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PORCUPINE TREE

Heavy Prog • United Kingdom


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Porcupine Tree biography
Formed in 1987 in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire - Suspended activity since 2010

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.

⭐ Collaborators Top Prog Album of 2007 ⭐

The band started as a solo project of singer-songwriter-guitarist STEVEN 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 com...
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Buy PORCUPINE TREE Music


Arriving SomewhereArriving Somewhere
KSCOPE 2018
$8.99
$14.80 (used)
DeadwingDeadwing
Kscope Import 2018
$7.77
$8.24 (used)
On The Sunday Of LifeOn The Sunday Of Life
KSCOPE 2017
$7.32
$11.32 (used)
Fear Of A Blank PlanetFear Of A Blank Planet
KSCOPE 2018
$21.95
$19.86 (used)
The Sky Moves SidewaysThe Sky Moves Sideways
KSCOPE 2018
$9.29
$12.26 (used)
Stars DieStars Die
KSCOPE 2017
$8.89
$5.70 (used)
In AbsentiaIn Absentia
Kscope Import 2018
$19.18
$30.21 (used)
AnesthetizeAnesthetize
KSCOPE 2017
$14.37
$17.25 (used)
Up The DownstairUp The Downstair
KSCOPE 2018
$7.32
$6.95 (used)
Arriving Somewhere ( 2 Dvd Set )Arriving Somewhere ( 2 Dvd Set )
Multiple Formats
KSCOPE 2017
$14.29
$20.30 (used)
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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)

3.02 | 787 ratings
On The Sunday Of Life.....
1991
3.89 | 918 ratings
Up The Downstair
1993
4.07 | 1243 ratings
The Sky Moves Sideways
1995
3.83 | 1109 ratings
Signify
1996
3.98 | 1250 ratings
Stupid Dream
1999
4.03 | 1397 ratings
Lightbulb Sun
2000
4.24 | 2347 ratings
In Absentia
2002
4.10 | 1889 ratings
Deadwing
2005
4.25 | 2389 ratings
Fear Of A Blank Planet
2007
3.66 | 1459 ratings
The Incident
2009

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

4.44 | 438 ratings
Coma Divine
1997
3.72 | 88 ratings
Spiral Circus Live (LP)
1997
3.69 | 139 ratings
XM
2003
3.38 | 16 ratings
Live in Poland
2003
3.93 | 303 ratings
Warszawa
2004
4.02 | 144 ratings
XMII
2005
4.21 | 164 ratings
Rockpalast
2005
4.46 | 192 ratings
Arriving Somewhere...
2006
3.44 | 235 ratings
We Lost The Skyline
2008
3.65 | 127 ratings
Ilosaarirock
2009
4.23 | 197 ratings
Atlanta
2010
3.55 | 199 ratings
Octane Twisted
2012

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

4.57 | 521 ratings
Arriving Somewhere...
2006
4.66 | 538 ratings
Anesthetize
2010
4.15 | 79 ratings
Octane Twisted
2012

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

2.55 | 116 ratings
Yellow Hedgerow Dreamscape
1994
3.26 | 370 ratings
Voyage 34 - The Complete Trip
2000
4.19 | 362 ratings
Recordings
2001
4.22 | 254 ratings
Stars Die: The Delerium Years 1991 -1997
2002
5.00 | 1 ratings
The Delerium Years 1994 - 1997
2016
4.50 | 2 ratings
The Delerium Years 1991-1993
2017

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

3.48 | 64 ratings
Tarquin's Seaweed Farm (K7)
1989
3.21 | 53 ratings
Love, Death & Mussolini (K7)
1990
3.00 | 45 ratings
The Nostalgia Factory (K7)
1991
3.34 | 29 ratings
Radioactive E. P.
1992
3.71 | 112 ratings
Voyage 34
1992
2.92 | 54 ratings
Voyage 34 : Remixes
1993
3.29 | 66 ratings
Moonloop E.P.
1994
3.81 | 177 ratings
Staircase Infinities
1994
3.87 | 49 ratings
Waiting
1996
3.30 | 89 ratings
Insignificance (K7)
1997
4.04 | 34 ratings
Ambulance Chasers
1997
2.90 | 48 ratings
Stranger By The Minute
1999
2.90 | 51 ratings
Piano Lessons
1999
2.97 | 54 ratings
Pure Narcotic
1999
3.79 | 20 ratings
Coma Divine II
1999
4.00 | 35 ratings
Stars Die - Rare and Unreleased
1999
3.38 | 8 ratings
The Rest Will Flow
2000
3.08 | 65 ratings
4 Chords That Made A Million
2000
3.25 | 60 ratings
Shesmovedon
2000
4.08 | 103 ratings
Transmission IV
2001
2.96 | 209 ratings
Metanoia
2001
4.31 | 16 ratings
Blackest Eyes
2002
4.33 | 15 ratings
The Sound Of Muzak
2002
4.60 | 15 ratings
Trains
2003
3.67 | 33 ratings
Delerium EP
2003
3.46 | 145 ratings
Futile
2003
4.00 | 1 ratings
Men of Wood
2004
3.60 | 120 ratings
Lazarus
2005
3.67 | 12 ratings
Shallow
2005
3.55 | 11 ratings
So Called Friend
2006
3.89 | 9 ratings
Way Out Of Here
2007
3.91 | 11 ratings
Normal
2007
3.80 | 10 ratings
Fear Of A Blank Planet (Single)
2007
3.93 | 470 ratings
Nil Recurring
2007
2.93 | 6 ratings
Novak
2008
2.72 | 65 ratings
Time Flies
2009
3.96 | 68 ratings
Transmission 10.1 - Ilosaarirock
2009
3.86 | 7 ratings
Acoustic Session Jan 2010
2010

PORCUPINE TREE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 We Lost The Skyline by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Live, 2008
3.44 | 235 ratings

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We Lost The Skyline
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This is a recording of a live remote done at a music store in Orlando, Florida in Oct, 2007. Originally, the remote performance was to feature the entire band, however, because of space issues, only Steven Wilson and John Wesley were able to attend. What resulted is a very warm and intimate 33 minute mini-concert in front of 200 very lucky fans, which is the subject of this album.

Steven Wilson performs alone in the first 3 tracks, singing and playing both electric and acoustic guitars. John Wesley doesn't appear until the 4th track. As the performance continues, Wilson opens up to the crowd and you get so involved in the intimacy of the concert, that you feel like you are there. You hear songs that you wouldn't expect to hear in this kind of a setting, namely the verses from "The Sky Moves Sideways" which turns into a beautiful and pensive song, Even Less, and Drown With Me. There are also some you would expect to hear, which retain their beauty, but give them a new life, namely, "Waiting", "Trains" and "Lazarus".

You know exactly when Wesley joins in during the middle of "Waiting", and he comes in at the right time, exactly when you want to hear that extra guitar support. At the beginning of "Normal", Wilson really warms up to the audience and relates a great story about him and Robert Fripp, and he even jokes around with his performance. The riff intro to "Waiting" is heard as the complex and difficult riff that it is. Wesley's voice gets it's due in this song as he sings counterpoint to Wilson's main verses.

This album is a definite must to Porcupine Tree fans, and is an excellent addition to anyone's music library, especially to lovers of acoustic and bare bones music. These performances bring out the soul of the songs and shifts the focus to the lyrics and the hearts of the songs. It may not be a masterpiece of progressive music, but it is one of the most intimate and most enjoyable acoustic sets that have been recorded. Highly recommended. Honestly, I only have a few acoustic performance albums that I consider my favorites, and this is one of them.

 Fear Of A Blank Planet by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Studio Album, 2007
4.25 | 2389 ratings

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Fear Of A Blank Planet
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by Egyptianprog-Fahmy

5 stars Porcupine tree always uses different approaches to create their music. This time, they experimented severely, taking the approaches of In Absentia but adding a way different tone to it. The bass and guitar are more distorted, the drums are more intense and Richard's keyboard has never been better. The lyrics of Steven Wilson as usual exceeded expectations as this has to be the best lyrics he wrote in a while. Songs like Anesthetize makes you wonder in a complete void especially since it's long, while short songs like my ashes send you to a deep depressive mood. I love this album from start to finish. This is a true masterpiece from porcupine tree. They should have ended it here instead of releasing the incident later on. I truly wish Porcupine tree would rise again and play live this amazing masterpiece.
 Anesthetize by PORCUPINE TREE album cover DVD/Video, 2010
4.66 | 538 ratings

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Anesthetize
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

4 stars If you expect to watch this video and see Steven Wilson, Richard Barbieri, Colin Edwin, Gavin Harrison, and John Wesley dancing around, acting flamboyant, interacting with the crowd, or trying to dredge up excitement, just know that's not going to happen. If you expect to see tricky video enhancements or fancy camerawork, don't get your hopes up too high. This video and performance is all about the music, nothing distracting (except for a lot of shots of the audience). But, this is not necessary. These things are usually done (at least in most popular music) in recorded live performances, or even non-recorded, to either distract from the fact that the music is lacking. That's not to say it's the only time it is done, but on run of the mill pop music, it is a ploy to make you love the entertainer or the mediocre music, to get your excitement up for the experience. But many times, this distracts from what should be the real "star" of the show, and that is the music. Yes, it's fun to have all of that, and it's even great when the music is excellent. But on this particular video, it's about the music more than it is about the performers.

Other than the fact that there is not a lot of "action" in a Porcupine Tree performance, the actual performances are amazing, the music is excellent and there are no distractions. There are some nice changes here and there in this live performance , but for the most part, the music is pretty close to the originals. It's a nice experience to see the performers performing and that is the main reason for this. Wilson's vocals are top rate, but you can tell they are in a live setting without additional takes and studio polish, and I actually find that a good thing. It gives the experience that uniqueness and makes things just different enough to justify buying a live version. I also like the rawer sound of vocals in this type of setting.

Another thing that stands out here is Wesley's background vocals. He is an excellent singer and it's good to hear him stand out a little more here. His higher pitched singing is a nice touch added to support Wilson's vocals. And, of course, its amazing to watch this excellent music being performed. I usually don't write reviews on videos because I am not familiar with the workings of cinematography, camera work and etc. But I can say that I enjoy this immensely,

For some reason, the last paragraph of this review got cut off when I sent it. I just summed things up saying that it is enjoyable to watch musicianship of this high caliber. But, even after my lecture on distractions, I have to admit that I like seeing some of that in a concert, it adds to the experience, it's just annoying when it's done to cover up a lack of talent. Some surprises, interaction with the audience, and more uniqueness in the music would have made this a 5 star recording. Even with great music, it's okay to use distractions once in a while to help make an experience memorable. Just know that this particular recording is all about the music and even with that, it's still deserving of 4 stars.

 XMII by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Live, 2005
4.02 | 144 ratings

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XMII
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This is a well-recorded live performance for XM satellite radio done on July 21, 2003. This is the second XM recording done by Porcupine Tree, and this one is slightly better than the first in that the set list is better and you have the entire band, including John Wesley who was considered a session musician, but should be considered part of the regular line up because he was always there for studio and live performances. There is no audience noise, because this was a recording for the airwaves, no audience involved.

The recording is exceptional, giving the listener alternate versions of songs that had already been released from the studio. That is the main draw for the album, in that the performances are as they happened, and the songs are given that live-as-it-happens feeling. The songs are not much different from the studio versions except you are missing the polished feeling, the songs are a little more raw. It's always great to hear songs of this caliber in live settings though, and when the recording is this pristine, it gives you a new experience with older but tried and tested songs. Five songs are from "Lightbulb Sun", "Trains" is from "In Absentia", and "Pure Narcotic" from "Stupid Dream" are more acoustic-based songs, but the entire band is involved in each, and "Fadeaway" from "Up the Downstair", this one in this case is sung by John Wesley where it is normally sung by Steven Wilson, and it's nice to hear his take on it.

The two epic songs are "Hatesong" and "Russia on Ice". Both are excellent performances, as to be expected, and as are all of the songs. Nothing is really new here, except for the vocal by John, but as I said, the draw for this recording is the chance to hear alternative versions of the excellent songs. The album was only sold at live shows and on the band's "Burning Shed" website, so it is rather rare. But it is still possible to find, just difficult to find. If you do find it or get a chance to download, do so, it is worth it. But you don't have to overexert yourself unless you are a collector, these songs are readily available elsewhere, just not in these versions. Seeing as this is an excellent performance and recording, it is an album that would be great to have in your prog rock collection.

 Ambulance Chasers by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1997
4.04 | 34 ratings

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Ambulance Chasers
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This hard to find gem is a collection of most of the tracks in demo form from the album "Stupid Dream". The release of "Stupid Dream" was delayed because Porcupine Tree was trying to find a new label to get signed to. This collection somehow got released inadvertently while the public was waiting for the new CD. It is now very hard to find. The demos included from the album proper are "Even Less", "Piano Lessons", "Baby Dream in Cellophane", "Slave Called Shiver", "Don't Hate Me", "Tinto Brass", and "Stop Swimming". That accounts for 7 of the tracks on this collection. The remaining are other demos of songs previously not available on the original "Stupid Dream" album. These are "I Fail", "Ambulance Chasing", and "Disappear".

For being demos, these are still excellent versions of the originals. They are less polished, but in some cases, just as good and sometimes a little better, as in the case of "Even Less", which is on this collection as a 15 minute track, where as on the "Stupid Dream" album is edited to 7 minutes. This is the best version of "Even Less" as far as instrumentation is concerned in my opinion. The lyrics are different, and admittedly I do like the lyrics better on the version more people are familiar with, but the actual instrumentation is more raw, more intense and much more enjoyable. Now, a full length version would become available on other collections, and it is also great, but it's still not the same version as what is on here. I'm not sure if this version is available anywhere else.

"Piano Lessons" is also great as a demo, again not as polished as the official version, but a little harder. "Baby Dream in Cellophane" is not so great as a demo however and is still underdeveloped here. "I Fail" comes next and as far as I know, this is not available anywhere else. It is pretty straightforward and decent enough, but nothing special really. It sounds like an outtake which is what it is. The overall sound of rawness and less polish continues for "Slave Called Shiver" and "Don't Hate Me", the latter actually coming off better than the former. Many bands probably would have been happy calling these takes finished product.

"Disappear" was not on the "Stupid Dream" album, but a more polished version of it would show up on the official outtake release "Recordings". This version is somewhat finished, but the instrumentals are top notch while the vocals are not quite there yet. Steven's vocals on the last chorus to go up an octave though and this creates more tension at the end of the song. Again, it's interesting to hear it in this unrefined version. "Ambulance Chasing" was exclusive to this collection for quite a while and did become available on one of the reissues of "Stupid Dream" as a bonus track, but since I haven't heard that reissue, I don't know how it compares to this version. It was also released on the "Piano Lessons" single, but in a more finished version. It is all instrumental. It starts out with some atmospheric sounds from the instruments and heavy on percussion. This develops into an great sounding instrumental with a lot of atmospheric sounds and tones, but not in a psychedelic way, because it is melodic, but it is also quite heavy at times. It ends with some nice, treated wordless vocalizations.

"Tinto Brass" is about 10 minutes long on this version where as the official version was around 7 minutes. This is also an instrumental. This version takes more time to develop by having an atmospheric section at the beginning of the track with interesting noises and a longer development section involving percussion and bass. Either way, this is an excellent track in either version, a very driving instrumental with an amazing level of intensity. I do like this longer version though, because this track with more time added can only make it even better. "Stop Swimming" again is an unpolished version of the official recording, still a great song, but not much different except for the rawer sound and a bit more ambient.

This is a tough one to rate. Since it is a collection of demos, it is rather hard to find and can't be considered essential. If you are not familiar with the official versions of these songs, you wouldn't appreciate the difference, and that is the biggest draw to this collection, but it would only apply to those familiar with PT's music. I have to say that the unfinished feeling of the recordings is very nice to hear and it gives insight to the development of the songs. But this would only be appreciated by fans. It's hard to just give this a 2 star rating, but only collectors and fans would understand the difference in the tracks. The best tracks here which even come close to surpassing the official versions are "Even Less" and "Tinto Brass". These alone make this collection worth having, it you can find it, but if you can, I would consider it an excellent addition to your collection. There you go, 4 stars!

 The Incident by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.66 | 1459 ratings

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The Incident
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by thwok

4 stars This is a fine Porcupine Tree album. It's not one of the handful of their best, but it's still an entertaining release. There's an enjoyable performance/interview on YouTube called "Mhz" from 2003. In it Wilson discusses how much he loves the traditional idea of an album, as an entity. He believes CDs have taken away the enjoyment of listening to a whole album as an immersive experience.

Unlike most people it seems, I actually prefer the second disc of THE INCIDENT. The variety in these four songs makes for an excellent 21 minutes of listening. The songs on the first disc aren't as enjoyable as individual pieces. They seems like parts of a whole, rather than finished songs, which requires more time and attention. However, I'm sure that's exactly how Steve Wilson intended it. If you can devote some time to extended listening, THE INCIDENT is definitely worthwhile. I'm bumping this up the half star to 4.

 Staircase Infinities by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1994
3.81 | 177 ratings

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Staircase Infinities
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by thwok

4 stars One of the biggest reasons for the success of Steven Wilson's music is the variety of influences he presents. Of all of PORCUPINE TREE's music, the more space rock/psychedelic songs are the ones I usually like least. That personal preference affects my overall rating of Staircase Infinities. Since this music is performed by Wilson alone, I miss the brilliant playing of his PT bandmates.

My favorite songs on this release are "The Joke's On You" and "Yellow Hedgerow Dreamscape". The songs overall tend to sound similar to each other. However, even Wilson's lesser material is compelling. It's a testament to his considerable talent that he makes Floydian psychedelic rock this enjoyable. Many bands try & can't pull it off. I'm going to consider Staircase Infinities an "excellent addition." It's an enjoyable half hour for fans of PT/Steven Wilson.

 The Sky Moves Sideways by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Studio Album, 1995
4.07 | 1243 ratings

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The Sky Moves Sideways
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

5 stars Although it all began as a joke, by the time Steven Wilson and his now official band called PORCUPINE TREE made it into the 90s, the popularity of their Floydian inspired space rock was taking off like a rocket ship to the moon. After a number of demos and two fully fledged space rock albums to get their feet wet, the band was really more of a solo project but starting with this one, a real band was in play with a style that reached the culmination of the psychedelic space rock sound on the third album THE SKY MOVES SIDEWAYS. Your listening experience for this one may depend on which side of the Atlantic you reside because of the fact that two different versions exist. THE SKY MOVES SIDEWAYS was the debut album in North America and showed the band mastering their full potential as they also unveiled various aspects of the different styles they would take on future releases. The European version which came out first contained the seventeen minute track "Moonloop" as the second to last track whereas the US release nixed it in favor of a shorter running time. Since the US version is the one i've grown attached to, it is the one i prefer so all my gushing admiration for this album is based on it.

It was never any secret that 70s Pink Floyd was the biggest source of inspiration for Wilson and company and that was never more true than on THE SKY MOVES SIDEWAYS which has been compared to "Wish You Were Here" for having two sprawling tracks that begin and end the album with shorter tracks sandwiched in between, however a careful listen will yield all kinds of influences from the Floydian world up to "The Wall". Likewise, all the tracks flow together relatively smoothly making it in reality a long series of movements that culminate into larger suites and extended musical motifs. Although Steven Wilson remained ringmaster and creator in chief even at this point, this was very much a real band effort on album number three which allowed a blossoming of musical expressions to make a much richer album than the previous two. Most importantly added to the lineup was ex-Japan keyboard wizard Richard Barbieri who deftly mixes his best Klaus Schulze styled progressive electronic backdrops over the hypnotic space rock grooves. Likewise, Wilson's alter ego in the art pop outfit No-Man found him a steady drummer with Chris Maitland filling the spot. With all musical spots freshly manned with eager talent, PORCUPINE TREE was ready for prime time and THE SKY MOVES SIDEWAYS shows them honing their chops into highly addictive seductions of sound.

THE SKY MOVES SIDEWAYS starts off rather chaotically with sputtering electronic effects that belie Floydian space groove that soon steals the show. A false flag to throw the listener off? Not sure, but once the Floydian rhythmic flow begins, it grooves with a vengeance. While the "Phase 1" of the title track gently rolls on with a sensual rocking groove as "The Colour Of Air" movement strives to lull the listener into a hypnotic state, it does however evoke a call and response that makes me want to scream "Hello, Is There Anybody In There?" at times. Perhaps too comfortably close to "Comfortably Numb," but even with such brazen Floydisms slapping the listener in the face, somehow the electronic wizardry derails any cached earworms from the past and keeps PORCUPINE TREE sounding like distant cousins of the Gilmour and Waters team rather than mere imitators. The near nineteen minute suite churns on into a gentle space rock groove with Wilson belting out his unique fairy tale narrations before the track goes into an upbeat psybient and psytrance mode that summons a high intensity percussive drive and multidimensional atmospheric turbulence in the "Wire The Drum" movement. Tribal drums meets staccato keyboard sequences while a bouncy bass illustrates spaced out blissful melodies. The suite finds resolution with the "Spiral Circus" finale which drifts off into the clouds and exits with a soft acoustic guitar riff with a fluttering flute run flapping around like a pretty butterfly in the breeze.

Sandwiched in the middle of the lengthy title track suite that begin and end the album are three shorter tracks (plus the "Moonloop" jam if you have the European version). "Dislocated Day" debuts a more familiar sound heard on future PORCUPINE TREE albums and the first of the band's career to demonstrate heavier rock with hefty guitar riffs, biting percussive drive and much increased tempos. This also provides the gateway into their progressive rock leanings that would culminate on albums like "In Absentia." "The Moon Touches Your Shoulder" on the other hand is a totally chilled out acoustic guitar on codeine type of track with a catchy melody and poetic lyrics from Wilson's most chilled singing style. "Prepare Yourself" is nothing more than a short spaced out bluesy soloing sequence that serves as a fluffer for the the "Phase 2" of the title track, unless of course you have the European version with "Moonloop" inserted between. This track is my least favorite and i'm happy to have the edition without it (or at least thrown onto the second bonus disc). It is nothing more than a drawn out spacey sequence of synthesized loops and effects.

The final "Phase 2" is begins much like "Phase 1" with non-committing electronic atmospheric effects only finding stability after a drum roll coaxes them down to Earth. The opening "Is?Not" segment displays more love of classic Pink Floyd as it generates a heavy connection to tracks like "Have A Cigar" with restless electronica and eventually a banging bass. Once a melodic development is allowed to form, it bursts onto the scene with a dramatic guitar riff which calms the atmospheric presence into an obsequious counterpoint. Nice guitar work on this one for a while but eventually as "Off The Map" continues the suite, an estrogen filled siren seduces a rambunctious guitar to come out and play. As it arrives it begins to perform a rather spunky blues workout around the ostinato bass line. It performs all kinds of tricks yanking every emotional heartstring with a mere bending of a note or two. It gets wild and woolly before the track slowly wends down as it reprises the initial Floydian bass dominated riff that began it all, not after more bizarre excursions into ambient electronica however.

On THE SKY MOVES SIDEWAYS, Steven Wilson and PORCUPINE TREE not only joined the ranks of the progressive rock revival that was unfolding alongside bands like Anglagard, Opeth, Dream Theater and the neo-prog bands like IQ and Arena but were also fundamental in the revival of good old fashioned 70s psychedelic space rock alongside other space tripping bands like Ozric Tentacles. While Pink Floyd was still around in name only, it was really just a David Gilmour solo effort milking of the enterprise and tarnishing of the name with mediocrity in the form of albums like "The Division Bell". PORCUPINE TREE on the other hand were uploading an entirely new operating system into the space rock paradigm by adding all the relevant 90s influences of neo- psychedelia and chilled out electronica such as trip hop and as well as bass heavy stoner rock in tandem with the tried and true chill pill elements of 70s psych and electronica.

While never really intentionally wanting to steal the baton away from the great Pinksters, somehow on THE SKY MOVES SIDEWAYS, they did just that and created one of my personal favorite albums by the group and the absolute best of the 90s output. The 2 CD re-release is well worth the time as it has a brilliant alternative mix of the title track suites as well as the "Moonloop" tracks that went missing on the US release. I've been holding off on reviewing this one since i couldn't decide if the Floydisms are too derivative or not but when all is said and done, they are no more derivative of Pink Floyd than Floyd was of the blues artists who came before them and this is one of those rare albums that i literally never tire of because Wilson's brilliant mixing and production skills weave such a massive sonic web around any similarities that it keeps them in their own unique musical territory while respectfully conjuring up warm fuzzy memories of the past. This is where PORCUPINE TREE came to fruition as a band and a trend that would only continue to develop into a more distinct musical entity.

 Novak by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2008
2.93 | 6 ratings

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Novak
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by thwok

3 stars This single is somewhat hard to find. It was available earlier this year on Discogs and on EBay for $35, which is a lot of money for two songs. Transmission is a London-based independent label. These songs fall into the calmer, spacier end of the PT spectrum. Of the two tracks, I like "Buying New Soul" more than "Novak". Its length allows the band to develop the basic material more. Without any vocals, this single is background, not center stage, music. However, Wilson shares a common trait with Bach and Beethoven. He seems almost incapable of putting out music that isn't at least thoughtfully put together. If you're a PT fan & you can get it, this is a worthy single.
 Recordings by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2001
4.19 | 362 ratings

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Recordings
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by axeman

5 stars I think this might be one of the best releases the Tree has made. I started listening to them during their grunge period, which for the most part remained my favorite period, although I enjoyed the atmospheric period, past Sunday of Life, while I find tolerable and Voyage 34, which is mainly trip-trance stuff, and less enjoyable.

But recently, I've almost got Stars Die and Sky on a loop. I've really started to get into the gently winding, evolving tones that Wilson seemed to love during the time. And Maitland's drums, especially the brush work on the excellent Stars Die.

That atmosphere is what this album offers. atmosphere, soundscapes, accompanied by some jangly acoustic guitar. It's kind of fitting that in a release filled with shelved pieces, a track named Untitled.

I think the feat that the Wilson achieves here is he's made a compilation album that's worth something.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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