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DEADWING

Porcupine Tree

Heavy Prog


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Porcupine Tree Deadwing album cover
4.08 | 1416 ratings | 198 reviews | 43% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


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Studio Album, released in 2005

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Deadwing (9:46)
2. Shallow (4:17)
3. Lazarus (4:18)
4. Halo (4:38)
5. Arriving Somewhere But Not Here (12:02)
6. Mellotron Scratch (6:56)
7. Open Car (3:46)
8. The Start Of Something Beautiful (7:39)
9. Glass Arm Shattering (6:12)

Total Time: 59:34

Bonus track on American release:
10. Shesmovedon (2005 Re-recording) (5:00)

Lyrics

Search PORCUPINE TREE Deadwing lyrics

Music tabs (tablatures)

Search PORCUPINE TREE Deadwing tabs

Line-up / Musicians

- Steven Wilson / vocals, guitar, piano, bass, keyboards, hammered dulcimer
- Richard Barbieri / keyboards, synthesizers
- Colin Edwin / bass
- Gavin Harrison / drums & percussion

Guest musicians:
- Mikael ┼kerfeldt (OPETH) / guitar, vocals
- Adrian Belew (KING CRIMSON) / guitar

Releases information

CD Lava Records (93812-2) UK (2005)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to progkidjoel for the last updates
Edit this entry

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PORCUPINE TREE Deadwing ratings distribution


4.08
(1416 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(43%)
43%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(39%)
39%
Good, but non-essential (12%)
12%
Collectors/fans only (4%)
4%
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)
1%

PORCUPINE TREE Deadwing reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by hdfisch
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Send comments to hdfisch (BETA) | Report this review (#34353) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, March 17, 2005

Review by FishyMonkey
PROG REVIEWER
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

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Send comments to FishyMonkey (BETA) | Report this review (#34410) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, May 19, 2005

Review by Menswear
PROG REVIEWER
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, Lazarus...it's time for you to go."

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Send comments to Menswear (BETA) | Report this review (#35933) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, June 09, 2005

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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

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Send comments to Gatot (BETA) | Report this review (#35943) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, June 10, 2005

Review by MikeEnRegalia
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.

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Send comments to MikeEnRegalia (BETA) | Report this review (#35959) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, June 10, 2005

Review by maani
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.

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Send comments to maani (BETA) | Report this review (#36392) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, June 13, 2005

Review by King of Loss
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Review by Zitro
PROG REVIEWER
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-

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Posted Saturday, August 13, 2005

Review by evenless
PROG REVIEWER
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!

GET OUT THERE AND GET THIS ALBUM!

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!

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Posted Saturday, August 27, 2005

Review by TRoTZ
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Friday, October 14, 2005

Review by frenchie
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Saturday, October 22, 2005

Review by Marc Baum
PROG REVIEWER
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

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Send comments to Marc Baum (BETA) | Report this review (#54508) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, November 03, 2005

Review by Vanwarp
PROG REVIEWER
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: http://www.porcupinetree.com/

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!

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Send comments to Vanwarp (BETA) | Report this review (#64450) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, January 12, 2006

Review by richardh
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Monday, February 20, 2006

Review by Melomaniac
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Review by Rivertree
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Psych/Space 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.

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Posted Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Review by Australian
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Sunday, July 30, 2006

Review by OpethGuitarist
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Thursday, August 03, 2006

Review by Tristan Mulders
PROG REVIEWER
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 ─kerfeldt (OPETH) is hear playing an amazing, yet slow, guitar solo over a background that's basically a minimalist drum pattern.

─kerfeldt is not the only guest musician on this album by the way. Alongside him is featured Adrian Belew (KING CRIMSON) on guitar. Whereas ─kerfeldt 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.

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Posted Monday, August 21, 2006

Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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 ;-)

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Posted Thursday, September 28, 2006

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Saturday, October 14, 2006

Review by chessman
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Saturday, October 21, 2006

Review by Chicapah
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.

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Posted Thursday, December 14, 2006

Review by Chris H
PROG REVIEWER
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!

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Posted Friday, January 19, 2007

Review by Fight Club
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Sunday, March 11, 2007

Review by Heptade
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Review by obiter
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Saturday, April 28, 2007

Review by Dim
PROG REVIEWER
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

3stars

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Posted Friday, July 20, 2007

Review by 1800iareyay
PROG REVIEWER
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

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Posted Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.

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Posted Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Review by Queen By-Tor
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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!

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Posted Thursday, August 16, 2007

Review by sleeper
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Monday, August 20, 2007

Review by sean
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Sunday, September 23, 2007

Review by ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars FROM SPACE-ROCK TO HEAVY-METAL

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.

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Posted Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Review by Prog Leviathan
PROG REVIEWER
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

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Posted Thursday, November 08, 2007

Review by Nightfly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
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.

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Posted Saturday, November 10, 2007

Review by russellk
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Saturday, December 01, 2007

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.

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Posted Sunday, December 16, 2007

Review by progrules
PROG REVIEWER
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).

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Posted Monday, January 21, 2008

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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

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Posted Monday, February 11, 2008

Review by The Crow
PROG REVIEWER
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 opiniˇn, 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 opiniˇn 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 opiniˇn, 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.

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Posted Sunday, March 30, 2008

Review by ProgBagel
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Sunday, April 13, 2008

Review by LiquidEternity
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Thursday, April 24, 2008

Review by Starette
PROG REVIEWER
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 (et.al) 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!

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Posted Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Review by The Prognaut
PROG REVIEWER
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 ┼KERFELDT 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 ┼KERFELDT 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!

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Posted Friday, July 25, 2008

Review by Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.

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Posted Thursday, December 11, 2008

Review by Conor Fynes
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Send comments to Conor Fynes (BETA) | Report this review (#205800) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, March 08, 2009

Review by The Sleepwalker
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Send comments to The Sleepwalker (BETA) | Report this review (#228187) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, July 24, 2009

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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 ┼kerfeldt ( 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.

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Send comments to UMUR (BETA) | Report this review (#235147) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.

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Send comments to Bonnek (BETA) | Report this review (#236620) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, September 03, 2009

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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!

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Send comments to AtomicCrimsonRush (BETA) | Report this review (#247893) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, November 02, 2009

Review by jampa17
PROG REVIEWER
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...

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Send comments to jampa17 (BETA) | Report this review (#251483) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Review by Sinusoid
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Monday, July 26, 2010

Review by Flucktrot
PROG REVIEWER
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 break...it'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!

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Send comments to Flucktrot (BETA) | Report this review (#313211) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, November 11, 2010

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#674316) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, March 22, 2012

Latest members reviews

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#996367) | Posted by sinslice | Thursday, July 11, 2013 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#955618) | Posted by bonestorm | Tuesday, May 07, 2013 | Review Permanlink

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 ti ... (read more)

Report this review (#937520) | Posted by almostreal | Sunday, March 31, 2013 | Review Permanlink

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 ┼kerfeldt of Opeth and Adrian Belew of King Crimson and the Talking Heads. The extended cuts are, to me, the best ones o ... (read more)

Report this review (#912618) | Posted by wehpanzer | Monday, February 11, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 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 a ... (read more)

Report this review (#860443) | Posted by Mr. Mustard | Friday, November 16, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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 giv ... (read more)

Report this review (#746921) | Posted by lorenzo93 | Monday, April 30, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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 capti ... (read more)

Report this review (#476046) | Posted by sv_godspeed | Tuesday, July 05, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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 a ... (read more)

Report this review (#459224) | Posted by voliveira | Saturday, June 11, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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 hear ... (read more)

Report this review (#428824) | Posted by blueavenger | Friday, April 08, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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. Imme ... (read more)

Report this review (#372252) | Posted by thesleeper72 | Monday, January 03, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#306695) | Posted by Progfan1958 | Tuesday, October 26, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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 sa ... (read more)

Report this review (#299664) | Posted by Prog_Traveller | Saturday, September 18, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#297283) | Posted by mohaveman | Friday, September 03, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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 a ... (read more)

Report this review (#295154) | Posted by DisgruntledPorcupine | Wednesday, August 18, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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 precedi ... (read more)

Report this review (#285960) | Posted by deathlifereborn | Friday, June 11, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#285175) | Posted by Crawlution | Saturday, June 05, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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 wi ... (read more)

Report this review (#280934) | Posted by sussexbowler | Saturday, May 08, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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 B ... (read more)

Report this review (#255784) | Posted by Mitch17 | Saturday, December 12, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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 a ... (read more)

Report this review (#251717) | Posted by phantom banana | Thursday, November 19, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#250153) | Posted by Abyssal Sheep | Thursday, November 12, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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