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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.

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 compositions since "Signify" in 1997. The album also features guest appearances by Adrian Belew (KING CRIMSON) and Mikael Åkerfeldt (OPETH).

In 2007 th...
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Buy PORCUPINE TREE Music


Arriving SomewhereArriving Somewhere
KSCOPE 2018
Audio CD$12.99
Fear Of A Blank Planet (USA Only)Fear Of A Blank Planet (USA Only)
KSCOPE 2017
Audio CD$10.95
$7.00 (used)
DeadwingDeadwing
Import
Kscope Import 2018
Vinyl$29.99
Stars DieStars Die
KSCOPE 2017
Audio CD$9.65
$14.38 (used)
Up The DownstairUp The Downstair
KSCOPE 2018
Audio CD$9.29
In AbsentiaIn Absentia
Lava Records 2002
Audio CD$39.95
$13.77 (used)
Coma DivineComa Divine
KSCOPE 2018
Audio CD$9.28
Lightbulb Sun (Sleevepac Cd)Lightbulb Sun (Sleevepac Cd)
Import
KSCOPE 2017
Audio CD$6.69
$8.56 (used)
The Sky Moves SidewaysThe Sky Moves Sideways
KSCOPE 2018
Audio CD$11.98
On The Sunday Of LifeOn The Sunday Of Life
KSCOPE 2017
Audio CD$10.94
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PORCUPINE TREE discography


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

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

3.01 | 773 ratings
On The Sunday Of Life.....
1991
3.87 | 898 ratings
Up The Downstair
1993
4.06 | 1215 ratings
The Sky Moves Sideways
1995
3.83 | 1089 ratings
Signify
1996
3.97 | 1232 ratings
Stupid Dream
1999
4.03 | 1370 ratings
Lightbulb Sun
2000
4.24 | 2305 ratings
In Absentia
2002
4.10 | 1852 ratings
Deadwing
2005
4.25 | 2345 ratings
Fear Of A Blank Planet
2007
3.66 | 1432 ratings
The Incident
2009

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

4.44 | 428 ratings
Coma Divine
1997
3.72 | 84 ratings
Spiral Circus Live (LP)
1997
3.68 | 136 ratings
XM
2003
3.43 | 14 ratings
Live in Poland
2003
3.92 | 299 ratings
Warszawa
2004
4.01 | 136 ratings
XMII
2005
4.22 | 160 ratings
Rockpalast
2005
4.47 | 183 ratings
Arriving Somewhere...
2006
3.41 | 229 ratings
We Lost The Skyline
2008
3.66 | 123 ratings
Ilosaarirock
2009
4.25 | 192 ratings
Atlanta
2010
3.55 | 194 ratings
Octane Twisted
2012

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

4.57 | 514 ratings
Arriving Somewhere...
2006
4.68 | 529 ratings
Anesthetize
2010
4.15 | 73 ratings
Octane Twisted
2012

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

2.55 | 112 ratings
Yellow Hedgerow Dreamscape
1994
3.24 | 363 ratings
Voyage 34 - The Complete Trip
2000
4.19 | 356 ratings
Recordings
2001
4.21 | 246 ratings
Stars Die: The Delerium Years 1991 -1997
2002

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

3.48 | 62 ratings
Tarquin's Seaweed Farm (K7)
1989
3.20 | 51 ratings
Love, Death & Mussolini (K7)
1990
3.00 | 43 ratings
The Nostalgia Factory (K7)
1991
3.33 | 27 ratings
Radioactive E. P.
1992
3.70 | 109 ratings
Voyage 34
1992
2.94 | 52 ratings
Voyage 34 : Remixes
1993
3.28 | 63 ratings
Moonloop E.P.
1994
3.81 | 170 ratings
Staircase Infinities
1994
3.87 | 47 ratings
Waiting
1996
3.30 | 87 ratings
Insignificance (K7)
1997
4.00 | 30 ratings
Ambulance Chasers
1997
2.88 | 45 ratings
Stranger By The Minute
1999
2.87 | 48 ratings
Piano Lessons
1999
2.95 | 51 ratings
Pure Narcotic
1999
3.79 | 19 ratings
Coma Divine II
1999
3.97 | 34 ratings
Stars Die - Rare and Unreleased
1999
3.20 | 5 ratings
The Rest Will Flow
2000
3.07 | 62 ratings
4 Chords That Made A Million
2000
3.25 | 57 ratings
Shesmovedon
2000
4.06 | 99 ratings
Transmission IV
2001
2.96 | 204 ratings
Metanoia
2001
4.15 | 13 ratings
Blackest Eyes
2002
4.25 | 12 ratings
The Sound Of Muzak
2002
4.50 | 12 ratings
Trains
2003
3.65 | 31 ratings
Delerium EP
2003
3.45 | 140 ratings
Futile
2003
3.58 | 116 ratings
Lazarus
2005
3.38 | 8 ratings
Shallow
2005
3.50 | 8 ratings
So Called Friend
2006
3.57 | 7 ratings
Way Out Of Here
2007
3.89 | 9 ratings
Normal
2007
3.71 | 7 ratings
Fear Of A Blank Planet (Single)
2007
3.92 | 459 ratings
Nil Recurring
2007
2.86 | 5 ratings
Novak
2008
2.68 | 63 ratings
Time Flies
2009
3.96 | 67 ratings
Transmission 10.1 - Ilosaarirock
2009
3.86 | 7 ratings
Acoustic Session Jan 2010
2010

PORCUPINE TREE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Sky Moves Sideways by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Studio Album, 1995
4.06 | 1215 ratings

BUY
The Sky Moves Sideways
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE & JR/F/Canterbury 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.

 Stupid Dream by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.97 | 1232 ratings

BUY
Stupid Dream
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by poito

3 stars 3.8

The first track 'Even Less' indicated something had changed in PT making music. The Floydian air is infiltrated by harder rock jiffs, and the guitar work is more committed with composition instead of just creating atmospheres. Wilson is not a virtuoso, okay, but since the last PT studio release in 96, he has learnt to play his guitar and takes some good ideas out of it. The themes gained punch, and with it, the audience came in. The structure of the themes is worked independently, as they now may stand alone, which makes them more accessible to occasional listening and there is no need to listen to the whole album in order to take something home. Also, there is plenty of room for the bandmates to help in the building of the sound. That was essential for the gained strength: let others do what you can't. This can be appreciated in the track 'Slave Called Shiver', a nice example of PT's new direction, a track that is both attending the old fans and calling up for new rockier lads. Of course there is still room for atmospheres, as in 'Don't Hate Me', which as usual bore the shocks off. I know, I know. There is a public for everything. An overall acceptable album, but it leaves one with that sensation they could have done much better. Four stars is a bit too much, it doesn't compare to many 4-stars by the less known competitors, but yes, it is close, several tracks are good additions to anyone's disc-shelf. 'Stranger by the Minute' and 'This is no rehearsal' are also nice easy-listening themes. Maybe that is one of the problems, too much easy listening music.

 Voyage 34 - The Complete Trip  by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2000
3.24 | 363 ratings

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Voyage 34 - The Complete Trip
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by poito

2 stars 3.5→2.5 Wilson's PT is back to the Floyd base+Tangerine Dream bits formula. I do not have anything against those groups, actually I like them quite a lot, and some of their work is truly genius production. My problem with Wilson's re-using their sounds is that it is too easy. Both Floyd and TG composed and performed a very easy music, particularly TG who sometimes appeared to go out to the stage and play whatever comes to them at the moment, no more than 20 notes extended over an hour. And the PF were great at exploiting a few happy ideas. That's what I perceived in Porcupine Tree, some kind of opportunistic trend exploiting people's need of relaxing music, though they've never found the happy ideas yet. Maybe Wilson is persuaded he can make Floyd better than the originals, or maybe he is stuck playing with PF as a musical toy, who can say. Anyway, it is clear there is a market there, quite a few groups have and will try once and again and I understand that this music satisfies both re-creators and listeners. To be positive, I admit this Voyage 34 was their best accomplished album in this line so far, they have finally conquered sound mixing and the taste for the audio experience had climbed to the front of their worries and efforts. Good for that. No need to add much more, PF funs and lovers of spacy ambient atmospheres will like this, and maybe I do too, but not to feed my brain, but to take it to an idle state. That's about it.
 Signify by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Studio Album, 1996
3.83 | 1089 ratings

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Signify
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by poito

4 stars 3.5-3.8 This is the first adult album by the Wilson's PT. It took a while to get rid of the Pink Floyd obsession and start taking risks. Finally, a well-crafted album from start to end. Even if their known influences are not gone, PT moves ahead and takes a direction that will lead them somewhere. Sorry floydians. The rocking base in the first track already indicated something had changed; it isn't just the faster pace than Wilson used in earlier releases, but the sign that he is going to do something different. And indeed, the album contains quite a few ideas, some even new, but even those that aren't are well combined and executed with certain personality. It is a different band! IMHO this album is underrated compared to the former THE SKY MOVES SIDEWAYS, which I found rather boring and scarce of ideas. Here, even the Floydian guitar riffs are daring. The music sounds full, round, and though the composition does not get an extraordinary complexity -simplicity is the signature for these bands- I smell there is a whole lot of work, even in the dreamy interludes which are still too long, but they were unbearable noise in early releases. Drums are finally in place, the bass does some work for the group, and the background synths are not the focus of attention but layers to write on top, as it should be. "Waiting phase One and Two" are both interesting, mostly the guitar work; it seems Wilson is finally used to the instrument and he dares to go beyond Gilmour, who never was a phenomenon, by the way. Also I liked the simple but effective "Idiot Prayer". The most accomplished theme is the closing track "Dark Matter", a floydian with nice guitars. Globally, I think it is a good album, and even if themes are still not to stand by themselves the whole stuff is a nice experience to listen in a row. It is not spectacular, but it is on the way.
 The Sky Moves Sideways by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Studio Album, 1995
4.06 | 1215 ratings

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The Sky Moves Sideways
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by poito

3 stars 2.5 Finally, Wilson realized that he might have some path in the music scene thanks to countrymen nostalgia and indulgency and decided to gather some mates and form a stable group that filled his many instrumental deficiencies. That is the main difference with former attempts. And also the sound quality and production that are now in professional standards, as if someone is going to listen besides himself. In short, let others do what you are not good at! No much new to add to what others said about the album, it is unnecessary to extend on the evidence that the album is styled in Floydian/Ozric moods. At least, here Wilson squeezed a little bit more the jar of ideas compared to previous releases, but no fireworks yet. It is still rather poor in this aspect, but that is one of the features of psychedelic music, all you need is to choose the right ones. At least he began to work the quality of sound and listening experience. I have to admit that the dreamy airs and atmospheres are kind of past-gone for me. I had enough with the originals. I think that music that sounds good for relaxing or getting asleep is not worth much, no matter how useful and pleasant it is. I would spare a few minutes in the middle of Phase 2, from about 4:20 to about 10:20, which includes a few seconds of elegant voices by Suzanne Barbieri that should have been extended (this would have been a good direction), the guitar work that follows, and the ethnic drums ala Gabriel. I liked too the Crimsonian version of the Moonloop Coda in the re-edited CD. But this is another epoch. Anyway, too little for an album.
 Up The Downstair by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Studio Album, 1993
3.87 | 898 ratings

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Up The Downstair
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by poito

2 stars This might be considered the first album by PT. The direction is beginning to be clear, from Psychedelic to Kraut. The album is rather immature yet, and I would say Wilson still did not take making music too seriously. The rhythmic section is awful; drums are sampled, naif and artificial. I understand he later substituted this for a human touch in a re-edition. Too late. Not sure if it was worth the effort. There are no much to spare in this album, but... it is his creature. The electronic interludes are flat and used, nothing new yet, and the guitar riffs evoke Gilmour's heavily. He blended with techno and spacy elements in the backgrounds as in the album title track, making the whole stuff appear a synthesis of Pink Floyd and Tangerine Dream. Globally, it is rather weak, although I may understand PF fans would see it as a rebirth of the idols in their youth, which had not disappeared yet but had been crawling out there since eighties. The long tracks have some interesting ideas but they are not so good and finally become too repetitive, very scarce for 10 min long tracks. This one can be spared.
 On The Sunday Of Life..... by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Studio Album, 1991
3.01 | 773 ratings

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

Review by poito

2 stars Eclectic. That's the best way to describe the debut album by the totem British band. The album is a sequence of themes of a very different texture and format, in mid-slow tempo. Instruments, backgrounds, tempos vary from one track to the next. Even if there are no brilliant themes that may stand by themselves, the sequence is pleasant. It seems a recompilation of early tapes, thus I doubt the sequence keeps any conceptual purpose. Thus, I would say this is easy audible music, kind of ambient, of the type you want to listen without paying much attention to it, in a Floydian style. There are very few elements of interest, and little innovation if any. That means you can't expect any masterpieces, great riffs, or instrument virtuosos. The tracks are introspective ideas coming out from Wilson's restless pot in his beginnings. Radioactive Toy is a 10 min composition that deserves a couple of spins, but Nine Cats is my favorite track of the album, probably the only adult piece. My copy is a bit short of lows, don't know if made on purpose or it was a deficient recording, but can be equalized easily.
 Novak by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2008
2.86 | 5 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 | 356 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.

 Transmission IV by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2001
4.06 | 99 ratings

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Transmission IV
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by Luqueasaur

4 stars Porcupine Tree's Planet Caravan: 8.5/10

PORCUPINE TREE's metal phase shadows its earlier psychedelic phase, which, in my opinion, was much more accomplished (albeit heavily influenced by PINK FLOYD, or so they claim). Said epoch's magnum opus was THE SKY MOVE SIDEWAYS, which presented many solid and mature psychedelic tracks. One of them was a four-minutes version of Moonloop. Little did we all know of its true nature as a song as tenfold as big until PT decided to release, under scarce numbers, the entirety of the improvisation. Such releases are, by now, a rarity and roughly a collector's item, which makes its status as "essential" hard to agree with.

Moonloop is terrifically atmospheric. From the very beginning, the droney synthesizers coupled with Rick Edwards' eerie percussions (a psychedelic, less aggressive counterpart of LARKS) sets the mood of the track as an immersive track. The electronic and ambient moments are deeply vivid and build several environments, from the vast emptiness of space (when "astronaut voices" mutter random words) to still and murky jungles (thanks to the zoomorphic rattles that sounds like insects). There are some moments Moonloop border the realms of acid fusion, especially after the guitar solo, where the cosmic organs jam in a jazzier fashion; but after a while, the warmth eventually fades and the track return to its initial stance - of immense placidity. In others, Wilson's overly distorted guitar, similarly to David Gilmour's, strikes at full force. However, in no moment the band sounds like a PINK FLOYD copy (the styles are similar, but that's how far it goes). First, because melodic, long and distorted solos were not trademarked by that band - which so seems to be the excuse of many to dismiss PT as a PF wannabe; second, because PT creates a chill, almost entropic ambiance, whereas PINK FLOYD is intense, regardless whether they are playing serenely or agitatedly.

Superb songwriting, given the fact a 40-minutes-long jam never gets old even with its calmness. Really recommended for all space/psychedelic rock fans who like to trip on music (check this on YouTube if you can't afford to pay $200 on a limited edition LP); for those more mistrustful of ambient music, tread cautiously - unless you like PINK FLOYD (for some reason), in that case, you'll certainly dig this as well. For neither of those, take a shot. Submerge into PORCUPINE TREE's world and voyage through their surreal landscapes.

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

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