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Porcupine Tree

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Porcupine Tree Closure/Continuation album cover
3.88 | 377 ratings | 25 reviews | 31% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2022

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Harridan (8:08)
2. Of the New Day (4:43)
3. Rats Return (5:40)
4. Dignity (8:22)
5. Herd Culling (7:03)
6. Walk the Plank (4:27)
7. Chimera's Wreck (9:39)

Total Time 48:02

Bonus tracks from deluxe editions:
8. Population Three (6:52)
9. Never Have (5:08)
10. Love in the Past Tense (5:50) *

* not on 3LP deluxe edition

Line-up / Musicians

- Steven Wilson / vocals, guitars, bass, mixing
- Richard Barbieri / keyboards, synthesizers, sound processing
- Gavin Harrison / drums & percussion, drum mixing

- Lisen Rylander Löve / voice sample (4)
- Suzanne Barbieri / voice sample (4)

Releases information

Label: Music for Nations / Sony
Format: Vinyl, CD, Cassette, Digital
June 24, 2022

Available as a standard CD / double vinyl / colored vinyl or limited cassette. The deluxe LP version comes on audiophile approved crystal clear vinyl as a 3xLP 45rpm boxset with two bonus tracks; the deluxe CD & Blu-Ray boxset comes with three bonus tracks, instrumental versions, and high resolution 96/24 stereo, 5.1 and Dolby Atmos versions of the album, all housed in an exclusive art book.

Thanks to carbonbazed for the addition
and to Heart of the Matter & NotAProghead for the last updates
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PORCUPINE TREE Closure/Continuation ratings distribution

(377 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(31%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(42%)
Good, but non-essential (20%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

PORCUPINE TREE Closure/Continuation reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Second Life Syndrome
3 stars Originally written for

Let me start this review by making it very clear that I've never been a huge fan of Porcupine Tree. I respect their discography, which I listened through a couple years ago in full (at least the studio albums), and I like a bunch of their records. I can't say that I "love" any of their work, though. None of it means something to me on a deep level, not like many other bands who have literally changed my life. So when I approach this Porcupine Tree reunion and their new album Closure/Continuation, I may have a different perspective than most. The album releases on June 24.

Porcupine Tree are the granddaddies of modern progressive rock, the kind with the alternative edge specifically. Listening to their discography, though, you will notice that they started life as something far more Floydian and psychedelic, perhaps even a little shoegaze and ambient. I really appreciate those early albums, like Up the Downstair and The Sky Moves Sideways. That, for me, is still their most interesting sound. As the years went on, they incorporated more pop and alternative into their sound, exploding with popularity with albums like In Absentia and Deadwing in the 00s. The Incident initially ended their career in 2009 with a good, though relatively harmless record that I still listen to occasionally.

My primary question going into Closure/Continuation concerned what sort of sound we would get. Would they revisit any of their earlier styles? Or would this be a rehash of their 00's efforts? The answer is definitely the latter. Closure/Continuation is solidly in Deadwing and Fear of a Blank Planet territory. It doesn't even have the electronic edge that The Incident possessed, so in a way it is a regression in their sound. Some of the songs here actually sound similar to Steven Wilson's Hand.Cannot.Erase. record, minus the hefty emotions and fantastic work of Ninet Tayeb. So, while this record does sound slightly more modern than, say, Deadwing; it still features the start/stop guitar trappings and pulsating bass of that era.

I have some good things to say about this album, and also some not so good. Let's go with the bad stuff first this time. My problem with Closure/Continuation is that it is about as vanilla an album as this band has ever made. Looking back over the vast creativity of their discography, I see albums like Signify and Stupid Dream that were quirky, creamy, and interesting affairs. Other albums, like their 00s output, were emotional and truly affected me with the stories they told. I don't get that here. This album is overall pretty dull. The label sent the lyrics with the promo, but I haven't cared to examine them because they just aren't that interesting. This is really strange, too, because even Wilson's solo albums have wonderful lyrics and concepts.

This vanilla attitude extends to the music. It goes without saying that these three musicians --- Steven Wilson (vocals, guitars, bass, mixing), Richard Barbieri (keyboards, synthesizers), and Gavin Harrison (drums) --- are all legends on their respective instruments. Steven's guitars are surprisingly heavy at times, and his bass lines are engaging, too. Richard is stronger in the softer moments with his keys; and, of course, Gavin is one of the best drummers of all time (unless he's playing with The Pineapple Thief). No one can fault them for how they play on this record, and the mix, too, is absolutely immaculate. So why is it that I can barely bring myself to care about the songs on this album?

It's not just a lack of genre diversity or eccentric post-production, the songs on this album are simply arranged and structured in some very boring ways. They sound almost too perfect in the stalest sort of fashion. It's almost like these were the leftovers from several albums, and they decided to work on them minimally and release them as the fabled and long-awaited return of the great Porcupine Tree. There is no depth here. There is no layering or progression in sound. This isn't a "grower" of an album, either, as I've had it for months now. No, this album just sort of exists; you hear it, you might bob your head sometimes, and you might even perk up at some great musicianship once in a while. What you won't do, however, is remember much about it.

I have to admit that the second half of this album annoys the living hell out of me. Now, the first half is actually pretty good. I like the single "Harridan" for its great guitars and catchiness, and I like the shift to a softer approach on "Of the New Day". I really, really like the song "Rats Return", a song that flirts with the idea of being vicious and creepy: that song is definitely the most memorable overall. I also appreciate "Dignity", as it is beautiful, though it feels twice as long as it is.

But the second half, it just irritates me. "Herd Culling" is an awful song with an intensely irritating vocal performance from Steven --- and this is coming from someone who enjoys his falsetto. "Chimera's Wreck" is another irksome song with Steven's attempt at a playful little vocal rhythm, but it just makes me want to plug my ears. It is only 9 minutes long, but it feels like fifteen. I don't know why, but the second half of the album also feels mixed to be harsher and shriller, even thinner overall. The result is that these songs truly lack range or depth, and I just want them to be done. That goes for "Walk the Plank", as well.

One exception is the song "Never Have", one of the three bonus tracks. While I wouldn't say it is as good as anything in the first half, it is a smoother, lovelier song with some soulful vocals. I do find myself humming that one. "Love in the Past Tense" isn't too bad, either. I do feel that it ends on an anticlimactic note, but as a Porcupine Tree song it is fine: not good or great, but fine. "Population Three" is another grating track that belongs with "Chimera's Wreak', in my opinion.

I apologize if this review has seemed like more of a rant. I had high hopes for this album. I, for one, liked most of Steven's solo output: it was fresh and creative and diverse. I also like Richard's solo output, such as his excellent 2017 record Planets + Persona. Gavin, well, I've harped on the snoozefest that his work with The Pineapple Thief has been; but when he is on fire, there is no one else like him. What went wrong, then? I don't actually blame any of these three. I blame the wailing online fanboys who begged for PT to return, even if that meant these three musicians would have to shut off the most creative side of themselves to make it happen. This feels exactly like what you would expect from a forced reunion by three disinterested artists. In some ways, it seems like the progressive rock community has, in general, left them behind whilst they were gone from the scene.

Look, if you are a massive Porcupine Tree fan, you will like this record. Closure/Continuation will give you just enough of the good ol' days to please you for a few months, maybe. I doubt most fans will listen to it long term, though, as everything here has been done before in other PT records. If someone is just now discovering the band, they might not continue to explore their past albums, though. It just doesn't have the heart or personality of their earlier works, and it certainly isn't as interesting as countless other albums by "smaller" bands right now. So, sure, we can pay tribute to one of the bands that carried the prog torch, so to speak, but I'm not the kind of person to blow smoke up their asses to make them feel good about what they are creating now. This is a subpar album, pure and simple, and I daresay they know that.

Review by Dapper~Blueberries
4 stars In the 90s, Prog rock was in their sorta Wild West days. The 70s was the Renaissance, the 80s was the age of uncertainty, but the 90s really was a new starting ground for artists. Many hit the scene, mostly Prog metal bands but others liked to take it like how it was back in the 70s. It was a time where old pillars that were King Crimson, Genesis, Yes, ELP, and Pink Floyd subsided down to old stones of their former glories, new pillars rose from the earth to bring new legends into light for a new generation of Prog fans to love and appreciate, which still continues to today, albeit with newer and bigger names coming into the swing of things. In this time everything was a time of exploration of new ideas and new concepts. Prog Metal made sure to continue the legacy older bands left behind, Retro Prog bands decided to celebrate the past, Neo Prog groups made adjustments and combinations to the genre with new musical movements going around like grunge and indie rock, but some?some decided to get weird. One such band was Porcupine Tree.

Porcupine Tree is unlike most bands during the time. They were trippy yet heavy, almost depressing, but they had a sorta colorful aura around them. They had a strange mix of psychedelia and heavy metal instrumentation and impressive singing on Steven Wilson's part. Each album they seem to evolve their style, soon ditching their psychedelic routes to a more metal sound, obviously not backing down on making their songs feel almost trippy, but not in a dreamy sense, but as if it were a weird limboing nightmare. Classics like Lightbulb Sun, Deadwing, and Fear Of A Blank Planet pushed the band to higher focus in the public's eyes and they soon became one of the top dogs in the modern Prog greats. However after 2009 with the release of The Incident and 2 live albums, they just stopped, and went on hiatus with Steven Wilson pursuing his solo career with good to mixed results. That was when they started to lose interest with many Prog fans, they simply did not know or if their favorite weird heavy band would show up again with something new, so they looked towards newer acts that were sprouting up and gaining some serious popularity. However loyal fans waited, knowing one day their favorite boys will come back together to make one more brand new work of art for everyone to love. 13 years later after the release of The Incident, the wishes and surprises of everyone came about with an announcement that Porcupine Tree would come back with a new album, titled Closure / Continuation, which was revealed to be the potential last album the band would produce.

A surprise but definitely to be expected due to the band's history of things not working to well, however bands before it wasn't a surprise to see giants rest after long years of pulling their weight, in fact just this year the magnum giant, Genesis, had done their last show due to the health of Phil Collins, so while bittersweet, Porcupine Tree possibly ending too wouldn't be to bad due to their long track of good albums that some may consider to be modern day classics. So I decided on my own behalf that I shall review this new release from the band. So will Porcupine Tree end with a whimper, a bang, or maybe something else?

The album begins with a pretty well known and great single, Harridan. Not only is this song dark sounding, yet goes to the point where it almost feels like a reminiscent song of the past, like the band traveled back in time to the 90s and found their psychedelic former selves and recorded a song with them. The main riff is almost wooden like, yet has a potent feeling that makes you feel like your ears are being slammed shut by splintered jesters from the woods. While the word harridan refers to a bossy old woman, the song instead reflects upon a 'gold man' and a 'cold man' who seems to be missing someone or something, despite their hardships. In the factoid of this song, it may be about dealing with loss of a loved one who for years you had a love/hate relationship with, but after they left this mortal coil, you realize how much you missed them by your side. It showcases Steven Wilson's subtle yet very depressing lyricism that never bogs the song down to a shell of sadness, but rather a wailing, soulful body.

And as Harridan ends with a soulful acoustic, the next song, Of The New Day relishes in the feelings Harridan spent exploring. Of The New Day not only makes due with the ideas previously, but full on dives into those feelings of loss, but also explores the feelings of change. While Porcupine Tree loves to dive deep into the psyche with inconsolable lyrics, it isn't uncommon to see them step back and showcase a sunnier side to the band, one that tells you that despite the hardships, the good times will come around. It feels raw and unfiltered. The entire flow of the song may be a little pop like though, with a clear structure that seems to be stretching a bit to the mainstream, but that is merely my only minor complaint on the song, and it doesn't damper its greatness.

After the heartfelt ballad, Rats Return brings back those itchy feelings Harridan smacked us with at the start and makes sure to double up those sentiments with an almost djent feel of metal. The main riff is super hard hitting and rhythmic, almost like if someone turned a drum into a guitar and played it with a box of nails. It's hauntingly, but brilliantly done. But like the previous song, I can definitely feel an almost pop-like sentimental feel of this song. While I would not say it dampers anything really, I cannot deny that this is turning out to be one of the more accessible Porcupine Tree albums, heck more so than In Absentia or Stupid Dream. Again, not a bad thing, if anything I am more or less praising the band for going a little out of the Prog sphere and trying to hit a mark for mainstream audiences, but at the same time this is the band that gave us The Sky Moves Sideways Phase 2 and Anesthetize. I feel like they can be a tiny bit more bold for what may be their last album. That tangent aside, this song is positively, nail bitingly great and possibly my favorite song off this album by a large margin, and it's all thanks to that amazing riffage of Steven Wilson's guitar. The lyrics are also not half bad, though it does strip away from the more relatable and personal qualities of the last two songs, which is a shame, but even then it still isn't that bad when you get down to the nitty gritty of things.

After something so spookily great, we get into Dignity. Think of this as a combination of the psyche of their early years and the acoustic ballad of Of The New Day came together to form a completely new work of art. It almost gives me some vibes to their first album, On The Sunday of Life, specifically Radioactive Toy. It certainly feels nostalgic, like going back in time to a period I never experienced but always scrutinizingly wondering about. In fact it almost seems like the whole concept of this song is nostalgic memories with symbolism of a boy being bullied at school and parties but still having a sense of pride in him, which in turn goes into the meaning of dignity. It is a song that explores what dignity truly means and shows that one should be prideful of themself, but too much pride can turn to delusions of oneself and they may find themselves in a position that can only be described as a messiah complex. While the song itself isn't heavy instrumentally, the themes in the lyrics truly set it apart as not only a great Porcupine Tree melody, but also one that is almost poetic. A nostalgic song for a time lost ago.

Afterwards we get into another single from the album, in fact the junior third single of the album (the second one being Of The New Day and the last and also fourth one being Rats Return). Herd Culling feels like they are rekindling the sparks from their early 2000s days, going for heavy yet spacey riffs and crescendos. If I may break kayfabe for a moment, this album definitely has a good balance of songs so far, however they feel a little lacking in the original sound scope. I do feel like if you attached these songs to any album from probably a good margin of the band's discography, bar a few albums like Voyage 34. Now I do think this could be a bad thing looking at it critically. Not only does it create a sense of 'living in the past' so to speak for the band, but it also makes these songs feel less than thou in grand scope against a ton of the band's work. HOWEVER, I do believe that this could be possibly the best introduction to the band's work, with each song representing their evolved styles through the years. Heavier songs show the band's Metal focused songs while there are also softer, more experimental and weirder songs that show the band's earliest routes. It is definitely a wonky balancing act, but I do think that this may be the best fit for anyone who wants to get into this really great band, so I applaud them for taking minor strokes to showcase their broader ones.

No Porcupine Tree album isn't complete without a little weirdness, in fact this album has plenty of it, but even so Walk The Plank definitely shows a far out version of Steven Wilson's general style. Going for a little bit more of an Electronic and cool synthy industrial vibe, this song feels both chill in instrumentation, but cold in the vocal harmonies, but to its benefit. The vocals perfectly contrast with the lyrics of dead men being hung and people being thrown off ships, almost like a depressed ghost is singing about their last moments of their life to you. It's super surreal and weird, and I am all for it. It perfectly encapsulates the elation Porcupine Tree usually gives me as a band. Too bright to be gloomy, yet too dark to be happy. An almost perfect Yin and Yang of feelings.

The ending to this work comes as Chimera's Wreck. What a great way to close this album, combining every aspect of each song's tones and feelings to create not only a good closure for the album, but possibly for the band as a whole. Instruments are tightly knit around in multiple themes and structures, but still encapsulates what makes this whole experience work well. It also is long enough for you to reflect on your own feelings on this album while still jamming out to some great tunes. I'll say this, no matter the faults the band has, they are still one that I am glad I spent my time listening to, and I am glad they lived up well in both pop and Prog culture alike, so this closure being as good as it is makes me happy to be a Porcupine Tree fan.

I do have problems with this album. It feels stuck in the past, it's a tad accessible for my liking, and some of the song lyrics are not that interesting to the entire whole of the album, but if you look past that, you'll find a great album waiting to be listened to. If this is how the band will go out studio wise, then I am very accepting of this effort, and I cannot deny that this work of art not only exceeded my expectations, but also delivered on a ton of fronts. I bet if I genuinely enjoyed this album, so can you.

Review by aapatsos
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Published simultaneously at

These sounds were missing for many years from our speakers. The direct riffs, the experimentation with funk, the sounds of Tool and Opeth and the nostalgic references of the 70s through the filter of alt prog, which Porcupine Tree helped establish, all sound pleasant to my ears; the recent solo albums by Steve Wilson could not, for various reasons, fill the gap. The Wilson/Barbieri/Harrison trio seem to have worked a lot on these compositions through the years, sounding very mature. The sequence of the songs reminds me of a peaky sine wave (dynamic to mellow and vice versa) and helps consume the album fairly quickly. The elements of surprise but also cohesion are somewhat missing (the sum of parts seems far greater than the whole) and thus this work is unlikely to be mentioned as one of their top moments. The electronic experimentations in Walk the Plank and the peak achieved during the inspired, epic, Chimera's Wreck are not enough to achieve this. Maybe this is not needed for now, perhaps the mature return is enough to satisfy our curiosity (until next time) and it certainly does not take anything away from the group's legacy.

Review by LearsFool
4 stars It's rare for a long awaited, long delayed, or long lost work of art - in any medium - to live up to even a significant fraction of the kind of hype and hope that inevitably surrounds them. Reunions like that of the groundbreaking and once consistent Porcupine Tree tend to produce LPs considered weak, throwaways, or at best loved only by a few of their biggest fans. Reacting to such albums almost always demands managing expectations. But then every once in a while you get an exception... and even though this isn't quite a full return to form or the very best of those exceptions, Closure/Continuation is an overall cracking record that lived up to my personal hopes.

The album is primarily defined by the softer sides of post-Stupid Dream PT, a string of mellow-rock-unto-metal and Wilson's various dour and tender sides. Most of this is done quite well, befitting the skill and and creativity of Barbieri, Harrison, and Wilson. I will say that a majority of it isn't quite fresh - and in the case of "Herd Culling", it's pretty sub-par - but these tracks make for a solid and enjoyable dose of classic PT, nothing more or less.

Where C/C stands out, then, are a plurality of cuts that do push the limits of what each of these three musicians have done in the past, with or without each other. "Harridan" is some of the heaviest and most intricate they've ever been, Wilson in particular shining on bass alongside some of his better guitar playing, Barbieri's electronics, and Harrison's krakenesque drumwork. It shares my deepest admiration with "Rats Return", a nightmarish dive into political selfishness and media megalomania, complete with a masterful music video of a vicious, madcap revisionist era Soviet late night program. The instrumentation shows the power and creepiness possible on some of their lighter material, whose jagged guitar stabs replace the band's usual metal inclinations. "Walk The Plank" further develops Barbieri and Wilson's electronics as we are taken on a submarine journey. There's also much to be said about the dirgelike opening half of "Chimera's Wreck", with beautiful guitars and keys shimmering around reflections on mortality. While the explosive latter half is among the more run-of-the-mill parts of the record, the combination proves to be excellent.

One last flaw with the record is that the final three cuts are only on deluxe editions, a similar issue to the tracklisting of Swilson's solo The Future Bites. These songs fully round out the project, and in particular the tasty "Never Have" sounds like a throwback to classic '70s prog via the length and breadth of PT's illustrious career.

For me, it's hard to describe C/C as anything other than the least I could have hoped for from a reunited Porcupine Tree and in some ways a worthy successor to their classic '00s run. It is a wonderful listen and one that, at its best, gives me ever more hope for the band's future.

Review by A Crimson Mellotron
4 stars As unlikely or surprising as it may seem, Porcupine Tree are back after a little more than a decade of complete silence, and they are back with a heated new studio album, ambiguously titled 'Closure/Continuation', an excellent collection of seven tracks spanning across some 48 minutes of playtime, with three additional bonus songs that do not necessarily fit the main album. However, with all the events that have unfolded in the last two years concerning the band, we can safely conclude that this elevenths studio album was well though out and supposed to be released sometime in the 2010s, with Steven Wilson and Gavin Harrison joining forces and jamming together to what ultimately became songs ending up on this new release, but the time never seemed right, with the busy schedules of the band members... or at least, the remaining ones.

The first Porcupine Tree album recorded by a trio is now a fact - Steven Wilson, Gavin Harrison and Richard Barbieri deliver what has been promoted as 'the most collaborative record' of the band's entire catalogue, with each member contributing almost equally to the final product. Former bassist Colin Edwin never showed interest in playing or recording any Porcupine Tree material, according to Wilson, who gracefully handles all bass duties on the album, which quite interestingly, was mostly written on his bass guitar and Gavin Harrison's drums, in their multiple jam sessions, with Richard Barbieri ultimately stepping in to filter the songs through his own masterful approach to playing keyboards, adding an extra layer of excellence to the fantastic songs.

The album opens with the first single, the first real taster of the new Porcupine Tree sound, the bombastic and haunting 8-minute track 'Harridan', kicking off the whole thing with a quirky bass riff, ominous soundscapes and pitch-perfect drumming by Harrison. The identity of PT seems to be well-injected into this powerful new track, yet there is something different in the way it sounds - the drums are so dominant, so prevalent and masterful, driving the whole song through its many movements, the Rush-like chorus 'attacks' the listener, the guitars are optional and very lovely, and the sound design provided by Barbieri does a lot of justice to this hard-hitting track. After that comes 'Of the New Day', a deceptively simple and tranquil song, with gentle acoustic guitars, melancholic lyrics and gentle keyboard sounds, that turns into a time signature monster, after the chorus hits, as the song has been said to go through forty-two time signature changes. The sound of it distantly reminisces something like 'Lightbulb Sun', but once again, it sounds bright and vigorous. 'Rats Return' sees PT utilizing some math rock riffage, as they provide one of the darker songs in the band's catalogues, commenting on the grim political situation of the world and the leaders-rats who "express having an interest in the public, but when it comes down to it, only want to save themselves".

Then we have the fourth track 'Dignity', which is very atmospheric, peaceful and certainly brings flashbacks of some old-school Porcupine Tree, maybe with hints to 'Russia on Ice' or 'Sentimental', carrying a similar spirit. This also happens to be one of the songs co-written with Barbieri. The 7-minute prog attach of 'Herd Culling' is quite fantastic - the lyrics, the mood, the tempo and all the shifts going on inside the composition are just working perfectly well, giving the album one of the more underrated pieces. The band is playing beautifully, every strum of the guitar, every drumbeat and every key pressed on the keyboards of Richard Barbieri has a specific place and serves a particular purpose in the song, no time is wasted here and there, just straight-to-the-point playing that gloriously fits one of the most interesting art rock songs in Porcupine Tree's catalogue. Then comes the electronic, wavy and grim 'Walk the Plank', another song that has a very prominent Richard Barbieri contribution, while it also has bits and pieces that remind us strongly of 'The Future Bites', Wilson's last solo album before 'C/C' - simply, this is the big surprise on the record, one of the most interesting compositions to have even landed on a Porcupine Tree album. The main album is closed by the 10-minute epic 'Chimera's Wreck', the song that has already gained a sort of cult status among the people enjoying this stellar collection of songs. This one reflects on the death of Steven Wilson's father, while other, more general existential realizations serve as a broader framework of the lyrical content. The music is epic, emotional and thunderous, the song is cathartic, agonizing, haunting and plain killer, one of the best in the entire Steven Wilson universe.

Finally, there is the 3-track bonus disc featuring the instrumental 'Population Three', and instantly recognizable Porcupine Tree number, the sweet 'Never Have', essentially a Steven Wilson solo track that could have been quite welcome on something like 'To The Bone', and 'Love in the Past Tense', a gorgeous little art-rocker, another effort of Wilson and Harrison. It is true that none of these would have fitted smoothly on the main album, all of the songs are quite good, and when presented as bonus material, are more than welcome.

The fact that this is the first Porcupine Tree album to top the all-format UK album chart speaks numbers - their absence has only strengthened the cult status of 'the most important cult band' out there, according to Wilson, with whom I could hardly disagree on this, as his band's legacy and prominence in the genre of progressive rock is immense and inevitable, and now, in 2022, they have reunited and delivered another monolith of a record, another very excellent addition to their truly majestic back catalogue. We could only conclude that everything surrounding the release of this album is simply a great celebration - a great celebration of the music of one of the best bands in existence, a celebration of music as a craft, and a celebration of a musical genre that is still full of vigor, despite the fact that it continues to exist just under the surface, with a couple of exception here and there, 'Closure/Continuation' being one of them.

Review by The Crow
4 stars Finally, after so many years of waiting, Porcupine Tree decided to return with this collection of songs kept in the closet with some more recent compositions.

That is why the title of the album makes a lot of sense!

The fact is that, as expected, the quality of these compositions is somewhat uveven, offering some songs that can already be considered classics of the band (Harridan, O The New Day, Dignity, Herd Culling), along with others somewhat moremore forgettable (Walk the Plank)

In any case, it is an album that undoubtedly surpasses the disappointing "The Incident", although of course without reaching the level of masterpieces like "Deadwing" or "Fear of a Blank Planet".

Thank you for this excellent and long-awaited comeback, guys!

Best Tracks: Harridan (very progressive, intense and beautiful at the same time), Of The New Day (great in its simplicity and melancholy), Herd Culling (my favorite on the album, remembering the best moments of "FOABP")

My Rating: ****

Review by rdtprog
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Heavy, RPI, Symph, JR/F Canterbury Teams
4 stars The band is now in a trio format with a new album 13 years after "The Incident". We are in familiar territory here, which is Progressive Rock on the experimental side including electro, jazz, and metal in a way that only this band can do. There is no stand-out track, no filler, everything is full of complex and convoluted song structures that remind us of the atmosphere of the past with a modern influence from Steven Wilson's solo work. This is why I have trouble giving my impression of that album. I enjoyed it from the start, but I thought I was too much looking to evaluate this work with the previous ones. It is not as metal as the latest PT releases, and maybe not as easy to get to, but this is why it requires more spins to appreciate the nuances of the music. And if you can listen to the Blu-Ray, it is even easier to enjoy the beautiful sonics of this album coming from the delicate keyboards of Barbieri to the guitars and bass of Steven and the perfect drumming of Gaven Harrison. So it's not that important if it's not the best PT album, let us simply enjoy another solid PT album and hope that we don't have to wait for another decade to hear another one. I am all "4" * a continuation...
Review by Warthur
4 stars To all the world, it looked like Steven Wilson had closed the door on Porcupine Tree after The Incident proved to be a somewhat patchy release, and after his solo career kicked into high gear with Grace For Drowning. Far from it - it turns out that Wilson, Richard Barbieri, and Gavin Harrison had kept in touch all this time and had in fact been gently tinkering with new Porcupine Tree material as far back as 2011.

Does it sound like the Porcupine Tree of old? Well, not quite - but that was a band which went through many incarnations, from psychedelia and space rock to Radiohead-esque art rock to borderline prog metal. In addition, it's perhaps inevitable that all three musicians have moved on musically in the intervening decade-and-a-bit - and certainly there's traces of the pensive jazz fusion and synth aspects of Wilson's solo work creeping in here and there.

Is it on the level of the best of the original run of Porcupine Tree albums? I don't think so, but it's far from bad. It feels almost relaxed - the band enjoying working together after all this time, and offering a new, somewhat jazzier side of their sonic universe.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars My final review of 2022 is a little bittersweet as PORCUPINE TREE are a top three band for me and after hearing that teaser track "Harridan" I was pretty pumped for this. Then there was a problem with the cd getting to North America, big delays. I was fortunate to meet a friend of my daughter's husband's family who just flew into Toronto from England that day and I joked if I knew she was coming I would have asked her to bring me this cd. Her mom was flying in the following week and that's how I got mine.

To my ears this sounds more like Steven Wilson solo which is fine by me but with Edwin out as bass player his subtle playing has been replaced by a very upfront sounding bass played by Wilson, and played like a guitar giving it a unique sound. I like it! We get seven tracks worth 48 minutes and it's "Rats Return" and "Walk The Plank" that keep this at 4 stars. The other five songs are great but those two just never clicked with me. My top three are "Harridan", "Dignity" and "Herd Culling" with the latter being my favourite. "Of The New Day" and "Chimera's Wreck" are very good but a step down from my top three.

Easily a 4 star record and a step up from the previous album "The Incident" which really had it's moments but was inconsistent in my opinion. Still I feel this record lacks that "it" vibe of earlier PT albums. The art work is disappointing to say the least especially when we get some pictures that would make most people reminisce and smile like that hole in one while on vacation at the mini-putt winning a free game or taking off the shoes to walk in the ocean for the first time. I feel that "Rats Return" and "Walk The Plank" just don't fit in with the rest of the album but other than those few complaints I'm quite happy with the music.

Review by siLLy puPPy
4 stars While it may have been assumed that PORCUPINE TREE called it quits after the lackluster response to their 2009 album "The Incident" and the robust solo career of Steven Wilson (and other projects) that launched soon thereafter, it was indeed the case that Wilson, Gavin Harrison and Richard Barbieri had been planning the next chapter of PORCUPINE TREE all along only kept the project under lock and key leaving the fans to wonder if such a thing would ever materialize. Everyone had to wait until 2022 some 13 years later but finally it has become a reality that PT has indeed decided to carry on by releasing the band's 11th studio album with the rather clumsy title CLOSURE / CONTINUATION.

Unfortunately bassist Colin Edwin didn't participate in this reunion so the band carried on as a trio with Wilson picking up the bass part as well as handing guitars, vocals, mixing and role as band leader. Despite Wilson projecting his new dedication to his solo career, Blackfield, No-Man, Bass Communion, God and Storm Corrosion (does the guy ever sleep?), PORCUPINE TREE had been working behind the scenes on this album for the last decade whenever everyone had a free moment. The results of all this behind the scenes resulted in a rather standard PORCUPINE TREE affair that sounds as if the band never went away and that the ensuing 13 years were a mere two or three.

The band launched the single "Harridan" early as far back as December 2021 and whetted the appetite for rapid PT fans in hopes of another "In Absentia," "Deadwing" or "Fear of a Blank Planet." The hype was heavy but when the album finally was released in June 2022 the enthusiasm sort of fizzled out with complaints about the lack of growth that was deemed necessary to launch PT into the next chapter and well let's face it, the fact CLOSURE / CONTINUATION sounds more like the solo material of Wilson than PT at their peak. The album features the typical rockers and ballads all in atmospheric space prog form however the crossover metal aspects of the band's early 2000's have been tamped down considerably and replaced by some of the electronic wizardry of Wilson's solo efforts.

"Harridan" was an excellent teaser single with jittery firm bass groove that offers everything a PORCUPINE TREE fan could hope for. Lengthy prog workouts that revolve around Wilson's subdued vocal style accompanied by just enough rock heft to craft the proper contrast, the song featured strong hooks and was instantly likable with only the occasional complaints of overtly too complex for its own good keeping it from greatness. Actually it was those very complexities that made it more attractive as PT has been decidedly and often too accessible for its own good at least for the tastes of true prog stalwarts who love the entire arsenal of proggy tricks and trinkets to be implemented. The fans would have to sample a series of singles before the actual release with "Of The New Day" and "Herd Culling" pacifying the fans before the actual album hit the scene.

CLOSURE / CONTINUATION features seven tracks with the deluxe edition featuring three extra. In all honesty i can see why many feel let down by this album as it sounds like business as usual without any significant developments in the band's overall sound. The extra layers of complexity make it a bit more alienating and more difficult to get into upon first listen unlike past glories. The hype raised expectations and the album sort of hums along just like any old PT album of the 21st century. The usual suspects of mopey ambient drenched slow parts followed by heavier rocking upbeat moments is by now the PT playbook. There just aren't enough surprises or magic moments to be found on this one but at the same time this one is much more engaging than the nadir of the band's career "The Incident."

I think it's agreed that CLOSURE / CONTINUATION will probably not go down as anyone's favorite PT album but after several attentive listens i'm actually quite enthralled with this album and its subtle intricacies. Perhaps it's the sappiness of the second track "Of The New Day" that derails the momentum early on for many (as it did me at first) but beginning with "Rat's Return" this album is successful in delivering ample doses of everything PT is known for and in good form. Certainly no instantly sing-along songs here with repetitive motifs but this is by no means as inaccessible as anything in the rock in opposition camp. This is simply PT stretching its boundaries and putting its feelers out as to ascertain a new path to forge in the 2020's. Personally i'm loving this album even if i agree that it doesn't live up to the hype or compare with the greatest albums of the past. After all even a weaker PT album is light years ahead of what many lesser bands can conjure up. BTW the three bonus tracks are excellent and actually better than some of the material on the official album.

Latest members reviews

3 stars After years of waffling back and forth over whether or not he'd ever revive the band, Steven Wilson has brought Porcupine Tree back to life. While Porcupine Tree remained in limbo, Wilson remained in regular contact with both drummer Gavin Harrison and keyboardist Richard Barbieri. However, Wilson l ... (read more)

Report this review (#2904575) | Posted by TheEliteExtremophile | Tuesday, April 4, 2023 | Review Permanlink

4 stars We've been waiting for it for 13 years! for better or for worse, we knew that this dinosaur was going to come back even if WILSON did a lot of PT under his name; well we'll see if PT makes PT, WILSON or something else: 1. Harridan wow there a dark, punchy, jerky start, a bit of OSI madness, yes r ... (read more)

Report this review (#2881892) | Posted by alainPP | Sunday, February 12, 2023 | Review Permanlink

4 stars We arrive in into 2022 with news porcupine tree will be releasing a new album after 13 years. Closure/continuum launches off where the trio Wilson, Harrison and Barbieri left off in 2009. After a great 13 year solo career Steven Wilson reinvigorates the band and charts a course into familiar yet son ... (read more)

Report this review (#2849329) | Posted by Aussie_Philosopher | Tuesday, November 1, 2022 | Review Permanlink

3 stars this album is somehow confusing because it brings the old porcupine tree fans, but also their last 4 albums music loving fans. if you enjoy more the last porcupine tree albums, then this albums is a 50% of your joy,,,but the old fans will also only enjoy it about 50%. fans of porcupine tree from ... (read more)

Report this review (#2779421) | Posted by tugatugatuga | Monday, July 25, 2022 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Harridan- Probably the best song in the album to open up with, especially with that super meaty bass line. Reminds me a bit of Blackest Eyes in the sense that its vey catchy, but at the same time very heavy and proggy. I really liked this song overall, instruments across the board were great, an ... (read more)

Report this review (#2773586) | Posted by DorKnor | Wednesday, June 29, 2022 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Overall: This is a pretty hard album to review, mainly because of the way it flows. At first I thought it was due to not having Colin on the lineup, but in reality is the way songs conform the album. There at least four or five songs abusing of the exchange noisy-quiet sections in an abrupt manner ... (read more)

Report this review (#2773542) | Posted by Emiliano | Wednesday, June 29, 2022 | Review Permanlink

3 stars If we take into account the long musical career of Porcupine Tree (11 studio albums now, several singles and live works), where they have explored and experienced different stages that go from the easy and lazy psychedelia of their first albums (when PC was more a solo project by Steven Wilson t ... (read more)

Report this review (#2773445) | Posted by JohnProg | Tuesday, June 28, 2022 | Review Permanlink

2 stars This is a well-crafted product. I can imagine that many prog lovers are thrilled with it. There's enough to enjoy. The musicianship is great. When I compare it to other music that came out this year, then it is not the first thing I would recommend. But it sure beat the last one by Marillion. ... (read more)

Report this review (#2773364) | Posted by WJA-K | Tuesday, June 28, 2022 | Review Permanlink

4 stars It's now Porcupine Three and will probably be a one off album/tour and then back to hiatus status. If they wanted to go out on top they have achieved their goal. This is much better than their previous release, The Incident, which felt like they were just going through the motions. This one feel ... (read more)

Report this review (#2773248) | Posted by MaxnEmmy | Monday, June 27, 2022 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Porcupine Tree is finally back! C/C is a culmination of everything SW has been doing from his solos career allied with a more present Richard Barbieri (since the Signify days of the band) and Gavin (which creates spectacular grooves). This time Steven himself decided to play all the bass par ... (read more)

Report this review (#2773068) | Posted by Deadwing | Monday, June 27, 2022 | Review Permanlink

4 stars One Deep Listen ReviewWell. That will need more than one listen.I don't know what I listened to. It's unlike any SW/PT, but somehow a little like them all.Signature sounds and ambiance adds familiarity, but the songs are different in structure and melody. The signature, light breaking into heavy ... (read more)

Report this review (#2772448) | Posted by Michael919 | Friday, June 24, 2022 | Review Permanlink

3 stars To put things in perspective, I feel I need to start this review by saying that ever since I stubmled upon their music, PT has been my absolute favourite band, with nothing rivalling (or even coming close) to their world of complex, soaring tunes. Lightbulb sun, Recordings, In absentia, Deadwing, NI ... (read more)

Report this review (#2772392) | Posted by Porcupineapple | Friday, June 24, 2022 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Finally the album is released,and a stunning album it is.Some tracks have preceded the full release,but the full album is well worth the wait. My favourite tracks: Dignity - imo one of the greatest Porcupine Tree on record - the atmosphere to this track is magical Harridan - The opening t ... (read more)

Report this review (#2772365) | Posted by daisy1 | Friday, June 24, 2022 | Review Permanlink

5 stars And the Tree is back! After 13 years, Steve has finally graced us with a new PT album. This review is just based on my initial impressions of the album, I may amend / change this later. Awful album art aside, all of the tracks are pretty damn amazing. With the funk-bass opening of Harridan (o ... (read more)

Report this review (#2772308) | Posted by Lunaaaaaaa | Friday, June 24, 2022 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Finally, the long awaited Porcupine Tree new album is here! What does it sound like? Well, I have listened to it six times and to me it certainly sounds like something coming out of Steven Wilson solo work (circa Hand cannot erase or 4 1/2) more than PT itself. This is not a bad thing, but I was e ... (read more)

Report this review (#2772204) | Posted by Soul2Create | Thursday, June 23, 2022 | Review Permanlink

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