Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography

PORCUPINE TREE

Heavy Prog • United Kingdom


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Porcupine Tree picture
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...
read more

Porcupine Tree official website

PORCUPINE TREE MP3, Free Download (music stream)


Open extended player in a new pop-up window | Random Playlist (50) | How to submit new MP3s

PORCUPINE TREE forum topics / tours, shows & news


PORCUPINE TREE forum topics Create a topic now
PORCUPINE TREE tours, shows & news Post an entries now

Buy PORCUPINE TREE Music


In AbsentiaIn Absentia
Lava 2002
Audio CD$4.10
$3.78 (used)
AnesthetizeAnesthetize
KSCOPE 2015
Audio CD$10.71
$12.23 (used)
DeadwingDeadwing
Lava 2005
Audio CD$8.14
$5.99 (used)
Fear Of A Blank PlanetFear Of A Blank Planet
KSCOPE 2012
Audio CD$8.59
$9.94 (used)
The IncidentThe Incident
Roadrunner Records 2009
Audio CD$11.05
$6.75 (used)
On the Sunday of LifeOn the Sunday of Life
Import
Kscope 2009
Audio CD$6.99
$4.93 (used)
Lightbulb SunLightbulb Sun
Import · Special Edition
Snapper UK 2008
Audio CD$9.75
$14.39 (used)
SignifySignify
Import · Special Edition
Kscope 2009
Audio CD$10.35
$9.36 (used)
Up the DownstairUp the Downstair
Import
Kscope 2009
Audio CD$9.75
$15.85 (used)
Stupid DreamStupid Dream
Import
Kscope 2009
Audio CD$15.39
$25.00 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Anesthetize, Porcupine Tree USD $22.28 Buy It Now 1h 34m
Porcupine Tree Signify - Sealed UK 2 CD album (Double CD) KSCOPE131 KSCOPE USD $25.33 Buy It Now 2h 44m
MARILLION-The damage(Live) promo RADIOHEAD, PORCUPINE TREE, GENESIS, FISH, USD $25.00 Buy It Now 5h 24m
MARILLION-A Verry Barry Christmas (2001)RADIOHEAD, PORCUPINE TREE, GENESIS, FISH USD $30.00 Buy It Now 5h 39m
MARILLION-Christmas 2002 Santa and his Elvis RADIOHEAD, PORCUPINE TREE, GENESIS USD $30.00 Buy It Now 5h 46m
MARILLION-The Jingle Book Christmas (2006) RADIOHEAD, PORCUPINE TREE, PINK FLOYD USD $30.00 Buy It Now 6h 20m
Pendulum Immersion Japan CD Steven Wilson Porcupine Tree USD $24.99 Buy It Now 9h 29m
Porcupine Tree Fear of a Blank Planet Japan CD Robert Fripp USD $24.99 Buy It Now 9h 29m
PORCUPINE TREE-THE INCIDENT-CD ROADRUNNER RECORDS NEW USD $10.99 Buy It Now 10h 38m
PORCUPINE TREE-FEAR OF A BLANK PLANET-CD ROADRUNNER NEW USD $21.59 Buy It Now 10h 38m
PORCUPINE TREE-VOYAGE 34-CD KSCOPE NEW USD $14.69 Buy It Now 10h 39m
PORCUPINE TREE-OCTANE TWISTED-CD KSCOPE NEW USD $13.29 Buy It Now 10h 39m
PORCUPINE TREE-ON THE SUNDAY OF LIFE (LIMITED EDITION)-VINYL LP (2) KSCOPE NEW USD $36.69 Buy It Now 10h 39m
PORCUPINE TREE-UP THE DOWNSTAIR (LIMITED EDITION)-VINYL LP (2) KSCOPE NEW USD $38.99 Buy It Now 10h 40m
PORCUPINE TREE - Octane Twisted (2012) 2xCD+DVD Japanese Import Sealed. Wilson. USD $30.00 Buy It Now 10h 55m
Porcupine Tree - Metanoia (NEW CD) USD $13.38 Buy It Now 11h 11m
Porcupine Tree - Voyage 34 2009 (NEW CD) USD $13.38 Buy It Now 11h 12m
OPETH The Roundhouse Tapes 2010 2-CD+DVD box set SEALED / NEW Porcupine Tree USD $23.16 Buy It Now 11h 21m
Porcupine Tree - Coma Divine (NEW 2 x CD) USD $17.73 Buy It Now 11h 23m
Porcupine Tree - Up The Downnstair (Digibook E (NEW CD) USD $17.73 Buy It Now 11h 31m
Porcupine Tree - Stars Die (NEW CD) USD $17.73 Buy It Now 11h 51m
PORCUPINE TREE (RIVERSIDE) "Vapour Trail Lullaby" VERY RARE SINGLE - UNIQUE !!! USD $39.99 [0 bids]
USD $51.99 Buy It Now
14h 28m
Porcupine Tree / The Incident / Japan Import / Bonus Track / HQCD USD $34.99 Buy It Now 14h 50m
PORCUPINE TREE The Sky Moves Sideways rare LTD ED LP DELERIUM BLUE WAX POSTER NM USD $200.00 Buy It Now 16h
PORCUPINE TREE Waiting rare ori 1996 UK 12" EP DELERIUM DELEC EP 049, PSYCH PROG USD $90.00 Buy It Now 16h 7m
PORCUPINE TREE Moonloop rare orig 1994 UK 12" EP DELERIUM DELEC EP 032, MINT USD $100.00 Buy It Now 16h 7m
PORCUPINE TREE Staircase Infinities ori DUTCH 10" EP LAZY EYE 3094, LTD ED 2000 USD $100.00 Buy It Now 16h 12m
Porcupine Tree Fear Of A Blank Planet JAPAN MINI LP HQ CD DVD AUDIO IEZP-11 USD $50.00 Buy It Now 16h 27m
Porcupine Tree Deadwing 2013 Japan Mini LP CD DVD With Obi Bonus IEZP-10 USD $50.00 Buy It Now 16h 27m
Porcupine Tree On The Sunday Of Life 2008 Japan Mini LP Promo CD L/E IECP-10137 USD $25.00 Buy It Now 16h 27m
PORCUPINE TREE- BECK -ZAPPA-DREAM SYNDICATE-New Rock-Sound Therapy CD COLLECTION USD $8.49 Buy It Now 17h
STEVEN WILSON 3 X 7 INCH VINYL 3 COLOURS HARMONY KORINE - PORCUPINE TREE - NEW USD $118.85 Buy It Now 17h 7m
GRANDE LUXE CD Time Measured In Bitter Chapters PROG, Porcupine Tree, Marillion USD $1.90 [3 bids]
18h 26m
The Incident, 0016861785772, Porcupine Tree USD $20.00 Buy It Now 18h 49m
Fear Of A Blank Planet, Porcupine Tree USD $20.00 Buy It Now 18h 49m
Nil Recurring [EP] [Slipcase] by Porcupine Tree MINT CD, Feb-2008, Peaceville USD $9.98 Buy It Now 19h 7m
Porcupine Tree LP In Absentia USD $225.00 Buy It Now 21h 15m
Porcupine Tree - Steven Wilson - Stars Die - 2CD Box Set OOP USD $28.34 Buy It Now 22h 36m
KING CRIMSON In The Wake Of Poseidon RARE Vinyl LP Gatefold Porcupine Tree Fripp USD $17.99 Buy It Now 1 day
MARILLION Live From Cadogan Hall (Blu-Ray) RADIOHEAD, PORCUPINE TREE, PINK FLOYD USD $18.00 Buy It Now 1 day
PORCUPINE TREE - RECORDINGS (2LP 180 GR.GATEFOLD) 2 VINYL LP NEW+ USD $36.16 Buy It Now 1 day
@ CD PORCUPINE TREE - IN ABSENTIA / LAVA RECORDS 2002 USD $9.99 Buy It Now 1 day
PORCUPINE TREE - ANESTHETIZE / NEW DVD USD $25.76 Buy It Now 1 day
PORCUPINE TREE - SIGNIFY NEW CD USD $19.89 Buy It Now 1 day
PORCUPINE TREE - VOYAGE 34 NEW CD USD $17.01 Buy It Now 1 day
Porcupine Tree-The Incident CD NEW USD $15.91 Buy It Now 1 day
Porcupine Tree Fear Of A Blank Planet LP Record OOP 2X Vinyl Steven Wilson USD $60.00 Buy It Now 1 day
DEADWING BY PORCUPINE TREE (CD) USD $19.92 Buy It Now 1 day
PORCUPINE TREE - UP THE DOWNSTAIR NEW CD USD $23.41 Buy It Now 1 day
PORCUPINE TREE Octane Twisted "Live" (KSCOPE 218) 2CD/Prog rock USD $10.12 Buy It Now 1 day
PORCUPINE TREE - FEAR OF A BLANK PLANET NEW CD USD $18.16 Buy It Now 1 day
PORCUPINE TREE - OCTANE TWISTED NEW CD USD $25.82 Buy It Now 1 day
NO-MAN (PORCUPINE TREE/STEVEN WILSON/IEM) - HEAVEN TASTE (1995) - RESURGENCE CD USD $14.48 Buy It Now 1 day
NO-MAN (PORCUPINE TREE/STEVEN WILSON/IEM) - RETURNING JESUS - 2001 3rd STONE CD USD $14.48 Buy It Now 1 day
Lot Of 3 Cassettes: Porcupine Tree: Coma Divine, On The Sunday..., The Sky Moves USD $45.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Music: PORCUPINE TREE Merchandise Tour & Concert Stuff USD $0.01 [0 bids]
1 day
Richard Barbieri INDIGO FALLS CD w/Member of PORCUPINE TREE & JAPAN OUT OF PRINT USD $39.99 Buy It Now 1 day
STEVEN WILSON (PORCUPINE TREE/IBM/NO-MAN) INSURGENTES - KSCOPE 2xDVD BOX SET USD $14.48 Buy It Now 1 day
PORCUPINE TREE - VOYAGE 34 - 180GM VINYL - NEW USD $35.18 Buy It Now 1 day
PORCUPINE TREE "ON THE SUNDAY OF LIFE" CD NEW+ USD $16.37 Buy It Now 1 day
PORCUPINE TREE 'STARS DIE ...1991-1997" CD NEW+ USD $22.52 Buy It Now 1 day
Porcupine tree-2005 magazine advert USD $7.23 Buy It Now 1 day
Porcupine Tree THE INCIDENT 180g Gatefold TONEFLOAT RECORDS New Vinyl 2 LP USD $34.99 [0 bids]
1 day
Fear of a Blank Planet by Porcupine Tree (CD, Apr-2007, Atlantic (Label)) USD $11.99 Buy It Now 1 day
PORCUPINE TREE - UP THE DOWNSTAIR 2008 JAPAN MINI LP 2 CD SET USD $26.06 Buy It Now 1 day
PORCUPINE TREE - STUPID DREAM (IMPORT) NEW DVD USD $80.15 Buy It Now 1 day
PORCUPINE TREE (STEVEN WILSON/NO-MAN) - OCTANE TWISTED - KSCOPE 2xCD + SLIPCASE USD $10.86 Buy It Now 1 day
Porcupine Tree ?- In Absentia 2 x LP Tonefloat ?- tf102 USD $50.69 Buy It Now 1 day
Porcupine Tree FEAR OF A BLANK PLANET 180g Gatefold NEW SEALED VINYL 2 LP USD $36.99 [0 bids]
1 day
PORCUPINE TREE - DEADWING NEW CD USD $17.01 Buy It Now 1 day
PORCUPINE TREE - RECORDINGS NEW CD USD $19.77 Buy It Now 1 day
DEEEXPUS - HALF WAY HOME NEW PORCUPINE TREE CLASSIC USD $15.57 Buy It Now 1 day
Recordings - Porcupine Tree New & Sealed LP Free Shipping USD $39.27 Buy It Now 1 day
PORCUPINE TREE - SKY MOVES SIDEWAYS NEW CD USD $23.41 Buy It Now 1 day
PORCUPINE TREE - METANOIA NEW CD USD $16.55 Buy It Now 1 day
Porcupine Tree-Transmission 10.1 Llosaarirock USD $86.90 [0 bids]
1 day
Porcupine Tree-Warszawa Transmission 2.1 USD $43.45 [0 bids]
1 day
Recordings - Porcupine Tree New & Sealed CD-JEWEL CASE Free Shipping USD $18.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Porcupine Tree In Absentia 12 Trk CD Album Enhanced SEALED USD $14.47 Buy It Now 1 day
PORCUPINE TREE Fear Of A Blank Planet RARE OOP EXPANDED DVD-AUDIO 5.1 USD $28.99 Buy It Now 1 day
FEAR OF A BLANK PLANET [PORCUPINE TREE] [075678999444] NEW CD USD $17.97 Buy It Now 1 day
Metanoia [Digipak] by Porcupine Tree (CD, Oct-2009, Kscope) USD $8.04 Buy It Now 1 day
Voyage 34 by Porcupine Tree (CD, Nov-2009, Kscope) USD $8.10 Buy It Now 1 day
Lands End Drainage SEALED 1998 UK Cyclops CD Porcupine Tree Marillion Neo Prog USD $33.88 Buy It Now 2 days
Porcupine Tree: Anesthetize (DVD) USD $23.35 Buy It Now 2 days
@ CD PORCUPINE TREE - FEAR OF A BLANK PLANET / ROADRUNNER RECORDS 2007 USD $9.99 Buy It Now 2 days
PORCUPINE TREE - COMA DIVINE (IMPORT) NEW CD USD $65.96 Buy It Now 2 days
Steven Wilson Catalogue / Preserve / Amass CD Album NEW Porcupine Tree Tour USD $175.00 Buy It Now 2 days
PORCUPINE TREE - OCTANE TWISTED: 2CD ALBUM SET (KSCOPE218) USD $14.47 Buy It Now 2 days
Porcupine Tree-Anesthetize CD with DVD NEW USD $16.50 Buy It Now 2 days
Porcupine Tree In Absentia PROMO EMPTY BOX for jewel case, japan mini lp cd USD $65.00 Buy It Now 2 days
PORCUPINE TREE -IN ABSENTIA-MEGA RARE SPECIAL PROMO ONLY WITH BONUS DISC-2CD2CD USD $15.99 [0 bids]
USD $125.99 Buy It Now
2 days
On the Sunday of Life by Porcupine Tree (CD, Nov-2009, Kscope) USD $8.92 Buy It Now 2 days
PORCUPINE TREE - SAMPLER 2005 / TRANSMISSION RECORDINGS PROMO CD / STEVEN WILSON USD $34.44 Buy It Now 2 days
Porcupine Tree - On The Sunday Of Life [CD New] USD $11.12 Buy It Now 2 days
PORCUPINE TREE - ON THE SUNDAY OF LIFE NEW CD USD $16.55 Buy It Now 2 days
HAWKWIND / PORCUPINE TREE / CARAVAN / OSIBISA / ARTHUR BROWN RARE FESTIVAL FLYER USD $8.68 Buy It Now 2 days
Porcupine Tree - Staircase Infinities - Cassette, Made In Poland USD $35.00 Buy It Now 2 days
Porcupine Tree Nil Recurring Robert Fripp Japan CD Bonus Track USD $1.50 [3 bids]
2 days
I.E.M - Have Come For Your Children - Porcupine Tree - Steven Wilson. USD $47.78 [0 bids]
2 days


More places to buy PORCUPINE TREE music online Buy PORCUPINE TREE & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
  • AmazonMP3: Search for PORCUPINE TREE DRM-Free MP3 Downloads @ AmazonMP3 (USA Only) | AmazonMP3 (UK Only)

PORCUPINE TREE shows & tickets


PORCUPINE TREE has no upcoming shows, according to LAST.FM syndicated events and shows feed

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)

3.02 | 693 ratings
On The Sunday Of Life.....
1991
3.91 | 808 ratings
Up The Downstair
1993
4.07 | 1099 ratings
The Sky Moves Sideways
1995
3.81 | 984 ratings
Signify
1996
3.98 | 1114 ratings
Stupid Dream
1999
4.03 | 1237 ratings
Lightbulb Sun
2000
4.24 | 2062 ratings
In Absentia
2002
4.09 | 1684 ratings
Deadwing
2005
4.23 | 2102 ratings
Fear Of A Blank Planet
2007
3.67 | 1309 ratings
The Incident
2009

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

4.45 | 395 ratings
Coma Divine
1997
3.73 | 75 ratings
Spiral Circus Live (LP)
1997
3.67 | 123 ratings
XM
2003
3.75 | 8 ratings
Live in Poland
2003
3.93 | 275 ratings
Warszawa
2004
4.04 | 124 ratings
XMII
2005
4.24 | 146 ratings
Rockpalast
2005
4.49 | 156 ratings
Arriving Somewhere...
2006
3.36 | 215 ratings
We Lost The Skyline
2008
3.67 | 111 ratings
Ilosaarirock
2009
4.26 | 174 ratings
Atlanta
2010
3.52 | 167 ratings
Octane Twisted
2012

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

4.57 | 487 ratings
Arriving Somewhere...
2006
4.67 | 488 ratings
Anesthetize
2010
4.24 | 59 ratings
Octane Twisted
2012

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

2.53 | 101 ratings
Yellow Hedgerow Dreamscape
1994
3.22 | 327 ratings
Voyage 34 - The Complete Trip
2000
4.17 | 326 ratings
Recordings
2001
4.21 | 226 ratings
Stars Die: The Delerium Years 1991 -1997
2002

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

3.47 | 53 ratings
Tarquin's Seaweed Farm (K7)
1989
3.26 | 43 ratings
Love, Death & Mussolini (K7)
1990
2.98 | 38 ratings
The Nostalgia Factory (K7)
1991
3.45 | 22 ratings
Radioactive E. P.
1992
3.67 | 96 ratings
Voyage 34
1992
2.94 | 47 ratings
Voyage 34 : Remixes
1993
3.26 | 56 ratings
Moonloop E.P.
1994
3.83 | 156 ratings
Staircase Infinities
1994
3.83 | 43 ratings
Waiting
1996
3.30 | 76 ratings
Insignificance (K7)
1997
3.95 | 20 ratings
Ambulance Chasers
1997
2.86 | 41 ratings
Stranger By The Minute
1999
2.85 | 42 ratings
Piano Lessons
1999
2.91 | 42 ratings
Pure Narcotic
1999
3.79 | 15 ratings
Coma Divine II
1999
3.97 | 30 ratings
Stars Die - Rare and Unreleased
1999
2.00 | 1 ratings
The Rest Will Flow
2000
3.04 | 56 ratings
4 Chords That Made A Million
2000
3.21 | 50 ratings
Shesmovedon
2000
4.10 | 87 ratings
Transmission IV
2001
2.95 | 187 ratings
Metanoia
2001
4.00 | 7 ratings
Blackest Eyes
2002
4.33 | 6 ratings
The Sound Of Muzak
2002
4.17 | 6 ratings
Trains
2003
3.32 | 28 ratings
Delerium EP
2003
3.44 | 128 ratings
Futile
2003
3.56 | 107 ratings
Lazarus
2005
3.25 | 4 ratings
Shallow
2005
3.50 | 4 ratings
So Called Friend
2006
3.75 | 4 ratings
Way Out Of Here
2007
3.33 | 3 ratings
Normal
2007
3.67 | 3 ratings
Fear Of A Blank Planet (Single)
2007
3.92 | 435 ratings
Nil Recurring
2007
2.00 | 2 ratings
Novak
2008
2.66 | 60 ratings
Time Flies
2009
3.99 | 64 ratings
Transmission 10.1 - Ilosaarirock
2009
3.80 | 5 ratings
Acoustic Session Jan 2010
2010

PORCUPINE TREE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Up The Downstair by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Studio Album, 1993
3.91 | 808 ratings

BUY
Up The Downstair
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by Emiliano

5 stars I remember entering this prog-rock forum a few years ago to see which new prog-rock band could satisfy my musical needs, so after reading some reviews I got hold of this disc plus another of Riverside. The latter I only heard twice, as by that time my interest in metal-centered bands would start dwindling. Instead, I was in search for a new sound, which I found in the form of the psychedelic and spacey Up the Downstair soundscapes.

I can't even count the hours I have spent listening to the perfect progression between Siren, Small Fish, and Burning Sky, which in my opinion is the best song progression I ever heard in my life, even surpassing that of Time/The Great Gig in the Sky, which is a hell of progression that now and then plays back in my head. Gosh, I even learnt to play Small Fish with the classical guitar, an instrument with which I seldom play rock tunes.

My love for the soundscape achieved in this album is incommensurable. That trial-speech style intro leading into the powerful chord pattern of Synesthesia is one of Porcupine Tree's finest moments, only to come back in what I regard one of the finest songs of Porcupine Tree's repertoire: Dark Matter. But, let's get back to Up the Downstair. There are two versions: the original with electronic drums, and the remastered one with Gavin and Staircase Infinities as Disc 2. Let's just say that The joke is on you is a perfect match for Up the Downstair.

If you want to listen to Porcupine Tree's rawest psychedelic and space-rock version this is your album. Other albums from the pre-Gavin era don't have that ambient. For instance, "On the Sunday of Life" is playful, "The Sky Moves Sideways" shifts between tight and spaceful, "Signify" is a revolving sound-wall, "Stupid Dream" is light and sorrowful, and "Lightbulb Sun" shifts between acid and mellow. Of course, in Gavin's era Porcupine Tree would add a metal sound-palette that in spite of not being dominant until The Incident, it would provide the band with a more stable soundscape.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password
 The Incident by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.67 | 1309 ratings

BUY
The Incident
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by VianaProghead

4 stars Review Nº 25

This is my first review of a Porcupine Tree album. Porcupine Tree is a British progressive rock group formed in 1987 by Steven Wilson, their mastermind, mainly composer and front man. They're one of the best and most important bands to emerge from UK in the last years. They have the guidance of the visionary Steven, who have modernised progressive rock by adding a dash of everything that's happened to music in these days since the genres heyday.

Usually, I start my reviews from a band by my favourite album, their most striking album or their debut album. In this case, I decided to start with the last musical work from the band, because when I made this review I have seen the presentation of the album in a live concert in my country. So, therefore, and after all, I had the two versions, both the studio and the live versions, very fresh in my mind. So, as you can see, I had already made this review some time ago.

'The Incident' is the tenth studio album of Porcupine Tree and was released in 2009. The recording sessions of the album have been started in February 2009, and it was released on September. 'The Incident' is a concept album based on a Wilson's idea. The original idea appeared when he was caught in a motorway traffic jam driving and he passed a road accident. Then, he thought that an accident is something so traumatic and destructive for the people involved, that he decided to make a concept album about it. Therefore, he decided to search some other type of accidents reported in the media and in the news. So, the concept of the album is about several types of accidents very different, like a car crash, a drowning in a river, or a massacre in a religious cult in Texas. Curiously, he decided to call it 'The Incident' not 'The Accident', because he considered the word 'The Incident' a more detached word.

For those who aren't familiar with my progressive biography, I need to say that I'm Portuguese and despite I was born in Lisbon, I live in a small town in the north of Portugal, Viana do Castelo, for some years. On the live tour of Porcupine Tree's 'The Incident', the band had two concerts marked to Portugal. The first was in 20.11.2009 in Lisbon and the second was in 21.11.2009 in Porto. Although I have some family in Lisbon, I live about 400 Km away, and so I decided to go to the Porto's concert with my youngest son. The distance is not far away. It's only about 75 Km away.

I only bought the album in the beginning of November, because the concert was very close to that date. I must say that I was somewhat disappointed with the first listening of the album. After their splendid previous studio album 'Fear Of A Blank Planet' released in 2007, I confess that I expected much more of this new work. So, it was with some expectation, that I waited the presentation of the album live, and above all, because, despite the group had already acted in Portugal in other occasions, for me, it would be the first time that I would see a Porcupine Tree live concert.

The concert was divided in two distinct parts. In the first part the band performed the 55 minutes 'The Incident', without interruption, and in the second part the band played tracks from some other previous studio albums. The only thing I can say is that I became astonished with the concert. Porcupine Tree is really a wonderful live band. When I returned home and I listen to the album again, I maintained my first impression. It still didn't sound to me as good. I usually prefer studio works instead live works. But in this case I confess that 'The Incident' is better performed live than listen on the studio version. The album has a much faster rhythm and is quite heavier than on its studio version. However, to make this review, I had to listen to the album another couple of times. And oddly, I must confess that the more I listen to the album, it better sounds to me. Curiously, I saw, in the same year, three other live concerts in my country. The first was in Lisbon, Dream Theater+Pendragon in June, the second was also in Lisbon the Eagles concert in July, and the third was in Porto, the Progressive Nation 2009-Dream Theater+Opeth+Bigelf+Unexpected in October. However, I must confess that the Porcupine Tree live concert was the best and my favourite of all.

Conclusion: 'The Incident' is in reality a great album, more acoustic and less heavy than the last ones. It's an album with two CD's. The first CD is an ambitious musical project with a fifty five minutes piece of music divided into fourteen separate tracks. The second CD has only four tracks. In my humble opinion, the second CD doesn't explore the same line of the first and it shows the more experimental musical side of Steve. We can say that it's a kind of a bonus CD. So, for this reason, I practically skipped it away, from my review. Certainly, 'The Incident' is the most autobiographical album by Steven, because all the songs are somehow a little bit personal. Probably, it isn't for everyone. It takes time to absorb it. Undoubtedly, we are in presence of an excellent album by one of the greatest progressive bands, which has one of the best progressive artists in our days. Probably, my fault was to have so many expectations about it.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password
 Anesthetize by PORCUPINE TREE album cover DVD/Video, 2010
4.67 | 488 ratings

BUY
Anesthetize
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

3 stars A lot of what follows might read like killjoy over-analysis...business as usual, in other words. But only because of some nagging philosophical reservations about the nature of modern concert videos in general, as applied to a group like Porcupine Tree in particular.

The dormant PT has actually released more live albums now than studio recordings, most likely out of economic necessity. This wasn't primarily a live band, in the manner of King Crimson or Umphrey's McGee: groups that typically make their best musical statement on stage, in symbiotic union with a supportive audience. In concert The Tree was perfectly rehearsed and totally professional but, let's face it: they lacked a certain joie de vivre, to say the least.

Hardly surprising, given their trademark style of atmospheric Heavy Prog, and the subject matter at hand for this tour, supporting the "Fear of a Blank Planet" album. It's hard to tell if the quartet (plus guest John Wesley) was having any fun whatsoever, and we know what that means: all work, no play, so forth. The DVD then adds another level of detachment, by further removing an already static group performance behind the barrier of a television screen or computer monitor.

Witnessing the show firsthand and at high volume, with its elaborate stage lighting and mandatory (but in this case necessary) barrage of distracting back-screen video (on three huge screens!), might have been a thrilling experience. Re-living it from the comfort of your own living room, through someone else's spastic editing choices, doesn't have the same impact.

Too bad, because the camerawork itself is sharp and skillful, if a little too self-consciously agile, hardly pausing on each player for more than two seconds at any time, even during the slower passages. Did we really need so many inserts of adoring fans? Or a visual scheme cut to suit our damaged 21st century attention spans? It's as if Steve Wilson and company were pandering to the tech-ruined psyches of the same Blank Planet generation he critiques in the album. Maybe that was the point, but I doubt it; the hyperactive style is really just an aesthetic sign of our times.

Which is why the audio-only CD's in this package are so much more effective. Headphones give listeners the freedom to edit their own internal concert, absorbed within the music alone. Heard but not seen, the vitality of the playing is obvious, from a time when Porcupine Tree was still passionate about their jobs (unlike the later, valedictory "Octane Twisted" live set).

It's always exciting seeing good music brought to life in front of an enthusiastic crowd. But it's the music that should leave the strongest impression, not the cosmetic stagecraft designed (as here) to hold your wandering attention. Fortunately, that's more or less what happens throughout this set. In the end, the music is far more exciting than the musicians themselves.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password
 In Absentia by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Studio Album, 2002
4.24 | 2062 ratings

BUY
In Absentia
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by Progkid

5 stars I am a huge PT man and this was the album that introduced me into the magical world of Prog( I was a huge PF fan tho but that was it till I heard this album). This album to me sounds like a concept Album, though there are people who feel otherwise, I'll try to say what I made out of this album

1. Blackest Eyes- 10/10 that riff at the start keeps you hooked to the song, it was just..magical.I actually didn't like metallic riffs till I heard this one..now for the concept, you see this album is about a killer but for me it shows the duality in yourself, which is the angel and the devil part, you get the idea from the lyrics that the main character has had a messed up life "I got wiring loose inside my head I got books that I never ever read I got secrets in my garden shed I got a scar where all my urges bled I got people underneath my bed I got a place where all my dreams are dead Swim with me into your blackest eyes" this song is basically the introduction of the character, you feel sad for him and the rest of the song is about how he looks at his childhood and wonders what he has become, the lines "A few minutes with me inside my van Should be so beautiful if we can I'm feeling something taking over me" reflects that he is desperately craving for killing, its when the bad side of you takes over the good one

2. Trains- 10/10: I wish I could give it 20, but well..my hands are tied..this song in one word is nostalgic..me and Steven share the same love for trains, which is not because they are powerful,fast and blah blah, its because we have memories attached to that, this is what the song is about, the killer looking back at the happy moments of his life, maybe his love life, "Train set and match spied under the blind Shiny and contoured the railway winds And I've heard the sound from my cousin's bed The hiss of the train at the railway head Always the summers are slipping away" this reflects that once he was a human, he had feelings 'always the summers are slipping away' means when you are with someone you love but no matter how much time you spend it feels short, and you want more..but can't get it, total desperation how you keep searching for a way to make it stay..the last four line describe, the sexual fantasies of him which later turns into obsession as the album progresses..overall its a pt classic and is about how desperate you fell when everything you had just goes away

3. Lips Of Ashes- 9/10 this one builds a scary atmosphere which complements, the theme and steven's voice perfectly, this is where our character first murders someone..and then fulfills his fantasies on the helpless human being, the line 'you and I connection failing' has got double meaning, one is the simple one where the victim is slowly dying...and the other to me seems is how you lose connection with the good part of yourself and 'drill down inside' of the bad part

4. Sound of Muzak - 8.5/10: this is the song that maybe doesn't fit well with the concept, its about steven's anger (or maybe the killers?) anger towards the music industry, how the untalented people are being millionaires while talented young people are forced to starve, how the music is engineered to suit you, which is something I believe should not happen, you discover music, its not the other way round

5. Gravity Eyelids- 8.5/10: this song bring backs us to where we left during lips of ashes, its the longest song on the album and lyrically similar to lips of ashes(I mean in concept), you can see the killer part of him has fully taken over, he is becoming a psycho who craves for sex, you can see how he talks to his victim in this song, how he asks her to smile and be calm(scary!)there is no much need to explain the lyrics much as I it straight in your face, with sexual lyrics and murder

6. Wedding Nails- 9/10 in one word, thunderous, just look at that guitar, but wait there is concept here too, what do you associate with wedding? bells right? wedding bells symbolize happy marriage, but the song contains nails, which signifies something is wrong, and he's not happy, maybe he tried to settle with his life but again the killer instinct of him takes over and he wants to murder again, you can see the anger explained through the music itself

7. Prodigal- 8/10 in this song we have aviv(co partner in blackfield) as a backing singer, he was also present in sound of muzak, lyrically its about how he tried everything to be his normal self,religion,smoking, but he was cheated, which only increase his hatred than anything else, he tells himself to close his eyes cause like all things in his life the rejection and disappointment will pass too

8 .3- 7.5/10: this song is 75% instrumental but yet brilliant, the lyrics reflect the modern day life, how you always fear that the atomic and nuclear warfare will eventually wipe out the human race and this is how the killer feels too

9. The Creator Had A Mastertape 8.5/10 "He captured and collected things And he put them in a shed He raised a proper family So he could tie them to a bed"

this song is about how he tortures his family everyday an the regret he feels but yet he can't help himself, he's helpless

"He worked himself into the ground And drove a spike into his head A voice said "Are you happy now? 'Your sordid home is running red"

10. Heart attack in a layby - 10/10 touching, imagine you loved someone all your life, and she hates you, still you kept loving, you did everything to make her happy only to find yourself depressed,insulted and suicidal..but one day she says she's sorry for everything and you're happier than anything, you just wanna go there,kiss her and grow old together, this is the song about but with a twist, you can hear the song is sad, inspite of the happy(somewhat) lyrics at the start, the girl says sorry to the guy and he's so happy that he decides to sit cause his body is aching, but he doesn't realize he's having a heart attack and dying, its like when you wanted something all your life, and in the end were fingertips close only to realize you still didn't get it....its like give one drop of water to the thirsty and then leave him to die #we'llgrowoldtogether

11. Strip the Soul- 9/10: this song is the climax where he eventually tortures his family to death, it has quite disturbing lyrics, "Spread it wide, my wife, my life, push the camera deeper" which gives details about his life

"This machine Is there to please Strip the soul Fill the hole A fire to feed A belt to bleed Strip the soul Kill them all"

he eventually kills them and buries them yet he believes they are with him

"They are not gone, they are not gone, they are only sleeping In graves, in ways, in clay, underneath the floor Building walls, overalls, getting bored, I gotfaulty wiring Brick it up now, brick it up now, but keep the bones"

12- Collapse the light into earth- 9/10: this is where the album ends, he finally finds the real self and the title of the song serves as the metaphor as how light wipes out all the darkness on earth

overall a good album to anyone who wants to check out porcupine tree

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password
 Fear Of A Blank Planet by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Studio Album, 2007
4.23 | 2102 ratings

BUY
Fear Of A Blank Planet
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by Necrotica
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Right from the beginning of its title track, it's clear that Steven Wilson was intending to return to a less straightforward sound for Fear of a Blank Planet. Fresh off the heels of the highly praised Deadwing, Porcupine Tree decided to tread back to a more immersive and atmospheric sound rather than the pop-oriented touches of their recent records. It definitely shows; the album is just dripping with despondent and cautionary imagery of alienation and hopelessness, all keeping with its theme of the issues affecting today's disaffected youth. The music that accompanies this bleak picture is just as bipolar and alienated as our main character, changing moods and styles while retaining its somber tone throughout.

While the ballads on Fear of a Blank Planet still contain some of Porcupine Tree's previous alternative rock elements, it's the longer compositions that shake things up in a big way. The riffs are heavier than ever, the different sections flow together almost seamlessly, and the progressive edge is more strongly defined here than it was on Deadwing or In Absentia. Of course, most of the attention goes to the centerpiece "Anesthetize," considering it's been years since any Porcupine Tree song has gotten close to this long. But beyond that, just look at all the song lengths; everything is more epic in length and the arrangements have become more elaborate as a result. However, "Anesthetize" truly is the highlight. It constantly weaves back and forth between moods and dynamics without ever sounding obnoxious or too obvious, and the ballad portion at the end is one of the most serene conclusions to any rock epic out there. There's even a guest solo courtesy of Rush's Alex Lifeson! But if any song comes close to this one, it's the brilliant title track. Comprised of a tense acoustic segment, too many good metal riffs to count, as well as a soft thought-provoking conclusion, it really sets the bar high for the rest of the album.

Many Porcupine Tree detractors have taken issue with Steven Wilson's vocals, usually with the complaint that they sound too unemotional or detached. If that's the case, then he seems right at home with the concept of this record. Lyrics like "Don't try engaging me; the vaguest of shrugs, the prescription drugs; you'll never find the person inside" on the title track sound so (ironically) powerful when sung through such a brick wall of monotone, as they fit the shoes of the bored protagonist perfectly. The same thing happens with the warped synth-heavy closer "Sleep Together," as it depicts sex with one giant shrug, as well as "Way Out of Here" with its depictions of isolation coming into the mix. Also interesting is the way that Wilson's disinterested vocals clash with the heavier riffing on the album, almost emanating a grunge-like vibe. However, when he does get emotional, it shines at just the right moments. "My Ashes" and "Sentimental" are both very touching pieces that show a more... well... sentimental approach to the main character's life. Richard Barbieri's keyboard work especially shines in these two pieces, his runs and chords creating both a bleak vibe and some glimmers of hope.

Fear of a Blank Planet is a bit of a weird record in Porcupine Tree's catalogue, as it seems to go the Signify route of capturing every era of the band while remaining its own entity. Regardless, its combination of great musical variety and wonderfully-conveyed concept are what allow it to overshadow so many modern-day progressive metal peers. The simplistic lyrics and low-key delivery of said lyrics can get grating at times, but it's a minor issue in an otherwise amazing experience. It's pretty unfortunate that Porcupine Tree went on their hiatus after The Incident, as it would be great to hear them top this one day with something even stronger. As for now, we still have this near-masterpiece to cherish.

(Originally published on Sputnikmusic)

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password
 Stupid Dream by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.98 | 1114 ratings

BUY
Stupid Dream
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by Necrotica
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Porcupine Tree have always been a bit of an oddity in the progressive rock world. Sure, they've experimented with many other genres to date, but not many bands in the musical style can lay claim to such an accessible and inviting sound in the process. Of course their 90s work is a bit more obscure and inaccessible because of Steven Wilson's psychedelic offerings, but with Signify, the band hit a turning point. A more band-oriented approach was taken, a more streamlined style was introduced (although still psychedelic, mind you), and the the switch in sounds was quite surprising to the fans of Porcupine Tree's more sprawling early work. And then if that wasn't enough, Stupid Dream was released.

Stupid Dream is basically Wilson's first foray into more commercial pop and alternative rock music, complete with shorter songs and much cleaner musical arrangements. The instrumental work is incredibly tight and crisp, but many of the songs are much more uplifting in tone (especially "Stranger by the Minute" and "Piano Lessons") despite some very depressing lyrical themes. Traces of the old Porcupine Tree sound are definitely present, especially in longer tracks such as "Tinto Brass" and "Don't Hate Me," but I really enjoy the balance presented here between alternative rock and hints of progressive rock; other than the band's next offering Lightbulb Sun, this mix can't really be heard as prominently as in other releases by the band. The lyrics also happen to be a strength of the record despite Wilson's unfortunate track record of having consistently weak lyrical work in other records, ranging from subjects such as survival ("A Smart Kid"), tragedy ("This is No Rehearsal"), complacency ("Stop Swimming"), and multiple other subjects throughout the experience. Interestingly enough, however, the atmosphere of the record usually remains pretty sunny and light, making the whole thing a comfortable entry for newcomers to progressive rock music in general. However, just as with most Porcupine Tree albums, there are still many complexities and inner-workings that serve to make Stupid Dream a compelling listen; Richard Barbieri in particular has wonderfully layered keyboard work that melds wonderfully with Wilson's melodic guitar lines. The production is also a strong reason for this, being exceptionally lush while highlighting every instrument perfectly; it's clean, but has enough edge during the heavier and more distorted moments.

The album is essentially split between what you would call the "singles" in structure and style, and the more sprawling progressive tracks such as the aforementioned "Don't Hate Me" and "Tinto Brass," much like Lightbulb Sun that came after it. "Piano Lessons" is pretty much the most accessible and fun track on here, with an incredibly poppy piano arrangement and Steven Wilson's melodic vocal work, while "Stranger by the Minute" and "This is No Rehearsal" follow suit (despite the depressing subject matter of the latter). On the more complex side, "Don't Hate Me" and "Even Less" are fantastic numbers with a ton of instrumental buildup to their melancholic songwriting. In fact, "Don't Hate Me" even has a killer saxophone solo and lots of jazz elements during the middle portion! "Tinto Brass," on the other hand, is less impressive; it basically sounds like meandering left-overs from the Signify album and doesn't fit the atmosphere of the album very well. "Baby Dream in Cellophane" is also quite weak, being one of the blander ballads in Porcupine Tree's catalog despite combining both depressing and uplifting moments pretty decently. Despite this, the thing that perhaps solidifies Stupid Dream as one of Porcupine Tree's stronger records is that, even with the catchy alternative portions, the album doesn't sound complacent or lazy when viewed as a successor to Signify... it merely comes off as a logical progression. "A Smart Kid" is probably the best way to view the evolution, as it is perhaps the most beautiful tune in Steven Wilson's entire discography; the acoustic portions are wonderfully minimalistic, and the catharsis reached by the more climactic chorus is truly a sound to behold because of the layered instrumentation and Wilson's emotive vocals.

Stupid Dream is pretty much the definition of a transitional record (along with Signify), but it's a damn good transitional record. The balance between emotion, accessibility and complexity, which is key to the Porcupine Tree formula, was pretty much in full effect by this point and the experience is quite satisfying as a result. I wouldn't say it reaches the heights of some of the band's subsequent releases such as Lightbulb Sun or In Absentia, but the leaps and bounds of Stupid Dream were pretty much instrumental in leading up to those albums, so I can't pick on it too much. Not when the music is this good, anyway.

(Originally published on Sputnikmusic)

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password
 Signify by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Studio Album, 1996
3.81 | 984 ratings

BUY
Signify
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by Necrotica
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I've always been fascinated with music artists who frequently reinvent their sound and yet maintain quality and freshness in their work regardless. While so many artists fail to make waves in the commercial or critical department when slowly transitioning into new territory, others make a complete 180° turn and succeed greatly whether by knowing the musical landscape or by just pure luck. Then you have Porcupine Tree, who have had three radical reinventions and been very well-received for all of them. You have the psychedelic era (when they weren't even a full group yet), the alternative era, and the progressive metal era; as of now, none of the band's albums (even debut On the Sunday of Life) have been terribly received and most of them receive high marks. However, one album that never seems to fit into the grand scheme of things is the band's sole transitional album Signify; while considered by many to be part of the psychedelic era, the album seems to combine the past and future sounds of the group almost perfectly. True to this statement, the album also remains one of their best and most balanced works; it not only depicts how far Steven Wilson had come with his musical project, but also depicts a promising and vast future for a now-complete group.

As suggested by that last sentence, this is indeed the first Porcupine Tree album with a full band to perform with Steven Wilson. Right from the opening of the surprisingly heavy title track, there's a strengthened sense of unity and focus in the material; while the trippy arrangements and vast soundscapes of previous records return here as well, they aren't always the main focus this time around. As suggested by the shorter running times of the songs, a lot of musical fat is trimmed and the psychedelic aspects are a bit toned down, but instrumental tracks like "Idiot Prayer" and "Intermediate Jesus" play with the group's spacey side with extended atmospheric jams. One of the best things about this album (one thing that plagued previous records by the band) is that there's a great stylistic balance; the album combines multiple genres and sounds, but distributes them all very well. You've got the first real song "Signify" (the first track is just an intro) which kicks things off with a hard-hitting riff and gets the listener pumped, only to be followed by a beautiful ballad in "Sleep of No Dreaming" as well as multiple improvisational jams and other ballads. "Sever" is the track in which the harder-rocking sound comes back into play, and it's brilliantly placed in the middle as a good way to kick up the volume at just the right time. This is some of the best song placement I've ever seen/heard on a record, and it's great to hear so many well-done switches in the band's sound.

Beyond that though, the real treasure of this album is its appreciation of atmosphere. This is one of Porcupine Tree's darkest records, but the moments of hope (despite there not being many) come at the right moments. For instance, closer "Dark Matter" is pretty damn depressing in terms of lyricism, but the guitar solo that follows the verses and choruses is absolutely beautiful and even inspiring as the dynamics increase and the instrumentation becomes less isolated. "Sever" and "Idiot Prayer" are perhaps even more important dynamically, as the more aggressive moments are placed among softer moments to give the listener moments of reflection in between the heavier portions. Of course, the band still shine most when those trademark melancholic Porcupine Tree ballads rear their heads; "Every Home is Wired" is still the song that impresses me the most, making the most out of guitar and keyboard layering to bring out some gorgeous textures. The psychedelic jam that concludes the song never hurts either. "Sleep of No Dreaming" is also notable, featuring an organ-sounding keyboard performance from Richard Barbieri to illustrate the song's musical backdrop as Steven Wilson gives one of his most emotional vocal performances.

The only gripe I can think of is that, despite great song placement, there's not quite as much musical consistency as the band's best records. Interludes like "Light Mass Prayers" or "Pagan" aren't really needed and can kill the pace of some of the album. If that's the worst thing about the record, though, then there isn't much to complain about. This is a superb way to end Porcupine Tree's psychedelic era and usher in the alternative era of their sound. All in all, it's a wonderful transitional album.

(Originally published on Sputnikmusic)

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password
 The Incident by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.67 | 1309 ratings

BUY
The Incident
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by Necrotica
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Porcupine Tree have always been known as a polarizing band, but who knew that their last release for the forseeable future would also be their weakest? Created two years after the acclaimed Fear of a Blank Planet, The Incident is perhaps the most ambitious work that Steven Wilson and co. have created thus far. The concept revolves around the topic of incidents and numerous traumatic events, and is connected by (technically) a 55- minute track. While the song is split up into numerous movements, it's clear that Wilson intended for this to be a full-fledged epic that would string together each piece of the concept. And all of this certainly sounded promising to say the least; the subject sounds like it would lend itself to some very powerful and emotionally resonant pieces of rock music. But there's the age-old question: did it all work? Well... no, it didn't.

Let's make something clear right away: Porcupine Tree have never failed at being technically proficient, precise, and atmospheric in their albums; this record is certainly no exception to that. Also, as with previous albums, Wilson has learned some new tricks this time around, mainly in the metal department. Opeth, Meshuggah, and even Nine Inch Nails could be cited as valid influences here, especially on heavier tracks like "Circle of Manias" and "The Blind House." Even the opening number "Occam's Razor" does it's job really well, its intense singular notes ringing out and exuding suspense and intrigue with each passing burst of distortion. But it's not long until things go awry, and it all starts with Steven Wilson's voice. I guess the best place to start, considering it's where almost everyone starts regarding this, is with the poppy song "Drawing the Line." Wilson constantly sounds out of breath during the chorus, which is a bit odd considering how he was able to belt out those high notes in "Shallow" just four years prior. But the real issue lies in how detached he sounds throughout the whole piece. Again, the guitar work, Colin Edwin's bass work, Gavin Harrison's drum work, and Richard Barbieri's keyboard work all sound good; however, why give a damn when you can't summon any passion with your voice and get people interested? The title track is the worst offender; Wilson's voice sounds nicely sinister during the industrial segment, but just sounds lethargic and lazy during the alternative rock- based chorus.

Unfortunately, this all leads to the bigger issue at hand: the whole damn album sounds very detached. No song on The Incident is bad by any means, but the problem is that it focuses on a bunch of different incidents of trauma and destruction rather than just one or two. How can people get invested in these people and their scars when Wilson's songs just fly by them and hurry on to the next topic at hand? The shorter songs like "Great Expectations" and "Your Unpleasant Family" are the absolute worst when it comes to this, because without any flow or emotional development to carry them, they just sound blatantly unfinished and utterly pointless. These issues also make many of the album's payoffs pointless, because they don't feel earned. That is, except for two masterpieces: "Time Flies" and "I Drive the Hearse." These songs are longer, more developed, and are absolutely gorgeous works that are actually somewhat reminiscent of the band's Lightbulb Sun days. These songs are clearly the highlights of this whole thing; "Time Flies" is especially notable because of a long drawn- out Pink Floyd-inspired droning section in the middle. It doesn't really fit the rest of the song, but it's a neat and inventive detour for an album that's honestly not as ambitious as its concept suggested. "I Drive the Hearse" is more of a standard ballad, but is still a beautiful piece and features some of Wilson's most delicate guitar and vocal work thus far.

It's a real shame when the rest of the experience is so damn mediocre and disjointed, though. Sadder, yet, is the fact that this is our last impression of Porcupine Tree for the time being and it has to be so weak. I remember the album initially having sort of a "wow" factor when I was younger, mainly because of the long- winded concept and (at least perceived) variety in the songs' tempos and dynamics. However, upon really peeling the layers of the record, it was proven to me just how bad its songwriting and ESPECIALLY its flow were. I guess I should briefly mention the second disc before signing out; honestly, it's not really worth discussing. The song's are decent, but don't pertain to the main experience and only serve to drag it out even longer. However, I will give a positive nod to "Bonnie the Cat" which has a cool sneaky atmosphere in terms of vocals and softer dynamics, as well as some impressive drumming by Harrison. Regardless, The Incident's ambition clearly didn't match the final cut. I really hope that Wilson brings the band back together for at least one more record, because we certainly deserve a better finale than this.

(Originally published on Sputnikmusic)

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password
 Deadwing by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Studio Album, 2005
4.09 | 1684 ratings

BUY
Deadwing
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by Necrotica
Prog Reviewer

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

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

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

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

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

(Originally published on Sputnikmusic)

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password
 On The Sunday Of Life.....  by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Studio Album, 1991
3.02 | 693 ratings

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

Review by Billy900

3 stars This was my first PORCUPINE TREE album, and I was blown away when it came out. But looking back now, it's obvious that Steve Wilson has come a LONG way since then.

In retrospect, I'd say this is overall a good album:a solid three stars. I never feel the need to skip any tracks, and I still play it reasonably often. The album is mostly very experimental, trippy and comparatively low-budget, but with TWO outstanding tracks..

1) Radioactive Toy 2) Nine Cats

The sound is obviously dated, but these standouts wouldn't be out of place in a modern day Steve Wilson concert. Having just come back from the gig in Seattle (Jun 2015) though, I suspect he'd rearrange them for extra heaviness, and turn the volume up to 11.!

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password
Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to M@X for the last updates

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — the ultimate jazz music virtual community | MetalMusicArchives.com — the ultimate metal music virtual community


Server processing time: 0.89 seconds