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PORCUPINE TREE

Heavy Prog • United Kingdom


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Porcupine Tree biography
PORCUPINE TREE are incredibly hard to describe because their music doesn't fit into any one genre. I like the description on the back of the album "Signify" (one of my all time favorites). It says "Porcupine Tree have managed to defy genres and blend together numerous ambient, rock and avant-garde styles to create a musical landscape that is both refreshing and compulsively seductive". The great post-GONG revival which gave birth to OZRIC TENTACLES now brings us PORCUPINE TREE. The hypnotic rhythms, spacy synthesizers, glissando guitar and crazy voices which made the style successful are all contained here.

The band started as a solo project of singer-songwriter-guitarist Steve Wilson who, back in the early nineties, released a series of increasingly spaced-out ambient excursions. PT is one of the most innovative bands in prog today combining intense musicianship, unconventional composition and superb studio production. They are unquestionably one of the UK's most inspired and inventive rock groups.

The bands 4th studio album from '96. "Signify" saw Porcupine Tree truly gell as a studio band producing a blend of psychedelia, heavy rock, melancholic pop, kraut rock, and wild experimentation that brought the best out of each band member. Their latest two albums ("Stupid Dream" and "Lightbulb Sun") move the band further away from their influences and into their own catagory, by which other bands eventually will be compared. But if you are a fan of progressive, thoughtful, briliantly executed and flawlessly produced music, you will do no better than PT.

PORCUPINE TREE's eighth studio album, "Deadwing", was released in March 2005 by Lava Records / Warner Music. Less rock-oriented than the previous album "In Absentia", "Deadwing" is partially based on a "surreal ghost story" screenplay written by Steven and sometime PORCUPINE TREE / NO-MAN art collaborator Mike Bennion. The 60-minute, nine-track album contains material varying from short airplay-friendly songs such as 'Shallow' to lengthier pieces like the 10-minute-plus 'Arriving Somewhere But Not Here'. Most of the music was written by Steven but the album features the largest amount of full-band compositions since "Signify" in 1997. The album also features guest appearances by Adrian Belew (KING CRIMSON) and Mikael Åkerfeldt (OPETH).

In 2007 the band scored it's biggest chart success to date with "Fear Of A Blank Planet". Featuring contributions from Alex Lifeson and Robert Fripp...
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In AbsentiaIn Absentia
Lava 2002
Audio CD$3.95
$2.72 (used)
DeadwingDeadwing
Lava 2005
Audio CD$6.99
$4.98 (used)
SignifySignify
Special Edition
Kscope 2009
Audio CD$10.59
$9.20 (used)
Stupid DreamStupid Dream
Kscope 2009
Audio CD$10.65
$9.25 (used)
Sky Moves SidewaysSky Moves Sideways
Kscope 2009
Audio CD$10.48
$9.20 (used)
Fear Of A Blank PlanetFear Of A Blank Planet
KSCOPE 2012
Audio CD$7.86
$6.95 (used)
Up the DownstairUp the Downstair
Kscope 2009
Audio CD$10.46
$9.15 (used)
Lightbulb SunLightbulb Sun
Import · Special Edition
Snapper UK 2008
Audio CD$10.05
$9.98 (used)
Octane TwistedOctane Twisted
KSCOPE 2012
Audio CD$11.48
$12.49 (used)
The IncidentThe Incident
Roadrunner Records 2009
Audio CD$7.88
$5.77 (used)
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PORCUPINE TREE shows & tickets


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PORCUPINE TREE discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

PORCUPINE TREE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.01 | 606 ratings
On The Sunday Of Life.....
1991
3.92 | 707 ratings
Up The Downstair
1993
4.09 | 958 ratings
The Sky Moves Sideways
1995
3.81 | 848 ratings
Signify
1996
3.98 | 958 ratings
Stupid Dream
1999
4.01 | 1057 ratings
Lightbulb Sun
2000
4.22 | 1751 ratings
In Absentia
2002
4.08 | 1461 ratings
Deadwing
2005
4.22 | 1795 ratings
Fear Of A Blank Planet
2007
3.71 | 1154 ratings
The Incident
2009

PORCUPINE TREE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.44 | 358 ratings
Coma Divine Live
1997
3.75 | 70 ratings
Spiral Circus Live (LP)
1997
3.66 | 114 ratings
XM
2003
4.00 | 3 ratings
Live in Poland
2003
3.92 | 255 ratings
Warszawa
2004
4.02 | 116 ratings
XMII
2005
4.22 | 141 ratings
Rockpalast
2005
4.48 | 120 ratings
Arriving Somewhere...
2006
3.33 | 196 ratings
We Lost The Skyline
2008
3.62 | 95 ratings
Ilosaarirock
2009
4.24 | 158 ratings
Atlanta
2010
3.50 | 130 ratings
Octane Twisted
2012

PORCUPINE TREE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.56 | 442 ratings
Arriving Somewhere...
2006
4.73 | 428 ratings
Anesthetize
2010
4.18 | 34 ratings
Octane Twisted
2012

PORCUPINE TREE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.49 | 88 ratings
Yellow Hedgerow Dreamscape
1994
3.19 | 288 ratings
Voyage 34 - The Complete Trip
2000
4.17 | 301 ratings
Recordings
2001
4.22 | 202 ratings
Stars Die: The Delerium Years 1991 -1997
2002

PORCUPINE TREE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.45 | 45 ratings
Tarquin's Seaweed Farm (K7)
1989
3.25 | 35 ratings
Love, Death & Mussolini (K7)
1990
2.95 | 31 ratings
The Nostalgia Factory (K7)
1991
3.39 | 18 ratings
Radioactive E. P.
1992
3.66 | 87 ratings
Voyage 34
1992
2.85 | 40 ratings
Voyage 34 : Remixes
1993
3.23 | 50 ratings
Moonloop E.P.
1994
3.81 | 141 ratings
Staircase Infinities
1994
3.79 | 42 ratings
Waiting
1996
3.29 | 69 ratings
Insignificance (K7)
1997
3.89 | 18 ratings
Ambulance Chasers
1997
3.62 | 13 ratings
Coma Divine II
1999
3.89 | 27 ratings
Stars Die - Rare and Unreleased
1999
2.81 | 38 ratings
Stranger By The Minute
1999
2.82 | 40 ratings
Piano Lessons
1999
2.87 | 39 ratings
Pure Narcotic
1999
3.08 | 51 ratings
4 Chords That Made A Million
2000
3.24 | 48 ratings
Shesmovedon
2000
4.18 | 81 ratings
Transmission IV
2001
2.95 | 169 ratings
Metanoia
2001
3.39 | 116 ratings
Futile
2003
3.28 | 27 ratings
Delerium EP
2003
3.55 | 102 ratings
Lazarus
2005
3.91 | 413 ratings
Nil Recurring
2007
3.94 | 59 ratings
Transmission 10.1 - Ilosaarirock
2009
2.62 | 57 ratings
Time Flies
2009
3.75 | 4 ratings
Acoustic Session Jan 2010
2010

PORCUPINE TREE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 On The Sunday Of Life.....  by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Studio Album, 1991
3.01 | 606 ratings

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On The Sunday Of Life.....
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy

4 stars Although this is the first official PORCUPINE TREE release it wasn't at all the beginning. Everyone knows that PORCUPINE TREE is really the talent of Steven Wilson dressed up as a band and that is not to dismiss the talent of the members who have contributed to this prolific band's wonderful sounds over the decades but the fact remains that Wilson is the conductor and main talent on board. This first album is really a compilation of the the material that he began created as a joke actually. The idea actually started all the way back in 1987 when Steven Wilson and Malcolm Stocks decided to make a fictional band that was influenced by psychedelic space rock music especially in the Pink Floyd arena. They went to great lengths to create a faux history and personas. Sounds to me like it was meant to be a Pink Floyd inspired Spinal Tap thing. Although intended to be a joke while focusing on his "real" band called No-Man, Steven released a couple of cassette only albums and they proved to catch the attention of the right people who decided that some of this material actually had a place in the market.

That brings us to the debut album ON THE SUNDAY OF LIFE. Although officially the first album, this is really a compilation of tracks off the cassette recordings that Wilson created on his then newly purchased recording equipment. The great thing about this album is as stated in the liner notes, namely that this album really represents all the possible avenues that Wilson could have gone down. Although there are clear moments of those that he did go down in the form of the psychedelic rock and crossover prog with beautifully melancholic melodies in a rock context, there are many tracks on this album that do not represent any of the later PORCUPINE TREE albums in the least. There are industrial rock tracks, new age ambient tracks and highly experimental ones that remind me more of the indie pop band Ween. It is clear from this debut album that Steven Wilson is a formidable talent who is more than capable of developing several branches of music. This is a remarkable album. I just love it. It was more than I ever could have expected coming to this after hearing most of the later albums. What we have here is a clear indicator that Steven Wilson was a hugely talented musician capable of greatness and in that regard he hasn't disappointed. Unfortunately the collective rating on this is unjust. This is eclectic to say the least but I enjoy every single track on this and contemplate all the possible avenues Steven Wilson could have taken. A very interesting album that displays Wilson at a stage before he had a fanbase and had to focus on that aspect of his music.

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 Fear Of A Blank Planet by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Studio Album, 2007
4.22 | 1795 ratings

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Fear Of A Blank Planet
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by ProgolateCookie

4 stars This album starts off with one of the band's most boring and plain parts but then it becomes something magical. Even classic prog dude, Rob Fripp is on it to add texture and it is amazing.

I think this is the first one Steven mixed himself or at least in a while cos I know he didn't do In Absentia. The art is amazing too, Lasse Hoil is incredible.

The long one "Anthesthetize" is the best track clearly and you can almost forgive the opening track being so tedious as the rest is PROG! "Sentimental" is also really good for the lyrics. My 3rd fav PT album and much preferred in a lot of way to most of his solo stuff apart from Raven.

82% - 4

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 Delerium EP by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2003
3.28 | 27 ratings

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Delerium EP
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by thwok

2 stars I'm a big Porcupine Tree fan. I think anything they put out is worthy of our attention. I do prefer the later releases, from Signify forward. I think the Delerium EP is simply unnecessary.

For my money, the better tracks are Signify and the full-length version of Radioactive Toy. "Signify" has the most drive of the four tracks. I definitely prefer the latter, less-ambient albums by PT. The longer version of "Radioactive Toy" is also good stuff.

However, all of this material is available on other PT albums. So, I'm not really sure why the Delerium EP was put out. There's a good chance that fans of the band already have this songs. According to the ProgArchives administrators, this EP is no longer available. Maybe PT's record company feels the same as I do. The band later released a more comprehensive Delerium collection. Each PT release is at least worthy of attention, so I'm giving this EP two and half stars.

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 Nil Recurring by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2007
3.91 | 413 ratings

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Nil Recurring
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by voliveira

5 stars 10/10

This could very well be my favorite EP of all time, next to "Jar of Flies" by Alice in Chains and "Memories in My Head" at the Riverside. While at first glance the listener can make the mistake of thinking that these four songs are "leftovers" of the masterpiece Fear of a Blank Planet (released a few months before) - and indeed there are moments here that refer to this album as much lyrical and musically - this is a disc worth in itself, and is among some of my favorite records of Porcupine Tree.

The title track is one of the best instrumental band, and features a cameo from master Robert Fripp (which makes a significant contribution here than in Way Out of Here). The music blends the psychedelic vibe of the first album with the metal, aggressive sound of the most recent works, opening this disc with praise. The dynamic here is out of this world: the music grows aggressively to break a middle section full of soundscapes that evolves into new melodies, before returning for their initial theme and heavier than ever quit.

Normal is both lyrical and musically a progression of Sentimental FOABP - see the same refrain. But it is a song in its own right: I especially love the acoustic air this song with Steven Wilson doing a terrific job with the acoustic guitar here and atmospheric keyboards, courtesy of Barbieri (a keyboard that I have learned to admire) . There is only a brief moment in which she reveals more metal-oriented, but he is soon broken by the voice of Wilson: "Wish I was old and a little sentimental, you gotta see the waves, not the wine bottle at the way is now ". The end is almost a different, but still this is a great song that alternates between softer moments and other more aggressive, reflecting an impeccable dynamics.

Cheating the Polygraph music on this disc is the fastest growing on me, and could very well be my favorite here. It is here where I see the talent of these guys, especially the Gavin Harrison, a guy whom I have learned to admire more and more thanks to a dynamic, rich, subtle and heavily soaked jazz style. The live version of this song on Anesthetize reflects what I'm talking about (especially in the latter end of it). Also the poignant Colin Edwin's bass and atmospheric keys of Richard Barbieri (which provides a very psychedelic solo here) are worth mentioning in this song that could very well be one of the best of the group.

What Happens Now is the most atmospheric and progressive music here . Opening with sound effects and a delicious and simple percussion, she has some partially modified Steven sparse vocals. In short , this is a more instrumental music : not endless solos or musical masturbation - after all, this is not the style of Porcupine Tree , who has always been a joint band, where the four members operate in favor of a single musicality . I really love the moment when one of the themes of the epic Anesthetize runs , members conducting the music ( note the mad compass Gavin uses here , and that still comes in perfect sync with the rest of the band ) before it explodes in a grand climax with one of the most amazing solos Steven .

And here we are. Despite its slightly less than 30 minutes Nil Recurring is one of the most impressive records of Porcupine Tree , and owes nothing to the best albums of them . Every song here is an absolute highlight , and even electing Cheating the Polygraph my personal favorite are all the same level . 5 stars.

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 Voyage 34  by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1992
3.66 | 87 ratings

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Voyage 34
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by stefro
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Apart from Steve Hillage, what was big in the sixties and seventies, less so in the 1980s, but then fully embraced by the emerging underground squat-rave movement of the 1990's...? Have you guessed it yet? Yes, of course, I am talking about LSD. An incredibly-potent chemical that has essentially influenced virtually all the good music ever(maybe over-egging the pudding a little here, apologies), this once-legal drug changed everything back in the 1960s, paving the way for the counter-culture movement that bore such influential groups as Jefferson Airplane, The Grateful Dead and Pink Floyd whilst also helping to ferment revolution, progression and new ideals that revolutionised society. Not bad for a tasteless, odourless liquid often served in either sugar cubes or on blotting paper. Discovered, quite accidentally, by Swiss chemist Albert Hoffman during World War 2, LSD has gradually become less-and-less popular over the years, matching the declining quality of popular culture with scary authenticity. However, those who still like to tune in, turn on and drop out still exist, and Steven Wilson, founder of top British prog outfit Porcupine Tree, was obviously one of them. This album, which is split into four parts, recounts an LSD trip from exciting beginning to awe-inspiring end, a brilliantly-conceived, 1960's-style narrator helping us along our journey. Part-ambient, part-progressive, at times almost dancey yet always utterly engrossing, 'Voyage 34' may not be for everyone yet that, it seems, is exactly the point. Few people truely love LSD - many are terrified of it - but there is no denying what an incredible, conscious-altering substance it actually is. This album is the perfect foil for understanding this strange little drug, and those with an interest in all things psychedelic are urged to investigate. But remember folks, drugs are bad! STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2014

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 In Absentia by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Studio Album, 2002
4.22 | 1751 ratings

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In Absentia
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by MJAben

4 stars This album will always have a special resonance with me; it was the first album I had heard from Porcupine Tree and, along with Dream Theater's 'Train of Thought' this album was largely responsible for getting me out of my 13-year old punk / nu-metal phase which is something that I am eternally grateful for.

Both of those albums featured everything that I liked in music, catchy riffs, strong melodies, and a singer that could come off as both harsh and tender. But they had something more, the music was noticeably more complex but there was an experimental side to things too, a willingness and readiness to stray from the common lines that intrigued and fascinated me. In the course of three months I consumed everything prog-metal that I could get my hands on and my life had forever changed; I was bitten by the prog bug.

I have long since abandoned 'Train of Thought' and, in truth, am not a fan of most of Steven Wilson's music in the 21st C. For some reason though, I keep coming back to this album, it fascinates me and holds my attention from start to end. Every single time I listen to it. This is despite the fact that as an album, the songs contained therein are perhaps greater than the whole.

As stated by countless other reviewers the songs are easy to get into, they have an immediate (almost commercial) appeal that is often far too lost in prog rock. I think however, that this commercial strength may in fact be the albums only downfall. I don't mean this to say that it's too commercial it can't be prog as though I were speaking with some kind of elitist snobbery -- this is prog and damn good prog at that.

The songs seem to be created separate from the whole and each song has its own feel, style and texture that are wholly unique from one another. In some ways this is great, the album certainly doesn't get tedious, but at a base level, they come off as disconnected. They are wonderful as a whole but it has that best-of album feel where it seems to be a collection of songs poorly strung together that (musically) have little to nothing to do with one another.

Another complaint I have is that the songs almost seem too perfect. The songs are highly edited, highly polished and glimmer so brightly that one is often left wondering how much of what you're listening to is the actual band and how much is Steven Wilson's studio room. This is a problem that I have with a great deal of Steven Wilson's music and it would be a larger complaint here if the music itself wasn't so unbelievably good (often jaw-droppingly good).

This brings me to yet another issue with the album, the lyrics. How can an album with such good music contain such banal lyrics? There are only so many depressing and melodramatic songs about substance abuse and/ or broken love before you want to tear your ears out from the adolescent directed lyrical content. (Maybe there was another reason I liked this at thirteen)?

But obviously I like the album or I wouldn't have given in 4 stars, so on with some pros: - Incredible musicianship - Fresh sound - Wonderful editing and polishing (almost to a fault perhaps) - Steven Wilson's vocals sound amazing - A nice mixture of heavy / light from a band that does good with both - Taking musical risks that pay off big time - This album changed my life

To say the least, the pros far outweigh the cons but I won't delude myself into believing that this album and I truly am reluctant to jump on the ever growing Steven Wilson bandwagon. I think this is a good album, Porcupine Tree's best in recent years and that if you want to get into the band this is a great place to start as it contains just a nice mixture of their sound over the last 20 years.

A wonderful addition to anybody's library an important album for both the band and for the genre but don't delude yourself into thinking that it's flawless it is in every way a perfect and imperfect album, Often at the exact same time.

4/5

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 Arriving Somewhere... by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Live, 2006
4.48 | 120 ratings

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Arriving Somewhere...
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Focusing on the more metal-oriented material from Deadwing and In Absentia - though notably steering it back in a more rock-oriented direction in order to allow this material to sit a little more comfortably beside the "indie prog rock" stylings of Stupid Dream, Lightbulb Sun and Recordings (picks from all of which surface here). Fans of their earlier psychedelic and space rock styles might be disappointed that those aren't represented, but on the plus side there's a liberal sprinkling of rarities here such as the glorious Buying New Soul as well as Revenant, So-Called Friend and Mother and Child Divided, those three songs having only appeared on various special editions of Deadwing. Not the definitive Porcupine Tree live experience, but a pretty decent one nonetheless.

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 Fear Of A Blank Planet by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Studio Album, 2007
4.22 | 1795 ratings

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Fear Of A Blank Planet
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by Second Life Syndrome
Collaborator Post/Math Rock and Crossover Teams

4 stars This is, without a doubt, my favorite Porcupine Tree album. No, I'm not a huge fan of the band. In fact, I prefer The Pineapple Thief (often compared). However, I think this PT album finally has something that is missing from some of their other releases: soul. Now, mind you, it's a dark soul. It's a disturbed soul. But it's there. Steven Wilson, in my opinion, is a very mechanical, cold composer, but on "Fear of Blank Planet" I feel that he finally gave us some emotion.

I had never heard this album until someone requested that I spotlight its lyrics for my Facebook page The PROG Mind. I agreed to do so, and ended up immersing myself in this album for some time. This is a concept album about a disturbed teen (possibly inspiration for Pendragon's "Pure"?). He's worthless. He's hopeless. And, most of all, he doesn't give a damn. He wallows in self- pity, TV addiction, and drug abuse. He lives for sexual release and his dimly-lit room full of distractions. Yet, PT doesn't leave us there. They explore his screwy upbringing and his exposure to a society full of fakes, artificial standards, and frauds. With all of this, would you have any hope? Would you have the motivation to make something of yourself? What have we done to the kids?

But enough of my preaching. This album features the best instrumental passages that PT ever created. From the epic "Anesthetize" to the truly interesting title track, this album simply rocks with tight arrangements, spacey elements, and strong songwriting. Other PT albums, such as "In Absentia" and "Deadwing", were really good, but I feel they were missing a certain something for me to grasp musically. This album, however, packs a punch full of awesome guitar work (both acoustic and electric), masterful drumming, and true atmosphere. It also has soul in its topic, but also in its music, too. These guys were firing on all cylinders when they made this album.

So, is this a masterpiece? This is my favorite PT album, but I won't call it a masterpiece. It is excellent in every way, but I feel that the last two tracks drop in quality and personality quite dramatically. That said, this is certainly a worthy album that offers plenty in the way of jaw- dropping moments.

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 Stupid Dream by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.98 | 958 ratings

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Stupid Dream
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by Ozymandias

3 stars Been waiting for a brighter spark from Porcupine Tree and this album starts off nicely with Even Less and then Piano Lessons. Next to mention is Slave Called Shiver and then they very moody and excellent Don't Hate Me. The instrumental piece, Tinto Brass, is a much rockier track, but as for the rest, they're all there or there abouts!

This album in its entirety seems a lot more mainstream and less of the psychedelic elements are to be found. Other than the sub 8 minute Don't Hate Me, the tracks are all shorter.

For me, that mystical spark has not been found yet. Although different than their previous offerings, not sure which direction the band is likely to take from here on. 3½ Stars.

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 Signify by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Studio Album, 1996
3.81 | 848 ratings

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Signify
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by Ozymandias

3 stars This review is for the 1996 release, without Insignificance.

So finally a Porcupine Tree release which grabbed my attention more so than the three previous studio releases by the band. Why this album rates lower than its predecessor, The Sky Moves Sideways, is a mystery to me.

From the opening Bornlivedie, to the instrumental Signify and then 'The Sleep Of No Dreaming', you can tell this is going to be a good album. No lengthy tracks which just struggle to go anywhere. 'Waiting Phase One' is another good track as is Idiot Prayer. The very moody Intermediate Jesus, dwells again, on the Psycedelia the band explored on earlier releases. We end this release with Dark Matter.

Altogether, for me, an improved release, but not quite there yet. Better than anything I reviewed by the band at this stage, but some ways to go still. Again I'm struggling with awarding ½ points for the ratings and in this case would like to award 3½ stars, if that was possible....

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