friendly" to everyone. Deadwing, although the latest release, seems to me archetipal, in some sort of way. The title track and shallow, for example, will meet the tastes of heavy driven fellows, while halo would never pass unobserved by pop lovers. "arriving somewhere but not here" in the end, can be elected as a classic progressive song, together with the last two tracks and many other riffs shattered on the whole album.

Sounds are really amazing, and all instrument and effects are, in my opinion, in the right place. But this could be told about many bands: for P.T., I might reduce my review to the statement that songs are gorgeous. These tracks are really professional, and when I say that P.T. are a great group I mean that a musician can appreciate their choices, the arrangement, the lyrics. But pop driven listeners will love them whatever, cause, for a reason I cannot wordly explain, these songs ram themselves down in their head.

Thus I may end saying that the widespreading of wrong culture according to whom the world of rock and the world of pop (i.e. the line between what is commercial and what is not) are unbindable, could be abolished if people will deal with this band. Of course is an hard bet to win, but I really trust in it, and in Porcupine Tree. Good Luck guys.

Rating: 4,5.

Report this review (#70512)
Posted Saturday, February 25, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars At the time of this writing, this album is number 116 on the Most Popular Album List. Considering that one of the factors affecting the ranking on this list is the number of reviews submitted, that's pretty high for an album that's only one year old. It is also the number one album of 2005 according to their reviewers.

One of the disadvantages of being an old fuddy-duddy with a wife, kids, jobs, etc., is that you get out of touch with the music scene. You listen to the albums you bought as a kid decades ago and you listen to the radio. And you forget that musicians are still making vibrant music. You forget that musicians have always, and will always, go past the limits set by radio marketers.

And so I decided that I needed to hear what was currently being created by "progressive" rock bands. And I purchased this album.

My only previous exposure to PORCUPINE TREE were the tracks played on my XM radio (channel 51 - Music Lab). And when you listen to the radio at work or in the car, it's easy to just lump everything together. I know they've played live at the XM studios several times, but that was the limits of my knowledge.

I really enjoyed the album. Deadwing isn't a thrash metal album, or even a hard rock album, but on several songs uses thematic elements of hard rock to push the mood. But on other songs the mood tends towards a quietness that rivals YES at its most New Age. The songs are not limited to what is commercial, but evolve on their own.

On the other hand, my twelve year old daughter wasn't thrilled with the album. She thought that the songs changed too much. However, she has copied "Open Car" onto her iPod and had it featured on her MySpace page. At 3:46 in length, it's probably the most commercial of the songs on the album.

This is a great album to remind an old fuddy-duddy that music can still be fresh and original.

Report this review (#72624)
Posted Thursday, March 23, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars It is really rather interesting how I discovered porcupine tree. Currently I am a 17 year old from the United States and am living in a time when music has taken the most horrible turn ever. There is no more music that is even remotely happy on the radio such as my chemical romance and these other "emo" bands that have taken all the interest out of modern rock for me. I used to be interested in many of the newer punk rock bands like bad religion, the offspring, millencolin, and goldfinger, but after I heard rush 2112 I knew that I had found what real musicians are like. From rush I discovered dream theater and from there I discovered porcupine tree on because the site said that they sounded similar to dream theater (which is not the case).

Deadwing was the 1st porcupine tree cd that I had heard up until then I had no clue what they sounded like so with $8 I bought the cd. At first I was very surprised with the sound and over all, it took a lot to get used to from my roots of alternative (not that I don't like that music anymore, it depends on my mood) and punk rock stuff. Overall I was really surprised with the album and it took about 10 listens to really enjoy.

The first song I really liked was the secret track, which I learned is the remake of shesmovedon. The solo on that sound is enough to make you feel so enpowered and also sense the emotions of steven wilson towards a girl who he was in a relationship with who "changes every time you look." Overall the album has many songs that are like nothing I have ever heard especially deadwing with repeating keyboard noises and really distorted guitar through someparts. Shallow is kind of like a song that you would hear on a rock radio station but is still incredibly catchy especially nice bass work on this song in my opinion. Next lazarus almost made me cry the 1st time I hear it, steven wilsons voice is so beautiful. Halo has one of the most weird solos I have ever heard almost sounding like he knew what he was doing, but wanted to make a lot of obscure noise.

Overall the album is great however not as good as previous releases. Shesmoved on is enough to at least give them a try.

Good luck finding out about new music.

Report this review (#74714)
Posted Wednesday, April 12, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is a mixture of an album. Some tracks like 'Shallow' and 'Open Car' are really straight rock rather than prog though still creative and entertaining. The longer tracks are much more proggy and are comparable to their best extended pieces. There is a good range of atmospheres ranging from heavy guitar to washes of synthesiser, often with an unsettling edge. A terrific cd, but hard to classify.
Report this review (#75489)
Posted Wednesday, April 19, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars Being a PT fan for a while, needless to say I was restless to buy this album. The first 20 spins were ecstatic, but I took a break from listening to it, and guess what, it didn't sound as good at all when I listened to it later. Sure there are excellent songs and moments (tracks like Deadwing, Arriving Somewhere but not here, Open Car and Mellotron scratch for example), but overall, it's probably the least creative effort from Wilson and PT. Tool influences showing more and more (I know, everyone has influences). I prefer In Absentia (both albums have a similar approach), but I find I miss the more psychedelic offerings (Sky Moves Sideways, Signify and even Stupid Dream). Not a bad album, but definitely not their best. The first dissapointment, and, I hope, the last.
Report this review (#76232)
Posted Tuesday, April 25, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars It's very hard for me make a review of this album. I really enjoy Porcupine Tree music and the first time that I've heard Deadwing it blows out my mind. But I really believe that any music fan has to listen an album several times before write or talk about it. That happens with Tool last album... 5* in almost every review... will we think the same about this album the next year?

Deadwing is not a bad album but if you compare it with Porcupine Tree discography is definetively one of the weakest. Sometimes sounds like a second part of In Absentia (amazing one, BTW) and sometimes sounds like a review of past records (specially Stupid Dream). "Deadwing" is not a bad song, half way between psychedelic and hard rock, but a little repetitive. "Shallow" reminds me some songs of the early Tool. "Lazarus" is a beautiful ballad in the stuff of some songs of "Stupid Dream" or "Lightbulb Sun". "Halo" is another insignificant song which is saved just by the lyrics. "Arriving Somewhere But Not Here" is a long track -maybe the best of the album- that mixes almost perfectly the psychdelic PT with the heavy PT. "Mellotron Scratch" is another slow song, very interesting BTW, with great arrangments for guitar. "Open Car" is another interesting song, melodic in his own way, with some great guitar riffs. "The Start of Something Beautiful" and "Glass Arm Shattering" seems to be just one song, following the steps of the pure and original psychedelic sense of Mr. Wilson.

Great lyrics (specially on "Arriving...") and great work on guitars and drums (Gavin Harrison still surprise me) but there's something missing... a couple of notes, some ethereal synyhesizers, I really don't know. Maybe I'm just a purist who enjoy the psychedelic/space rock stuff even when I really love In Absentia, but IMO Deadwing is a very irregular album.


Report this review (#78405)
Posted Tuesday, May 16, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars As with In Absentia, it took me a number of listens to appreciate how good this album really is. Perhaps it's just me, but the music I end up really liking is not initially that accessable on the first couple of times through. With this album, this is really true.

At first listen, Arriving Somewhere But Not Here and Shallow jump out as great songs. However, on subsequent listens, I developed a much greater appreciation for the diversity and power of Deadwing, the unique and haunting nature of Halo and the very addictive guitar riff in Open Car. But most surprising of all is the understated beauty of Lazarus. There is delicate piano throughout with very smooth harmonies. I absolutely love this song. Compared to the controlled violence and power of Open Car, Shallow, and Deadwing, this ethereal tune is a nice, and very unexpected, change of pace. There is also a bonus "hidden" remake of Shesmovedon, which is very good.

One noticeable difference between this album and In Absentia is lack of disturbing and almost punishing songs such as Strip the Soul, The Creator Has a Mastertape, and Blackest Eyes. At first, I thought I would dislike Deadwing for this reason, as this is what makes In Absentia stand out to a great extent. However, as you listen to Deadwing, it begins to blossom and the quality of the music becomes apparent. I have to say that other than Lazarus, I prefer the bulk of In Absentia to most of Deadwing. But this is still a great album. And compared to the other music out there, Porcupine Tree is a refreshing mixture of hard rock and space prog. It's like mixing the best of prog (i.e., Pink Floyd and Rush) with newer and darker bands such as Evanescence and Nirvana.

Very strongly recommended.

Report this review (#79154)
Posted Wednesday, May 24, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars I agree with Bhaal 30. Deadwing isn't all 'prog', its just AWESOME music, its really a mix of a whole bunch of different genres like space rock/post-avant prog/progrock/hard rock(and a few others, but not sure how to label them). Yes its true, SW doesn't sit down and think "how do I impress my prog fans with this album", he makes music which he likes, period. Plus Deadwing is a step up from in absentia, the two albums are in no way similar, they ARE very different because they both have different blends of music to them.
Report this review (#79378)
Posted Friday, May 26, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Most people claim 'In Absentia' to be the best album of the more recent Porcupine Tree sound, even their best album period. With this I personally have to disagree. While 'In Absentia' is undoubtedly a good album, 'Deadwing' is better.

The emotion of the albums comes across very strongly to me in almost every track, be it one of the rockers or a softer number. And the styles certainly do vary on this album. From the hard rock of 'Shallow,' to the slower, more psychedelic style of the beautiful 'Arriving Somewhere But Not Here.'

The musicianship is great, as always for PT, and Steven Wilson's lyrics and vocals are as beautiful and haunting as ever.

Do not overlook 'Deadwing' when buying some PT, you'll really be missing out.

Report this review (#79384)
Posted Friday, May 26, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars While Porcupine Tree takes a rigid stance against being labeled as practically any genre, Deadwing obviously sees them returning to their more progressive characteristics. This couldn't have come at a better time, as 2005 was probably the greatest year for the genre in an extremely long time. The bands that compose my personal "holy trinity" of progressive music, Dream Theater, Opeth and Porcupine Tree, all released near perfect albums in a very short span of time. While admittedly, Porcupine Tree's newest opus is my least favorite of the three, that is by no means an insult, because Deadwing is a excellent album by itself.

The overall mood of the album is otherworldly, and this style, interspersed with numerous hard rock elements, is used to great effect. Beautiful vocal melodies, ethereal keyboards, and heavy riffs all characterize this album as a Porcupine Tree work. While Deadwing does seem to be a continuation of Steven Wilson's experimentation with the heavier side of music, it is definately a unique experience from In Absentia.

As far as lyrical content, the majority of the album is based off of a screenplay that Steven Wilson personally wrote. This accounts for the rather bizarre nature of the material, and in my opinion, suits the often spacey instrumentation quite well. The actual meaning behind a few of the songs is extemely vague, but the beauty of the poetry can't be denied in this instance. Regardless, some songs like Halo contain far more apparent messages involving religion, sex, and love.

The instrumentation itself is expertly written and transitions from mellow to more rock oriented passages very fluidly. Deadwing is abound with creativity and you'll likely hear effects that you have never previously imagined. The only songs that I found to be somewhat bland is Open Car and some portions of the far too drawn out Glass Arm Shattering.

In short, Deadwing has its weak points, but its depth, scope, and variety truely give it something to offer for the enitirety of the progressive rock fan base. Whatever your favored sub-genre, you owe it to yourself to pick this album up.

Report this review (#79393)
Posted Friday, May 26, 2006 | Review Permalink
PSIKE Team & Band Submissions
3 stars Nearly every PT output is skillful - and 'Deadwing' is no exception. I think it's really hard for the band to overtop albums like 'In Absentia' or 'Coma Divine'. The songs are heavier, more eclectic, less catchy and it needs more turnarounds to come in. But in the whole this production cannot catch me as much as some of the forerunners.

Deadwing is a very good opener with much power. Heavy riffs are alternating with a psychedelic interlude. But ballads like Lazarus or Glass arm shattering are not really groundbreaking - Open Car works much better for me. Halo has a good refrain for singing along and Arriving Somewhere But Not Here and Start of something beautiful are my highlights - diversified with metal and psych moments - very emotional and in the vein of the forerunner.

Great respect for PT's musicianship. For a summary a good album - but I prefer 'In Absentia' and the more psychedelic phase of the 90s - 3.5 stars.

Report this review (#80539)
Posted Tuesday, June 6, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars To me some great albums came out like Frances The Mute, Room V, Octavarium, Ghost Reveries, and Second Life Syndrome. well to me this one makes the list as well after hearing the awesome In Absentia i wanted to get more Porcupine Tree so i decided ya know after hearing gret reviews from this site i decided Deadwing would be my next album to purchase. well i will say i was a bit worried that this was gonna be another cheap three star album but gah i was totally surprised at how well this album is. Its got about everything a progressive fan could want its got some commerical songs, progressive hooks, great melody, some atomoshperic sound for the psychedelic peeps, and the same amout of heaviness (at times heavier) that they brought on the last album. Deadwing has definitely become one my favorites from PT along with such greats as In Absentia and Lightbulb Sun. i'm telling ya from the first riff of the title track to the last relaxing note of Glass Arm Shattering its a grand adventure. This album has some great heavy tracks like Halo, Shallow, and Open Car that almost wanna make you head bang. Some very beautiful tracks like Lazardous (my least favorite songs) and Mellotron Scratch which i love. The epics OH MAN some of the best i've heard with Deadwing's great driving riff that makes you wanna go into your car and listen to it all the time along with Arriving Somewhere But Not Here is freakin awesome a great epic with some awesome melodic solos and grand harmonies. The Start of something Beautiful is without a doubt one of there best on this album featuring great vocals and some sweet solos by Steven and Richard. Glass Arm Shattering is a very nice psychedelic track but the thing that dissapoints me is the fact that after 6 minutes its nothing but silence weird huh. Plus this disc also had my fav. PT song Shes Moved on apparantly this is another version since its Gavin on the kit but still i love this song ( the solo rocks). As for the band Man how good are these guys. with Steven Wilson one of my favorite singers keeping it real with his great voice and harmony which is getting backed up not only by the band but of all people....MIKEAL AKERFELT from Opeth. I mean despite him growling so much in his band he does have an awesome clean voice and a nice floydish solo in Arriving Somewhere but not here. Gavin Harrison GAH i love this guy he is just so smooth on that kit and let me tell ya from the video i saw that comes with this album dude oh man he is just sitting there just grooving away acting like there is not a care in the world. Colin Edwin is laying some beats on bass and he is doing as great as he is did on the last album. and finally we got Richard Barberi who does an amazing job on keys and dude for real he has got the craziness synth setting i've ever heard. So with a few guest like Mikeal and Adrian Belew supplying some weird solo for some songs this is a great record one of their best and if you love these guys definitely get this album its awesome.
Report this review (#82765)
Posted Wednesday, July 5, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars The old prog rockers don't understand what progressive means (I guess). Being an old prog rocker myself for 25+ years, I like this CD. I like the others as well, each effort has something a little different in it. They are progressing, changing, adapting etc. i wouldnt want them stuck in the same rut throughout their existence. Reading some of the reviews however, it sounds like some people want their music to stay the same and never progress. kind of ironic eh? I like the versatility this band has, its part of what makes them who they are.I can hardly wait for the next effort.
Report this review (#84060)
Posted Tuesday, July 18, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Wow... What an amazing album by the band. Porcupine Tree doesn't do it the same way than the other bands : they're gettins better each time, even after In Absentia, Lightbulb sun, The sky Moves Sideways, Stupid Dreams, Signify... The album has a great opening track, with the same heavy and space sound that we know from Wilson. The first guitar solo is very good, it gives an idea of what will be the album, and the second, from Belew, is kind of surprising, but at least as good. Shallow is a little funny, in my idea, since anyone could like that track, since it's so simple and accessible. But it has its place on the album, because it does what it has to. Than, Lazarus... The first time I heard it I was riding in my car and it touched me so hard, I just couldn't believe it. It makes me the same effect that Collapse the light into earth and Wish you were here, honestly. The fourth track is the less strong of the album, in my opinion, but still quite good. Arriving somewhere but not here is just a piece of perfection in kind of space prog. The keyboard intro and the first notes of the guitars put me out of my body each time and I'm gone for 12 minutes. Very great song, my favourite from all PT stuff. Mellotron scratch is very beautiful too, especially the ending. Open car is good too, in the same vein than Shallow. Than, the 9/8 song (I'm pretty sure). Great song too, I like to do the drums with my hands while I'm listening to the song. And the album ends with Glass Arm shattering, a song that reminds The Sky Moves Sideways. And what a surprise! the very beautiful Shesmovedon comes to our hear right after this masterpiece of prog music.

Great job by Wilson and his friends, they keep great music alive

Report this review (#84758)
Posted Tuesday, July 25, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars "Deadwing" is quite an inconsistent album, there are good and bad songs throughout the whole album. I suppose "Bad" isn't exactly a fair term but never the less there are some very average songs. Being my first Porcupine Tree album I was very disappointed with it at first and listened to it fewer than three times before forgetting about it. Then, on a whim I bought "The Sky Moves Sideways" which I was attracted to due to the cover picture and song lengths. I was quite happy with "The Sky Moves Sideways" and I soon ventured another listen to "Deadwing.v Since then I have began to appreciate parts of it more. I still don't think the opener "Deadwing" is a very good song, neither is "Open Car." But I have grown to love "Lazarus" and "Halo", while I now enjoy "Arriving somewhere but not Here", "Mellotron Scratc"h and "The Start of Something Beautiful" to a certain extent.

Unlike "The Sky Moves Sideways" I can here a distinct pop sound to some of the songs on "Deadwing" which is very repelling. The CD booklet and cover pictures are very typical of mainstream (or alternative) albums in they way they are set out, with the weird writing and crossing out of certain words and so on. This is another repelling thing about "Deadwing" and the band in general. There are obvious Pink Floyd influences in Deadwing which are most evident in Halo, which is a very Floyd-like song. The overall psychedelic sound of the album is uplifting. The heaviness in some parts supports my argument that prog is turning into metal, something which I dislike too much of.

1.Deadwing (2/5) 2.Shallow (3/5) 3.Lazarus 4/5) 4.Halo (4/5) 5.Arriving Somewhere but not Here (3/5) 6.Mellotron Scratch (3/5) 7.Open Car (2/5) 8.Start of Something Beautiful (3/5) 9.Glass Arm Shattering (3/5) Total = 27 divided by 9 (number of songs) = 3 = 3 stars Good, but non-essential

I think three stars is a fair rating for "Deadwing", it isn't bad and it isn't all that good either. For the price I got it for I reckon it was a good buy. I would recommend "Deadwing" to all you people who lean towards newer prog or prog metal. For me "Deadwing" isn't all that great, but that's just me, the guy who likes classic prog more than anything else. Mike from Opeth makes an appearance on "Deadwing", he sings harmony vocals on a few songs.

Report this review (#85166)
Posted Sunday, July 30, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars I had a lot of great expectations at the time of this release, especially as I had got into the band after In Absentia. This album isn't bad, but it let me down. The quality isn't all there, and some songs are fairly poppy, though thats not always a bad thing.

For example, Lazarus is simple, yet very effective, with a beautiful melody line. A lot of the music here can be described as a rock band with lots of interesting dynamics, but the psychadelic effects that distinguish the band are mostly lost.

Still a good release and many fans will enjoy. Good for those interested in "less art more rocking" prog.

Report this review (#85587)
Posted Thursday, August 3, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars I'm tired of the people saying this isn't a prog album. I'd like to hear Korn or Green Day put something like Arriving Somewhere But Not Here together. At 12 minutes, the song doesn't seem long at all. Why? Because Porcupine Tree creates extraordinary music, some of the best of this day in age. While I will agree that the album isn't quite as progressive as its predecessors, I think its musicality and general appeal (even to the mainstream listener) make for a more beneficial project. Beginning to end, I was astounded at PT's ability to create beautifully entrancing ballads (Lazarus, Glass Arm Shattering) and keep their musicality while totally rocking out (Deadwing, Shallow). Arriving Somewhere is an absolute masterpiece. And for the record, I think this is Porcupine Tree's best album.
Report this review (#85978)
Posted Sunday, August 6, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars First off I'd like to say regardless of what genre this album falls into by some people's standard's this is a VERY good album. To me, being able to turn a song as simple as Arriving Somewhere... into a 12 minute masterpiece is quite progressive. More progressive than the wankfest known as Dream Theater could ever hope to be.

That said, this album offers a nice progression in PT's overall sound. For me this album has a slightly better flow to it than In Absentia while not suffering too much from a lack of diversity. Highlights include the above mentioned Arriving Somewhere but not Here, Lazarus, and Mellotron Scratch. Lazarus is one of the most beautiful songs PT has ever written with a nice piano melody and catchy chorus. Mellotron finds Wilson at his best as far as vocal harmonies are considered, and Arriving is an intense tour de force with a great metallish middle section to keep you on your toes.

Report this review (#86204)
Posted Tuesday, August 8, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars I'm somewhat a newbie fan of Porcupine Tree, but their latest offering, Deadwing, is one of the best albums I've ever heard, nevermind simply one of my favourite albums from the band themselves.



And so it begins. The title track is a 9 minute refreshing blend of soft vocals and gritty sounding guitar riffs. The only way I can describe this song is "fresh". Steven Wilson's voice changes significantly during the course of these 9 minutes. Even though the song is this length, it wastes no time and only seems to last as long as a 3 minute radio song, because I have so much fun listening to it. There's some interesting guitar solos in here.


A very cool classic rock style riff is used at the start and almost runs through, while the chorus breakdown continues the mood of the first song, but less dark and more catchy. It is instantly likeable, unlike some other songs on this album. It sounds very hard but also very beautiful, as it really opens up in the chorus. This is one of the catchiest songs on the record. The later end of the track starts to get a little chaotic and some electronics are used along with a thrashing guitar outro, before continuing the opening riff.


Wow. This song is the softest in the record. The use of the piano really sets a calming mood, and Steven Wilson's voice is really expansive. The lyrics are genius and this really explores a soft side of the band. Excellent, to say the least. After the song ends, we hear the cluttering of some trains. A short and sweet track, but one of the best on the record. Reminds me of the album cover.


Probably one of the easy to get into songs on the record. The guitar and bass sounds quite close to funk. The chorus is catchy and reminds me of something a mainstream band would have done in the early 90's. The effects used in Wilson's voice fits in with the feel and mood of the song. Pretty unique while sounding very simple standard at the same time.


The longest, proggiest song on the album. The intro has a long build-up before the main beat kicks in, and that's where things start to sound interesting. It reminds me of being on a journey and I'm determined to get to the end. The length of the song and the continuous break-downs and build-ups probably help to sum up that feeling. The song gets quite heavy towards the end, and the guitar work, at this point sounds like something a heavy metal band would be pulling off. This is no bad thing, and surprisingly fits in with the mellower sections of the song.


A very mellow song, like a lot of this album. Very peaceful and relaxing to listen to. The last part of the song has some good switching vocal effects to continue that mood. The piano is used again in this song and some tinny drumming. It's as soft as "Lazarus", but not in the same way at all.


This song ranges from fast riffs and vocals to slowed down mellow backing vocals. Quite a schizophrenic sounding song. The guitar work sounds something in- between "Deadwing" and "Shallow", while the piano reminds of "Lazrus". Pretty much a sum-up of what to expect from the whole album.


This song doesn't fit in that well with the rest of the album. It uses a strange time signature, and the spacey effects bring Pink Floyd to mind, something which Porcupine Tree's earlier work sounds like. Again, the piano is used to a good effect. Listening to the different layers of the instruments in this song is interesting, as it sounds quite complex.


A very hypnotic and relaxed ending. Vocal layering is used to an extent, and the song portrays the mellower side of the album, yet again. Not a powerful climax, as the song kind of dies out/fades away, but it is equally as satisfying as one.

- - - [5/5]

One of the most interesting sounding albums I have ever heard. This album doesn't sound a lot like Progressive rock, as the only thing that's complex about the sound of the music is the layering used and the extent that everything is mastered. The music is very easily approachable, and would be reccomendable to even a casual music fan.

This is probably the best place to start with Porcupine Tree, and that isn't an easy thing to decide, seeing as their albums can sound very different and their style changes. Their back catalogues can be confusing to decide against, but this and "In Absentia" are highly reccomended.

Report this review (#87257)
Posted Monday, August 14, 2006 | Review Permalink
Tristan Mulders
4 stars Porcupine Tree - Deadwing

"Deadwing" was the first Porcupine Tree album which was released after I became a fan. When it was released in 2005 I immediately bought it the day it officially was available. Funny enough only a week later I won another copy of the album, meaning I could have saved 20?, but hey it was all for a good cause, wasn't it?

"Deadwing" appears to be a concept album, i.e. "a surreal ghost story," as Steven Wilson himself has called it in the past. Too bad the CD booklet does not reveal much about the album. it states who did what and where musically seen, but most lyrics are not included, only fragments of. Then again, the artwork itself is. well. 'arty' and that's a plus!

Musically seen I've always thought that this album links back to the "Signify" era, because it's very atmospheric while still maintaining some of the more metal aspects that characterised the "In Absentia" album. Whereas on in "In Absentia" the metal sometimes required me to be in a certain mood to enjoy it (mainly the first half of "Strip the Soul" and "Wedding Nails"), here it is all well balanced and this is perhaps the first Porcupine Tree album that features elements from all their previous output, whether it's the experimentation and darkness of "On the Sunday of Life" or the vocal harmonies that trademarked "Lightbulb Sun". it's all here and that's what makes this album so damn good to listen to: it all sounds rather familiar but it still is not.

To me a good concept album has to have a good flow. That's what makes "Brave" by Marillion so good I think; you're hooked right from the start and you'll have to listen to the whole thing up to the final note of the last track. "Deadwing" is a well balanced mix of gentle quiet moments and heavier outbursts. Openingsong Deadwing starts of by setting the mood for the rest of the album with its quiet instrumentation: a series of slow keyboard melodies work as a background to audiofragments of a train station. What follows is an uptempo song with typical "Deadwing" heaviness: more alike the heavy part in the song "Russia on Ice" from the "Lightbulb Sun" album than alike "Blackest Eyes" that is, there are some exceptions though.

The album's centrepiece is the 12 minute suite Arriving somewhere (. but not here) which is a trip on itself. This constantly developing soundscape starts with typical Barbieri-esque synthesizers when Wilson and co. enter the frame. Great to hear the drums building up, first it's all only hi-heads while gradually changing to a full uptempo beat. This is also the song with both the heaviest section, i.e. the heavy metal riffing halfway through, as well as the most quiet section of the album, i.e. the part in which Mikael Äkerfeldt (OPETH) is hear playing an amazing, yet slow, guitar solo over a background that's basically a minimalist drum pattern.

Äkerfeldt is not the only guest musician on this album by the way. Alongside him is featured Adrian Belew (KING CRIMSON) on guitar. Whereas Äkerfeldt lend his (backing) vocals to the songs Deadwing, Lazarus and Arriving somewhere (. but not here and played a guitar solo as well on the latter (as I mentioned earlier on), Belew 'only' contributed two typical sounding guitar solo's to the songs Deadwing and Halo.

Some time ago when the band was still working on the album I noticed a publication somewhere stating a temporary tracklist for the album. This tracklist showed the song "Half Light" as the closing track for the album, instead of Glass Arm shattering. Those that have heard the song "Half Light" (it was included as a b-side for the "Lazarus" single) have to agree with me that it lacks the atmosphere/mood that "Glass Arm shattering" does have. I'm glad they switched the songs because with "Half Light" as the closing track I don't think the album would have had the same momentum as it has now. "Half Light" has the same energy as the song "Collapse the Light into the Earth" had on the "In Absentia" album: none that is.

Steven Wilson always stated that "Deadwing" was the product of a filmscript he wrote with a friend of his. One can only hope that this film will some day soon be filmed and released so we can stop wondering what "Deadwing" actually is about. It's been nearly 1.5 yrs after its release and I haven't gotten any further than the following regarding the concept: it includes a dead child and his death has something to do with a car crash (?????!). Oh, and I've heard Wilson state that the song Lazarus is a love song from a mother to her dead child. now that bit of information makes this sweet ballad sound a lot less sweet.

As an album I find "Deadwing" to be more enjoyable than its predecessor "In Absentia" and I hope the band will continue to expand their sound with their next album.

Report this review (#87831)
Posted Monday, August 21, 2006 | Review Permalink
2 stars So that I had the bad luck not to know itself PORCUPINE TREE I create I in of a its moments of transition, good fact that this band according to claimed me was or is the best one of the moment, one of most innovating, in conclusion one of the bands that did not have to leave a side, so to speak forcing, but for my was not it, this work it collection like very common without any point that is truely excellent, I even dare to say that it is even pink a very normal disc in the commercial thing, if it has moments that are good but in truth seeing of a band of reference supposedly forced my taste is dissapointing, many people say that she listens to previous discs since in these if the real power of this band notices, but I have listened to say to which was of those bands that a guideline put you did what in truth it is to make good music, I hope that this it is not followed by many bands, is done to me that it is a disc that it looks for to catch the attention of a powerfully enriching sector like many bands have fallen very dissapointingly and very sadly many bands like DREAM THEATER "Train of Thoughts", whose intention was reached absorbing certain sector that was dominated by bands merely of the NuMetal call that nor at least she will name but I hope that it is not a form descardad to abuse his followers who I wait for are not contentments with worked like this, but good I will be able at least to put it when this with a girl, clear when the case appeared.
Report this review (#88657)
Posted Friday, September 1, 2006 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
Prog Folk
2 stars 2.5 stars really!!

As I usually do, I make it a bit of a duty to keep up with new albums of modern prog bands like PT, SB or TMV. Not because I love particularly the new wave of prog (PT is a little old for that), but because a prog reviewer like me must keep up with what's coming out as much as he can. I had followed PT's evolution from a purely psych bands into a more Floyd-influenced one, than veer from Signify onwards into their actual style of prog. And since Signify (of which I was a moderate fan of), I must say I've grown a bit bored of their successive albums, because they sort of repeat constantly the formula that became theirs. Don't get me wrong; this album is not any worse than Absentia, Lightbulb, Dreams or their previous albums. We have here an undeniably Porcupine Tree album with its distinctive sound with the usual PT twists, ambiances and flaws.

Unlike my young colleague reviewers, I lack the patience to listen to a PT album more than a half-dozen times and I could give many reasons for this, but I'll concentrate on just a few: 1- I find that the usual artwork and presentation lacking any kind of appeal and although the booklet might have taken Wilson great attention and pain, it simply looks botched and meaningless, and the fact that he sacrifices to the latest fad of not publishing the lyrics just proves the point further. 2- the musical and conceptual (if any, but that's precisely the point) propos is still quite impenetrable and does not come easy, even if you are completely enthralled by this type of prog (I have asked many young fans if they had discovered any special theme or made much sense of what Wilson was on about in his music and many were simply at a loss to explain much or even a few). 3- the repetition from one album to the other is simply baffling and a case for semi- rejection. I think that most of us are able to tell on a blind test within twenty seconds that we are listening to PT, but unless an avid and unconditional ultra-fanboy, 90% of progheads would be incapable of telling (quickly) on which album the track they are listening to is.

The fact that three songs stand out slightly (the title track, the 12-min centrepiece and TSOSB) will not hide the fact that there is some much-lesser material: the metallic Shallow, the soppy (and soapy ;-) ballad Lazarus and the Mellotron-less Scratch (yes I know it is the point Mr. Wilson, but also mine), just to name those. Somehow, I think that Ricochet's appraisal of this album to Signify is rather valid, which goes to prove that the PT progression (so-implied by ultra-fans) is more a myth than a reality. And his general proficiency and profusion of recorded works only hints at two things IMHO: 1-Wilson is recording and releasing almost every single note of music, he's ever written and he has a short memory, which means he repeats himself more than reasonably acceptable; 2- his general aptitude at creating concepts that are understandable only to him and maybe those he chooses to give important clues he never includes on his albums is only rivalled by Yes' Anderson gibberish, which is really talking the biscuit for someone denying making obtuse progressive music.

I'd like to differ from my young colleagues reviewers rather strongly: this album is simply just one more PT album, neither good nor bad, but completely "has-been-done- before" and I'd like to address the older progheads: if you are a casual fan of the group, while yet another PT album, you'll not miss anything should you skip this one. Yes my young friends, maybe in ten of fifteen years, you'll come to realize that most of these PT albums have been manufactured a bit like a consumable products, a bit like a hamburger chain restaurant proposing different options on the same old burgers. Double mustard and no ketchup on mine please ;-)

Report this review (#92433)
Posted Thursday, September 28, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars With 'Deadwing' Porcupine Tree continues to move into the future of music, while bringing elements of the past with them. And they do so with the prize winning formula they created with 'In Absentia' (space-metal), but without duplicating the album in anyway. While this album may not be quite as good as 'In Absentia' it is still an excellent album, a four-star performance.

What sets this album a star behind the previous is on rare occasions it lack's originality (a few riffs and choruses during a few songs), not that it completely copies anything, it's just some of the metal riffs sound oddly familiar, to PT's previous stuff or other bands. The Second flaw the album suffers from is some of the tracks pop/straight- forward rock nature. I'm not saying that pop is a bad thing, PT did pop very good on 'Stupid Dream' and Alt-ish rock great on 'In Absentia' . What sets this album's pop nature apart from the others is that they aren't spacey like IA, and they are more up- beat rock then the down-beat rock songs found on Stupid Dream. There are not that many very poppy/Alt-rock tracks on the album the album though, so don't let that fool you

To the Tracks:

'Deadwing' a very nice 9+ minute rocker that starts the album off. The song changes in tempo quite a bit, switching on and off between two versus, some nice Floyd like moments, and it moves to a instrumental piece towards the end. Very nice song. The next track 'Shallow' is the weakest song on the album. The flaws that I mentioned above become obvious here. The song has a very catchy metal riff/chorus, sounding similar to stuff out in the mainstream world. If you can get past that though the song ends with a short instrumental jam that I have found myself enjoying a bit lately. The next track 'Lazarus' continues the popish sound, in the form of a ballad. It is a very good pop ballad though with beautiful, lyrics and great piano work. 'Halo', is an odd track, with an odd bass line and very dark though provoking lyrics. It is also has a very catchy, slightly annoying chorus, on first listen. It took some time to grow on me, but it really is pretty good once you get used to it. After Halo things get really going with 'Arriving Somewhere But Not Here', a 12+ minute epic, that goes everywhere from spacey ambiance, to straight forward rock, to a rather intense metal riff. I would even go as far as to say this is the best song PT has ever done. After the intensity of 'ASBNH' it's nice to have 'Melton Scratch' next, a mellower track to slow things down a bit. The first two verses and choruses could get kind of monotonous, but the ending vocal harmonies more than make up for it. Very nice lyrics on it also. 'Open Car' another rocker to get things started up again as the album winds down. Terrible lyrics on this one., and the intro to the chorus is rather rough also. Steve singing over crunchy guitars does not work to well. It has a very good metal riff, and the mellow ending is almost perfect. Then comes another masterpiece: 'The Start of Something Beautiful' another lengthier track at around 7 minutes. It has a great bass line, excellent chorus, and sad yet dream like lyrics, an excellent climax for the album. 'Glass Arm Shattering' another slower track, with excellent vocal harmonies, and a great way to end the album.

So to sum it all up 'Deadwing' is an excellent effort by the musical masterminds Porcupine Tree, but it has it's flaws that can easily be looked past. Recommended to 99% of the prog community.

Report this review (#93873)
Posted Monday, October 9, 2006 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
5 stars I found it interesting that PORCUPINE TREE used more mellotron on this record then any of their previous records. As a matter of fact it's not even close.They've continued down that heavy road that began with "In Absentia", only this is even heavier. Adrian Belew guests with some guitar on "Deadwing" and "Halo", while OPETH's Mikael Akerfeldt adds some backup vocals on three tracks and a guitar solo on "Arriving Somewhere But Not Here". The edition I have is a double cd with a hidden track at the end of the first disc which happens to be "Shesmovedon". Nice.The second disc is like a greatest hits album with 10 tracks including a live version of "Russia On Ice" and "Halo" on it.

"Deadwing" opens with electronics ala TANGERINE DREAM before it explodes into a full sound. Riffs are all over this one until it settles somewhat when vocals arrive 1 1/2 minutes in. Love the guitar here that reminds me of Page's guitar tone on "Houses Of The Holy". Mellotron storms in as well. Great sounding vocals 4 minutes in as it settles. A calm 6 minutes in as it turns psychedelic. Check out Belew 7 1/2 minutes in as his guitar solo goes on and on. Nice. Vocals and a heavier sound are back 8 1/2 minutes in. This is one of the best songs they've ever done. "Shallow" features a nice heavy riff that carries the song along. It settles somewhat but then kicks back in. The contrast continues. An all out assault before 3 minutes.This is heavy duty man. "Lazarus" is such a sweet song after the crushing "Shallow". I find "Halo" similar to "Shallow" another heavy rocker. The bass is great and I really like the chorus. Harrison shines bright as well.

My favourite on the album is "Arriving Somewhere But Not Here", which may be the best song they've done so far. Lots of atmosphere before the main melody kicks in before 2 minutes. Mellotron a minute later. Killer sound 6 1/2 minutes in that leads to heavy riffs. Back to the main melody after 8 minutes with mellotron. So emotional. A calm when a tasteful guitar solo (Akerfeldt) arrives. It kicks back in at 10 minutes. "Mellotron Scratch" opens with strummed guitar and percussion. Mellotron and vocals come in and are gorgeous. Piano arrives after the chorus. Heavier sound after 4 1/2 minutes. Nice. Great sound 6 minutes in as it has changed again. "Open Car" features more great bass and riffs. Some good contrasts in this one throughout. Love the chorus "Hair blown in an open car, summer dress slips down her arm, hair blown in an open car". "The Start Of Something Beautiful" has some good atmosphere to begin with. Bass and vocals start to lead the way. A fuller sound before 2 1/2 minutes. The contrast continues. Guitar grinds away 3 1/2 minutes in. Excellent sound 5 minutes in as piano then organ follows. I love this song. "Glass Arm Shattering" is a dreamy, spacey song that builds. I really like the sound after a minute. Vocals before 2 minutes.

I still like "In Absentia" the best but man this is really good. I can't recommend this highly enough.

Report this review (#94552)
Posted Saturday, October 14, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars From the first song to the last song, Porcupine Tree's Deadwing nails my devotion right on the head. This album is the first album I heard from these guys, and I'd have to say it's one of my all time favorite albums among the many I have. Deadwing not only has incredible musicianship, but also incredible lyrics. Deadwing is an awsome song and it just gets better from there. This was a good addition to the bands collection, and an awsome mix. Lazuras, Shallow, Arriving Somwhere but not here, and more and more! I love Deadwing, I love Porcupine Tree. They're incredible and this album definately diserves a 5/5. They have good emotions and strong instrumental, and great mixture of psychedelic/space effects to classify them under this genre. Hard in some places, soft in others, Porcupine Tree is just awsome, they can really be listenend by anyone, sort of. Some people may find this ablum dark, but it isn't too bad, it's psychedelic baby! I like to tell people when I talk about these guys that Porcupine Tree is a better and improved version of Pink Floyd in the Metal-like genre of music! listen to Deadwing, it's incredible, and so is the band! They're awsome! 5/5 this album is just incredible!
Report this review (#94944)
Posted Wednesday, October 18, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars I bought this album whilst on holiday in America in September. So I have had just over a month to get used to it. (I also bought some other cds, so it has had to take its turn!) The more I listen to it, the more I enjoy it. Porcupine Tree are, to me, one of the best of the modern groups. (In fact, along with The Flower Kings, they are my favourite of the newer generation.) However, I have always enjoyed their earlier work more than their latest, and In Absentia, whilst still being enjoyable, was a little too heavy in parts for me, a little too metal. Deadwing is closer to that album than any other PT album I have heard (though I have to say I don't possess their two 'middle period' albums yet, Stupid Dream or Lightbulb Son). 'Deadwing' itself opens the album in fine style, and you can't mistake the PT sound for anything else here. A mid paced song, it has some nice guitar from Wilson, but I do have to say the 'guest musician' here, Adrian Belew, is not really to my taste, (but then I have never been a Crimson fan), and his solo is, well, so so! But the song is decent, if not brilliant. 'Shallow' is one of those 'little too heavy' tracks imo. Again, not a bad song, but not really outstanding. It reminds me of 'Strip The Soul' off In Absentia, which was probably my least favourite track on that album. Both seem to me to be a bit disjointed and lacking a strong melody, but they are still recognisably PT. I certainly wouldn't skip over them. 'Lazarus' is more like it! A nice, almost gentle melody, with wonderful piano (not sure if this is played by Barbieri or Wilson but it's very well played!) The trademark dreamy vocals of Wilson are well to the fore here, and the song is altogether nicely executed. One of the highlights. Unfortunately, 'Halo' is again a heavier piece, though I prefer it to 'Shallow'. Again, Belew contributes, but I can ignore that! Another track not too far away from the sound of 'Strip The Soul'. Listenable though. From here onwards, the album takes an upwards turn, and the rest of it is magnificent. 'Arriving Somewhere' is the longest piece on the disc, and I suspect a lot of PT fans will say it's their favourite track here. It has all the classic PT sounds, excellent bass, nice keyboards, subtle guitar from Wilson and another excellent melody. Mid paced, it drives along nicely, wrapped in an engaging atmosphere. 'Mellotron Scratch' is another good one. The guitar here is spikier, but effective, and there is more nice bass work, too. The second half of the song changes into a slightly harder style, with driving drumming. Very good. 'Open Car' is also good, with a powerful keyboard-backed chorus and fits in beautifully with the album's overall feel. 'Start Of Something Beautiful' is another future classic, with, classic PT lyrics, a slightly disturbed verse and another excellent chorus. Again, magificent keyboards and guitar here. 'Glass Arm Shattering' brings the album to a superb end. This track could have sat comfortably on 'Up The Downstair' quite easily, or even on 'Signify'. It builds slowly, with guitars rising through the dark, keyboards creating more dreamscapes, and a lovely, atmospheric vocal from Wilson. Quite repetitive, it is nevertheless, almost hypnotic, and the chorus changes the song just in time, with echoey, multi-layered vocals. Again, wonderful stuff! For some reason, there is a bonus track about four and a half minutes after 'Glass Arm' finishes. This is a track off an earlier album, I think, Lightbulb Son. I have heard the song before, but I am not sure if this is a different version or not. 'She's Moved On' is another typical PT song, with nice keyboards and a very catchy chorus, finishing with some blistering guitar work from Wilson. All in all, another excellent effort from PT, and a worthy addition to any collection. Traces of space rock, metal, and Floydian style ballads should cater to most tastes. Four stars.
Report this review (#95322)
Posted Saturday, October 21, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Great progressive rock music is many things. It is bold, unfettered by convention, fearless, challenging to the senses, exploratory and high fidelity. It takes risks, pushes accepted envelopes and defies labeling. This album is all that and more. It's rare that I love a cd the first listen through and even rarer when it just keeps getting better and better in my ears with repeated listens. "Deadwing" is one of the best albums I've ever heard and I've heard a lot in my time. Where the excellent "In Absentia" cleverly displayed the band's many influences, this one is all Porcupine Tree. They have created their own style, their own sound and they are blazing their own trail through the thickets of 21st Century music.

Starting with the exhilaratingly multi-dimensional title cut Porcupine Tree takes you on an electrifying, hour-long marathon that leaves you breathless. Next up is the enormous rocker "Shallow" that is one Godzilla of a tune. The guitar sound will slay you. "Lazarus" is a wonderful, peaceful song that floats like a leaf in a stream. It is stunningly beautiful and poignant. "Halo" wakes you right back up with its infectious funky beat and intriguing lyrics before you enter the entrancing musical rainbow that is "Arriving somewhere but not here." It is twelve minutes of some of the highest quality progressive music you will ever hear. "Mellotron Scratch" provides a needed mellowing out period before you are introduced to the best song on the album. "Open Car" is simply astounding in its scope and grandeur. It's like indulging in rich, fattening prog candy for the ears. Extraordinarily huge sound.

"The start of something beautiful" is a delight as it jumps from 9/8 to 5/4 time signatures with deceptive ease and "Glass Arm Shattering" is atmospheric and hypnotic without becoming tedious. And, as if that wasn't enough, there's a bonus track of "Shesmovedon" to complete the deal with a flair. I suspect that Gavin Harrison's incredible drum track made the inclusion of this older PT song a no-brainer. He is terrific throughout "Deadwing" but he makes this memorable tune a real classic. Mr. Harrison defines good taste and is now one of my favorite drummers on the planet. This collection of songs proves that Porcupine Tree is currently one of the best bands in the world today and if you haven't had the pleasure of experiencing their music I urge you to do so as soon as humanly possible. You might as well start with this fantastic album. You'll be glad you did.

Report this review (#96353)
Posted Tuesday, October 31, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Well there we go. All this 'is it prog?' needs some kinda conclusion to my mind. The simple answer is............ (drum roll) Of course it is! Prog has a few little givaways (unless you believe that the main criteria is that it should've been released between 1968 and 77). Firstly, song running times; with songs lasting up to 12 minutes we're safely in the territory of Floyd,Yes and Genesis and remember Echoes has a whole side of 4 minute shorties. Secondly, weird and wonderful time signatures. I dare you to try and tap along to 'Start of Something Beautiful' (which is surely the cd's high point). Thirdly, changes in time and structure. Several of the best tracks are taken from soft to heavy and back again or even have a complete style and rythm change (The Hatfields, Cressida, Yes anyone?). Of course the most prog thing about the PT is that they're a basically British rock band and in itself that's enough for me. Now stop being silly all you old proggers out there and give this remarkable, touching, meaty cd the five stars it so thoroughly deserves (and one more thing if you can't put your finger on why Lazarus give's you deja vu it's because it recalls the piano part from Lamb era Genesis, brilliant).
Report this review (#99615)
Posted Monday, November 20, 2006 | Review Permalink
1 stars Absolutely owful thing. For me it was one of greatest dissapointment of the year. I've never expected this kind of group which I valued so much will fall so low. The big earache is all that I remember after the first listening of this album. "Deadwing" is filled with guitar dirt and nothing more. Where are that fantastic trance atmosphere from "The Sky Moves Sideways" or "Signify"? Where are that fine melodies and music ideas? I understand that Steven Wilson decided to follow a new direction but I think that he's lost somewhere in that way. The title song and gently "Lazarus" are the only track that deserve any attention. Rest of album is not worth of listening. Lot of noise, a liitle of showy but it's unfortunetly all that you will find on "Deadwing".
Report this review (#99857)
Posted Tuesday, November 21, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars This was my introduction to Porcupine Tree and I was absolutely dazzled by it as soon as I pressed PLAY for the first time. I'm afraird I can't go into too much detail about each individual track (and there's probably not much need with over 200 ratings already in the databse). I tend to go back time and time again to the marvellous "Deadwing" opening track and the absolutely sublime "Arriving Somewhere". Wow! When that guitar solo first kicks in I am transported to another plane. How do you get a guitar to sound like that???

Top class stuff!

Report this review (#100913)
Posted Wednesday, November 29, 2006 | Review Permalink
Chris S
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Deadwing for me is an excellent album by Porcupine Tree. The build ups and choruses in some of the songs have great hooks, musically very solid and at times nice and dark. There is a definite prog feel to Deadwing more so than it's predecessor In Absentia.The self titled opener starts the album off with some gutsy playing. ' Shallow' quite a unusual ballady piece, the mellowest PT I have heard. One of the following tracks ' Halo' another highlight on the album displays the darker side of PT. My favourite piece is next and it is a 10 minute masterpiece, ' Arriving Somewhere But Not Here' has all the makings of a true progressive song. You can hear so many influences but still PT maintain their individuality for the sound they create. The album closes with ' Glass Arm Shattering' another strong piece. Highly recommended to progressive rock/metal fans.
Report this review (#103079)
Posted Thursday, December 14, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Deadwing has a lot of great songs on it. This is an awesome album with lengthy songs and great guitar. I can't wait until the Deadwing movie comes out. That will be awesome, since the album is.

Deadwing: ***** This was the first song I heard off of this album. I just thought it was fantastic. The song offers nice guitar and the three minute instrumental passage is narly also. That keyboard riff that starts out the song does fit very well, also.

Shallow: ***** Nice song. There's sound effect usage in this song.

Lazarus: **** This song is pretty-sounding.

Halo: ***** It talks about God, and I don't find anything that is against God in this song. If that's the case, this song has a great message, I guess.

Arriving Somewhere but Not Here: ***** This is the signature piece of the album. It's my favorite song on the album. As of 12:13 on January 13, 2007, it's my favorite PT song. This song gets me so amped! I am headbanging for several straight minutes during the song. The instrumental passage has some great guitar starting at 6:53, but the passage itself starts earlier. It's an awesome song!

Mellotron Scratch: ***** It is a song with a soothing melody. The fugues are one reason why this song rocks.

Open Car: **** It's a cool song. It could be longer, though.

The Start of Something Beautiful: ***** This song IS something beautiful. There is a nice instrumental passage in this song, and the length is complementary as well.

Glass Arm Shattering: **** This is a great song, but the lyrics are sort of vague. I might need to hear it again, though.


Report this review (#107321)
Posted Saturday, January 13, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars To think that I discover this band because of Mikael Akerfeldt (one of my fave musicians out there!!!) Ok. Let's Go with the review:

1. Deadwing: Fantastic rocker opener, those vocal harmonies between SW and Akerfeldt are magical (everybody that had listen Bleak know what I'm writing about!) good freaky guitar solo courtesy of Mr. Belew.

2. Shallow: Here is another rocker, with a chorus reminiscent of Soundgarden? the interludes giving abient to the music.

3. Lazarus: Ok a poppy ballad, here The Beatles meets Coldplay,again these magical vocal harmonies! Really a beautiful ballad. Period

4. Halo: Start with a misterious sounding and voice with effect. Catchy chorus. Then comes an "angular section" which leads to a freaky solo, again the chorus.

5. Arriving Somewhere But Not Here: Begins with a very dark ambient, then enters an arpeggio which repeats througout the song! then enters the voice and again brutal vocal harmonies a catchy chorus then a very bright solo, again chorus. The song break into a very nice "dark metal" part and again the arpegio appears t o melt into a beautiful bluesy solo courtesy of Mr.Akerfeldt. This song is not possible to describe in words!!! Go to Porcupine Tree myspace and listen!!! This lone track worth the price of the album. Period.

6. Mellotron Scratch: A very calm track with much ambient, very "alternative" feel here the vocal work is very interesting and beautiful. Nice outro.

7. Open Car: Open with a very interesting amalgamation. Then an interlude very ambiental and the chorus is a "big cliché". This structure repeats througout the song.

8. The Start of Something Beautiful: The opening bass riff is really nice, the chorus is catchy with distorted voice, then a short guitar solo, later a "tribal" percussion section leads to a very good outro.

9. Glass Arm shattering: A very spacey song "this boy (SW) seems to had been listening Pink Floyd very much" this song is Pink Floyd. Nice vocal work here too.

By listening the other songs not on the original release seems to me that Porcupine Tree are on their peak: So Called Friend is a leftover? Tool would be proud of this song! Mother And Child Divided:Think of YYZ 2005. Awesome drumming Courtesy of Mr. Gavin Harrison!!! Watch this guy! Note: I am a huge fan of Rush and I'm sorry that my first review isn't their masterpiece Hemispheres. PD: Buy this Album!!! Sorry for my bad english. Rating 4.5 Stars. The 5 stars goes to the DVD Arriving Somewhere!!!

Report this review (#107699)
Posted Wednesday, January 17, 2007 | Review Permalink
Chris H
5 stars I can start this review by saying easily that if it wasn't for this album, my love for Porcupine Tree would be non-existant. I purchased 'The Sky Moves Sideways' before this was recommended to me, and I just COULD NOT get into TSMS. At all. Then I listened to Deadwing and it really made me appreciate the intense musicianship Porcupine Tree puts into their music. Now onto the review...

"Deadwing" kicks off the album with an excellent instrumental passage that has some nice chord progression, but the singing is where this song is at. Wilson's lyrics (on the whole album in fact!) just make me tremble because they are so distraught yet beautiful at the same time. "Shallow" is the next song, and it is one of the hardest songs Porcupine Tree has recorded. Wouldn't be out of place on In Absentia. "Lazarus" is next, and it is the most beautiful song I have heard in my life, by a mile. Wilson's voice is so elegant here and this song just gives me the shivers. "Halo" is next, and it is another semi-heavy track. The chorus is excellent, with great music and words, but the whole computer-ish voice alteration and techo beats take away from the seriousness of the song. "Arriving Somewhere But Not here" is obviously the epic of the album, at 12+ minutes, and it does not disappoint. The opening sequence isa tad bit boring, but again, when the lyrics kick in the song takes off! "Mellotron Scratch" is a soft song with more semi-altered voice patterns. In my opinion it is the worst song on the album, but it has a nice chorus and is still listenable. "Open Car" is the third heavy song on the album, and one of my favorite by Porcupine Tree. The bass is outstanding and this is just one of those songs where you can tell everybody in the band just clicks. "The Start Of Something Beautiful" really is what it says. For a song with a softer introduction, it really picks it up at around 2:15 and some traces of "Open Car" can be found in it. "Glass Arm Shattering" closes the album in a fine way with its ambient explosions and technical lyrics and progression.

One of the best albums from 2000-present. If this isn't in your collection already, it is an absolute must buy! 5 stars!

Report this review (#108027)
Posted Friday, January 19, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Porcupine Tree's latest album is the sound of a band who have already arrived where they want to be, and seem content to just coast along. Steven Wilson established their own distinctive voice with "Stupid Dream" and "Lightbulb Sun", consolidating that with the sparkling songwriting and metal influences of "In Absentia". With this one it just looked like they rushed straight back into the studio to tread comfortable old ground.

There's still plenty of stuff to please old and new listeners. The title track doesn't have much to fault it. Its perpetual motion two-chord riff, thumping repetitive drumbeat and rousing string swells are an arresting opening to the album. It's typical of neo-prog but sounds natural and uncontrived. Even the raucously atonal guitar solo from King Crimson's Adrian Belew grew on me. Just as focused and powerful is "Arriving Somewhere But Not Here", again based on an absorbing perpetual motion riff, stretched out in symphonic style. There's a clear thread running towards this track from their "Signify" album ten years ago, and there are also recollections of Lightbulb Sun's "Russia on Ice", especially in its chilling vocal. "The Start of Something Beautiful" also mingles hard riffing and symphonic swells in a pleasing, if a little too familiar, way.

A peppering of short singles show that Wilson's metal-head is still shining. "Shallow" and "Halo" are hard-riffing modern pop-metal, in the same mould as the metal tracks from "In Absentia" but even more straight ahead. (geeky aside, did he know there was an old Cocteau Twins song called "Shallow then Halo"?). "Shallow" might win them fans in the American market, and in Britain, Muse fans should perk up their ears at this side of the band. At the other end of the scale, "Lazarus" is the softest pop song they have ever done, but still distinctively Porcupine Tree. It's not too far fetched to compare its melody to a Robbie Williams ballad, and its flighty one-handed piano line is like a looser version of Coldplay's "Clocks".

While their previous two were pretty much songwriting-perfect, "Deadwing" seems to sag towards the end. It's an example of the way artists sometimes insist on shoving all the album's best songs at the start. I don't think it's an inevitable consequence of listening for an hour, they really have put the weaker material on the second half. "Mellotron Scratch" is redeemed by its layered closing section based on that pretty dulcimer sound. "Glass Arm Shattering" is an anticlimax, presumably intended to be mellow and spacious but just sounding floppy and lackluster.

"Deadwing" is listenable, but we've become too accustomed to the signatures of Wilson's admittedly finely-crafted prog pop. Those slick vocal harmonies, and those spicy splashes of piano and guitar, once captured the ears with their fresh sound. New fans might find it a nice taste, from where they can start exploring Porcupine Tree backwards through time, but this long time listener yearns for something more innovative.

Report this review (#108170)
Posted Saturday, January 20, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars At first listen, I actually disliked this album quite a bit. This was the first I'd heard by Porcupine Tree, and I was convinced that they sucked after listening the album Deadwing. But I felt compelled to continue to listen to the album even after I had concluded it was sub-par. This isn't out of the ordinary - I often listen to bands I dislike. I do this to 1) see if I had judged the band prematurely, and my opinions have changed, or 2) to understand fully why I dislike them, or 3) to not listen to the same few albums continuously so I won't find them banal. After a few more listens, I drastically changed my mind about this band. I had once thought them a simplistic, metal band, and now I recognize them as a diverse, shifting, surrealistic prog band.

Much of this album is genuine prog, with strong metal influences and a lot of psychedelic interludes. It is very otherworldly, thought provoking, thrilling and memorable. The other half of this album is very good rock/pop. Both halves of the album rely on excellent songwriting, lyrics, atmospheres, and technical skill. The whole band is great, but Gavin Harrison's drumming must be noted, and the excellent sound of his drums and cymbals.

At times, the music is very fast, aggressive (Deadwing, middle of Arriving Somewhere) and it can also be very psychedelic (start of Arriving Somewhere, middle of Deadwing) and even soft and beautiful (Lazarus). Even in the more simple rock songs, there is still a concept behind the music, fantastic lyrics and surrealistic instrumental sections. And constantly - throughout the entire album - there is a powerful mood and a very strong feel.

Report this review (#109223)
Posted Sunday, January 28, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars I find Deadwing to be a significantly better release than anything Porcupine Tree has done in its past. They really pull of the melodic metal edge with excursions into space-like atmosphere's better than they do fully exploring a psychedelic sound like they attempted in the past. Also, while I can't deny that Deadwing has its poppy moments, those moments are greatly outweighed by the prog and simply beautiful moments of themselves. With that said, I find previous efforts In Absentia and Stupid Dream to be much more mainstream than Deadwing.

What really hooks me on this album is the blend of acoustic/distorted guitar sounds. Wilson creates fantastic contrasts throughout the album with plenty of shifts between heavy/soft moments to keep it interesting. The melodies on this disc are very layered and sharp. It's not the most challenging you music you'll encounter by far, but that's supplemented by the quality of the melodies.

This would probably be a perfect disc, but Porcupine Tree have this uncanny ability to have one song on ever album that I absolutely despise. Here that song is "Halo". It's very mainstream and the riffing just plain irritates me. The song begins to redeem itself in the last 30 seconds, but by then I've already gone to take my piss break. In my opinion, Deadwing recieves far too much criticism, barring Fear Of A Blank Planet, I feel it offers the best of PT from either of the band's syllistic periods.

Report this review (#111975)
Posted Tuesday, February 13, 2007 | Review Permalink
1 stars What a major let down. I had started to smell something was not right with In Absentia, but this album simply stinks... or worse, it doesn't have a smell or taste at all, it doesn't provoke the slightest feeling, except for frustration for hearing a talented band doing something like this. I absolutely understand they wanted to evolve as a band, but to evolve means to turn into something better, not to pass from the openness of psychodelia to the limitations of metal. Even if it was a fine prog metal album I'd understand, but it simply don't deliver in the whole playtime. They did great as a psychodelic band, or even in the more melodic stuff on Stupid Dream and Lightbulb Sun, but to play metal it's required a size of balls it seems they don't have.
Report this review (#112440)
Posted Saturday, February 17, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars And something warm and soft just passed through here...

People who frequent the site or the forums are most likely familar with Porcupine Tree, at least by name. However, the band has quite a diverse catalouge and with the 2005 release of "Deadwing," old meets new, but the result is fresh and crisp, for the most part. There is some of the psych which was more prevalent in the preceding release, "In Absentia" and this album for the most part has a harder metallic edge. Sometimes, it is at the expense of the great style the band developed, but most of the time, it is a welcomed invitation. Steven Wilson's musical prowess helped led teh band in to what had become another excellent album.

First off, I can not get over the vocals in the album. They are always a highlight, and they are consistantly good, even when the guitars are not. Metal is not a genre that I am fond of, but the album is at no point a full-fledged metal album. It is far too melodic to be considered different. Although the instrumentation on songs like "Shallow" seem unappealing, the vocals make up for it.

The thing is, when a song on this album is good, it's very very good. For example, the opening title track is a major highlight. It shows a good range of the bands direction and sets an excellent tone that the album follows up to. Here the instruments synchronize well and the result is an excellent piece of music. "Lazarus" and "Halo" are both excellent, shorter songs and are almost opposites to each other. The former is a lovely piano driven track and the latter runs along an excellent bass groove with an explosive chorus and solo. What do they have in common? Excellent melodic skill, of course. Soon comes the true highlight of the album, which is one of the best anthems of modern prog, "Arriving Somewhere." This song is diverse and consistantly mindblowing. From the soft verse and intro to the explosive middle section, sparks constantly fly from this hot bed of goodness in music form. This 12 minute epic is truly the centerpiece of the album, it erupts with such well-constucted melody and rhythm. All members are truly in top form here. "Mellotron Scratch" keeps us the stretch of great songs. A highly melodic song guessed it...ok there's not much mellotron here for mellotron lovers, but it does not deduct from the song in any way. "Open Car" is in a bit of a similar vein to "Strip the Soul" off "In Absentia." It's certainly a better heavy song than "Shallow" and has a pretty catchy riff. "Start of Something Beautiful" is a bit of a return to form, it's a song that would fit well at any point of their discography. The instruments are beautiful and well played. "Glass Arm Shattering" is a bit of a cool down after a tumultuously breathtaking album. Apart from the voice, there's nothing too special, but there really is nothigng wrong with it.

The lyrics are conceptual, but not to the point where the lyrics overtake the music as the focus of the listener. Usually, I forget it's even a concept album. There is no question that the music is the focus of the record, as it should be. It wouldnt't work any other way, the songs are too well constructed to be ignored. This album is excellent, certainly a centerpiece of prog in the 21st century. It would also work well for a person who is new to prog with roots in the alternative scene because I can see some relation there. In short, this album may be psychadelic at points, heavy at another, but all in all, it's highly melodic and well-crafted music that would make an excellent addition to any prog music collection.

Report this review (#114449)
Posted Wednesday, March 7, 2007 | Review Permalink
Fight Club
5 stars Another killer album from Porcupine Tree!

This band offers yet another significant change in sound for the band, but yet again it is justified. The album is a stunning piece from start to finish, offering everything from heavy distorted riffs to melodic solos and surreal mellotron we all love. The album starts with Deadwing which intros some looping synth until the song explodes. Throughout the piece there is a monster rythem section, some of the hardest playing PT has showed us yet. As farther proof, the front man of Opeth contributes vocals and guitar to the album. You may be contemplating whether or not to listen to this album, as some of the reviews ponder the progginess of it, but do not be repelled by that. This album is as unique sounding as any other prog band could have to offer. Unlike other PT albums though, this one didn't catch my attention instantaneously. But after enough listens everything from Deadwing to Glass Arm Shattering remains a highlight in PT's impressive career. There is something for everyone on this album. Shallow is an excellent hard rock song for the prog metal fans, and Mellotron Scratch, though it doesn't include much mellotron use, is an excellent mellow track for the symphonic prog fans. The album has a lot of range, and includes all the sounds in PT's career. Though heavier than previous albums, the overall PT sound can still be easily heard. Lazarus, with it's intricate harmonies and beautiful piano playing; Halo with it's thumping bass lines and spacey chorus, both songs are major highlights. However the bulk of the album comes with the absolute masterpiece, Arriving Somewhere But Not Here. This song sums up PT's entire career. It begins with some really ambient keyboard effects and moves into some dreamy arpeggios created by a clean guitar. By the time the vocals and the haunting mellotron enter you're already transfixed by the song. Then all the sudden BOOM the song bursts into one of the most riveting emotional sections you'll ever hear a band play. Enough said. This song has something for everyone and I have never played it for a person who didn't enjoy it. Just when you think the album couldn't possibly continue, Mellotron Scratch enters. The song offers somewhat a "calm after the storm" from the explosive Arriving Somewhere. The next few tracks won't disappoint either. Open Car creates some more driving riffs and The Start of Something Beautiful uses some genius rythm on Gavin Harrison's part. Continuing through a 5/4 beat for the majority of the song, this is the 2nd major highlight of the album. The instrumental section in the middle is some of the finest orchestration PT has ever put together. Glass Arm Shattering concludes everything with some great swirly keyboards. Overall this album is the most impressive piece of music put out in 2005, and has something enjoyable for fans of any prog subgenre. Essential modern music.

Report this review (#114827)
Posted Sunday, March 11, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars On the eve of their biggest album release ever (it's not out here, at any rate), it behooves me to comment on what may be the biggest album by the most popular prog band around today, if progarchives readers are to be believed. I've always had mixed feelings about Wilson and crew, although I feel much more positive than negative. When I first heard this album, I thought it was a big step backward, containing some overt commercial tendencies and a move towards more alternative rock. After seeing the live DVD and enjoying the songs, I revisited it and do feel more positive. On the negative side, the tune "Halo" seems to me a real stab at commercial acceptance. It's either the best song Staind ever did or the worst PT has done, put it that way. I've burned myself a new copy (from my legally purchased copy, of course!) with it removed, so I can enjoy the release better!

That horrible tune aside, this album has a lot to commend it in a progressive sense. "Deadwing" and "Arriving" are two monolithic slabs that may seem monotonous at first, but there actually are a lot of tasty bits in there as well in between the verses. Wilson has done a better job of integrating the metal tendencies of the current band with the ambient ones brought by Richard Barbieri than he did on In Absentia, where pop and hard rock influences clashed a little bit at times, IMO. "Open Car" is an example of a tune that has a big, melodic, clunkily pleasing chorus but also has a lot of interesting textures. And "Lazarus" is a genuine Wilson classic on par with "Trains" or "Even Less", melodic and sweet but also powerful. On this album his lyrics improved a lot- earlier he indulged in a lot of Smiths-ian "poor me" personal alienation stuff (ie "don't hate me, I'm not special like you") that didn't appeal to me. I admit that the profundity of lyrics is certainly a matter of subjective taste, but when he is writing less personal material, I find his lyrics more interesting, which gives me great hope for the new concept album. While originally leery of the newer crunchy-riff PT, I have to admit that the combination of alt-rock, metal, prog and ambient that Wilson is now pursuing is unique and compelling. I now rate this album as highly as In Absentia, Lightbulb Sun and Stupid Dream. I'm not sure it's genius, but the thought that this kind of adventurous music can keep a major label affiliation here in the musical dark ages is heartening.

Report this review (#118735)
Posted Tuesday, April 17, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars For the record, I am a forty-something old time music including prog rock fan, most familiar with stull from my college days and prior back in the late 70's...Genesis, Yes,Moody Blues, etc.

I am not nearly as familiar with nor fond of many newer (yes I mean from the 80's on) prog rock acts and albums, though I'm getting some great info to work with on this site.

So I found Deadwing on a recent library trip and the bell from my readings on this site went off: gotta give it a whirl!

THe verdict: this album is very good. Lots of enjoyable elements. Quality songwriting, production and performances. Lots ofguitar energy with enough beautiful mellow elements (Lazaruth for example) to provide the emotional jars that great music provides. A breath of fresh rock air in a largely stagnant age for rock music overall. I've played this album repeatedly over the last few days. I may be becoming a big PorcupineTree fan! They are even touring the eastern US and visiting my area in May.....I think I'll be there!

If you like prog and rock and good musicianship in general, I think you have to like this. Give it some time before consideration as a masterpiece, I think it may well already be one, but definitely a solid addition.

OR maybe I'm just a sucker for any music with a mellotron....nah!

Report this review (#119149)
Posted Saturday, April 21, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars To paraphrase Bines this is"prog" but not as we know it .... seems to be a prevailing theme.

I was quite distraught when I discovered PT in the last few years. Here was a band witha sound that for me filled an enormous vacuum between my adolescence with Yes & Rush (with Thin Lizzy, Rory Gallagher and Free playing a big though not prog part) and the family thing.

Having listed to the back catalogue (and I mean the lot), bought the odd limited relaese (only one or two missing and listed again and again and again ... I love this album. Voyage 34 is my prog fave & coma devine is my personal WOW record, but when I check out my play lists its Deadwing that tops the charts.

There is a depth and darkness that I love in this album. Steve Wilson is never going to win the Ian Gillan/Ronnie James Dio wailing contest but hey it's almost a pre-requisite of porg that your vocalist is weak on the normal scale (Jon Anderson/Geddy Lee) ... but FMe do Steve's vocals work.

In my extremely limited & humble opinion I think this album is by avery long way the most listenable aproachable engaging album PT have produced.

To me 7.5 stars but the misers here only allow 5.

For Bones .... Deadwing IS PROG and if you don't realise it go call up the Doctor step into the TARDIS and head back to the 70s.

Report this review (#120080)
Posted Saturday, April 28, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Note: Written on June 2005.

Deadwing has been perhaps the most anticipated PT album to date given the unprecedented success of 'In Absentia' both in Europe and the US. After the release of 'In Absentia', Steven Wilson, singer/songwriter/guitarist/founder & mastermind behind PT, decided to take some time off which he spent on other projects (Blackfield, No-man, Bass Communion) and producing several rock/metal albums.

In the past year or so, the PT fan base became extremely anxious to see what direction the band would finally decide to take with the new album. In my experience, I have learnt that there is only one universal constant in Porcupine Tree, and that is that it will change. Since the band's inception in 1991, PT has evolved drastically, incorporating many different musical influences such as psychedelia, ambient, trance, prog/space rock, pop rock, and recently, prog metal. At each step of the way, they have alienated many of their earlier fans but they've survived by turning new people to their sound (kind of what happened to Dylan in the 60s/70s).

'Deadwing' is no exception, and the metal influence hinted on 'In Absentia' takes a lead role here. I know of several people who haven't enjoyed this album as much as the others but I think that those who are able to listen without prejudice are sure to find that distinctive PT sound contained within the darker and heavier music of 'Deadwing'.

Another interesting thing worth mentioning is that, since 1993, every new PT album has been hailed by the fans, the critics, the press and even by the band members themselves as 'their best so far'. That desire to continuously transform themselves is one of the most respectable qualities of this remarkable band.

So what can be said of the new album itself? The concept behind Deadwing is loosely based on a ghost story written by Steven Wilson. Below I review the whole album, track by track:

Deadwing: The song kicks off with an overdubbed keyboard pattern that is played continuously throughout which also introduces the sounds of a train approaching a London Underground tube station. As the doors open we hear the announcement 'Mind the Gap' and the entire band kicks in with a heavy but pleasant guitar riff. Thus, the album starts in a similar vein to 'In Absentia' with that Crimson-esque soft-LOUD pattern (think 21st Century Schizoid Man, A Man A City, Level Five, etc.). Steven's vocals in this song are slightly distorted but flow as beautifully as ever. There is also some whispering which I don't care much for, but the whispers help to enhance the dark and eerie atmosphere of the song. The keyboards play a prominent role in the first few minutes, with a powerful mellotron sound which surrounds Wilson's biting guitar riffs. Actually, this song features some excellent heavy guitar riffs, which appear often syncopated with the keyboard pattern which pulsates throughout the song. The first guitar solo is played over some beautiful acoustic guitar and this leads to some lovely vocal harmonies as only PT can do them. There is also a very nice passage featuring some wonderful guitar feedback and a short bass solo which leads to a frenetic guitar spot by Adrian Belew. Overall, Deawing is composed of 3 or 4 different passages which are alternated at different intervals. I have really come to appreciate this song since I first heard it and I now regard it as the very best opening track to any PT album, and it's easily among my all time favourite PT songs. It gets a hell of a lot better with every listen!

Shallow: Unfortunately, such an excellent opening track leads to the album's first single which, in my opinion, is one of the worst songs PT have ever written (with the possible exception of 'Four Chords that Made a Million' and some of the shorter experimental pieces on 'On the Sunday of Life'). To my ears this song sounds like a pathetic attempt to cash in on the US teenage market. It features a very simple heavy guitar riff which is repeated 'ad nauseam' and an angry chorus immersed in some extremely heavy and mindless riffs. I admit I was hugely disappointed when I first heard Shallow, but I can sort of understand now why Steven decided to include it: it is commercial, it is simple, and it is angry. Thus, it will be sure to attract many members of the Heavy & Death metal camps and consequently help to increase the album sales. Steven himself defined Shallow as 'a dumb American metal song as PT would do it' and to me, it is no wonder that it was dropped so quickly from the setlist in the current tour after just a few performances. It just doesn't sound like Porcupine Tree at all, and it shouldn't have been included in the album, let alone as the single! Thus, the presence of Shallow is really a no-win situation: those who love the PT sound will probably hate it, and those who buy Deadwing on the 'strength' of Shallow will be disappointed to find a non- commercial prog album.

Lazarus: Things get better with the next track, but only a little. Although Lazarus is completely different from Shallow, being much softer and gentler, I still think it's another blatant attempt at a commercial single. I've got nothing against such attempts but it's really a shame that the band has chosen songs which are not at all representative of their sound. They miss that distinctive quality and talent that makes PT so great. In fact, I really think that these 2 singles are by far the worst songs on the album. Lazarus itself sounds a bit like a lame Robbie Williams love ballad, and it gets rather tedious after only a few listens. Although PT are able to write fantastic love songs, this one just sounds very artificial and is probably the result of pressures from their record label to write an instantly likeable commercial song. It does feature some nice piano and acoustic guitar work but nothing memorable.

Halo: Following the two commercial singles, Halo continues where Deadwing left off. The song kicks with a great bass line and another repetitive percussive rhythmic pattern which is played throughout the song. The vocals are again distorted but the chorus is catchy and powerful. The lyrics, inspired (I presume) by 9/11, and the Afghanistan & Iraq conflicts, explain how God serves as an effective means of manipulation by using it's authority to justify any action, regardless of how immoral it may be:

God is in my fingers God is in my head God is in the trigger God is in the lead God is freedom God is truth God is power God is proof God is fashion God is fame God gives meaning God give pain.

You can be right like me. With God in the hole you're a righteous soul I got a halo round me, I'm not the same as you Cos I've seen the light and I'm gaining in height Now I got a halo round me, I got a halo round my head

God is on the cellphone God is on the net God is in the warning God is in the threat.

The guitar riffs are again quite heavily distorted but they are never as overpowering as they were on Shallow. Adrian Belew guests again on this track although his solo doesn't fit as well as his one on Deadwing. Overall however, this song is extremely powerful, both lyrically and musically, and is a significant improvement over the two tracks preceeding it. I should also add that this song works much better live, given that the rhythmic pattern I mentioned is much more prominent, and the imagery shown on stage helps to enhance its power and its message.

Arriving Somewhere but not Here: This song, clocking at 12 minutes, is the centrepiece of the album. At one of the gigs I attended, Steven introduced this song as 'being extremely difficult to play'. It really is an ambitious piece, full of keyboard loops and guitar sounds. In many ways, it features some of the best guitar work Steven has ever done, combining the different styles and influences he has acquired throughout his musical career. The singing is absolutely beautiful, with stunning echo effects and several overdubbed vocal harmonies. The bass playing is also phenomenal, and the keyboards are much more audible than on 'In Absentia' material. But, as I said, the highpoint of the song is the guitar playing, which evolves as the song progresses combining simple guitar solos with loops, feedback, and heavy metal riffs. Halfway through the song, the piece is transformed into a dark evil beast which emerges out of nowhere and really takes the listener by surprise. It's actually heavier than I would like it to be, but it's brevity and the excellent guitar work contained within it makes up for it's heaviness. Following this death metal passage, the piece is suddenly reduced to a simple electronic drum pattern and a beautiful guitar solo, which is backed up by a few piano chords. The song then concludes with the inital melody, eventually fading into the distance. Perhaps my only complaint is the drumming, which is awfully monotonus throughout the song and indeed for much of the album. I really don't understand why Gavin Harrison chose to adopt such a simplistic approach in this album given his exciting and complex contributions to 'In Absentia'. Still, this is a feeble complaint, and overall this track stands together with the opening track well above the rest of the album.

Mellotron Scratch: Despite it's title, this song does not feature that instrument. This was the first song I instantly liked upon first hearing the album and I now regard it as one of the best acoustic songs in the entire PT catalogue. The guitar playing is syncopated with another elctronic drum beat as in the quiet section of Arriving. The arrangement of this piece really reminds me of the first half of Gravity Eyelids from 'In Absentia'. The acoustic guitar is combined with some very nice soft electric guitar, but the real treat of this song are the vocal harmonies. They are as beautiful as the ones in Heartattack in a Layby, as complex as the ones in How is Your Life Today?, and as powerful as those found on Shesmovedon. Steven overdubs his voice almost half a dozen times in a single passage creating a wonderful and extremely beautiful collage of multipart vocal harmonies which are somewhat reminiscent of what Gentle Giant was capable of doing live in the 1970s. The vocals harmonies reach a climax in the last 30 seconds of the song when all the instruments are faded and you're left to absorb the complexity and beauty of the vocal harmonies alone.

Open Car: Open Car starts with some heavy guitar riffing similar to the one found in Shallow. However, you should not be fooled by this opening. These metal riffs quickly lead to a beautiful acoustic chorus which serves as a perfect balance to the heavy metal opening. The piece closes with a very nice acoustic guitar solo and very melancholic vocals. It really is a shame that this song is so short! Overall, a brief but very well thought out prog-rock piece.

The Start of Something Beautiful: The ending of Open Car leads to a thick bass line and some interesting guitar harmonics. The drumming here is far better than on Arriving, serving as the perfect companion to the repeated bass line. There are also some synthesizers which appear and disappear like waves throughout the piece. The chorus features heavy guitar licks and very distorted vocals which, if anything, enhance the power of the music. Finally, there is also a short percussion solo and some really beatuiful piano/guitar interplay which closes the song. In my opinion, this piece combines the different moods contained in the previous songs and would've therefore served as an excellent closer to the album.

Glass Arm Shattering: Given the majestic ending of the previous track, Glass Arm Shattering serves as an epilogue to the album. It is drastically different form the rest of the songs on 'Deadwing', being much closer in style to the earlier (mid-90s) PT sound. It features some very nice glissando guitar and extended vocal harmonics although it drags a bit towards the end. Still, it allows you to slow yourself down after the rather intense experience of the preceeding songs.

To conclude, Deadwing represents another significant step forward for a band which I'm sure will continue to progress and develop their sound in the coming years. I myself can't wait to hear their next record. The next big thing if you're new to this band is to trace back the progression of all their previous albums. Their entire back catalogue is worth having if you've enjoyed what you've heard so far.

Report this review (#121718)
Posted Friday, May 11, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars To think that I discover this band because of Mikael Akerfeldt (one of my fave musicians out there!!!) Ok. Let's Go with the review:

1. Deadwing: Fantastic rocker opener, those vocal harmonies between SW and Akerfeldt are magical (everybody that had listen Bleak know what I'm writing about!) good freaky guitar solo courtesy of Mr. Belew.

2. Shallow: Here is another rocker, with a chorus reminiscent of Soundgarden? the interludes giving abient to the music.

3. Lazarus: Ok a poppy ballad, here The Beatles meets Coldplay,again these magical vocal harmonies! Really a beautiful ballad. Period

4. Halo: Start with a misterious sounding and voice with effect. Catchy chorus. Then comes an "angular section" which leads to a freaky solo, again the chorus.

5. Arriving Somewhere But Not Here: Begins with a very dark ambient, then enters an arpeggio which repeats througout the song! then enters the voice and again brutal vocal harmonies a catchy chorus then a very bright solo, again chorus. The song break into a very nice "dark metal" part and again the arpegio appears t o melt into a beautiful bluesy solo courtesy of Mr.Akerfeldt. This song is not possible to describe in words!!! Go to Porcupine Tree myspace and listen!!! This lone track worth the price of the album. Period.

6. Mellotron Scratch: A very calm track with much ambient, very "alternative" feel here the vocal work is very interesting and beautiful. Nice outro.

7. Open Car: Open with a very interesting amalgamation. Then an interlude very ambiental and the chorus is a "big cliché". This structure repeats througout the song.

8. The Start of Something Beautiful: The opening bass riff is really nice, the chorus is catchy with distorted voice, then a short guitar solo, later a "tribal" percussion section leads to a very good outro.

9. Glass Arm shattering: A very spacey song "this boy (SW) seems to had been listening Pink Floyd very much" this song is Pink Floyd. Nice vocal work here too.

By listening the other songs not on the original release seems to me that Porcupine Tree are on their peak: So Called Friend is a leftover? Tool would be proud of this song! Mother And Child Divided:Think of YYZ 2005. Awesome drumming Courtesy of Mr. Gavin Harrison!!! Watch this guy! Note: I am a huge fan of Rush and I'm sorry that my first review isn't their masterpiece Hemispheres. PD: Buy this Album!!! Sorry for my bad english. Rating 4.5 Stars. The 5 stars goes to the DVD Arriving Somewhere!!!

Report this review (#121848)
Posted Saturday, May 12, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars I am very thankful for this album. Not only because almost all of the songs are well done and very good listening, but because this is a progressive band that you can show your freinds. This album isn't too weird to have misconceptions but is also not simple enough to be classified as crap. "Lazarus" is beautiful. "Shallow" rocks like crazy. "Mellotron scratch" is one of the best building up songs I've heard...the epic "Arriving Somewhere" is very moody and scary almost. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- As far as a prog album, not very innovative to be honest. As a mainstream rock album, one of the greatest things we've heard for a long time!

A good album and a good way to bring others into the world of progressive music.

Report this review (#121932)
Posted Sunday, May 13, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars wow!!,this is a must have in all the words..,all the songs are very cool,good chorus good,good vocals,and good music..very inteligent music..i think that porcupine tree i getting better true the ages..if a guy dont know nothing about porcupine tree this is a good album to start..because is very dinamic,very powerful..and all the songs are excellent..songs like "HALO"with a good chorus makes you feel happy,makes you fell powerful..songs like"DEADWING"makes you feel in the scene of progressive metal...and the best song in the album in my opinion is "arriving somewhere but not here""makes you feel in the kingdom of heaven ,in fact,all the songs are good..Never Bored...never iqual... a great album made by this amazing band......HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, 4.3 stars...

3 five stars Songs.. 1. dead wing - 4. Halo - 5. Arriving somewhere but not here

6 four stars songs.. 2. Shallow - 3. Lazarus - 6. Mellotron scratch- 7.Open Car 8-the start of something beautiful - 9. Glass arm shatering.

Report this review (#123372)
Posted Friday, May 25, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars "Deadwing" is the middle piece of the incredible 3-album roll that Porcupine Tree has been on - beginning with 2002's "In Absentia" and continuing with 2007's "Fear of a Blank Planet". I like Deadwing and In Absentia better than FOABP, although I often have trouble deciding which one I prefer between Deadwing and In Absentia.

This album is a bit heavier and darker than In Absentia, a bit more guitar-driven. You can see the progression the band is making towards the even heaver FOABP. Song for song, it may be a stronger release than "In Absentia", however I think most listeners would find that album a bit more accessible.

No need for a track-by-track analysis, others have done it better than I can. Many of my favorite PT songs are found on "Deadwing" - it is a must have for anyone who dares to think of themselves as prog fans.

Report this review (#125739)
Posted Thursday, June 14, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Continuing in the more metal approach Porcupine Tree took with the previous "In Absentia," "Deadwing" takes things a little further but doesn't quite match up to it's predecessor, though. That's not to say this is still a great album. After a short keyboard into, the album starts off with a bang and a driving bass line. Steven Wilson kind of experiments with some distorted and semi-spoken vocals. Overall this a really great song. "Shallow" and "Open Car" are really more straightforward rock tunes. "Lazarus" is a ballad that has a nice piano line. "Halo" is definitely one of the highlights of the album. It has a creepy verse, but the chorus is quite catchy and the middle part of the song is in a pretty crazy time signature. The big highlight of the album is "Arriving Somewhere...But Not Here," an epic 12-minute track. The first half of the song is rather low-key, with a repeated guitar pattern and the classic Porcupine Tree vocal harmonies. Things begin to speed up and soon the song become a heavy metal barrage and only letting up until the end. "Mellotron Scratch" is a cool song with a calm intro and great vocal harmonies, until changing things up a bit at the end. "The Start Of Something Beautiful" features a great bass line and is a bit more atmospheric then everything previously on the album. Finally, the closing song, "Glass Arm Shattering" is a very calm and dreamy piece, a great way to end the album. Overall, "Deadwing" is one of Porcupine Tree's less "progressive" albums, but that doesn't really matter- it's still great music. While it's not as good as previous Porcupine Tree albums like In Absentia and Signify, Deadwing sees the band still exploring new directions and not just settling for something that works for them and I think that's the biggest success.

Standout songs: "Halo", "Arriving Somewhere...But Not Here"

Report this review (#125825)
Posted Friday, June 15, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Absolutely great album and in my opinion one the best albums to be released in 2005. I can't say enough good things about this extremely solid Porcupine Tree masterpiece. Excellent vocals combined with good lyrics and cool album cover make for an over-all interesting album indeed. The drumming(Gavin Harrison) is just perfect as every beat is hit just right. If you enjoy technical guitar and bass work along with top notch studio recording then you will enjoy this album. 'Deadwing' can even boast to a guest appearance by guitar guru Adrian Belew who plays solos on the songs 'Deadwing' and 'Halo'. A classic ProG album which will be enjoyed by all the ProG fans of the future.
Report this review (#126257)
Posted Monday, June 18, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars This album, just like Fear of a blank planet, is just barely under the five star rating. But just like Foabp it has two downfall songs that keep the album from reaching the masterpiece level IMHO. Hear is my review of Deadwing!

Deadwing- Excellent opener, with the first minuete being Barbari just hitting the key's, with a very robotic feeel, you know your in for a good song. The intro riff is nothing like blackest eyes though, tes it's in drop D, but it's not distorted and definetaly not metal, but still has a very dark mood to it though. After the first verse, the song goes into a heavier mode, where the singing is more like talking, and you can almost hear Mikeal Akerfeldt (Opeth) more than Wilson. Afterwords a solo by the prog god Adrian Belew than a very heavy part, with the metal sound exclusively to Porc Tree. Sadly the rest of the song kinda meanders for the next five minuetes. 4/5

Shallow- Probably my least favirote trck on the album, all it is, is a wannabe classic rock song. I cant even tell if it is even supposed to be a metal song or not! 2/5

Lazarus- Very very pretty song, not very progressive, but shows off SW piano skill! Very serene and melodic, I think most of us believe that Steven does not have the prettiest voice in the world, but the man is smart with his voice overs and can make the ugliest voice sound beautiful. 4/5

Halo- The second ugly song, preventing the album to rise into a higher level of rating. A God basher... need I say more? 2/5

Arriving somewhere but not here- THE most beautiful song Porcupine tree has come out with ever. This is the epic of the album, and obviously the best on it. It starts out porc tree signature spacey, then evolves into an acoustic ballad section. The concept of the song starts here, I think it's about a mother and a child together in a car in the middle of the woods, when they stop for awhile and end up getting shot, and are transitioning into another life. Anyway the bridge to the song is beautiful, amazing vocals and acoustic guitar! Right after the bridge, a guitar solo, another verse, chorus, bridge, Metal passage, all with completely awesome musicianship!Then an Akerfeldt solo with a bit more singing and a very spacey electric outro. 5/5

Mellotron scratch- A nice laid back song to relieve yourself of arriving somewhere, but with a little bit of jam session at the end. Anyway's this song has very nice vocals without the voice over's and no soloing, which is kinda nice after the last four out of five having almost bit of an overdose of both of those.4.5/5

Open car- another kinda classic rockish song, but with smarter instrumentation and darker tones. The chorus is kinda nice too, so I guess it gets alot accomplished in three in a half minuetes. 3,5/5

The start of something beautiful. Though not as good as arriving somewhere, still worthy of a five. Just a classic porcupine tree song, with strange instrumentation, and eerie lyrics, that are actually great, especially the "you thought this was the start of something beautiful, well think again"! Kind of a slap in the face, and a great one liner that you might want to say to a punk band or something =)!!!!!!!!!! The last two minuetes are the greatest though, I cant tell if the solo is on the synth or on the guitar, eitherway, it's awesome! 5/5

Glass arm shattering- just a pretty song, no bad parts, even though they say the same two lines over nd ver again, and that there is a five minuete line of NOTHING at the end. great closer though.4/5

Shesmovedon*- good song, but just an edit or whatever, so you might already know it......./5


Report this review (#129341)
Posted Friday, July 20, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars PT had been on a roll since Up The Downstair which was released in 93. Every new album showed PT moving forward, and each new album was a gem of modern prog. Then, following the modern prog masterpiece that is In Absentia, Steve Wilson and co. released Deadwing. It became PT's first misstep in over a decade. Many complain of its heaviness. In Absentia was heavy, even heavier than this. The real problem is that the arrangements are nearly as good. In Absentia could between beautifuly soft to crushingly heavy in a heartbeat. It recalled memories of Crimson at their 70s peak. However, Deadwing seems to separate the heavy from the soft, which is an annoying trend of modern prog artists (Ayreon, Opeth). It also is the first PT album not to move the band forward.

The album is not without good music, however. "Arriving SomewhereBut Not Here" is a great PT epic that shows how good this album could have souned if heavy and soft were blended more. "The Start of Something Beautiful," "Glass Arm Shattering," and "Lazarus" are also enjoyable, but the rest suffer from bad arrangements and even bad lyrics, which is surprising considering how good a writer Steve is. Only Gavin Harrison's drumming saves the music in most cases.

Even though I find it to be a little dull and musically stagnant, many people enjoy this album. It was voted the top prog abum of 2005 by this site's collaborators. despite that honor, I still find it to be the first mediocre PT studio album since Voyage 34. However, the Deadwing material performed on the DVD Arriving Somewhere sounds great, proving once more my claim that PT is the Rush of space rock.

Grade: C

Report this review (#130157)
Posted Wednesday, July 25, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars A step down but still good moments

Deadwing is a well crafted collection of rather dark heavy rock songs, some of which approach prog metal but as a whole remains very accessible. I think that is one of Wilson's main gifts really, creating music which appeals to prog and prog metal fans while being very appealing to mainstream music listeners as well. Porcupine Tree peaked for me between Stupid Dream/Lightbulb Sun/In Absentia. Deadwing was a step down but remains an album worth hearing. The problem here is a slow start, the first four tracks being pretty weak by Wilson standards. By the time you hit full stride in "Arriving Somewhere" the party is half over. "Arriving Somewhere" is one of the best "epic" PT songs. Absolutely packed with feeling and sentimental playing this song takes me airborn as well as any of the classics. The rest of the album does not hit the heights of its predecessors. There are some nice spacy tracks and some good crunch with the metal element, but the better representation of the next phase PT would come on FoaBP. Deadwing at its best remains an intriguing transition that many fans adore, but is only average in the strong catalog of this artist.

The CD booklet needs a little help as it looks more like a middle school art project or something from Adbusters magazine. But that's a minor complaint and the cover art is actually pretty cool. Recommended to anyone who likes modern rock music, space rock, or prog metal.

Report this review (#133264)
Posted Wednesday, August 15, 2007 | Review Permalink
Queen By-Tor
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars What would it sound like to mix 1993 Porcupine Tree with 2001 Porcupine Tree? Well....

Moving on from the song based albums that preceded it Steve Wilson embraces a more album based approach as he did when PT was young, except with the heaviness of the late 90's still attached. The result is marvelous, Deadwing is one of the best post-prog albums I've ever heard, showing even the veterans like DT and Tool how it's done (not to call Porcupine Tree young). Opening with the bombastic DEADWING the album courses forward, only giving the audience time to rest so they don't die on the ride. Each song brings a unique piece of music to the table, and there's no downsides to be had. Songs like LAZARUS and MELLOTRON SCRATCH are slower and more melodic, while OPEN CAR and SHALLOW blast you with a kind of sonic attack (to quote Hawkwind). ARRIVING SOMEWHERE... is easily the standout on the album, mixing complex soundscapes with haunting lyrics and exceptional vocals, but others such as START OF SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL are just as good.

All in all this album does not disappoint. Recommended for those who want to hear the new great forces in prog. PT has been around for quite some time already, but I think time will hold them as one of the defining artists of this day. 5 stars!

Report this review (#133416)
Posted Thursday, August 16, 2007 | Review Permalink
2 stars For those that don't know, Porcupine Tree started out as a Psychedelic/Space rock group with a very obvious Floyd influence but in more recent years they have been moving towards a more metal style but still maintaining a very melodic sound. Unfortunately this doesn't mean that they have been able to maintain such high standards of writing and composing that they displayed on 19995's The Sky Moves Sideways, though they are definitely more of a band now than a solo project of guiding hand Steven Wilson.

Sadly, I don't seem to be able to see the "quality" in the music that convinced many of my fellow prog-reviewers and collabs to vote this as album of the year 2005. To these ears, Deadwing comes across as largely being boring. The heavy, energetic and very good opener and title track proves to be one of only two really decent songs on this album, along with Arriving Somewhere But Not Here, and they certainly are good songs, but Deadwing flatters to deceive and most of the album cant hold pace with it. The (very) low points are the cringworthy Lazarus and the simply mundane Glass Arm Shattering. The rest of the album just comes across as being rather middle of the road with a few sparkling moments, most notably the middle section of Mellotron Scratch, without ever exciting. I think the main problem is that the music never really seems to grow or evolve during a song, sure there's a couple of changes but nothing that really feels or sounds like the track is organically moving on, its a case of "we must play heavier/softer now to avoid boredom", at least that's how it comes across to me.

Overall I generally find this album boring and a strain to listen to more than once a week and I can imagine that people who listen to prog for more complex or challenging music than the norm will probably find this disappointing. I'll give it 2 stars because there are some interesting parts, but not many.

Report this review (#133953)
Posted Monday, August 20, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Porcupine Tree is definitely one of the forerunners in the modern prog movement, and Deadwing is a wonderful album of theirs, characterized by dark, moody atmospheres alternating with heavy, bordering on metal, sections. Highlights of this album for me are "Arriving Somewhere but Not Here", and the beautiful ballad "Lazarus". My version has a bonus re-recording of "Shesmovedon", which is actually my favourite Porcupine Tree song, and had it not been for this album I would not have heard it, so I'm grateful that they put that on there. I highly recommend Deadwing, along with everything else by Porcupine Tree, as they are definitely a special band with the power to move me emotionally like very few bands can do.
Report this review (#140105)
Posted Sunday, September 23, 2007 | Review Permalink

That's what separates "Voyage 34" from "Shallow". And I far much prefer the former. There has been some times now that "PT" shifted in a more aggressive music. They are getting closer to "Riverside" than their their Floydian inspiration of their debut. Pick up whatever you prefer.

I like "PT" but only moderately. Even if most of their albums are good ones, I have never been able to distinguish a masterpiece amongst any of their many releases I have been reviewing. And this one is no exception. All these five stars ratings form those die- hard fans...Rather astonishing. Totally overrated IMHHO. Just a listen to "Mellotron Scratch" will confirm this feeling. Useless and booooooring.

Even if I might sound old-fashioned, their earlier days pleased me more. And since I belong to the "No More Heroes" generation, there is no way for me to praise a band blindly. Even not "Genesis", "Yes" nor "Floyd". So, you can imagine that I will be even more critical for "PT". and actually, even if they did change their style since "On The Sunday Of Life", I can hardly find a substantial and positive evolution in their music.

It's about the same old story as far as their latest albums are concerned. Of course there will be some good moments out here. But not too many. "The Start Of Something Beautiful" and "Deadwing". And only partially "Arriving Somewhere". "Glass Arm Shattering" will feature a more spacey atmosphere and also belongs to the songs I like.

This band is more appealing to me while they are playing live. So, I will give them a try next month while they will be on stage in Brussels. But this won't change my mind about this album. Just average. Two stars.

Report this review (#146605)
Posted Tuesday, October 23, 2007 | Review Permalink
Prog Leviathan
4 stars Heavier, more direct, and in general less dense than their previous album, we none the less are treated to a unfailing line-up of songs with big, monstrous metal riffing and delicate textures throughout.

While genuinely outstanding in all respects, I will say that most of "Deadwing's" songs take longer to appreciate than the immediately gratifying "In Absentia", in large due to the unapologetic increase of adrenaline of the first two songs, which may turn off some fans right away.

Sticking with it though, we discover some beautiful balladry on "Lazarus" and "Mellotron Scratch", sinister sounds with the delightfully evil sounding "Halo", and of course the band's opus "Arriving Somewhere", which is real musical journey with a powerful melody and crescendos; easily one of the band's best songs. The album closes with three songs that might dip under the radar when compared to the opening tunes, but should not be overlooked.

The guest artists, while adding an interesting addition to the band's sound, substitute too much of Wilson's own guitar work, which is typically more interesting than Belew's frantic shredding anyway. Additionally, all of the songs (with the exception of "Arriving") do not use dynamics as well as in previous albums, and can generally be classified as "loud songs", or "quite songs"-- not something in between.

As a whole, amazing and finely crafted, but lacking the grace and emotion of "In Absentia". Still very very highly recommended.

Songwriting: 4 Instrumental Performances: 4 Lyrics/Vocals: 3 Style/Emotion/Replay: 4

Report this review (#149628)
Posted Thursday, November 8, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars There's no doubt that his production work with Prog Metal band Opeth had an influence on Steven Wilson's own band Porcupine Tree giving them a heavier sound which is very apparent on Deadwing. Many fans of the band from their earlier more Psychedelic period did not like this development. Speaking for myself, having only been a fan since their 1999 album Stupid Dream (discovering earlier releases retrospectively), where the signs of change were already evident, I have no such problem believing the Metal style riffing ads yet another string to Porcupine Tree's bow.

The up tempo title track opens with a pulsing Richard Barbieri keyboard pattern before the band crash in with a powerful Wilson guitar riff. It's a good solid track (though better is to come) and notable for a guest appearance from Adrian Belew of king Crimson fame (also appearing on Halo) playing the distinctive guitar solo. Shallow is heavier still and has an excellent grinding Metal riff for the verse before dropping into a piano led quieter bridge and then back into heavier riffs for the chorus; Excellent!

Wilson has a keen ear for a strong melody and the mellow Lazerus demonstrates that nicely, being one of the bands sublimest moments. Halo follows and is an album highlight. Drummer Gavin Harrison and Bassist Colin Edwin lock into a great groove on this atmospheric track and Barbieri's keyboard sounds are lush. Lyrically it touches on religion, always a touchy subject but it's difficult to tell whether this written from a Pro or Anti stance.

The 12 minute Arriving Somewhere But Not Here is another strong piece which covers most of the Porcupine Tree bases from the trippy intro to the acoustic first verse and developing into the bands heaviest moments yet featuring some guitar riffing in the Thrash/Death Metal vein. The beautiful Mellotron Scratch follows which for the most part is fairly laid back until Wilson comes in with another powerful guitar riff and the band come back in with full force.

At just over 3 and a half minutes Open Car is the shortest track on the album and is another heavy song. You may think that with all the Metal riffs around on this cd that there would be little room for Barbieri's distinctive and atmospheric Keyboard textures but I'm pleased to say he still manages to find space to fit them in. Also Gavin Harrison particularly deserves a special mention here. He is one of the finest Drummers playing today, not just in Prog but any genre. An extremely solid and tight player on the complex patterns of the songs here with lots of subtle inflections and excellent fills thrown in.

The Start of Something Beautiful, though not one of the strongest tracks on the album is still worthy of inclusion before the album closes with the extremely atmospheric and moody Glass Arm Shattering; another Porcupine Tree sublime moment with some lovely guitar playing from Wilson and Keyboards from Barbieri.

I thought long and hard about the rating of this album, being either a 4 or 5 star. It certainly has a lot to offer and is one of the best by the band but on reflection it didn't quite make the 5 but still a highly recommended album.

Report this review (#149875)
Posted Saturday, November 10, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Before the DVD, then seeing them in concert, I would voted this album 4 stars, especially after In Abstentia.

Upon reflection, and after repeated spins in the player, I now have to rate this at the same level as their DVD, their latest album and ahead of many of their past work. Other bands may show better individual talents than this band, but Wilson's ability to write and especially arrange PT's songs makes all of their work special. I especially like Arriving Somewhere....

Report this review (#150158)
Posted Sunday, November 11, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Porcupine Tree have created one of the greatest albums of the decade with this one. I agree completely that this is the top prog album of 2005. PT are heavier than ever on this album. It starts of with Deadwing, one of their finest songs that has some great guitar parts and some of their best lyrics. Shallow is my favorite song on the album, the riff is so catchy, I can't see how simp rockers and indie rockers can't hear this and just forget about bad music altogether. Lazarus is a nice little ballad with some slightly emo vocals (not emo in the post-hardcore sense but rather in the overly sensitive and sentimental sense), but it's also quite catchy. Halo has a supercatchy chorus and Arriving Somewhere has some great moments too. Anyway, I highly recomend this album to anyone who goes on this site, so if you don't have it and are looking to get into modern prog, get it. Better than In Asentia in my opinion.
Report this review (#150179)
Posted Sunday, November 11, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars This was the start for me of Porcupine Tree, Deadwing was the first album i purchased from this band, now they are on of my all time favorites, no doubt. What an album this is, I happen to love Porcupine Tree putting metal in their music. From start to finish i love this album. The opener title track Deadwing is epic opener with some great guitar work on this one, i would love to see this played live someday. Next is Shallow, one of the weaker songs on the album, a hit single for the tree, a okay track. Next is Lazuras, at first i could not get into this at all, then i purchased Ariving somwhere but not here live DVD and the live version is way better, very good song. Halo is hard rock track with very good bass playing by Colin Edwin, another strong track. My favorite song of the album Arriving Somwhere but not here, what an amazing song this is, this is their next best song to Anesthetize, this song song shows the whole band shine, Gavin drumming is amazing, and Steven Wilson's guitar is just outstanding during the heavy parts of this song, one of my favorite songs of all time really. Mellotron Scratch is has some a very good vocal performance from Steven Wilson, i love the way this song builds up. Another fave of mine is the short hard rocking track Open car, i seen them live in Kansas City and then song was performed great, Jon Wesley and Steven Wilsons vocals go great together, and some great riffs added by wilson. The start of something beautiful is the last really good song on the album, this one is kind of like mellotron. The last track Glass Arm Shattering is more of a mellow closer that fades away, i would expect a better closer from Porcupine Tree, well if you count Shesmovedon. Overall i love this album and this band keeps getting better album to album. I will give this album 5 stars because this was the start for me of Porcupine Tree and they create such beautiful music. One of the few great/original bands of today.
Report this review (#152873)
Posted Monday, November 26, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars Deadwing's main weakness is the the first track is far too in advance of the others, rendering most of the album disappointing. Imagine, for instance, if Supper's ready had been the first track on Foxtrot. Like In absentia, this is a good listen, but not essential. The title track is the best thing Porcupine tree had written up to this point, and all of the tracks contain at least a few moments which could be called beautiful.
Report this review (#153218)
Posted Friday, November 30, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars An interesting but ultimately non-essential three-star album that garners a fourth star because of the attention to detail.

By 2005, PORCUPINE TREE have had two clear phases to their career. When the 'band' was made up of STEVEN WILSON and no-one else, a side project of his main band NO-MAN, the focus was on psychedelic rock, delivered with a growing confidence. On WILSON's switch to focus primarily on PT in the mid 90s, he acquired a band and immediately put them to work remodelling his sound. He incorporated elements of NO-MAN compositional structures to his psychedelic atmospherics and set about producing simple music with exemplary arrangement, musicianship and production values. This second period comes to an end with this album.

'Deadwing', then, represents a transition from the PORCUPINE TREE of 'In Absentia' to something else. In 2005 we didn't quite know what it was - though now, in 2007, the shift to WILSON's OPETH-influenced brand of progressive metal is much clearer. However, what was clear even in 2005 is how much simpler - and ultimately less satisfying - this album was than its predecessors. There are far fewer hooks, very few moments where the band soars, and very little cohesion between songs. That said, the songs themselves are very fine in the context of modern music, just not up with PT's best work.

I'm at a loss to fathom the title track. It has a muscle-bound riff - on this albums riffs seem to take the place of WILSON's lyrical, heart-rending guitar solos - but stumbles to an indeterminate conclusion. 'Shallow' has at its heart another fine riff, but does not have the dynamism of a track like 'Blackest Eyes'. 'Lazarus', the outstanding track on the album, is an extraordinarily beautiful soft-rock track, and might have been a hit for BREAD or CHICAGO in the 70s. I don't mean this disparagingly; I'm trying to give you a sense of the song's gentle charm. 'Halo' asks important questions, but has the feel of an undeveloped track - the bass and rhythm reminding me of early NO-MAN. 'Arriving Somewhere' is supposedly the prog track, but though it is 12 minutes long, it's really a short song with a riff-laden central section added. The excellent, if somewhat puzzling, 'Mellotron Scratch' follows, with a short homage to GENTLE GIANT to conclude. The last three tracks draw the album to an underwhelming conclusion. 'Open Car' reminds us that for all his nerdish looks WILSON can be jolly disturbing, and 'Glass Arm Shattering' might almost have commanded a place on 'In Absentia'.

In hindsight, this album sees PORCUPINE TREE shrugging off their alt rock vocal/lyric focus in favour of a more metal approach. My honest opinion is this is an all-too well-travelled road, and abandoning the majesty of their earlier work for this is not my idea of progress. Nevertheless, I recognise that there's a fair amount of personal taste in this: PORCUPINE TREE have filled a niche no other band could, and now they've gone elsewhere. I feel bereft. Perhaps going in this direction is keeping WILSON interested, and I'd rather he pursued his interests than made music to suit the likes of me. I'll get over it.

Nice packaging, great sounds, but the compositions are but a shadow of previous work.

Report this review (#153316)
Posted Saturday, December 1, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars This was my first PT studio album, and as such it still remains my favourite - and I love the haunting cover. Every so often I just get it out and stare at it, and it gives me a warm feeling. And this all thanks to your website, and my wife criticising me for living in the past (and being fed up with my constant ramblings about Pink Floyd). I was looking for a current band that sounded like PF, and your website informed me that PT would be a good choice. I actually started with Coma Divine - and I wasn't disappointed!!!! Thank you Prog Archives!

However, it wasn't until I heard this that I was truly converted - on receiving this as a Christmas present in 2005. As you can see I have waited a long time before giving this review - and this album has not waned. Maybe a little less like PF than Coma Divine, but by now PT have devleloped their sound to an awesome mix of beauty, grace, icy atmospheres, georgeous melodies to raw rock and power - such a fusion!! Aren't "fusions" like that the definition of Progressive Rock? And also the defintion of new Prog - the artist plays it, and then denies it's Prog (all the best Prog artists do that !!) - makes out it's just rock and quite simple really!! (Hmmm.... simple?? I certainly can't play it). The beauty of Steven Wilson's music is simply the fact that he thought of it all in the first place!!!!

There are a lot of heavyweight riffs in this, and I know a lot of you don't like that, but personally I don't see it that way - it totally rocks and is something you certainly don't feel embarrassed with when playing to your teenage sons!!! Try playing early Genesis or Yes to them and you'll see what I mean - don't get me wrong genesis and Yes are fabulous, but the next generation doesn't understand)

Another complaint is that PT's last 3 albums have been worked to a similar formula (In Absentia, Deawing and Fear of a Blank Planet) - but when you have found such a fantastic formula (a mix of icy atmosphere and heavyweight riffs and lush melodies) why the heck would you want to change??? I mean every other artist I know has always done such. I love all these 3 latest albums, and am desperately waiting for more in the same vein!! Nil Recurring was also magnificent!! Anyway, over the years PT HAVE been changing their formula bit by bit until they at last now have found their feet (they are not confused as some would say).

I love the 2000's PT style and it really works - and I beg you all to try and see it my way.

Come on everyone - you can't fail to like this! I mean 77% of the contributors in this site rate this as 4 or 5 stars! That makes it 3 chances in 4 that you'll love it...

A review of the tracks....

Deadwing - a truly awe inspiring piece of 10 minutes of iciness, melody and metal - a piece that defines the album ahead (one odd thing - I've never heard a live version of this one - has anybody?) 10/10

Shallow - this is pure rock, an amazingly powerful song - not for lovers of symphonic prog, but something "you can shake your a*** to" !! 9/10

Lazarus - a beautiful piece of modern psychedelic pop (something that PT do best) - great piano, great melody. One my wife really likes (see comment above). 9/10

Halo - a most peculiar rocker. Love the way Steve plays the guitar next to the machine heads on this. A great lyric (even if you are religious like me). A good one for fans of the Halo game on the Xbox. Fabulous live - a great encore piece. 9/10

Arriving Somewhere.... A deep gasp of breath on this - totally moving. THIS IS PORCUPINE TREE'S FINEST MOMENT (well 12 minutes of moment!). The greatest track ever!!! Although Anaethetise on fear of a blank Planet competes with this. Everything I have said above combines in this - PT's defining song - this will convert anyone! This has a melody to make you come out in goose-pimples! Lsuh guitar work, fantastic drumming, icy atmosphere and metal riffs to die for - I can't imagine PT will ever beat this. 10++++/10

Mellotron Scratch. I think this is subtly Steve Wilson's complaint against Prog rock. A very interesting and different piece of music - quite different!!! Give this a chance - you may not like it at first, but it really grows on you. 8/10

Open Car - A real georgeous rocker - this has become a bit of an anthem for some of my son's teenage friends. Again -0 fabulous live track. 9/10

The Start of Something Beautiful - I totally love this - a very moving and deeply sad lyric (have you seen the awesome movie with those weird metal robots that goes with this). Truly progressive - lovely melody, great depth, amazing guitar. What a masterpiece!! 10++/10

Glass Arm Shattering - my least favourite track on the album, but a nice gentle ending to wind down on after listening right through, and still very good. Soft, melodious - not one for the metal-heads! 8/10

Overall, after two years - a masterpiece - there's no doubt - I cannot recommend it enough!

There are rumours of a screenplay - anyone know of this? (I can't wait!) The whole concept of the album is strange/ bizarre - can't get my head around it - but I feel it's generally about sadness and things not working out in your life....


Report this review (#153515)
Posted Sunday, December 2, 2007 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars "Did you ever imagine the last thing you'd hear as you're fading out, is a song?"

The release of this album was delayed due to the "overwhelming number of advanced orders" which were placed for it. It is reassuring in this day and age that such a healthy demand still exists for any band listed in these archives, but particularly for one which makes such high quality music.

Porcupine Tree have come a long way from their early albums to the major label act they are now. Their music may have gradually become more accessible along the way, but they have also progressed with each album, and band leader Steve Wilson has consistently demonstrated a willingness to experiment and diversify.

The sleeve notes advise that "Deadwing" is "based on a screenplay by Steve Wilson and Mike Bennion", but do not make the mistake of thinking this is a soundtrack album. There are nine tracks in total, plus a hidden tenth track on the US version, a reworking of "Shesmovedon" from the "Lightbulb sun" album.

The opening title track is simultaneously a leap forward and a nod to the past. The mellotron style keyboard washes offer the retrospective element, while the progressive arrangement of this upbeat 10 minute classic creates one of the most compelling pieces recorded by the band.

Some of the tracks here accentuate the accessible and commercial side of the band's current music with songs such as "Shallow" and "Halo" being simplistic in structure. The sound of such tracks will probably appeal primarily to those who head for the metal end of the spectrum. The strong rhythms and accentuated guitar riffs are kept uncomplicated and clean.

On the other hand, we have the gentle "Lazarus", one of the most beautiful songs recorded by the band. The string synth/mellotron and slide guitar complement a delightful vocal by Wilson on this emotive ballad.

The feature track though, and good enough reason alone to buy this album, is the 12 minute "Arriving somewhere (but not here)". This progressive rock masterpiece builds from an ambient start through mellotron backed vocals and a strong hook to a true PT epic. Wilson shows how he is a master of his craft here, encouraging the listener to anticipate the repeating of the track title at various points.

Do not expect a mellotron-fest from "Mellotron scratch", the title refers to the lyrics and the emotions the instrument incited from an unnamed girlfriend. This and the remaining tracks feel like something of an anticlimax after "Arriving somewhere". "The start of something beautiful" is a melodic piano based piece with some fine synth. The track is a grower, which only really reveals itself after a number of listens.

"Glass arm shattering" is a downbeat closer which might have been better placed somewhere towards the middle of the album. It does feature some relaxed but pleasant instrumental work though.

In all, a highly accomplished Porcupine Tree album with a couple of real treasures. Steve Wilson continues to refine and develop the sound and style of the band, while creating an album which succeeded in finding a wider audience. This inevitably incurs the wrath of some of those who have followed the band since their early days, and who appear to resent having to now share them. Accusations of selling out or not "progressing" are however mischievous and misplaced. This is a fine album by any standards, and fully justifies its accolade as this site's Top Prog Album of 2005.

Report this review (#155578)
Posted Sunday, December 16, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars This album really shows why PORCUPINE TREE got moved into the Heavy Prog Section of ProgArchives. Deadwing starts off with the song Deadwing, one of my personal favorites off of the album. The first couple of songs are much simpler in sound and composition than I'm used to hearing for PORCUPINE TREE, but I don't mind that too much because I enjoy the sound of the band. The highlight of the album is Arriving Somewhere but Not Here. It has a lot of growth in the song and a beautiful solo by MIKAEL AKERFELDT (OPETH). Overall this is a great album, although it missed the mark for the title of Masterpiece. 4 Stars.
Report this review (#157180)
Posted Sunday, December 30, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars Just did the In Absentia review, an album that was slightly disappointing to me but that's also due to high expectations. This successor has a great entrance with the opener Deadwing. Now here's a song that can fully stand my critical test of quality. This is truly a tremendous song, one of my all time favourites by the band. And by a million miles the best song of this album as well I fear. Because how ecstatic I am about the title track, it's the complete opposite with the highly acclaimed Arriving Somewhere... I remember I played this many times when I downloaded it four years ago. It was a complete disappointment to me. So underwhelming. It sounds like a totally failed masterpiece attempt to me. I can't believe so many people fall in the trap the band set out here. Where the title track succeeds in just about every department (impact, composition, inspiration) this wannabe masterpiece track lasting 12 minutes fails in the same aspects. So overrated and overappreciated, I simply can't believe it. Matter of taste as well of course but I had to mention this in the review (sorry if it hurts anyone).

The rest of the album is not really worth to get into too deep. Most of the songs are the usual recipe by PT. Shallow is very heavy, so heavy it could make several hard rock bands blush. Lazarus is a nice ballad with a catchy chorus. Halo is average PT with a little bit of space and slightly distorted vocals at first but even these get normal later on. No big deal here. Mellotron Scratch is so typical for PT sound during their career. I have to say this is about the 10th song they did that almost sound exactly the same. It sounds very nice, no problem but it's copy cat big time I feel. Open Car is another heavier track proving that PT takes this road more and more. I don't mind this personally but it is of course the big reason why the band has become so hard to pigeonhole. Are they psychedelic/space, are they heavy prog, are they many styles combined. Well, last option of course but that's no subgenre here. The only thing that is very obvious is that the heavier side is gaining more and more ground. Just as I say this The Start of Something Beautiful is next and sounds much spacier once again. Obviously the band still likes the alternation. Glass Arm Shattering is probably the most original track of the album. It starts like a damaged vinyl being played and turns into one of the slow dreamy tracks. We know those, don't we ?

Well, at least it's a rightly chosen closer of an album, so the arrangement of the album is one of the stronger points for sure. But the conclusion is the same as with In Absentia, at least where the rating is concerned. Because the albums are not really copies of each other. On the other hand , they aren't 100% different either. Biggest difference to me is the presence of a masterpiece track on this album, one that was lacking on the predecessor. Unfortunately it's not enough for a higher rating, so three also here (again 3,3).

Report this review (#159401)
Posted Monday, January 21, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars To be honest, I didn’t expect even a good album after a masterpiece In Absentia, but Deadwing is definitely a success. I really like this album. Some moments are perfect, but I am not able to give it 5 stars, because it’s actually not a masterpiece. It’s just excellent.

The main difference between this one and In Absentia is … inspiration. In Absentia was a sincere, upright and natural, while Deadwing is a bit forced album. It can be noticed in some parts of Deadwing (the song), The Start Of Something Beautiful and Glass Arm Shattering – just compare these songs to Blackest Eyes, Wedding Nails or The Creator Has A Mastertape, where each second is in the right place and wasn’t written just to fill the space… Got it?

1. Deadwing (7,5/10). Well, it’s a good song, but a bit monotonous and repetitive. Though, some moments are perfect (especially the riff at 3:02 and the solo – really reminds me of the In Absentia days).

2. Shallow (7/10). Some kind of easy-of-access song, nevertheless well-written.

3. Lazarus (7,5/10). Very slack and unconstrained track. I like acoustic guitar at 2:40 – it’s just beautiful. Moreover, pedal-steel guitar sounds comes in handy.

4. Halo (9,5/10). Cool intro, interesting lyrics, inspired chorus. Overall, my favorite track off the album, again because it reminds me of playfulness, coolness and madness of In Absentia.

5. Arriving Somewhere But Not Here (8,5/10). The first 4 minutes are a bit tiresome, but the following solo is very good. When the tracks reaches 6:00 – the show begins: a collection of great riffs and psychedelic metal music! Well, middle section is just a killer!!! Also, I love the solo at 8:50 – it’s so beautiful!

6. Mellotron Scratch (9,5/10). Oh, the second favourite track off the album! The songs starts in a calm way, but then it grows heavier - and at 5:00 we can hear one of the most beautiful PT’s melodies! Excellent track!

7. Open Car (9/10). A short, quick and heavy track. The acoustic passage at 3:00 is amazing!

8. The Start Of Something Beautiful (7,5/10). Well, this song is nice, but the rhythm is just too repetitive and unchanging throughout the whole song.

9. Glass Arm Shattering (6/10). Overextended! Too overextended! I know, Steven could have done much better than this way! Though, again a calm and long final of the album.

Conclusion: Excellent album, even one of the best PT’s works, however Steven Wilson didn’t manage to repeat the success of In Absentia.

Report this review (#159722)
Posted Friday, January 25, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars A transitional porcupine tree album

Why transitional? Well, i think its like the case of Construcktion of light of King Crimson; this album is in the middle of two masterpieces of Porcupine Tree, In Absentia and FOABP. The sound is maybe the heavier of all band history, but still, it has several melodic songs, and many of them are great, and we also have a masterpiece.

Lets analice the songs:

Deadwing (8.5): A nice song, almost ten minutes of power. The most important thing about it is the rythm, Harrison drums are excellent and well followed by edwin bass. Barbieri and Wilson are quite good creating an obscure athmosphere, that follows the whole song.

Shallow (6.5): I think this is the most comercial song of Porcupine Tree history. Not bad at all, but its very repetitive, and heavy. The simplicity rules here.

Lazarus (10): The most beautiful song of the album, talking about the melodic ones. Barbieris work here is magnificent, showing why he is one of the bests keyboard players of this time. Wilson vocals are great, very sentimental.

Halo (9): Another hard song, but this one is quite better than the previous ones. The lyrics are remarcable, and Wilsons work with his voice and guitar are remarcable. Almost a masterpiece..almost..

Arriving Somewhere (10) : The masterpiece of this album. Almost an epic (12 minutes of duration), but its enough to enjoy and feel Porcupine Trees power. Here we can feel the band completely as an entity, they are all in an excellent level as a music players, and of course Wilsons work composing this song is admirable.

Mellotron Scratch (7.5): A good song, not more than that, here Wilson uses his acoustic guitar followed by Barbieris Keyboards, creating another obscure climate, that will be broken in the last part of the song, with a nice melody.

Open Car: (7.5) : This is the path that Shallow should have taken (but it didnt), its maybe a little comercial, but its not as simple as shallow, and it keeps the heavy feeling. Also as mellotron scratch, the end of this song is broken with a nice melody also followed by wilsons voice and acoustic guitar.

Start of something beautiful (7) : Nothing of mars, really, this song it is not simple, and I think that the mistake of it is that is not melodic, but also isnt heavy. However, its not bad at all and its a nice experience to enjoy.

Glass arm Shattering (9): The final song of the album. A beautiful melody is created by Barbieris keyboards and Wilsons guitars, also well followed by edwin bass and harrisons drums. A beautiful end.

To conclude, I think this album is a must to every prog rock listener and of course, essential to porcupine trees fans (as me). As I said in the beginning, consider it the middle beatween that two masterpieces; well, this its almost a masterpiece, and deserves to be listened

Report this review (#161218)
Posted Thursday, February 7, 2008 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal Team
4 stars This is so far my favorite Porcupine Tree release! The album is a continuation of the themes that the band explored on their albums since Stupid Dream but this time the music has a slightly more Heavy Prog approach. The slow and beautiful melodies have been replaced by much heavier and shorter straightforward approach which fits Steve Wilson surprisingly well.

Shallow and Lazarusare taking a much more commercial approach but still manage to please the hardcore fans with songs like Deadwing and Arriving Somewhere But Not Here. The latter is particularly memorable for its continuous sampling pattern which beings the track and keeps going all the way to the track's very end. Arriving Somewhere But Not Here is the longest piece on the album and is considered to be the most progressive of the bunch. Personally this composition has never appealed to me as much as the shorter performances but it keeps up the atmosphere and works as a great transitional track to the second part of the album.

The second part of the album is much more atmospheric with a slight exception of Open Carwhich is another excellent rock performance. I will never forget seeing the band performance at the Sweden Rock Festival 2006 where they performed most of this album live. It was my first Porcupine Tree concert experience and although I've later see two more this is the one that I will remember the most. That's probably also why I'm slightly biased when it comes to this album.

Deadwing is an album without a single weak track/filler composition, just nice music for every occasion!

***** songs: Deadwing (9:46) Halo (4:38) Open Car (3:46)

**** songs: Shallow (4:17) Lazarus (4:18) Arriving Somewhere But Not Here (12:02) Mellotron Scratch (6:57) The Start Of Something Beautiful (7:39) Glass Arm Shattering (6:12)

Total Rating: 4,31

Report this review (#161571)
Posted Monday, February 11, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars Personally, I have to say this is my 3rd Favourite of all the PT albums behind Stupid Dream and In Absentia. Although admitedly (if that's the correct spelling...) this is probably the one I listen to the most. Here's why...

First off, the blend of music types in this albums ranges from the slightly more heavy songs which are gripping, moving and above all, worthy of some air guitar (Deadwing and Halo) and then, as if your moving from a busy city into the country, the next song takes you on a peacful ride to unwind by taking you into Lazarus. The rest of the album flows beautifully after this, almost like a graceful river.

The only reason I can't honestly give this 5stars to be honest is because there's not really anything which grabs me quite like the tracks that Mr Wilson has produced before in Stupid Dream and In Absentia. It just doesn't feel altogether... complete. I dunno how to describe it but there still feels like there's a little something missing...

Although everything into consideration, it's a really good album and anybody looking to get in Porcupine Tree's music would do well to start with this one I reckon.

Report this review (#162182)
Posted Tuesday, February 19, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is the PT album getting the most spins on my CD player. I loved this album from the start. As with stupid Dream and In Absentia there's not one single weak track on it, but what an increase in overall quality. IMHO the title track, the beautiful ballad LAZARUS and ARRIVING SOMEWHERE... are among the best songs they ever did. Mention should also be made of OPEN CAR and STARTING SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL which turn out to be really cool after one has worn off the hypnosis carried out by the aforementioned three tracks. MELLOTRON SCRATCH and GLASS ARM SHATTERING are valuable ballads. That leaves us with SHALLOW and HALO. Both songs add a more rocky edge to the album, SHALLOW having a banal verse part (musically) and a great chorus. With HALO its rather the other way round. As I said I love this album, what else can I rate it but 5 stars?
Report this review (#162470)
Posted Saturday, February 23, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars FIVE Stars all the way , Steve Wilson & Team must be living till 2080 -- Let the next generations knew who was living on this planet now .... these british guys aren't in musical commercial market ,,, in fact they are not playing music , they are making walls between us & the streets ( exuse my bad english) there's big different btwn Music & Concepts . Started with Signify & Ended with ARRIVING SOMEWHERE BUT NOT HERE , OOOHHHH [&*!#] i was waiting for this DVD since 1997 ,,, what i like in this show was the easy going things , No intensive lightning (i believe they can afford it) They even let the string matter as it was , witch is something Roger or David cannot tolerate . A Big BRAVO from the Other coast -- Antoine Kordahi (Lebanon - Beirut )
Report this review (#162753)
Posted Tuesday, February 26, 2008 | Review Permalink
The Crow
5 stars Having not heard Fear of A Blank Planet yet, I can say this is my favourite Porcupine Tree's album...

This follow up to the excellent In Absentia, isn't a great variation of this formula... Strong riffs mixed with hypnotic and psychodelic melodies, and some experimental facts. But Deadwing is more long-songs oriented, and while In Absentia had some flaws in my opinión, with some of its short tracks being a bit weak, every song in Deadwing is great. And this is the only Porcupine Tree I absolutely love every track...

The work with Opeth really transformated the Steve Wilson's mind... Here we can easily heard his best riffs. The opening track Deadwing will make your head bang, and the powerful Swallow leaves you breathless... The collaboration are also really ejoyable, with the great Belew's playing in Lazarus, and the good contribution from Akerfeldt.

Best tracks: I like every song here... But in my opinión Deadwing, Swallow and Lazarus are the peaks. But I like all the others... And the Tool's taste of Open Car is special and a good influence for Porcupine Tree. The vocal melodies of The Start of Something Beautiful are also great... And so great are the riffs of Arriving Somewhere but Not Here, the classic Porcipine's psichodelic Glass Arm Shattering... Every song here is wonderful, really.

Conclusion: a variated, strong and beautiful album... In my opinión, this modern classic is the peak the the Porcupine Tree's career... I'm looking forward to hear Fear of a Blank Planet, but I think the levels of Deadwing are difficul to be reached again, and almost impossible to surpase.

Report this review (#165381)
Posted Sunday, March 30, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars Porcupine Tree - 'Deadwing' A solid 5 stars

This is hands down my favorite Porcupine Tree album and one of my favorite albums in existence.

I am a great fan of the abundance of genres mixed in to a cohesive fashion, but with the hard rock and accessible music being in the forefront. In other words, a great rocker album, which is exactly what Wilson and his buddies pulled off here.

The same line-up from before is brought here, with Wilson's partner in crime Mikael Akerfeldt doing some harmony vocals on a few track and a guitar solo in the epic 'Arriving Somewhere But Not Here'. Also, Adrian Belew from the King Crimson fame lays down a solo on 'Deadwing' and 'Halo'. I found it funny that the solos kind of had a 'Wilsonish' feel to them, which kind of makes it seem he is the influential artist.perhaps a sign of how far Steven Wilson has accomplished himself.

Every track on this album clicks in my eyes, whether it is prog or not is left open to interpretation but it doesn't matter to me, I am rating this as an album. If one were to say this was not a prog album.they can certainly state it is at least related, which should be good enough for anyone. I feel that the melody on this album has been the strongest in PT's long career and this release is up their as far as melancholy goes. There is an abundance of some real slow tempo tracks on here like 'Lazarus', 'Mellotron Scratch' and 'Glass Arm Shattering'. The most proggiest tracks on the album would have to be 'Arriving Somewhere But Not Here' and 'The Start of Something Beautiful' which both has some nice ambience, great choruses, short but sweet verses and plenty of space stuck in the middle where a guitar solo or buildup would fit right in. They are both more hard rock approaches and less of a psychedelic approach then 'Russia on Ice'. Nearly half of the album contains some strong intricate rock tracks which are 'Deadwing', 'Shallow', 'Halo' and 'Open Car'. Each of these songs is really nice tracks that just feel like some really good jams. 'Open Car' is the best out of these featuring some great vocal melodies. 'Deadwing', which is the opening track, really sets the stage for the album with some great relaxing chords put into the intro and some laid back vocals carrying the music. During the verse, it nearly sounds like some techno Porcupine Tree, collapsed by a hard rock chorus. A great way to open the album right up.and just smooth sailing from there.

I'd like to say that this album is essential, though I feel like some fans could find it offensive or some hardcore proggers would just denote this as crap. I listen to mostly prog because I just haven't been impressed by the things I have heard outside the genre. If this wasn't here, I would still love it just as much, I find this to be just a masterpiece of music. A very exceptional hard rock album.

Report this review (#166512)
Posted Sunday, April 13, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars Porcupine Tree's follow-up to their widely acclaimed In Absentia does not stand quite as strongly, but nevertheless is a worthy album from the band.

The songs here are for the most part longer and heavier than on its predecessor. The gentle moments are there, but the metal is starting to take a much stronger hold over the band's overall sound by Deadwing. As always, the production is superb, and the sound quality bears the characteristic Steven Wilson mark of above-and-beyond. Unfortunately, though there are some clever melodies throughout this album, the overall level of songwriting seems just a notch down from Wilson's best. To make up for it, though, are some highly upbeat and heavy tracks, the like of which are basically unique to this album. And as it was in some fashion intended to deal with the soundtrack of an unfilmed Wilson movie project, the music here all bears a similarity to itself. In essence, this is the most cohesive Porcupine Tree album on the whole, just edging out Lightbulb Sun. In unusual prominence on Deadwing is the piano, which usually appears for moments but here seems to come the forefront in almost every track.

The album opens with the slightly inconsistent title track, kicking in with some intensely heavy style at points and at others striving for a creepy ambiance. A guest solo from Adrian Belew (of many things, but most notably King Crimson) fleshes out the ending of the track. Shallow wanders in next, and this time there is no inconsistency. The track is one upbeat, engaging, catchy half-metal hybrid tune. There really is very little to no prog in this track, but sometimes albums just need a simplistic and straightforward rock song to keep things balanced. And balance is quickly served with Lazarus in the form of a softer, more melodic song. In fact, Lazarus perhaps is the most popular and catchy soft songs from the band next only to Trains. The piano sparkles and dances on this track in a very non-standard way for Porcupine Tree, and in all it rounds out quite nicely. Halo enters next, another song in the vein of Shallow, though considerably more progressive. The bass plays a prominent role in this track, mixing with the drums and pounding out a solid groove for Wilson to insert creepy and dark lyrics over.

Arriving Somewhere but Not Here is the longest song on the album, but do not expect any form of a prog epic here. Instead, the track builds with a minimalist guitar part and a well-written vocal piece, culminating early on in a thickly harmonied chorus. The middle of the song sees the music take a dark turn, which rapidly becomes some heavy guitars. Likely the heaviest and most metal oriented portion of the album, this center section of the song grooves in full adrenaline mode for a moment before turning into a crafty guest guitar solo from Opeth's Mikael Akerfeldt. The starting verse/chorus bit returns soon, and the song fades into Mellotron Scratch. For the first four and a half minutes of this song, it is a melancholic track somewhat akin to Lazarus, with beautiful harmonies and nice melodies. A couple of minutes before the conclusion, electric guitars kick in and temporarily override the piano, eventually prompting a complex vocal interplay that wraps up the track. Open Car is much like Halo. The Start of Something Beautiful is an interesting track, moving from haunting verses to distorted choruses. And in the middle comes the impressive acoustic guitar and piano duet, a surprise that seems to just fade into existence when it seems the song should have no room for it. Definitely a classic Porcupine Tree moment. Lastly, another song (Glass Arm Shattering), this one akin to Mellotron Scratch and Lazarus, wraps up the album with a touch of sadness and some pretty vocal harmonies.

This album has some very strong moments worthy of attention from most anybody who is a fan of the band at all. I would recommend starting perhaps with the fuller In Absentia or the more progressive Fear of a Blank Planet, but Deadwing is certainly a wonderful second or third step into the band's discography.

Report this review (#168626)
Posted Thursday, April 24, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars Arriving somewhere....

but the destination is still in question. This is progressive music heavily influenced by the 90s. At times, it's a little too 'grungy' for my taste expressly with the tracks 'Shallow' 'Halo' and 'Open Car' and it weakens the album in a 'timeless' since. Now, coming to the end of the fist decade of the new Millennium, it seems this album is getting dated and held back with these songs. But not to worry, the other songs are there to help bring the album back up to a respectable manner.

'Deadwing', the title track, is a beauty covering an array of sounds. It's a pleasure to listen to time and time again and is a great way to set up the feel for the album. Although 'Lazarus' is a smidge on the 'pop' mainstream soft side it is still a treat. I would much rather dance to this slow song then anything offered at a night club (I'm going to play this song for my dad's wedding, so you know it has some merit to it).

"Arriving somewhere but not here" is oddly placed on the album. Where most bands would put a show stopping track either at the beginning or the end of an album, Porcupine Tree decide to put it in the middle. This really weakens the album for my ears. It splits the album up too much. One author, I forget who, put it best: 'it is as though Genesis put 'supper's ready' in the middle of Foxtrot'. It leaves the rest of the album sitting there after the audience has left. This is saddening, since my favorite song on the album follows 'Arriving somewhere but no here'. But 'Arriving somewhere.' is still a great song, perhaps a bit long, but still a great song.

'Mellotron Scratch' is, as said before, my favorite song on the album. I can't help but love the three key sequence in a 4/4 beat. Now this is a timeless track, and of course, I loves me some Mellotron (sorry for the internet lingo). "The Start of something beautiful" starts off shaky, but comes together at the end. It does not offer any lasting impression. I sometimes skip it to get to 'Glass Arm Shattering'. I love how they use the vinyl static sound to start and end the song. If you ever wanted a soundtrack for drifting in open dark space, this would be it. A raft floating silently down a river at night, looking up at a starry sky is the effect it captors; a sheer treat to the ears.

So to rap it all up, the songs on Deadwing are either really good, a real gem among rocks, or skip- able. Luckily, in our modern time, we don't have to move the needle over or fast forward through ruff tracks. If it had started from 'Mellotron Scratch' and looped back at the begining, skipping over 'Shallow' 'Halo' and 'Open Car' and ending with 'Arriving Somewhere...', the album turns into a solid 4.5 album. Unfortunately, it started off with 'Deadwing', including those songs, and 'Arriving somewhere' adding too much distraction in the middle of the album, and weaken the album to a 3 stars, which doesn't seem right for 'Mellotron Scratch' 'Lazarus' 'Arriving Somewhere' and 'Glass Arm Shattering' which are still masterpieces in their own rights. It seems the influence of the 90's was too strong on this album, and the place for a masterpiece is given to Porcupine Tree

......but not here

Report this review (#171053)
Posted Wednesday, May 14, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars Having found myself numbly staring like a zombie at the computer screen on the internet for no particular reason yet again, I have decided to become nostalgic and return here to write a review for the first time in ages. It is a review of an album that I've known for two and a bit years and has always been one of my favourites. It is a review that is withOUT a template to base my ideas on. Thus rendering it a very uncharacteristic review of mine indeed. If you don't like what I'm writing, message me some time... Deadwing: One would, of COURSE find the electronic distortion rifting backwards and forwards at the start of this track just ever so slightly pretentious but it does the trick: the first guitar strum, coupled with the drums, BANGS us right into it. Now I'm sure I don't need to describe the epic chord combination that is so typical of Porcupine Tree and reminiscent of 80s arena rock, yet certainly uplifting in a sublime way (or at least that it what it tries to reach to. When I say 'it' I actually mean people: Steven Wilson and the gang.) and I have a mate of mine that sure knows more about *sound* than I do who even noticed the similar guitar tuning for each song. Now I can't do that. If anything- I'm a piano girl. The lyrics of this song...oooh the lyrics. Now something warm insight just passed through here. It took the precious things that I hold dear. Is this song about the decadence of society or just about being stuck in a moment? Heck- are we even supposed to know? (...No. Music looses its spark when the message becomes unsubtle. Or at least I feel that way- don't you agree?) But I can certainly say this is one of those 'Song of the soundtrack of my Life' songs. Like a cancer scare in a dentist's chair.. Random flickering images- from a dream even? Who knows! Who cares? It's does the trick- and the spooky synth/mellotron over the top is reminiscent of a haunted house in a cliched 50s horror/spook flick. Subconcious fear may even be the theme of this song. "Afraid to touch someone. Afraid to ask her for a name." Not only that but this song fades into an echoing guitar strum (guest guitarist from Opeth: Adrian Belew. Huzzah.) at one point and then back into where it was. With this in mind- Steven ( have certainly made a perfect epic prog-rock opening track to this album with the same name.

Shallow: You can certainly hear the more rocky sound in this one. A *tad* moregeneric. Just a tad! Extremely catchy though. And the catchy guitar riff is slightly reminiscent of classic rock too. (Deep Purple anyone? Black Sabbath?) In fact the distorted guitar and the drums act well together. Gavin Harrison is having a hay-day in this one. "I live to function- on my own is all I know." I reckon the piano adds the essential P.T touch to this song.

Lazarus: I know a man once, who had his father die of cancer when he was only a kid, and he says this song has somehow moved him to tears. (Altogether now): Awwww. Though it is the softest song on the album, it is also the simplest. That major-key chordal progression is nice but easy peasy and the least prog of Porcupine Tree. I have nothing wrong major keys (obviously) but this song is not prog- it has an uber-simple template but it is STILL rendered moving. You can get the same kind of thing from Snow Patrol. The best part would probably be at the very end where the chords twist: "Come to us, Lazarus, it's time for you to go."

Halo: This is a slightly angsty song which calls into question the topic of religion. *sigh* They always have to have a song about being against, or questioning, religion don't they. By 'They' I mean most bands of today, or actually in prog. Think 'My God' by Jethro Tull or 'Tarkus' by ELP. Being an Agnostic -Catholic, I find these songs interesting but tiresome after a while. Then again, it depends how WELL they are done. And this song is certainly around the average level. "You can be right like me with God and all his righteous souls. I've got a Halo round me." Again the melody and riff give it spooky-feeling undertones. And Harrison has a hay-day again- very like Shallow. It's catchy though the distorted voices are a bit irritating. Very sing-along-able in the chorus.

Arriving Somewhere But Not Here: Slow creepy synth (or mixed keyboard) in the intro. And then the guitar follows. Steven Wilson really wants us to focus on his words for this one: "Never stop the car on a drive in the dark. Never look for the truth in your mother's eyes." The lyrics, like in Deadwing, seem to focus on images of life. But also resolution and trying to find out the meaning of things. (I empathise with Steven. Very muchly.) "and, All of my dreams- sacrifice." Good use of harmony is seen here and in the title lyrics. Now despite the fact that this is a good song, it doesn't strike me as much as Deadwing. Probably because it is slightly repetitive. But it gains rhythm and beat as the song progresses- getting typically and increasingly rocky at the bridge. I can compliment it that way. Guest guitarist Adrian does his thing again throughout this track.

Mellotron Scratch: Play this song to me all day and I shall not hate the sound of it by the end. Oh yes. I tell the truth. This is the second P.T song I ever heard- a few years ago now, and it still gives me the shivers. Lazarus was the softest song on this album, but this one is the most romantic. "The scratching of the mellotron, it always seemed to make her cry." Mr Wilson really touches a nerve there- This song is about the memory that songs can bring back- about romantic things you'd rather not remember. "Don't let the melody or the sound drag you down." Instrumentally this song develops as well. A simple but innovative riff of the mellotron/keyboard that goes straight to the heart. It's both quite and echoing, and rhythmic and catchy. It goes quiet, dims and then gets unexpectedly fast and loud (another guest guitarist- Mikael helps out with this rocky bit) and then sinks into a round: again- good harmony. This is one of those many songs that mere words cannot explain. There are too many wonderful little things about this that make it, without any further adieu, the *best song of the album* .......Just listen to it! Okay??

Open Car: So it's a slight downfall that, straight after the best song, we are thrown into the *worst song* of the album. It's not that I don't like this particular track, as I really do, but the constant drumming guitar and staccato words mumbled by Steven are a bit naff. To be more eloquent- I'll just say it's a bit too decadent for moi. A song about having an affair. Still a typical P.T epic-sound in the chorus. This song is good at conveying stress and frustration. "Gave her the truth, gave her the proof- I gave her everything." The acoustic fade out at the end is a nice touch.

The Start of Something of Something Beautiful: My last boyfriend (simple, like a child, he was) said that this song reminded him of me absolutely. I rolled my eyes and told him he should take a closer look at the lyrics. He didn't need to- a few months later he left me. The song played a subconscious part on his mind I should think. "Always out of REACH you are." Which is pretty adequate! This song is not romantic: it's *realistic*. "You though it was the start of something beautiful- well THINK again." And BRILLIANT! The spooky use of the keyboard coupled instantly with the smash of the guitar overwrites the fact that it's slightly repetitive. And just when you think it's going to be generic like that, it fades out and develops with a piano over the top and then a guitar to go with it. And then various guitar solos. The third best of this album. Indeed.

Glass Arm Shattering: Not much to be left for this song. It's a slow song and remains like that. As much as it's a good song, (melancholy, sensual image-invoking, echoing) there's nothing which stands out as particularly fantastic about it. The piano sounds gorgeous in this. Along with the round- like harmonies of the vocals. Awww-bless! They're singing "sha-la-la-la" and "dum dum". This song was a group effort by the band so I suppose they wanted something simple.

Five or so minutes later, there comes a bonus track...

Shesmovedon: This song is me. It really is. If my life was a movie then this would be one of the theme songs. This song is simple but it's hard and serious. Another song about realistic resolution. The chorus is softer than the verse but the electric guitar is overriding and Steven chooses to distort his voice. Though I do like the softness of his normal tone when he melds into the backing line: "All gone away....She's moving on..." Gotta love the guitar solo at the end as well.

Thus ends my first prog review in ages (hence the unprofessional tone) of a really, really, really awesome album. Would you like to throw eggs at me? Throw yours eggs now. I'll be waiting!

Report this review (#177037)
Posted Wednesday, July 16, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars I can imagine how split PT fans are on this record. I would like to set one thing straight however, THIS WAS NOT INTENDED TO BE TOO PROGRESSIVE. It's a movie soundtrack. Deadwing is a screenplay written by Wilson and some other dude. So don't fret guys, there is plenty this record has to offer. However, in contrast to that plenty there is also an absence of interesting tracks.

Deadwing. This song caught my attention from the getgo and it never let go of it. This is a very interesting track. The short keyboard intro displays recurring themes in the album. One being trains. You can the sound of a train throughout the whole record. This might hint at something in the story. This song I feel is very bass driven. The drums are fantastic and basically the song is very well executed. With a guitar solo from Adrian Belew! (8/10)

Shallow. Hmm...I didn't click alll too well with this song. I found it to be the complete opposite of progressive. With the exception of an interesting chorus, this song blows. (6/10)

Lazarus, a beautiful little song I can't get enough of. It's so emotional and the piano playing is wonderful. I can't really elaborate on it too much, it's so short. Also note the sound of a train passing by at the end of the song. (9/10)

Halo, also a very bass driven song. It also didn't get to me all that much. It's not good, but it's not bad. (7/10)

Arriving Somewhere But Not Here, is the best song on the record. Hands down. Easily the best song of their career. With Floyd popping at every corner and a guitar solo by Akerfeldt. This song is full of energy and genuine prog. (10/10)

Mellotron Scratch, I must say, had me at first. I thought it was going be an ambient interesting prog piece. But it became what sounds like todays top 200 bilboard chart. Suck. (4/10)

Open Car! Now this sounds promising! I thought it was also going to become a prog piece with that intricately timed guitar riff. But then it became Shallow. Suck. (4/10)

The Start Of Something Beautiful. Woah, I was not expecting anything else good after the last two songs. But this song is a return to the old PT. Full of ambient music and interesting drum riffs. Very nice. (9/10)

Glass Arm Shattering? More like lame song muting. I'm sorry, but this song just does nothing at all for anything. It just sucks. (1/10)

There is a bonus track at the end of the spacing 4 minutes of silence in Glass Arm. It's a cover of shesmovedon from Lightbulb Sun. The song is still good, but I can't count it as a track.

Overall this album is mostly lame background music. Not really prog. But again, it was never intended to be. This album is just background music, because Wilson is working on making this into a movie. So keep your eyes out for it. Watch the ratings for this record shoot up when it comes out.

EDIT: I'd like to say, with time this album has immensely grown on me. It is absolutely and postively one of my favorite records of all time. It flows magnificently and the music makes me want to cry. I actually did cry last night while I was listening to Glass Arm Shattering. 5 stars all the way.

Report this review (#177625)
Posted Monday, July 21, 2008 | Review Permalink
The Prognaut
4 stars A modern ghost story that is anything but spooky. Ironically how, it's got the thrill and the mystery that certainly gives the creeps on anyone's skin. Personally, I find "Deadwing" among the top productions of the band since it's got not only the typical wit of Steven WILSON but the genius of the whole band immersed in this world of creativeness that bloomed into an unexpected wonder. Also, working along with OPETH's leading voice Mikael ÅKERFELDT and crimsonian guitar player Adrian BELEW definitely meant a plus for the "Deadwing" effort. And last but not least important, the lyrical togetherness displayed by WILSON and Mike BENNION; essential for full appreciation.

The harshness of the instrumentation is heavier than ever. Although I compare this production to what's been done by the band on "In Absentia", this is a whole different level taken by PORCUPINE TREE. I'd like to specifically point out Gavin HARRISON's work on drums against Chris MAITLAND's where the first named drummer cranks it punchier and harder dominating the metric technique amazingly while on the other hand, performance of former drum player is more precise and polished, keeping it down to an almost purist level. Both are great on what they do though, but face-offs are inevitable to me.

Now, let's get down to it. A great album urges a great captivating opener and "Deadwing" has got it alright. A powerful self-titled track that introduces among other coming attractions on the record, Mikael ÅKERFELDT behind the mic. How's that for a disturbing intro? Crunchy enough to my ears. Then "Shallow" carries on with the heavy metal topic quite briefly but devouring alright. Its sound resembles a straightforward rock ballad and even though, it's got an inner demon of its own.

Moving on this review I found "Lazarus" so harmless and peaceful that made me surrender to its plain yet touchy lyrics. In the past, I declared myself a basher and disposer of soft, schmaltzy songs on any rock album but this time I gotta take that statement back and just enjoy. Right after relaxing a bit for the upcoming flood of chords, "Halo" broke in my ears stealing away my will of acting freely. The song is this sort of hymn facing desire against hypnotic, straight commands flying out of a cynical preacher. I would say the subliminal message in here is pretty clear: "You have the right to do what we tell you".

Further ahead, the cornerstone out of the entire album to me: "Arriving Somewhere But Not Here". A breathtaking masterpiece so perfectly executed and written that pushes your senses up to the wish of stopping the album from moving on at this point. With this song, PORCUPINE TREE retakes the meaning of "epical" applying it so beautifully to the concept and purposes of "Deadwing". The acid lyrics and the upbeat instrumentation kick in rapidly to catch anyone's ears into this land of confusion and inexplicable regressions to deceitful and repentant passages. Simply astonishing and already locked and loaded to be shot out of my deepest feelings over and over again.

Settling down my passion again, "Mellotron Scratch" revealed a pleasant place for me to stay and kick back to the music played in the subconscious background. It is indeed a rather particular track that fits suitably all along. Coming right up, "Open Car" crashes inside your mind superbly, taking away the steadiness in you to toss yourself into this world of pure smashing strings and thunder-struck beats. The ending has nothing to do with the whole track, but it totally breaks your anger in one single movement.

"The Start Of Something Beautiful" makes me recall my first PORCUPINE TREE experience somehow through elaborated passages and impeccable crafted progressiveness taken in hand by the voice of WILSON right to the very end. A very spirit-rising song. The final episode, "Glass Arm Shattering" wraps it all up nicely through kind, soft lyrics and musical quietness. It certainly ends the trip and the ghost story perfectly. All in all, "Deadwing" is a complex work of art. And then by letting the record spin for a while, you'll bump into a fresh, renewed version of "Shesmovedon", the reward for the patient ones. Must belong to any respectable Prog Rock library!

Report this review (#178206)
Posted Friday, July 25, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars Overall, an excellent album. Deadwing is based on a screenplay by Steven Wilson and Mike Bennion. Like others have said, this album continues in the vein of In Absentia in that it is heavier than Stupid Dream and previous works. Mikael Akerfeldt of Opeth is featured on vocals on Deadwing,Lazarus, and Arriving Somewhere But Not Here. He also plays the second guitar solo on the latter.

In continuing to develop their heavy sound, Tree has lost none of their fabulous melody. Every song is instantly recognizeable. Now for a song by song description:

Deadwing 9/10 Killer intro. After some keyboard or mellotron work, your are presented with an onslaught of drums, bass, and raging guitar. The metal influence is obvious here. Steven has been quoted as having always liked metal, but has just been slowly incorporating it into his sound.

Shallow 8.5/10 - As a guitar player, I'll give my complaint first. The tone of the distrotion on this track just doesn't do it for me. I cringe when I hear it, especially just at the beginning. However, the rest of the song is very catchy and radio friendly, although I've never heard Tree in the States. Then again, I don't listen to the radio. Very abstract lyrics, but thorougly accessible melody, even the raging melodic metal chorus. Great breakdown in this song. After that sonic onslaught, some release would be nice.

Lazarus - 9.5/10 - Perfect quiet song after the brutal first two tracks. This song kind of makes you want to cry, and is beautiful in its simplicity. Very accescible lyrics, even though I don't know exactly what is meant. The simple melody and excellent harmonies providing by Barbieri on the mellotron blend perfectly. The keys and mellotron are so vital to the Porcupine Tree sound. The bridge in this song is where you get goosebumps. Followed by an acoustic solo and vocal harmonies, this is a tear jerker. My imagination takes me to a mountaintop in the fog at night, following a desperate calling.

Halo 6.5/10 - Obviously a song bashing organized religion and how it causes its followers to be delusional. While I don't agree with everything in the message, that's not the point. The music is the point. Excellent intro and verse. However, I am not really a fan of the chours. This is my only dissappointment .

Arriving Somewhere but Not Here - 10/10 - Amazing. This song has everything a progressive rock fan could want. A complete epic journey, this is a great song for long, cruising drives. After some synth, bass, and light percussion, the guitar comes in (sounds like an electric with acoustic modulator), accompanied with vocal harmonies and the hook, Arriving somewhere but not here. This song is essential to this album. My favorite off the album. The song slowly crescendos into perfect orchestration. Edwin's bass playing is again, fantastic. Perfect groove and rhythm. Excellent musicianship annd production is so apparent on this album.

Mellotron Scratch - 7/10 - It's ironic the mellotron is so understated in this song. You can barely hear it. A nice mellow track. Good melody as always. Enjoyable.

Open Car - 9/10 Another chugging metalish song. One of my favorites. Great driving song. Hair Blowin in an open car. . .Summer dress slips down your arm. Awesome.

The Start of Something Beautiful - 9.5/10 - Great tension buildup and release in this song. Listen to it. That's all I can say.

Glass Arm Shattering - After a pretty instense album, this is a wonderful song to end with. Melancholic harmonies, a crazy title, this one will put you to sleep while keeping you entranced.

Great album overall. Four stars, only because it's not a masterpiece. Just great music. I don't even think the band would consider it a masterpiece. Buy it. Highly Recommended. The album also includes a remastered? version of Shesmovedon.

Report this review (#178427)
Posted Tuesday, July 29, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars I'm going to say something of the audio quality!

Audio Quality

Rock music is not the easiest to judge on Audio Quality. Part of the allure of rock is the distortion inherent in the genre. Some may view the sound on this album as harsh or compressed.and in fact it is. But many associate those qualities with the Rock or Metal genre and this album should be viewed accordingly. While you may not be able to pick out each instrument, hear the singer's breath between words, or discern subtle changes in timbre and tone of an instrument or voice, you can still ascertain the quality of the audio by listening for specific events. The noise floor on the album was very low (not that you had many instances in which to evaluate it). At the beginning of the album, there are traffic sounds that were so realistic I actually stopped the disc to see who was making all that noise on my dead-end street. A couple of the tracks had an acoustic guitar section where you could clearly hear fingers sliding over the strings and the plastic on metal sound of the pick in action.

If you have a flabby, loose, sloppy, or slow sub, you may be in trouble with this album. Much of the bass is low and very, very fast (mostly from the kick drum though the bass did show up in a couple of songs). My Axiom EP500 was going freakin nuts during many of the songs. For much of the album, I felt like I was in an airplane - that much air was being moved. I kept expecting my ears to pop. I would seriously recommend this disc for anyone trying to evaluate the musicality of a subwoofer.

My only complaint is that the vocals seemed to blend into the music a little too much during specific songs. I believe this was by design and not in error. The singer's voice was often presented in a chorus format and tended to get lost behind some of the louder passages. When the vocals were solo (non- chorus), they rang thru as one would expect. My take on this is that the vocals were considered to be as much an instrument as a focal point in the song. Given the quality of the rest of the album, I have a hard time believing that something like this wasn't done purposefully. Is awesome!

So I give a 5.0 STARS!

Report this review (#184316)
Posted Wednesday, October 1, 2008 | Review Permalink
2 stars Too good to be true

This is not what I've expected from the band who have released Signify or In Absentia...

Ok a bit more in details: saving Lazarus, Arriving Somewhere But Not Here and The Start Of Something Beautiful (and the last 2 have some Dream Theater influences) there is nothing good... ok the first track is a marvelous paint of metal/prog music but c'mon if I want to listen metal I don't go for PT, not even for the guest. Ok past on Shallow (simple radio hit for metal fans), but please Wilson burn Halo, banish it from this land... it's the worst thing that you have ever wrote! (got the point? At least I can say that it worth a laught). After that and the nice wordplay (Mellotron Strach - the song is not so nice, but is one of the better parts, but it make me bored a bit), we got Open Car, a snapshot of what? (well I'll not explain) A joke maybe but I don't laugh this time, not nice nor good music just the same thing as Shallow, just a bit more structured with chorus. But the final track is something from another planet, maybe universe... Sha-la-la (I know the title, but the point is that there is not a song that can be called song!) pointless, useless to the album and bad like the whole ting... It's real, it's too good to be true: this time PT made the wrong step and published something that I cannot justify: Deadwing is a waste of time and there is better stuff to listen from PT, so collectors only and 2/5 stars, 'cause 3 songs don't worth an album as 4 chords don't make a million!

One last thing, to be honest I'm a PT fan but I don't give 5 (or 4) stars without a reason and there isn't really a good reason to give a vote like those, they made a mistake or Wilson lost his muse, I don't know but I know that Deadwing isn't a masterpiece, nor a good album compared with previous works. Apart from what I've expected from them and apart from being a fan.

See you for FOABP.

Report this review (#190602)
Posted Thursday, November 27, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars I really don't understand why so many people either dislike this album or think that it isn't up to Porcupine Tree's standards. This was the first Porcupine Tree disc that I listened to in its entirety; Porcupine Tree has since become one of my favorite bands, and I own almost every bit of music they've released. The title track is awesome. Shallow is a rocking track, though I wouldn't deny the retort that it is a bit mainstream. Lazarus is beautiful, though its melody and chord progression are a bit cliche. Halo is a nice track, too, but the monster comes with Arriving Somewhere But Not Here. I absolutely adore this song. It makes me experience the story the music is telling when I listen to it; very few songs do that. Open Car is another song that I truly experience when I listen to it. I love the numerous harmonies at the end of Mellotron Scratch. The song starts off very calm and ends with this symphony of melancholy voices- just lovely. The Start of Something Beautiful is a pretty good song, but Glass Arm Shattering is a great song. I love how it sounds like an aged recording at the beginning. The bass tone in the whole song is just really cool. On the whole, I just really connect with this album. I love the sprawling, hard rock/metal explorations of Deadwing and Arriving Somewhere, and this remains to this day one of my favorite Porcupine Tree albums.
Report this review (#192117)
Posted Saturday, December 6, 2008 | Review Permalink
Eclectic Prog Team
5 stars Deadwing is not only a haunting venture, it is one of Porcupine Tree's most exceptional albums. The music varies in texture from song to song, yet retains a consistent feel throughout. Every song is at least likeable, but most of them are completely brilliant. Every part of this album makes me want to know more about the supposed screenplay behind it. The lyrics are somewhat vague for Porcupine Tree's more recent work, but one thing is for certain- the music is amazing. The title track and "Arriving Somewhere But Not Here" are heavy progressive rock masterpieces, and "Mellotron Scratch" and "Lazarus" are two of the loveliest (and in their own ways, two of the spookiest) songs ever written. It would be easy to praise each track here, but that's what the rest of the review is for. The album, great as it is, is not without a few minor flaws, however.

"Deadwing" Hospital sounds and a pulsating noise do nothing to prep the listener for the sudden eruption of sound that follows. Wilson employs a unique chord progression here, bridging the verses with some admirable electric guitar riffs. Whereas it would normally be a negative point, I rather enjoy the repetitive nature of the vocal melody throughout most of the song, as it paints everything with a disturbing mood and gives the impression of narration. All of the guitar work is remarkable, from the soloing to the way the electric and acoustic guitars work together. The traces of spectral Mellotron are a phenomenal touch. During the quiet moments, the clean guitar, heavy with tremolo, works alongside some enjoyable bass work before giving way to a heavier moment. Adrian Belew's shrill guitar work sounds just like something he would do out of 1980s King Crimson.

"Shallow" A rather simple song, "Shallow" alternates between sections of a heavy guitar riff and light piano. Even though it's short and has a very accessible structure, this song was one I didn't get into until much later, since I didn't care for the guitar playing much.

"Lazarus" One of the most beautiful songs in all of music, it does feel a bit strange following on the heels of the mostly heavy track that came before. Still, the acoustic guitar, the simple piano, the steel guitar, and the quiet Mellotron, not to mention Wilson's humble voice, make "Lazarus" a song that's difficult for anyone to dislike. The bridge is simply stunning, and lyrics are absolutely moving, making one desire to learn more about the context of the album on the one hand, and only wishing to take in the meek finery of the piece on the other. The sound of the train at the end only makes this somehow even more poignant.

"Halo" Driven by a funky bass and a some uncomplicated drums, this is a fairly weak track, arguably the weakest one here. Half the lyrics to the verses are spoken, and they're a tad on the insipid side.

"Arriving Somewhere But Not Here" The lengthiest song on the album is also one of the best. It relies heavily on the twelve-string and vocal melodies that range from dark to uplifting. The way that first chorus immediately launches into the first guitar solo is stellar, and one of my favorite moments on the album. The first few times I heard it, I always thought the heavy metal segment in the middle was alien given the context of the piece, but the way it jumps back into the main chords, which give way to a very quiet part with jazz guitar soloing, is well-structured and highly regarded.

"Mellotron Scratch" Despite the name, the Mellotron does not play heavily into the music. There is flute and choir from the Mellotron, but it is essentially relegated to the background. What the music does consist of is amazing: Great guitar work (both electric and acoustic), simplistic piano, intriguing lyrics, and a catchy chorus. After the main part of the song ends, in comes a more mainstream rock sound, something that is reminiscent of the grunge of the 1990s. That section doesn't last long however- a decidedly progressive segment enters soon thereafter, with weepy guitar played over an absorbing rhythm. The ending of this has a complex vocal arrangement that carries on as the music fades out.

"Open Car" With a basic guitar riff and a melody that copies it, this one doesn't really become interesting until the chorus, which, like "Shallow," involves much quieter instrumentation. As usual for Porcupine Tree, the acoustic guitar stands out, and the lyrics are mesmerizing, able to convey the listener to another time and place.

"The Start of Something Beautiful" Having an excellent groove in 9/4 makes this song stand out a bit from the rest. Once again, the lyrics reflect the ghostly imagery of the album. The song employs distorted vocals in the chorus, which is decidedly heavier than any other part of the song. The last part is more lovely piano and acoustic guitar work, with a fuzzy guitar solo laid over it, which gives way to a polished but short clean solo.

"Glass Arm Shattering" Beginning with a lot of static and the guitar riff that will be repeated all the way through the first four minutes, the final moments on Deadwing are sleepy ones, meaning that this is a track one could listen to just after having gone to bed.

Report this review (#192656)
Posted Thursday, December 11, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars At least one reviewer stated before me, that at the first listen he got easily impressed by the music, but later he changed his opinion. I also changed it, but in a positive way. This was the first album I've ever heard from PT, and that time I haven't got into the heavier stuff yet. It sounded just like average, but I also have to say that I didn't pay too much attention.

And later I gave the album more chances. I rather listened to it from the third track, 'cos I didn't like Shallow. (Later I realized that the opener is worth listen to.) I guess it took me when I was really sad and then I skipped to The Start of Something Beautiful...then came the lyrics, which was exactly the same what I was feeling.

1. Deadwing: A bit repetitive sometimes, especially the rhythm-section; sometimes metalish, sometimes ambient-ish, and the Yes I'd have to say I like my privacy part is just awesome, the song needed more from this.

2. Shallow: The less interesting. Boring, non-prog and just some unnecessary heaviness.

3. Lazarus: The ballad. Beautiful, I have nothing more to say.

4. Halo: Strange, that's for sure. I almost hated this earlier, but now I find it interesting and the contrast between verses and chorus is far original.

5. Arriving Somewhere But Not Here: The epic. Just fantastic is the way they fill twelve minutes with music, although there is some un-understandable hammering in the middle. But the solo of Åkerfeldt makes you forget it soon.

6. Mellotron Scratch: It might be the most eclectic song of the album by changing moods and styles. Superb!

7. Open Car: Very short and surprising track. It starts heavily but the chorus is very soft and the way it ends...just breathtaking. But please someone tell me, WHAT THE HELL IS A HORSE-SHAPED SHELL?

8. The Start of Something Beautiful: I have the strongest connection with this track, because of the forementioned reason. A bit repetitive sometimes, but the emotional-lyrical side is very strong, I will never forget the chorus, and the instrumental parts are excellent. I like it very much.

9. Glass Arm Shattering: Not a highlight, almost the entire song is ambient. But a relaxing song to close this awesome album.

4.4 stars, due to the first two songs.

P.S.: I have to mention, that PT is very good at bringing in new melodies by the ending part of a song.

Report this review (#197175)
Posted Sunday, January 4, 2009 | Review Permalink
Conor Fynes
5 stars 'Deadwing' - Porcupine Tree (10/10)

Is this the greatest modern prog rock album ever? And even if it's not, it's perfect in it's own way... Steven Wilson's genius comes in droves in crafting this spectacular, beautiful work of art. There are very few moments of progressive music that I think could bring someone to tears, and there are quite a few of those moments in 'Deadwing.' There is no way I could possibly think of this or rate 'Deadwing' as less than a perfect five. This music has had such an influence of me, and affected my life in such a beautiful way, the fact that this album is a masterpiece is undeniable.

The beauty really shines through in Wilson's ability to pick the best sounds to go together, and go ahead and combine them into a very rich wall of sound. The production values on this record are staggering. Every instrument comes through crystal clear, and all of the equalizing is done with finesse and skill.

While there isn't a major focus on technical or highly progressive playing in this album (or for that matter, any of Porcupine Tree's releases) there's a definate feeling that the musicians know what they're doing, and do it very well.

The songs 'Lazarus' and 'Arriving Somewhere But Not Here' stand out to me as being the most beautiful. 'Lazarus,' despite it's simplicity and single-appeal, is one of my favourite songs ever and is perfect in it's concept and execution. 'Arriving Somewhere But Not Here' is the longest song on the album, and has some very nice build ups, that help to heighten the emotional atmosphere.

Possibly even the best thing about this album is it's perfect flow. Each song feels like it's in the very best place in the album, relative to the other songs. 'Deadwing' is an album I could listen to over and over again and still be content. It's one of my very favourite albums, and deserves to be in the top rankings. Perfect.

Report this review (#205800)
Posted Sunday, March 8, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars I still can't understand how this could be chosen as the top PROG album of 2005 by the collaborators of this site. But there it is. It's certainly a good album, but like all PTree albums, I have a hard time thinking of it as PROG. It's certainly not all that inventive or progressive, in the dictionary sense.

But, it is standard Porcupine Tree and for me that is never a bad thing. Wilson has a style and formula that works quite well with this band, so I can't really deny that at least.

For me though, this album was a bit of a disappointment compared to the previous album, In Absentia. I suppose since that album is still my favorite PTree album of them all, this isn't surprising. I think the main thing is that this album took a bit longer to absorb then IA did for me. While this can often be a good sign, in this case it didn't really help me to love the album more than the previous one.

In any case, it does start off well, with the long and varied title track. This song has some heaviness to it, though just like the last album, it's nowhere near metal (though Wilson does like those heavy riffs for the last 3 albums, doesn't he?). It does the by now somewhat predictable Wilson trademark of heavy verse and melodic and somewhat mellower chorus. All in all, a good song. Shallow, on the other hand is a bit more thrashy and noisy. Not a favorite of mine, but not a bad song either. Lazarus is the mellow ballad like song is quite a nice one, but not even close to as good as the ones on IA. Again, though, a solid good song. Halo is a more upbeat poppy type song with lyrics I quite like. The music though is simplistic and not that interesting.

Now we come to the meat of the album, Arriving Somewhere But Not Here. When I first listened to this song, on Progarchives as a matter of fact before I ever owned the album, I though it was fairly dull and lifeless. However, after repeated listens I have to say this is one of the best PTree songs ever recorded. The slow building beginning is mesmerizing and contains echoes of the early, psychedelic days of the band. This leads to a heavy section that features some of the best heavy riffs Wilson has come up with to date. The drumming on this section is fantastic. Eventually we are led back to a more driving repeat of the early part of the song to close. A masterpiece of a song and the highlight of this album by far.

Mellotron Scratch has grown on me and is a pleasant and interesting song........without any Mellotron. But I wasn't expecting any despite the title. Open Car is another favorite of mine on this album, probably because of the dramatic chorus. The final two tracks are fairly typical for PTree, the somewhat heavy, somewhat instrumental number followed by the melancholic closing number. Decent songs but nothing special for this band really.

Overall, a solid album that I have come to enjoy over repeated listenings. Not my favorite though, but I will give it the extra half star for a respectable 3.5 out of 5, rounding up to 4 because I really like this album. Anyway, despite this not being a Prog band by my reckoning, they have consistently made quality albums that I have enjoyed to varying degrees. So labeling aside, a good album that is worth checking out, especially if you enjoy anything else by this band.

Report this review (#205959)
Posted Tuesday, March 10, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars DEADWING is by far my favorite PT disc and, although not their most musically complex album, it demonstrates what PT can truly create as a band. On IN ABSENTIA, Steven Wilson and the rest of PT seemed to be unsure of their musical footing moving from trip-hop to alternative metal to math rock. Though it made for some very unique-sounding music (e.g. Gravity Eyelids, The Sound of Muzak, Strip the Soul) some of the songs were quite dull and the ideas were lacking especially on tracks like the spacey Lips of Ashes or the repetitive symphonic rock of .3. DEADWING, on the other hand, brought Steven Wilson's musical ideas into a cohesive piece of art rock that is musically, lyrically, and thematically strong. From the pulsating synths of the opening title track to the last melancholy notes of Glass Arm Shattering, DEADWING takes the listener on musical roller-coaster ride that, while still very eclectic and genre-bending, manages to hold together better than IN ABSENTIA. Highlights include the title track, Halo, Arriving Somewhere (But Not Here), and Open Car although the whole album rarely falters (even the slightly too-long ballad Mellotron Scratch has an amazing ending). DEADWING holds it's place in my personal Top 10 favorite albums alongside such classics as THE WALL and MOVING PICTURES. Though some may disagree, I believe that DEADWING is the best album in PT's ever-growing discography. GRADE: A (97%)
Report this review (#209225)
Posted Sunday, March 29, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars Deadwing was the first album in which Porcupine Tree turned up the "rock" in progressive rock. Though still featuring the slower melodic passages in the ballads Lazarus and Glass Arm Shattering, for instance, the dominant sound is best described as downright heavy. Comparisons with past work would probably be Signify (the song, not the full album), and possibly Slave Called Shiver as well as Hatesong from the Stupid Dream and Lightbulb Sun albums respectively. Prog-wise, it certainly delivers yet again, demonstrating the band's ability to create a heavier sound while retaining a distinct Porcupine Tree flavor.

However, when recommending a heavy Porcupine Tree listen, the other contender would certainly be In Absentia, and it is certainly a valid one. Personally, I prefer this one due to the balance between the heavy and the mellow, while In Absentia seems to me to be just a little over the top. Nevertheless both are excellent albums.

In other words, Deadwing is an album, which to me demonstrates the ability of a band to show their talent in creating a range of sound, from the heavy to the mellow.

Track Listing

01 Deadwing

The title track and opener, it encapsulates the general sound of the album in some 9.50 minutes. A very good track, with some industrial sound, a nice and tight rhythm, and excellent mixing. A nice preparation for the rest of the album, I really have trouble finding anything bad to say about this song.

02 Shallow

The second track, Shallow builds on the industrial sound of the previous track. I could compare this even to some of Tool. Yet even with the heavy sound, there are the nice breaks which make this a rather enjoyable listen, even if you're not into that sort of heaviness.

03 Lazarus

I could probably wax lyrical over this song. This is, by far, one of Porcupine Tree's greatest ballads. Listen to it, a description doesn't do it justice.

04 Halo

Hmmm... A song about the ills of human society being rooted in technology, why does it sound so familiar? Though that's just my interpretation, it may be simple religion bashing, I believe this may have been the prelude to Fear of a Blank Planet. The bass on this song is rather catchy, I would compare it to Tinto Brass or Hatesong.

05 Arriving Somewhere But Not Here

The title should already be catching your attention. Well, this 12 minute monster is probably one of the best tracks on this album. It does take a while for it to grow on you though.

06 Mellotron Scratch

Another atmospheric ballad, though after Lazarus, nothing compares. It is good in its own right I suppose. An interesting guitar riff, but other than that, I'd say its not one of the album's strong points.

07 Open Car

Back to the heavy stuff... Open Car is similar in sound to Shallow. Next to Lazarus and Deadwing, this is one of my favourite tracks, so I'm rather afraid of giving it too much praise, since it is after all a highly personalised opinion.

08 The Start of Something Beautiful

Did the title catch your eye? A nice rhythmic intro,

09 Glass Arm Shattering

Officially the last track on the album, Glass Arm Shattering wraps up the album in the style of Feel So Low and Fadeaway, a slow end to a great album.

Bonus Track: Shesmovedon

A different version of the same song on Lightbulb Sun, with Mikael Akerfeldt of Opethsinging backing vocals, mixed differently and I believe with a slightly different solo.

Overall Rating

One of Porcupine Tree's best albums, I give it 4 stars, 8.5/10, 1.5 subtracted for Mellotron Scratch which I personally, and I stress personally, did not enjoy very much. Definitely a must-have for fans and newcomers to the band, a great introduction to the later Porcupine Tree sound.

Report this review (#223072)
Posted Thursday, June 25, 2009 | Review Permalink
The Sleepwalker
3 stars deadwing, the Porcupine Tree album that's based on the script of a never released film. The script was written by Steven Wilson himself and his friend Mike Bennion, and tells a mysterious ghost story. What you would expect from music based on a ghost story, is that it's mysterious, and maybe even haunting. Well, it is. The album knows various moods and musical styles, but they all tell the story on a mysterious but interesting way. Those moods vary from the accesible and heavy "Shallow", to the very emotional "Glass Arm Shattering".

The album starts with the title track, and I could not ask for a better opener. After a short moment of bleepy sounds and background noises Steven's heavily distorted chords strike in to you. Very good riffing opens the song, varied by Steven's vocals. In the nine minutes that "Deadwing" lasts, there is a nice amount of diversity. From the striking guitar chords, to a mellow part with an incredible guitar solo of Adrian Belew, who's best know from king Crimson. "Deadwing" really is a powerful opener and one of the biggest highlights on the album.

The second song here is "Shallow", the most straight forward rocker on the album. The song combines heavy riffing with a soft pre-chorus, which turns into a powerful and catchy chorus lead by distorted guitars. The song has a very basic structure, it actually has just the typical verse-chorus-verse-chorus structure, but the fierce power of the guitars make this song a great experience. Maybe not one of the true Porcupine Tree classics, but for sure a nice song.

"Lazarus" is just as "Shallow" one of Porcupine Tree's best known songs. the song is a beautiful ballad, with very peaceful sounding playing of the instruments. The song has a catchy chorus and Steven Wilson does a very good job here with his vocals. "Lazarus" is the most poppy song on the album, but it nevertheless is a very enjoyable song.

Lead by a funky bassline, the next song is "Halo". "Halo" is one of the most uninteresting songs on the album, with its spoken words in the verses and its not memorable choruses. Even though I don't really like "Halo", I have to say that Colin Edwin does some very nice stuff with his bass.

The longest song on the album is "Arriving Somewhere But Not Here". By many people, this song is said to be the best song on the album, or even the best song the band has ever made. I see where that comes from, as this song seems to be the ultimate combination of early Porcupine Tree, with its spacey atmospheres and soundscapes, and the more recent Porcupine Tree. "Arriving Somewhere..." begins with soft and mysterious synths, but soon a clean electric guitar sound shows up and the first verse begins. The verses and choruses here are very well done, they create a great atmosphere. After the first chorus Steven plays a very interesting guitar solo, in the style he usual plays, very emotional and a bit like Pink Floyd's David Gilmour. After the second verse and chorus, the song reaches its climax, a powerful distorted guitar riff. I must say I am not a big fan of the riff, I think the idea is great, but I can't really enjoy the riff itself. Anyway, after this riff another guitar solo is heard and the song slowly fades out. "Arriving Somewhere..." is a great track, but I don't think it's as fantastic as many people say it is.

After the longest track on the album things start to become less interesting. First, we get "Mellotron Scratch", a soft song that on some points can be compared with "Lazarus", but on other points is completely different. The song sounds kind of melancholic, but at the same time very poppy, and unlike on "Lazarus", here it is not very enjoyable. "Mellotron Scratch" also has an ending that's quite different from the rest of the song, but even that can't really save it from being only a mediocre song.

"Open Car" is another song I really don't care about. It has a nice chorus, but apart from that it is very straight forward and has very uninteresting vocals. At some moments, the song even feels like a weak copy of "Shallow", and that makes this song one of the most uninteresting songs on the album.

The album doesn't get any better yet, "The Start Of Something Beautiful" starts out very spacey, but soon as the vocals come in I can't care about it anymore. After a couple of minutes the song gets louder, but it doesn't get any better. Between the heavy choruses the band plays some spacey interludes, but they can't make this song much better than what it is. The only good thing I can say about it is some nice guitar parts by Steven, but that's it.

The albums closer, finally, is a good song. "Glass Arm Shattering" is a slow tempo, very emotional and melancholic final track. The songs first half is very quiet and touching, while the second half gets a bit louder and even becomes an epic track. This really is a good way to close an album, such a beautiful melancholic song.

I think Deadwing is a very good album, some songs are among Porcupine Tree's biggest achievements. But at the same time, some songs are very uninteresting and really take the albums quality down. I think four stars is the perfect rating for this album; it's far from perfect, but it still is a very enjoyable album.

Edit: on second thought I feel that Deadwing deserves nothing more than a three star rating, for the reasons already stated above.

Report this review (#228187)
Posted Friday, July 24, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars Deadwing grows on me, really. The first time I listened to the album, I thought it was too heavy and too much noise, just noise for doing noise. In that time, I prefered the old stuff of the band, like Sky moves sideways or Signify, I really was in the Floyd mood.

But... months later, my vision of the album, totally changed. I think this records is one of the greatest albums of the "new" century. A mix of styles and emotions. Deadwing, man, they can do metal without that metal voices, Steven Wilson's voice is amazing, and I like it very much with all the "heavy" stuff. Shallow, Open car, Halo, nice songs, really, a lot of heavy progressive hard rock into them. Maybe, not the highlights of the album, but still amazing. Well, maybe Arriving somewhere but not here is the greateast here (I like "Start of something beautiful" too), that two songs are really great, with a fantastic ambient and between heavy, dark, powerfull & emotional sound.

The rest of the album is loveable too, just 5 starts. And of course, one of my favorite bands of the moment [all time too ;)].

Report this review (#229437)
Posted Saturday, August 1, 2009 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Deadwing is the eigth full-length studio album by UK progressive rock act Porcupine Tree. After being blown away by the last album by Porcupine Tree In Absentia from 2002, I was expecting great things when I started listening to Deadwing and fortunately my high expectations have been fully met. I´m actually a rather new fan of the band as In Absentia was the first album by Porcupine Tree that really clicked with me. I´ve owned both The Sky Moves Sideways (1995), Signify (1996) and Coma Divine Live (1997) for a number of years but those albums never really did much for me ( the latter has won me over throughout the years though and I´ve begun to greatly enjoy that one now). With In Absentia, Porcupine Tree introduced a more heavy sound and a new era in their career started with that album. While earlier albums never got me hooked In Absentia certainly did the trick.

The sound on Deadwing pretty much continues the heavy progressive and generally melancholic rock style that was introduced on In Absentia. It took me a bit longer to digest the songs on Deadwing though and at first I didn´t find the album as memorable and accessible as In Absentia. With repeated listens Deadwing has completely won me over though and the songs have unfolded their treasures to me. There are some truly beautiful songs on the album like Lazarus and especially Mellotron Scratch which is a song that really send shivers down my spine. What a beautiful chorus melody. Those songs almost cross the line to commercial pop/ rock but do manage the hard balance of staying on the right side of the line. Porcupine Tree also shows their diversity with the hard rocker Shallow and the two most progressive tracks on the album Deadwing and Arriving Somewhere But Not Here. The latter features a guest vocal and guitar solo appearance by Mikael Åkerfeldt ( Opeth). Arriving Somewhere But Not Here also features the heaviest section on the album. We almost enter Dream Theater territory in the middle of the song with some really heavy riffing that reminds me of the last couple of minutes of Peruvian Skies from Falling Into Infinity (1997). Otherwise the Dream Theater comparison doesn´t hold true, so don´t get me wrong and think this sounds anything like that band other than that section.

What I enjoy first and foremost about Deadwing is those beautiful melody lines that seems to grow on me with every listen. At first they seemed to just be there and not really make an impression on me but I guess this is the kind of album you have to give many spins to really appreciate. The band is of course very well playing and the songs are cleverly arranged and those features doesn´t really drag an album down either.

The production is clean and powerful. People who crave organic productions might be put off a bit here but I think the sound suits the music perfectly.

It´s wrong to say that the high quality on Deadwing came as a surprise to me because I expected it to blow me away. It´s still quite an achivement that Porcupine Tree succeeded in doing just that though and the album fully deserves a 4.5 star rating. It´s a highly recommendable album for those who enjoy melancholic and at times pretty heavy progressive rock with accessible pop/ rock sensibilities.

Report this review (#235147)
Posted Wednesday, August 26, 2009 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal Team
4 stars After three years where we were kept quiet with re-releases and special edition goodies, we find Porcupine Tree back in great shape, integrating their metal and industrial influences very consistently an successfully.

Even though we're still not back at the consistent quality of Signify, it's a close runner-up. Next to the brilliant title track and dazzling cuts like Halo, The Start of something beautiful and Glass Arm Shattering, we also have to wade through a batch of lesser tracks such as the Blackest Eyes remake Open Car, a Coldplay-pulp exercise: Lazarus and the inadequate prog epic Arriving Somewhere that starts nicely but runs out of ideas before it arrives anywhere at all. Luckily, the extra tracks are exceptionally strong again.

Porcupine Tree clearly keeps pushing themselves forward. This leads to the occasional hit and miss but at the same it's the very reason why all albums are so different and why we wouldn't want to go anywhere without one of them. So despite the uneven quality this is an excellent modern prog album.

PS. A little side note though. Where on earth are Mike Akerfelt's vocal contributions? I guess the people who can find them will be awarded with an ultra-limited numbered edition of the album where Mike's vocals have not been completely mixed away.

Report this review (#236620)
Posted Thursday, September 3, 2009 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
5 stars Haunting, Sensual, Terrifyingly Beautiful

My introduction to Porcupine Tree began here and I was overwhlemed by the blend of heavy crunching guitar riffing and mellotrone ambience. I believe I was hooked from the moment I heard 'Shallow' which remains my favourite PT track even after getting hold of their last few albums and DVD. One of the greatest example of neo-progressive heavy rock by arguably the best in the business. Wilson's voice is mesmirizing on every track. Barbieri's keyboards are a beautiful touch that permeate the album from beginning to end. It is a masterfully produced work that deserves all the attention it has garnered. Streets ahead of previous Porcupine Tree material and a real turning point after 'In Absentia' which was also masterfully produced, though not up to this standard.

The melodies remain in your head well after the CD has ended in particular 'Mellotron Scratch', 'Start of Something Beautiful' and 'Lazarus'. The production and art work are worthy of note too, a juxtaposition of sound, visual images and symbolism to paint a picture that is powerful enough to remember. The album artwork seems to point to a disaster in a car crash resulting in the ghostly apparition of one of the deceased. I am not entirely sure but the enigma and mystique is evident and quite compelling.

One reason to get hold of this album is the wonderful mini epic 'Arriving Somewhere...' that has some innovative melodies and an incredible instrumental section featuring great guitar riffs and relaxing keyboards. The time signature shifts are classic prog rock. The Pink Floyd and Yes influences are evident. There are undoubtedly huge influences from classic prog bands in this music. The entrancing and mesmirising atmospheric slow moving tracks at the end of the album use techniques of minimalism and a huge wall of sound builds up to a crescendo. 'Open Car' for instance is simply hypnotising. The ghost track is an old favourite but well executed here and a pleasant surprise when you are not expecting it.

All the tracks are unique, inspired and demonstrate the musical complexity that is essentially Porcupine Tree. Many tracks appear on the live DVD 'Arriving Somewhere...' but the studio versions presented on this album are the best versions. I have no hesitation in awarding this incredible album 5 stars. The musical dexterity exceeded my expectations and I systematically was compelled to get hold of everything else the band has done. Porcupine Tree are keeping the neo heavy prog dream well and truly alive and are hailed today as masters of the genre!

Report this review (#247893)
Posted Monday, November 2, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars Deadwing is Porcupine Tree's ninth studio album and continues in the heavier direction the band took with In Absentia. The album is based on a film script written by lead singer, producer and composer Steven Wilson and a friend of his, Mike Bennion. The album opener and title song starts off with some mellow, pulsating sounds with a certain urgency to them, after which the guitars break loose. Interesting chord progression and some quite aggressive riffing follow, supported by Opeth's Mikael Åkerfeldt's vocals, eventually ending in a very technical guitar solo. What's not to like? Well; the song lasts for 9 minutes and 46 seconds, and in my opinion it's just two minutes too long. While the aggression, bass playing and chord progression are interesting at the start, they get rather tiring after five minutes or so, and there isn't much variation in the vocals either. The ending solo is very impressive though, so it's worth listening this song from beginning to end.

The second song on the album, Shallow, has the perfect title. Wilson himself has stated that Shallow was "the closest to a big dumb rock song we've ever done", and he hit the nail right on the head ? it's a big dumb heavy rock song, which explains perfectly why I dislike it. This isn't progressive rock, it's just something the Foo Fighters could've come up with and it wouldn't sound much worse. I always skip this song because it just doesn't compare to the rest of the album at all. The playing is flawless as expected but the song is monotone and very uninteresting to me.

Lazarus is completely different from the first two songs ? instead of an aggressive rock song, it's a poppy ballad with beautiful, fragile piano playing. This song was the European single for this album (while Shallow was the American one) which is sort of interesting, because as good as it is, it does not represent Porcupine Tree's sound at all. I really do like this song though, it's very pretty.

The fourth song, Halo, has heavily distorted vocals and rather strange lyrics ("God is on the cellphone") but is extremely catchy. The vocals fit strangely well in this divinely haunted piece. The song has alternating spacey and heavy parts but it sounds more like an alternative rock song than prog rock. I suppose this song is all right; it doesn't really do much for me, but nor does it annoy me in any way.

Up fifth is the epic song of the album, Arriving Somewhere But Not Here. This piece is by far the best and most impressive song on the album. It's easily among the best songs PT have made. Arriving Somewhere starts off with a minute of strange sounds, immediately setting the atmosphere for the rest of the song. Listening to this you can actually imagine yourself travelling through a forest at twilight; the cover art really fits with this song. The atmosphere is indescribable and powerful. One of my favourite songs by PT and the musical and lyrical peak of this album!

Next is Mellotron Scratch. At first I didn't like this song much, though it has grown on me slightly. The song has lots of acoustic guitar sounds and spacey parts. The beginning of this song is quite boring but it changes styles halfway through and becomes heavier and more powerful. This second part is quite enjoyable. The seventh song on the album is Open Car, a somewhat tormented song that isn't bad but I don't find it particularly interesting (and the lyrics are pretty bad).

The Start of Something Beautiful is, to me, the second best song on the album. The acoustic beginning isn't too great but when the guitar riffs start, followed by piano and organ, the song gets much more interesting. The ending of this song gives me goose bumps, it's simply fantastic. The Start of Something Beautiful is second only to Arriving Somewhere on this album and a very worthwhile listen.

The closer is Glass Arm Shattering. This is a very quiet, dreamy song which many people on this site seem to love, but I find it terribly boring and a huge anticlimax after the perfect ending of the previous amazing song. Vocals are nothing special, musical ideas aren't interesting? just a bad ending to an otherwise fine record.

I rate this album three stars. If all the material were on the level of Arriving Somewhere this would be a masterpiece, but the quality of the songs is quite inconsistent and there's a bit too much alternative rock and too little prog here for me. Despite this, the album is definitely worth buying and listening. It's good, but if you're going to buy one album first, get In Absentia or Fear of a Blank Planet.

Report this review (#250153)
Posted Thursday, November 12, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars I finally get a good amount of music of Porcupine Tree after two years of hearing a lot of talking about this band but just listening a few random songs, so I will start reviewing their material and I choose to start with this albums, as some reviews said this was one of their heavier stuff... well, this is not heavy in any means... but lets see...

The first two track are quite good, fresh and with great mood, but then the album becomes very average, soft and without any brilliantly you can expect from one of the most beloved bands in this site. I guess people just turn to over rate something that can't stand the taste of time... I mean, is not a bad album, but I found that most of the material is very forgetable... Some moods are very interesting, but maybe what I feel wrong about this album is that is not heavy, there are just few moment in which you can actually feel the energy of heaviness... I even feel that an average alternative rock band could match this effort very easy.

To be fair, I have to say Wilson voice is very catchy and sticky, it's easy to follow his leads... the band in general sounds very tight and OK but the albums has no brilliantly at all... the production is not that great, even I don't hear what's the great thing about Gavin performance... he just play good, nothing that shine... The songs that really worth from this album are just Dreadwing, Shallow and Arriving Somewhere But Not Here... the rest is very forgetable material, not bad, but really, sometimes I wonder if PT are really heavy prog... I like a lot more Oceansize, which is band who can manage very well the different moods by being heavy, melodic and alternative depending on the songs... so, this is my first approach to PT, I am not impress, not even close, so I'm looking to "In Absentia"... maybe that album I can enjoy more... 3 stars is very fair... even when this is not a heavy prog...

Report this review (#251483)
Posted Wednesday, November 18, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars This is really just a placeholder until I think of something better to write. Porcupine Tree is a band I've been pretty lukewarm about. I think all of the elements are there for a pretty awesome band, I just think that those elements are used in pretty predictable and traditional ways. There are a few good songs here in Deadwing "Lazerus", "Arriving Somewhere...", and "Mellotron Scratch" all good songs. It just seems like transitions into metal in most of the songs seems a little forced, and the metal sections themselves are only fair to middling. Nothing that will knock my socks off. Steven Wilson's lyrics also leave a lot to be desired. However, the way the songs work together and the general ambiance of the album to amount to an amusing if not interesting listening experience.
Report this review (#251717)
Posted Thursday, November 19, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars I now see Deadwing as an excellent album. At first i found it hard to get into. No idea why i just did. But after a few spins it clicked. I now find Deadwing being put in the CD player a whole lot more. Deadwing is on par with In Absentia, but not as good as the masterpiece that is Fear of a Black Planet. Everybody here Knows that Porcupine Tree started to move into more of the prog-metal scene, i enjoy the change they have made. The thing i enjoy most is there is still retain elements from there earlier albums. Deadwing has two standout tracks Deadwing and Arriving Somewhere Bit Not Here. With this said all the other tracks are good but i felt the two track i stated were just a little bit better than the rest. Deadwing as an album flows really well, as does most other Porcupine Tree albums. Deadwing for me get 4 stars as it is an excellent album but does not quite achive what was to come in the follow up.
Report this review (#255784)
Posted Saturday, December 12, 2009 | Review Permalink
2 stars Please understand my confusion. Am I listening to KEANE here, or a so-called Prog band?

I've listened to this solidly for two weeks now and I guess that I just don't 'get it'. Everyone seems to rave about PT, and yet I don't seem to see what all the fuss is about. I hear 'Pop' interspersed with heavy rock. That's the deal right? Well, in theory that's an interesting concept, but in reality I'm not sure that it really works.

Steven Wilson is obviously a very competent sound engineer, as a surplus of sound effects proves. I can't fault the production. It's simply the aesthetics.

The great Mozart was able to meld together completely different pieces of music seamlessly, so that it sounded as one whole. I'm not that keen on Mozart's music either, but I appreciate and can see his genius.

PT, or Steven Wilson are full of ideas, but maybe too many to make it a cohesive theme or product.

I can see how after this bands like Muse creep in under the category of Prog. 'Fraid not boys. Not for me anyway. Maybe it's a 'generation gap' thing, and yet looking at the Progarchives top 100 albums this wouldn't get a sniff. It's just not serious or moody enough.

Yes, the 'hard' bit in 'Arriving somewhere' will get you going. But that's rock, not Prog. The hard bit in 'This is no rehearsal' (from the album 'Stupid dream') got me going too.

Sorry everybody, but I guess that this isn't my cup of tea.

Report this review (#280934)
Posted Saturday, May 8, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Simply stated - - I faded from the prog scene in the 80's while in my college years (Imagine that). However, several years ago, my nephew gave me a copy of this disc and it eventually blew me away (after several listens and that required a period of acclimation - - which is really a cellular evolution in the mind by the way). This is the album that pulled me into modern and, also, back into existing prog. I suppose you could say that, dynamically, this album excited the senses and reinvigorated my arid musical desires. I truly believe that this album should appeal to a vast spectrum of the prog persona....................recommended at a high level and appears to have a greater appeal as it is not boxed in by lyrical generational perspectives (FOABP)
Report this review (#285175)
Posted Saturday, June 5, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars My third purchase of Porcupine Tree, and again i'm pleasantly pleased with the results it clicked on the first listen unlike the other two I own which took longer (Fear of Blank Planet and The Incident) Again the artwork is by photographer Lasse Hollie and it adds an eerie sense to the precedings as it is supposed to be an extra clue into the story script as with the lyrics.

Stars off with the 9 minute title track DEADWING, which has a very hard rock beat to it added with all the usual beautiful intrumental arrangements. SHALLOW, its basically like a normal rock song though doesn't stop me from enjoying it though with is connected by softer parts mixed within. LAZARUS, is the opposite from its predecessor a soft melodic piano driven song (Richard is really awesome on this song) HALO, is a really weird song especially the lyrics about god being everywhere (what a scary thought), the solo is pretty good by Adrian Below. ARRIVING SOMEWHERE BUT NOT HERE, is the centrepiece of the cd, a 12 minute wonderful song (I particualrly like the clock ticking part at the beginning and the background vocals provided by Mikael Akerfeldt) which is like a musical adventure its really well written and played out. MELLOTRON SCRATCH, pretty laidback dreamy pleasant tune which is actually quite poppy. OPEN CAR brings back the bombastic heaviness (at least for 3 or so minutes) with its strange lyrics and quite nice vocals by Steven Wilson. START OF SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL, its a dreamy intese yet laidback song with the drumming on this song being really great GLASS ARM SHATTERING, continues the feel of the previous song though adds an experimental twist on it with its spacey keyboards and wonderous guitar

I'd like to give it 4 stars and thats what I will do

Report this review (#285960)
Posted Friday, June 11, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars Coming from the prog perspective, DEADWING is an unusual album to decipher. While there are a few lengthier tracks to please the prog fan, a number of the tracks seem like Porcupine Tree are trying their hardest to get some radio airplay. No further could ''Lazarus'', ''Shallow'' and ''Halo'' make cases for the last idea.

Boring ballads encompass three of the tracks, although ''Lazarus'' has interesting piano lines underneath. ''Glass Arm Shattering'' would have been a nice psych/prog ballad if it wasn't at the end of the album and if the last five minutes weren't silence. ''Open Car'' and ''Halo'' have interesting time signature shifts, but I still consider them slightly radio tilted. ''Halo'' has a funky undertone that keeps me coming back, though.

The three longest tracks are more in line with what we might consider prog. ''The Start of Something Beautiful'' and ''Deadwing'' have indie-metal riffs layered with keyboard padded buildups that make for effective heavy prog pieces guaranteed to win over fans the rock side of prog. Both seem to possess the aura that would carry over to the next album, FEAR OF A BLANK PLANET. ''Arriving Somewhere...'' sadly arrives nowhere after a nice lead in on acoustic guitar.

Strident Tree fans should have this in their vast collection of music. It's hard to really recommend this to anyone else as it's too good to skip over, but not good enough for someone to put on their next wish list. Those more in tune with metal and indie things might want to check this one out.

Report this review (#292052)
Posted Monday, July 26, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars A heavier PT sound

Deadwing is pretty much the album that started Porcupine Tree off where they are now with their alt rock and prog metal influences.

A description of the music: The album starts off with the title track. A great song with many different influences, most prominently alt rock and prog metal. "Shallow" is a pretty weak track that seems a lot like an attempt to make the radio (which it actually did). "Lazarus" is a beautiful ballad, that sounds a bit Coldplay-ish, but a lot better. "Halo" has a catchy bassline, but is another weak track that seems like another radio song. The vocals sound pretty bad in the chorus. "Arriving Somewhere But Not Here" is by far and away the best song here and is one of the best PT songs in general. An absolutely amazing song with heavy riffs, great vocals and lyrics, and a wonderful guest appearance solo from Mikael Akerfeldt. "Mellotron Scratch" is a beautiful song with a great acoustic/piano riff. The vocal harmony in the outro is great. "Open Car" contains absolutely dreadful lyrics and is overall a pretty odd song. Another alt rock song which contains a memorable chorus. "The Start Of Something Beautiful" is an amazing song with a great chorus, great riffs, and an entertaining instrumental section. "Glass Arm Shattering" ends the album rather disappointingly on a pretty boring note.


Riffs: Some great and memorable riffs present on this album which kind of sparked an era for a more riff-driven Porcupine Tree.

The longer tracks: Luckily the longer tracks on this album are all great ones. A good thing considering that the long tracks will take up more than the short.

Melodies: Here is an album with many great vocal melodies, especially in all of "Mellotron Scratch" and the chorus of "Open Car."


Lyrics: Everything after In Absentia seems to have lyrical problems. The worst here are in "Open Car."

Prog?: The only prog songs here really are "Deadwing," "Arriving Somewhere But Not Here," and "The Start Of Something Beautiful."

Patchy: A pretty patchy album overall. However, the tracks that are good drag the album up quite a bit.

Song ratings: Deadwing: 9/10 Shallow: 4/10 Lazarus: 8/10 Halo: 3/10 Arriving Somewhere But Not Here: 11/10 Mellotron Scratch: 9.5/10 Open Car: 6/10 The Start Of Something Beautiful: 9.5/10 Glass Arm Shattering: 4.5/10

Recommended for: Alt rock/alt metal fans. Fans of a truly modernized prog.

Song ratings: 4 stars. While it is patchy, the good songs here are all quite amazing. Therefore they drag it up enough to make it 4 stars.

Report this review (#295154)
Posted Wednesday, August 18, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Along with IN ABSENTIA and FEAR OF A BLANK PLANET, the best of Porcupine Tree. It is not a perfect album, but I have yet to hear any of them that are by this group but still excellent. Highlights: "Deadwing", "Lazarus", "Arriving Somewhere...", "Mellotron Scratch", and "Open Car". So over half of this cd is excellent! The rest ranges from good ("Shallow") to uninteresting. Of course, the 2 classic songs here are "Deadwing" and "Arriving Somewhere..), both Prog masterpieces. And yes, I do consider Porcupine Tree to be Prog! Listen to tracks like "Arriving Somewhere" here, and "Anasthesize" from FEAR OF A BLANK PLANET. Great album. 4 stars.
Report this review (#297283)
Posted Friday, September 3, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars 3.4 stars really!

As much as I like and respect Porcupine Tree I am going to try to be totally honest in this review. Earlier tonight I finished listening to this album for about the third time or so. I might regret making some of these comments after repeated listens but for now I have to say I'm not that impressed with this album especially when considering the great albums the band has made prior to this one. For me this album just doesn't have many memorable moments and that's probably my biggest gripe. Nothing really stands out. The funny thing is this was the breakthrough album for the band. It was their first album to appear in the top 200 billboard charts(#132 in fact and yes silly as it seems I do follow that kind of stuff sometimes, out of curiosity). I even saw them on this tour and remember them filling about 85 percent of a 1,300 seat theater. This was not the usual prog crowd but many young folks in their late teens and twenties. Not a bad thing in and of itself but I got the feeling many of them probably didn't even know what prog was let alone the bands history.

So despite the fact that this album undoubtedly introduced PT to a much wider audience it is a step down for me. No, it's not horrible. It's not bad. In fact it's pretty good for what it is. I'd even go so far to say it's very good but it just doesn't stand up very well compared to most of their earlier albums. That said think of it as the same way you might think of Yes's tormato, Genesis "duke" or "trespass" or Led Zeppelin's "in through the outdoor" or "presence." In other words even their stuff that isn't that good is still pretty good. Actually, for me anyway this is one of those albums that gets better as the album progresses. The last three tracks on here(not counting the hidden bonus track which is really a remake of an older song anyway)are imo probably the best ones on here. So it least the quality doesn't drop off. As for the sound of the album, I'd say that it sort of picks up where "in absentia" leaves off. That is to say there are several mellow parts but also more heavy parts. While In Absentia had some scattered heavy moments here and there this one jams out more in a heavier direction longer but I still wouldn't consider this metal. I'd say the follow up album "fear of a blank planet" is even more metallish than this one. With this album Porcupine Tree are sort of like a blend between Rush(the heavier moments of that band)and Pink Floyd.

So if you like a little metal with your prog or a little prog with your metal then this album is for you although it really isn't a true metal album and some might say it's not true prog either. One thing is for sure though and that is that it is true Porcupine Tree even if this is not their best effort. What does that mean? Apparently, it means whatever Steve Wilson wants it to mean. They are a band that is always changing and always reinventing themselves, even if only in subtle ways sometimes, from album to album. Not an essential album from Porcupine Tree but if you are already a fan it's definitely a must have and not just because of the PT label but after all is said and done it's still a pretty decent album over all. If you are new to PT start with In absentia or maybe stupid dream. Save this one for later.

Report this review (#299664)
Posted Saturday, September 18, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Steve's Album Of The Day : Deadwing, by Porcupine Tree (2005) . Playing this CD today I am reminded just how great Steven Wilson and Porcupine Tree can be. The sound is somewhat of a contemporary reinvention of 70's rock, bringing a Pink Floyd style of progressiveness together with Rush's driven force ( Spiced with a bit of Radiohead ). Now, I'm not saying anything new here, because most people familiar with the band have already made these associations. But on Deadwing, Porcupine Tree just make the fusion work so well , and the ride so enjoyable, that's it's an easy record to come back to over and over. Fine post-millennial prog. Hat's off to my friend Bob Gorham for pushing me in PT's direction back in the early 00's. Perhaps it's time to push yourself to listen to Porcupine Tree and Deadwing as well ?


Highlights : Deadwing, Arriving Somewhere But Not Here, Lazarus, Open Car

Report this review (#306695)
Posted Tuesday, October 26, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars With a little prog, a little metal, some ambiance, and a bit of alternative thrown together, Deadwing is a terrific blend of styles and influences. The downside is that this results in an album that I find a bit too eclectic to be considered a masterpiece, but on the other hand, it makes for a fine album that remains fresh and interesting throughout.

The singles are largely enjoyable, from the heavy riffing and general noisiness of Shallow to the catchy tenderness of Halo. But the main draws for me are the extended pieces. The title track is far from a prog epic, and at its heart is basically ten minutes of up-tempo rock; however, the melodies, pacing, and variety really pull the piece together. Plus, anytime the term "up-tempo" is associated with the work of Gavin Harrison, I'm usually going to find the piece interesting.

And of course the capstone, Arriving Somewhere But Not Here. This song has meant a great deal to me personally, and it will always occupy a special place in my mind and soul. Plus, it's just a killer song. Although I normally don't care for ambiance, the beginning works perfectly by building to some wonderful vocal harmonies. When Gavin kicks in, we are off and running, and there is no turning back (i.e., stay in the car to finish the song, no matter what!). I also love the instrumental's amazing how simple it really is, but almost like a Zeuhl effect, the players are pushing so hard that it's impossible for me not to get sucked in. Just fantastic stuff, and right up there with Starless and Song for America in Flucktrot's favorite mini-epics.

So, a solid album with nice variety and one massive, essential highlight. Nice work once again, PT boys!

Report this review (#313211)
Posted Thursday, November 11, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars When I was waiting for the songs of Opeth's Damnation album to download from iTunes, I was reading some reviews of the album, and noticed one reviewer mentioned someone named Steven Wilson who produced and wrote a song on the album. They also mentioned Steven Wilson's band Porcupine Tree. Immensely enjoying the Damnation album, I decided to check out Porcupine Tree. Deadwing was the first album I decided to get, mainly because of the strange cover. It was fantastic and was soon followed by other greats such as Fear of a Blank Planet and In Absentia.

Porcupine Tree has been around since the 90's and has gone through three stylistic changes. Their first decade was primarily influnced by psychedelic rock and shoegaze. Their second style was their combination of alternative and progressive rock. They style they are trying now combines more metal and grunge elements to their music. Deadwing marks the end of their second phase and almost a bridge into their third phase.

The opening title track gives a very good feel for the album. It is mostly instrumental and lacks a chorus, but each musician shows their skill in this track. The lyrics are mostly non- sensical put enjoyable, but they sometimes manage to put an eye opener ("Yes I'd have to say I like my privacy. And did you know you're on a closed circuit TV? So smile at me").

The next song Shallow is a hard rock (some have called it nu-metal) song. While it is definitely enjoyable, it is the weakest song on the album. It seems as if they put it their just to please the "scene" kids (who should just go back and listen to Slipknot or something). The next song Lazarus is the complete opposite. Most likely the first PT song people here, it is a soft piano ballad. Halo is a wonderful alternative rock song with great bass/drum opening.

The middle song, Arriving Somewhere but not Here, is a twelve minute epic that ranges from psychedelic and metal. Mikael Akerfeldt provides a guitar solo in the song that sounds very similar to the guitar solo in their song Hours of Wealth. This song if definitely the highlight of the album. If you can, listen to it when the sky is clear in the afternoon. I don't know why, but this just magnifies the song.

Mellotron Scratch is the power ballad of the album. Open Car, like Shallow, it a hard rock borderline nu-metal song, but is far more enjoyable. The Start of Something Beautiful is a song similar to Deadwing with bitterly ironic lyrics. The album closer, Glass Arm Shattering, almost returns to the band's roots and gives us an ambient, psychedelic piece.

Those who are looking to get into Porcupine Tree are recommended to start with either this album or Stupid Dream. Not only progressive rock fans will enjoy this. Alternative rock fans will find something to enjoy as well.

Report this review (#372252)
Posted Monday, January 3, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is my first review for Prog Archives. And what better place to start than what I feel is the best album that I have heard so far, progressive or otherwise:

Deadwing, by Porcupine Tree

Given that I only discovered Porcupine Tree in March 2010, theirs has been a heady ascent in my heart and soul. Without doubt they are now firmly entrenched as my favourite band and Steven Wilson (with whom I share a birthplace) by far my favourite musician / genius / deity.

And it was Halo that kicked it all off, strangely enough, via the ITunes "Introduction to Prog" section, specifically the key-change during the 30-second snippet of chorus.

Needless to say, it was the best $ 1.69 I have ever spent. Fear of a Blank Planet followed, along with Insurgentes...

Anyway, enough with the biography, and more about Deadwing and why this album is worthy of 5-stars (and yes, I thought very carefully before assigning the rating Mr. Administrator: only 2 albums in my entire ITunes library have 5 starts!).

What I will say is that this album soars. It flows and glides and floats and drifts and speeds... The heavy moments are heavy and compelling and sometimes contrasting, but the contrast is always welcome and inspired. The softer, quieter moments also fall in the right places, at the right time and don't disrupt any continuity or sonic momentum that the preceding songs generate.

Like any good day in a person's life, Deadwing is about simply great moments (to say nothing of great songs). We define a good day as one that has had some laughter, some stress, some fine wine, a bit of sport or contest, and certainly a few challenges. Most importantly, it is the promise of what is to come and a reflection on what has been that we take comfort in. And this is the real magic of Deadwing: not only do you enjoy what you are listening to at any point in the album, but you are also still feeling the warmth and benefit of what has come before, whilst simultaneously looking forward to what you know is coming next.

But enough with the new-age love-in. How about those moments; Deadwing: the speedy, powerful intro; the instrumental section replete with heavy guitars and clashing time signatures; the great riff, resonating at the end; atmospheric background noise right at the end.

Shallow: the great riffage and (very "alternative") rock metal feel; the juxtaposition of / inspired switch from heavy guitars to piano and acoustic for the 2nd verse (or is that the bridge?); the great instrumental section; the reprise of the intro and the end leading perfectly into the quieter...

Lazarus; the anthemic lyrics; the empty 3rd verse of the 2nd chorus (yeah, I know, that's the wrong description), allowing us to appreciate the simple piano melody; the train sound effects leading into...

Halo; ALL of it, especially the great bass line, great snare sound, inspired time-change instrumental passage and then, finally, the soaring coda when the piano kicks in

Arriving; the slow, patient intro; the mellotron; the chorus harmony; the "I know where this is headed" build-up to the instrumental; the indisputably head-banging / hand-slapping metal section; the seamless return to the introspective tone of the song, via a Latin-style acoustic break

Mellotron Scratch; the peaceful, slow pace, perfectly complementing Arriving...; the 70's / Alan Parsons feel of the harmony chorus; the ending, filled with swirling, overlapping vocals

Open Car; again, the perfect compliment to Mellotron; the time signature and metal guitars with Abacab-era vocals; the anthemic bridge; the rocking chorus; the solemn outro.

Something Beautiful..; the cinematic intro; the superb bass line; the great instrumental bridge to the chorus; the mournful piano break near the end.

Glass Arm; the crackly intro; the soothing, peaceful Floydseque essence; the chiming guitars.

This album really underlines the art of crafting an album, rather than just throwing some songs onto a CD. When Steven Wilson insists that listening to an album all the way through is the only way to truly appreciate an artist's work, it is no better illustrated than Deadwing ? although one can certainly dip into the album and play any number of combinations of tracks to suit a certain mood or satisfy a particular craving (sorry Steven).

For anyone that has yet to sample Porcupine Tree or Steve Wilson's work, then it goes without saying that Deadwing is highly recommended. This is an album for lovers of music; for people that can appreciate piano ballads alongside metal; anthemic harmonies alongside a strong rhythm section; great melodies next to great riffs.

This will certainly appeal to people who like conventional, alternative AND progressive rock. It gives the listener regular doses of these various genres throughout, without overplaying one form, or not doing credit for another. It might not be for Progressive "purists", but it is certainly worthy to be included in the great progressive pantheon.

Indisputably 5 stars.


Report this review (#428824)
Posted Friday, April 8, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars 10/10

[EDIT]Well, first I think I should apologize to Porcupine Tree.

I mean, I'm changing ALL my review on this album. Now I realize how stupid I was to hear this album once and give it a three star rating. Ok, I should not have done that!

The day before yesterday I was listening to this album again and I was amazed. How come I did not like him? Was listening to the same album? Well, whatever it was, I'm listening to it since then and I realize that this is a masterpiece. In fact I dare say now - and by God, I'm not being hasty in thinking this! - This is my favorite after In Absentia. Except for Only Car (which seems to me a track through generic and meaningless), all other songs are masterpieces, an abysmal quality.

Sure, there are your highlights: especially the album's centerpiece, the epic Arriving Somewhere (But Not Here). God, what a perfect song. I have a great appreciation for how much the Porcupine Tree enforces the use of soundscapes and sound effects in your music. Even that is not a work Deadwing psychedelic as The Sky Moves Sideway or alternative like Lightbulb Sun (and from what I saw, this generated some criticism, in my opinion unfounded), they never abdicate their style. Usually think that the band if sustains in these three genera: psychedelic rock, alternate and progressive metal. Of course this would limit the genius of these guys, because they are much more than that.

Besides this masterpiece, there are other highlights: I'm really captivated by Mellotron Scratch. Even without much mellotron as I expected this song is an absolute beauty. The corset-title opens the album with style, sometimes even sounding a bit repetitive. The three tracks more "commercial" are other wonderful, especially lazarus, what should be the best party they've done.

5 stars definitive. Hope does not change his mind again.

Report this review (#459224)
Posted Saturday, June 11, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars after a few average releases leading up to 2002's In Absentia, Deadwing came out to high expectations. and delivered.

personally, Deadwing (the title song and Arriving Somewhere... were amongst the first few Porcupine Tree songs i heard.

the 2 songs i've mentioned above were totally captivating...serene at times, melancholy interludes and explosive riffing at others, this exemplifies Porcupine Tree's brilliance.

thrown in a few more superlative songs like Lazarus (one of their most beautifully crafted and enchanting "songs"), The Start Of Something Beautiful, and Glass Arm Shattering and the brooding, evocative Mellotron Scratch (which you really need to hear at least a dozen times before appreciating), and you have a coup-de-grace of a 5-star album.

PS: i am yet to get my hands on the "extras" release of the DVD-A edition - any suggestions on where i should be trying?

Report this review (#476046)
Posted Tuesday, July 5, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars Prog critics raved about Deadwing when it came out, and I can't blame them - it's a really tight album which carries forward the advances in Porcupine Tree's sound first put forth on In Absentia. But I don't think it's quite the five-star classic it's sometimes made out to be; the pacing of the album flags a little for me in the second half, though it's made up a bit by the last two songs (The Start of Something Beautiful and Glass Arm Shattering), which are excellent and blow most of the preceding songs out of the water. I suppose that's why people are very generous to the album - even if it does meander a little at points, it has a really excellent conclusion and leaves you feeling very positive about it.
Report this review (#674316)
Posted Thursday, March 22, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars Definitely a great album, with some masterpieces and other interesting songs, some really great and a few that only pass the mark. Maybe this one could be the best ever published by this band, and surely it has to be in the top 3.

Deadwing presents the characteristic sound of Porcupine Tree given by mellow sounds of instruments, by the great vocals of Steven Wilson and by the effects which always fit at perfection and improve the quality of the songs. The effects in this album are fundamental and contribute, along with guitar, vocals and the cover of the disk, to give a special mood to the music, which helps the outcome of the less original songs.

Deadwing and Arriving Somewhere But Not Here, the longest songs of the record, are the highlights of the album. I would give them respectively 9\10 and 9.3\10.

Deadwing has an innovative structure, and while it doesn't peak levels of great emotion, it's one of the best compositions of Porcupine Tree. Arriving Somewhere But Not Here could be a bit repetitive but it's certainly a brilliant song. This song starts with two minutes of introduction which lead to the main theme of the song; then there's a metal section in the central part, which is disliked by some people because it didn't fit perfectly with the song, but I think that PT has done the right choose here. Finally, there is the reprise of the main theme and an intelligent final, because the chorus is cut out in favour of a great instrumental section. If this song would have finish with the chorus I think that it would have been ruined.

Then, following my preferences, I would place Glass Arm Shattering; this is a song of pure emotion, simple while dreamy and alienating, which could impress extremely positively some listeners at the first listen (I am one of them). For example I would recommend this song to the fans of We're Because We're Here of Anathema. Even if it's more simple than the other two songs before mentioned, I want to give this song 9.5\10

Shallow is the most energic song of the album, and I think his chorus has the best instrumental work, considering only the metal sections of this record. 8\10

Lazarus is a standard pop-rock song, nothing special for me, but could be liked by some people for his particular romantic tune. I believe that Glass Arm Shattering is a lot better and much more intense. 6.5\10

The other weaker songs of the album are Halo and Open Car; they have sufficient vocals and instrumental sections, standard structures; they are enjoyable if you like this band, but not essential in their discography. However the fantastic sound of Porcupine Tree could hide the lack of originality certain times. 6\10 for Open Car and 6.5\10 for Halo

Mellotron Scratch has some of the best soft rock moments of the record, in both of his two parts in which this song could be ideally divided. For me it's much better than Lazarus but maybe inferior to Glass Arm Shattering. 8.75\10

The Start Of Something Beautiful is a song which had never strike me, maybe because I the chorus didn't impress me very much, and sincerely I don't know how to value it. I think that 7.5\10 is a right mark.

However, apart from Deadwing and Arriving Somewhere But Not Here which I believe that are objectively more complex compositions, I think it's impossible to give an exact rate to the other songs, because they are more or less on the same level. The rate of these songs could change from person to person, according to their tastes.

I would give a 4.5\5, rounded to 4, because I believe that Porcupine Tree could have invent at least one or two more masterpieces instead of only simple and honest rock songs.

Report this review (#746921)
Posted Monday, April 30, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars Despite the high remarks I gave the band's previous album In Absentia, Deadwing is my personal favorite. Overall, the album isn't too much sonically different than its predecessor. It still has plenty of eclecticism, and the songs are structurally diverse and complex, yet retain a nice melodic and atmospheric feel.

The album kicks off with the title track. Most of it is straight up rocking with a constant, powerful drum groove, except for a short atmospheric interlude midway through. 'Shallow' is another highly riff based song, which is simply upbeat and heavy throughout. 'Lazarus' perfectly contrasts the previous song with its rather gentle atmosphere. It is also probably one of the band's more well-known songs, as it does have a rather pop inflection and is pretty simple. But the piano melodies are so beautiful and the atmosphere flows so well that this is a moot point.

The song is short-lived though, and the Metal returns with 'Halo,' though much of the first half is alternative-sounding based on a deep bass line and drum groove. 'Arriving Somewhere, But Not Here' is one of the highlights of the album. There are twists and turns with constant tempo, time signature, mood, and dynamic sound changes throughout its 12-minute duration.

'Mellotron Scratch' is another beautiful track. The gentle vocals and melodies just sort of glide past you to create an ethereal, almost nostalgic atmosphere. 'Open Car' is another riff-based Metal track, that is as enjoyable as the others. 'Start of Something Beautiful' is exactly as its name implies. This song has an absolutely perfect buildup. It starts off with a rather Floydian atmosphere before adding a nice drum groove, some piano work, and guitar over a constantly changing background atmosphere, all while being played in 9/8 time.

'Glass Arm Shattering' is not a terrible song, but I believe it should have ended with the previous track. This one is literally screaming Pink Floyd through much of its duration, and is very reminiscent of The Sky Moves Sideways.

In my humble opinion, I believe Deadwing is the album that best represents the Porcupine Tree sound. It's a consistent listen from beginning to end, and is easily one of the best albums of the modern prog period.


Report this review (#860443)
Posted Friday, November 16, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars Porcupine Tree's Deadwing was my initiation to their work. While it is not my favorite Porcupune Tree album, it is in my top three. The album features guest spots by Mikael Åkerfeldt of Opeth and Adrian Belew of King Crimson and the Talking Heads.

The extended cuts are, to me, the best ones on the album: Deadwing, Arriving Somewhere But Not Here and Glass Arm Shattering are the highlights. Some of the shorter cuts such as Shallow, Halo, and Lazerus are likewise of the highest quality.

However, the rest of the tunes are just alright. Nothing great, but nothing horrible either.

Overall, an excellent album, but one with flaws. A solid four star effort.

Report this review (#912618)
Posted Monday, February 11, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album did take awhile to grow on me, but one thing was clear from the beginning: there was pretty much fantastic musicianship the entire time. The sound is definitely prog and very much layered. One thing that I found particularly interesting is the fact that so much is going on at one time in the music. I found this very interesting. There is a lot more than just your conventional one or two guitars, a bass, and a drummer. There seems that there is always a mellotron and/or keyboard going on pretty much all the time which adds a nice ambient effect throughout. As Wilson sings on track 6, "the scratching of a mellotron always seems to make it right." Also, it seems as if sometimes there are even three guitar parts, which adds a nice intricate effect. To even further add to the layering, Wilson many times has multiple vocal parts going on at one time. On tracks 1, 3, and 5, Opeth's Mickael Akerfeldt adds additional backing vocals as well. There is so much going on at a time! It really has taught me a lot as a guitarist the importance of harmonies and depth that can really be unlocked. I would encourage all musicians to listen to this album to get a feel for the depth that can be present in music.
Report this review (#937520)
Posted Sunday, March 31, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars One evening in early 2007 I was trawling my favourite computer gaming forum and a thread popped up regarding 'night driving songs'. Specifically, members were prompted to list their favourite with this particular theme. One of the answers was "Open Car" by Porcupine Tree.

For some reason that I will never understand, I glossed over Deadwing on its release in 2005. I did hear "Open Car" and "Arriving Somewhere" and loved them. And then? Who knows, but the album slipped out of my consciousness, and it wasn't until this moment a couple of years later that thought to check it out again, this time in earnest.

I was rewarded with, what I believe, is one of the Tree's best albums. At the top, the title track signals a heavier edge to the music than previous PT works, with hard rock riffing verging on metal. It's a nice change and Steven Wilson proves he's adequately equipped to concoct tracks in this style. "Deadwing" features some great lead guitar and a nice transition to an ethereal breakdown before sending the track out with more hard rock and squealing guitar.

"Shallow" is dominated by the catchy Drop D opening riff. It's an instantly likeable and memorable track gives more than a nod to mainstream hard rock. "Lazarus" sounds even more mainstream, but is eloquently formulated and also likeable.

"Halo" is a groovy, toe-tapping number with a great vocal hook. The engine room of Colin Edwin and Gavin Harrison drive much of the track with Wilson chiming in to offer some chugging power chords and a smattering of his trademark lead guitar.

Although that anonymous forum member once touted "Open Car" as a great night driving song, I have to say that track 5, "Arriving Somewhere But Not Here" stakes an even greater claim in this category. Maybe those incredibly evocative initial lyrics are to blame: "Never stop the car on a drive in the dark". With those words and the gorgeous opening riff chiming in the background, I'm instantly transported to a dark highway, no matter the time of day or night. And so begins what I believe is PTs best track. An epic, sweeping monster of a song, featuring an amazing texture of words and music spread across 12 captivating minutes. A song about striving toward a goal and getting lost along the way. How, no matter what we do to plan ahead, sometimes life throws us a curveball. We need to drop everything and start again.

As a songwriter, I'm just in awe of the majesty of this track. It's really that good.

The aforementioned "Open Car" is yet another heavy, riffing track with a stilted, staccato lyrical delivery that matches the rhythm of the guitar. It's very effectively done, and provides a nice contrast with the clean, melodic bridge. The chorus is once again beautifully evocative with lines such as "Hair blowing in an open car, Summer dress slips down your arm".

I will also mention the newer version of "Shesmovedon" as a bonus track. It improves on the original markedly, with more bite and texture from the guitar in particular. I've never been a huge wah pedal guy, but this track makes me want to go and stamp my foot on one every time I hear it.

Overall this certainly ranks in my top two Porcupine Tree releases. If you've never driven down the highway at night with "Arriving Somewhere But Not Here" blaring out your car speakers at full volume, you're missing out on the best life has to offer. And yes, with a claim that grandiose, my tongue is firmly planted in my cheek. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't go ahead and try it.

Report this review (#955618)
Posted Tuesday, May 7, 2013 | Review Permalink
4 stars The scratching of a mellotron It always seemed to make her cry.

Porcupine Tree has been changing through their albums, but never completely shedding its initial roots. That is, by attaching a lot of ingredients with good taste, without losing the essence and identity.

In Deadwing the result is largely positive. Perhaps this is the most musical contrasts wields, but controlled variety. The guitars are effective and never strident, never losing sight of the importance of the melodies. The story told is interesting and imaginative.

Despite the obvious comparisons and influences, the album sounds fresh and modern. The metalheads probably acclaim as his best, actually had very good sales. However, it is still meaningful and emotional, concluding with two space and passionate songs.

Expendable tracks: Halo, Shallow.

Report this review (#996367)
Posted Thursday, July 11, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars I have heard this album a thousand times, and from the first listen, I have loved the guts right out of this album. If ever there was an essential masterpiece of prog recorded in the new century, this is it. Hard, heavy, dark and beautiful, flowing, amazing....the strength in this album is in the dynamics all through the album and that is what I love so much about it....a masterpiece of dynamics. From the sudden crash of guitars after the electronic opening in the first track to the crazy guitar solo at the end of "Shesmovedon" there is no weakness or filler here....this is one solid chunk of progressive awesomeness.

Ok, so some of you might think I'm going overboard here....but face it, Steven Wilson is the current god of progressive rock and he saves his best works for Porcupine Tree and lately for his own solo albums. Each song on this album is well written. Each note in it's proper place, yet it plays through without any forced emotion or sound. It is so tempting to do a track by track analysis, but I usually avoid that and it's been done a thousand times here already. Just let it be said that the heavy passages blow me away everytime and the softer or mid tempo songs just flow beautifully. Just listen to the way on "Deadwing" when it comes to the long instrumental bridge, how it lulls you back into a hypnotic somewhat hypnotic pulse and suddenly the craziest guitar solo comes along out of nowhere accented by incredible percussive smacks and blasts you out of your chair. When you think you are safe from that first track, along comes another even heavier song "Shallow" and by the end of it your pulse is racing. Suddenly, out of nowhere, the beauty of the amazing song "Lazarus" pulls you down to earth again and the emotion of all these moods just almost overwhelms you to the point of tears.

Next the dark heavy rocker "Halo" talks about the dark side of self-righteousness. Again the instrumental break is crazy, a roller coaster of crazy guitar interspersed with quieter yet still heavy percussion and bass. Then when the vocals start again, a piano is driving the song forward and you just sit there wondering where did that come from?

"Arriving Somewhere But Not Here" first song I ever heard by Porcupine Tree. What a masterpiece this song is. Everytime it gives my shivers the way it lulls you into what almost seems an uneasy calm, builds up the way it does, but when that explosion hits in the instrumental bridge, you find out that somewhere along the way things went completely out of control and all you want to do is push it faster and faster until you find out you have entered into black metal territory for a few minutes and you are loving it, but suddenly you emerge from the tunnel, still traveling just as fast. I can't tell you better than that what an amazing song this is. Of course, the first time I head it, I was sold. Suddenly, I could not get enough Porcupine Tree and I now know everyone of their albums and most of SW's other projects as well.

So, I started doing a track by track analysis anyway. I was afraid of that. But this music takes a hold of me every time. The rest of the album is just as good and maybe some of you need a little more time to get it, but to me it is pure music heaven. Just the right touch of hard, heavy and soft and beautiful. It's perfect! And it's a masterpiece! 5 major stars!!!!!

Report this review (#1324638)
Posted Monday, December 15, 2014 | Review Permalink
5 stars After the success of the previous album 'In Absentia', which was pretty consistently prog metal instead of the previous albums having a few metal songs here and there, Porcupine Tree decided to maintain the heaviness but Deadwing features a more alt metal-twinged sound in my opinion.

Deadwing opens up with the title track, which sets the pace of the album really well. Many well-performed transitions between heavy crunching riffs and mellower passages take place here. Unlike the previous album, Deadwing featured two singles that were pretty successful on modern rock radio; The heavy 'Shallow' and the ballad 'Lazarus'. 'Shallow' is one of my favorites on the album, with great heavy-soft transitions, an awesome Tool- like chorus, and a crazy bridge with tons of distortion. The concert-staple 'Halo' is another one of my favorites with a kick-ass bass-line by Edwin. Probably my favorite song on the album is the Tool-esque 'Open Car', which has some great riffing.

Of course I can't forget the epic 'Arriving Somewhere...but not Here', which has very beautiful lyrics and an awesome build up for some great guitar work. Also featured on certain editions of the album is a re-recording of the classic 'Shesmovedon' from 'Lightbulb Sun'. I actually prefer this version of the song to the original, it sounds cleaner and the production sounds better.

The lyrics on the album are very strong, 'Halo' having some of the best on the album. The lyrics of the aforementioned song are about using religion as an excuse to do cruel things and wage war, with such lyrics as 'God gives meaning, God gives pain' and 'I got a halo round me, I got a halo round me I'm not the same as you'. There have been plans for a movie based around Deadwing, not sure how that will turn out but it could be interesting.

Overall, Another Porcupine Tree masterpiece. I recommend this album to any fan of progressive metal or alternative metal. Porcupine Tree would come back two years later with one of their most critically acclaimed albums and rightfully so.

(Originally written for

Report this review (#1351913)
Posted Saturday, January 24, 2015 | Review Permalink
4 stars Porcupine Tree have certainly gone through an interesting stylistic evolution over the years, but what's always been fascinating is that each shift is more like an extension of their previous eras. Think about it: Their first era was almost entirely built on psychedelic rock, albums like Stupid Dream and Lightbulb Sun are primarily alternative rock but contain elements of psychedelic rock, and everything after that has been progressive metal with elements of alternative rock and psychedelic rock. While Porcupine Tree are on hiatus right now, it would be interesting to see what they come up with next to add to their current range of genres if they do come back. But, like many fans of the band, I believe that the 2000s (barring The Incident) is the decade that holds their best work and their most natural evolution: the aforementioned shift to progressive metal. We still have the layered and beautiful soundscapes in abundance, but the band's songwriting got a lot tighter and gained a lot more direction... along with some wonderfully heavy and crunchy riffs to boot. So, with frontman Steven Wilson hard at work with his solo career at the moment, I think now is a good time to revisit the first Porcupine Tree album that hit the Billboard charts and reached a larger audience: Deadwing.

A lot of the songwriting elements that made In Absentia such a fan favorite are still here in spades, but there's a bit more emphasis on metal here than on their previous records. "Shallow," "Halo," and "Open Car" are all songs that one could imagine getting airplay on alternative metal radio stations; hell, "Shallow" actually made its way into the action movie Four Brothers! But despite the presence of intense and almost grungy riffing, the same old Porcupine Tree we all know and love is still on this record. Even the heavier songs have softer and more atmospheric portions to even them out, such as the beautiful piano-driven pre-choruses of "Shallow" or the drumless outro of "Open Car" which features some nice harmonized vocals from Wilson. Speaking of "piano-driven," Richard Barbieri was really given the chance to shine on Deadwing. He was always widely regarded as a great keyboardist, especially when he was in the new wave band Japan, but he was often reduced to just providing background atmosphere with his layered effects and sampling. But here, there's much more of a balance as tracks such as "Lazarus" and "Start of Something Beautiful" (mainly the second half of the latter) showcase much more traditional piano playing in which Barbieri displays his virtuosity a bit more. Bassist Colin Edwin and drummer Gavin Harrison are fantastic as usual, providing a very solid and proficient rhythm section for Wilson to work with.

But, as always, the compositions are what makes it all come together. This might not be the best Porcupine Tree album ever, but it might just have the best balance in terms of dynamics and track placement. What makes Deadwing so accessible and fun to listen to is just the sheer range of song lengths and ideas flying around. It may seem weird mentioning the song lengths, but to go from the shorter, punchier, (presumably) religion- bashing and tongue-in-cheek alternative metal of "Halo" to such a powerful and emotional epic like "Arriving Somewhere but Not Here" is just a taste of what makes Deadwing work so well. The way the more hard-hitting and the more emotionally resonant pieces come together makes this both a thrillingly energetic experience and an intriguing one. The title track and "Shallow" work in very much the same way, with a more long-winded and dramatic song rife with progressive passages paving the way for possibly the most distorted and brutal song Porcupine Tree have ever released. But the quality also lies in the songwriting of the individual tracks too, of course. Despite the seemingly simplistic nature of the music compared to other contemporary (or even classic, for that matter) progressive rock bands, there are a lot of little intricacies that drive each song. Songs like "Glass Arm Shattering" and "Start of Something Beautiful" don't feature ridiculous amounts of instrumental virtuosity, but instead use the band members' talents for a more layered experience featuring a heavy amount of atmosphere and dynamic subtlety. The same goes for "Arriving Somewhere but Not Here," whose strength is how well it builds up to its very heavy metal-oriented payoff with beautiful space rock-esque soundscapes and one of Wilson's strongest and most emotional vocal performances.

Balance is what makes Deadwing so complete and fulfilling. It's both highly accessible and moderately challenging, technically proficient but also economical in its instrumentation, as well as soft and delicate while also tending to be crushingly heavy at moments. if it weren't for the slightly boring and uneventful ballad "Mellotron Scratch," this would most certainly be the strongest record in the Porcupine Tree discography, even edging out albums such as Signify and Lightbulb Sun. But it's still fantastic, and between the varied songwriting and consistently well-executed instrumental work, it stands as one of Porcupine Tree's finest hours.

Recommended Tracks ---------------------------------------------- Arriving Somewhere but Not Here Shallow Deadwing Start of Something Beautiful

(Originally published on Sputnikmusic)

Report this review (#1445704)
Posted Tuesday, July 28, 2015 | Review Permalink
5 stars Such a beautiful album, I've heard it countless times...

Let's face it! This is one of the best modern prog albums put out to date, top music written by none other than the talented himself mr. Steven Wilson, which everyone knows, it's one of the main prog heads of this universe.

What can you ask more, when you have a album that is melancholic,dark,heavy,melodic,soothing,wonderful and calm all in one pack jammed together? Seems unreal, but its Deadwing. A brilliant album, it makes me happy that music like this exist. The creativity on this album is off the charts, which is already to be quite expected from Steven Wilson, but I think that its the greatness of making so many different records with so different characteristics from each other thats makes every single of them standout. Highlights: "Arriving somewhere but not here" is clearly, the masterpiece of the album which you should check out, but I also reccomend some heavy and fast paced songs like: "Deadwing" (amazing adrenaline to start up a album) "Shallow" and "Open car" and last but not least "Lazarus" which is the most beautiful track in the album and perhaps the most beautiful song Porcupine Tree has made. The album, is clearly more enjoyable if you listen to it as a whole, in the correct order, which is what I always do, but there goes my highlights anyway, just in case you just want a small touch of it first.

Rating: 5 stars: A masterpiece of progressive rock.

This is not hard for me to rate, as I do feel that the rating for "Deadwing" here is way lower than it really should be, any 3 or less stars reviews for this album are meaningless.

Report this review (#1586198)
Posted Saturday, July 9, 2016 | Review Permalink

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