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PORCUPINE TREE

Heavy Prog • United Kingdom


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

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

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

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

In 2007 the band scored it's biggest chart success to date with "Fear Of A Blank Planet". Featuring contributions from Alex Lifeson and Robert Fripp...
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Fear Of A Blank PlanetFear Of A Blank Planet
KSCOPE 2012
Audio CD$9.43
$9.49 (used)
In AbsentiaIn Absentia
Lava 2002
Audio CD$5.20
$2.87 (used)
DeadwingDeadwing
Lava 2005
Audio CD$8.26
$6.99 (used)
AnesthetizeAnesthetize
KSCOPE 2015
Audio CD$12.14
$12.76 (used)
SignifySignify
Import · Special Edition
Kscope 2009
Audio CD$16.78
$47.39 (used)
The IncidentThe Incident
Roadrunner Records 2009
Audio CD$11.06
$5.25 (used)
Lightbulb SunLightbulb Sun
Import · Special Edition
Snapper UK 2008
Audio CD$12.38
$7.89 (used)
Up the DownstairUp the Downstair
Import
Kscope 2009
Audio CD$10.59
$14.99 (used)
Sky Moves SidewaysSky Moves Sideways
Import
Kscope 2009
Audio CD$10.49
$12.77 (used)
Stupid DreamStupid Dream
Kscope 2016
Audio CD$9.16
$12.83 (used)
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PORCUPINE TREE shows & tickets


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PORCUPINE TREE discography


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

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

3.02 | 704 ratings
On The Sunday Of Life.....
1991
3.90 | 824 ratings
Up The Downstair
1993
4.07 | 1121 ratings
The Sky Moves Sideways
1995
3.82 | 1000 ratings
Signify
1996
3.98 | 1139 ratings
Stupid Dream
1999
4.03 | 1264 ratings
Lightbulb Sun
2000
4.24 | 2104 ratings
In Absentia
2002
4.09 | 1711 ratings
Deadwing
2005
4.24 | 2144 ratings
Fear Of A Blank Planet
2007
3.67 | 1332 ratings
The Incident
2009

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

4.45 | 399 ratings
Coma Divine
1997
3.73 | 76 ratings
Spiral Circus Live (LP)
1997
3.67 | 124 ratings
XM
2003
3.75 | 8 ratings
Live in Poland
2003
3.93 | 277 ratings
Warszawa
2004
4.04 | 124 ratings
XMII
2005
4.24 | 149 ratings
Rockpalast
2005
4.50 | 160 ratings
Arriving Somewhere...
2006
3.36 | 215 ratings
We Lost The Skyline
2008
3.67 | 112 ratings
Ilosaarirock
2009
4.26 | 174 ratings
Atlanta
2010
3.52 | 170 ratings
Octane Twisted
2012

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

4.57 | 489 ratings
Arriving Somewhere...
2006
4.67 | 493 ratings
Anesthetize
2010
4.23 | 60 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
3.23 | 332 ratings
Voyage 34 - The Complete Trip
2000
4.18 | 331 ratings
Recordings
2001
4.22 | 227 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 | 54 ratings
Tarquin's Seaweed Farm (K7)
1989
3.26 | 44 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 | 157 ratings
Staircase Infinities
1994
3.83 | 43 ratings
Waiting
1996
3.30 | 76 ratings
Insignificance (K7)
1997
4.00 | 22 ratings
Ambulance Chasers
1997
2.86 | 41 ratings
Stranger By The Minute
1999
2.84 | 43 ratings
Piano Lessons
1999
2.91 | 44 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 | 51 ratings
Shesmovedon
2000
4.10 | 88 ratings
Transmission IV
2001
2.95 | 188 ratings
Metanoia
2001
3.86 | 7 ratings
Blackest Eyes
2002
4.17 | 6 ratings
The Sound Of Muzak
2002
4.17 | 6 ratings
Trains
2003
3.34 | 29 ratings
Delerium EP
2003
3.45 | 130 ratings
Futile
2003
3.56 | 109 ratings
Lazarus
2005
3.00 | 4 ratings
Shallow
2005
3.50 | 4 ratings
So Called Friend
2006
3.25 | 4 ratings
Way Out Of Here
2007
3.75 | 4 ratings
Normal
2007
3.67 | 3 ratings
Fear Of A Blank Planet (Single)
2007
3.92 | 436 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
 The Incident by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.67 | 1332 ratings

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The Incident
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by Porcupineapple

2 stars It is hard to write about a truly favorite band, when for the first time in your life they let you down with their new album. And whilst this is exactly what happened here, I will try to focus on the positives as well, because although my rating might seem low, they are still Porcupine tree, being miles ahead of so many other contemporary bands. Even with this mediocre album of theirs, which it is.

Ok so first of all, no listener, who read any reviews, will be fooled by the promise of the "55-minute-long song" of the first cd, which it is not. Being the string of various songs it is, cleverly (and at places less cleverly) glued together, it has its ups and downs, but rather downs, certainly being the weaker element of this double cd. Songs like the opening "Blind house" try to bring back Porcupine tree's heavier side (with limited success), whilst "Drawing the line" or "Your unpleasant family" do nothing but answer the question of why the band is currently on a hiatus. This is why. These are average pop-rock ideas struggling to seem Porcupine tree, yet failing to find their place in the band's discography, in the end just showing the sad fact that they are lacking new ideas or that chemistry between them does not work anymore. The same goes for the 12-minute-long "Time flies" also, with an important side note being that the middle part (undoubtedly inspired by Pink Floyd) is one hell of a Porcupine tree riffage. Luckily, it then gives way to songs of the same quality, bringing us the heavier part of the first cd, through a string of four heavier songs, peaking in "Circle of manias", which is one of the best they created in the metal department. And when "I drive the hearse" closes this spiral of songs as well as the cd, for the first time the listener is finally reminded what this band used to sound like. The second cd is then nothing but an EP not fitting the structure of the first cd, yet being by far the strongest part of The incident. "Bonnie the cat" stands out like a rock, being a superheavy song built up around Gavin Harrison's amazing idea of a tricky groove, but Black dahlia also gets the job done (though some might say it is a bit too simple, not expanding on its own ideas enough), let alone the closing song, again reaching back to the roots well enough to satisfy hardcore PT fans.

All in all, Gavin Harrison is still the drummer of his age, Steven Wilson still has some outstanding ideas, but the whole thing just fails to deliver, allowing me to not be mad at them for their hiatus, which is probably what they need right now. Having said that, I can only hope that Wilson's solo break will do him good, letting him return to his roots in the future, if that is what he wants, with something that is much stronger than The Incident. Until then, may they rest in piece.

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 Voyage 34 - The Complete Trip  by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2000
3.23 | 332 ratings

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Voyage 34 - The Complete Trip
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by AndyJ

4 stars Porcupine Tree's 'Voyage 34' is definitely one of the odd-balls of the PT discography. Although this is labeled as a Porcupine Tree album, it is in fact more or less entirely a Steven Wilson solo album, with assistance only on the final track with Richard Barbieri contributing some of the synthesizer moments. 'Voyage 34' is definitely a love or hate affair. Personally, I absolutely love this record and actually consider it to be one of Steven Wilsons absolute finest albums, and some of the most expressive and interesting instrumental music he has ever recorded. In fact, I'm amazed that Steven Wilson doesn't consider this album to be part of the main PT release discography - if I was him I'd be so very proud of this album, it is enthraling and, forgive the pun, such a wonderous trip for the listener.

I think the key to enjoying this album I think is two fold. Firstly, you probably need a bit of experience with ambient / experimental electronic music, and maybe even a bit of intelligent dance music (IDM). If you are a fan of early Aphex Twin, Boards of Canada, The Orb and even artists such as Autechre you are much more likely to 'get' this album. The second half of the album in particular does remind me a lot of some of the spacier moments in The Orb's 'Adventures Beyond The Ultraworld' in it's ambience and soundscapes. The second key, I think, is simply to listen with an open mind. Drop any notions you might have of how Porcupine Tree should sound. In fact forget this is even a PT album, as I said in the opening paragraph I think of this more as an instrumental Steven Wilson solo album.

The first two phases of the album are more likely to appeal to the conventional prog-rock fan as they are rooted more deeply in that traditional style. There are guitar solos, bass lines and rock drumming in parts, along with spaced out ambient passages. The second two phases really are much more electronica based with little, if anything, which resembles prog-rock. One of the things I love most about progressive music (of any genre) are long insrumental sections, so to me an album like 'Voyage 34' is like heaven. There is structure in the music, but the four phases are so long and spaced out that you don't really listen to them as individual songs - they are just movements within the confines of the album.

The theme of the album is supposidly the musical representation of an LSD trip gone bad (the subject's 34th trip). Having never done acid I have no idea if this has any accuracy or not. What I do know is that I listen to this album far more than some of my other PT albums, and that 'Voyage 34' is pretty much one of my main go-to ambient / chill-out albums I like to unwind with. In terms of rating this is very much between a 4 and a 5 star rating. I'll officially give it a 4 star rating, but in truth its a 4.5 star effort.

"Is this trip really necessary?" - the answer is a resounding YES!

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 Fear Of A Blank Planet by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Studio Album, 2007
4.24 | 2144 ratings

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Fear Of A Blank Planet
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by AndyJ

5 stars Porcupine Tree's 'Fear Of A Blank Planet' is, for me, the finest PT album ever released. Absolutely everything clicks together on this album - the instrumentation, the song structures and the vocals all work brilliantly over the duration of the album to deliver Wilson's bleak vision of technological isolation and dependence on prescription drugs, as told from a young persons perspective. Perhaps I'm of the right age that this album resonates so well with me - I understand deeply many of the lyrical themes that Wilson has penned on this album, and for me that makes the music even more powerful.

Musically this isn't a huge change from the previous two PT albums - there is still the progressive metal influence found here which marks it apart from the earlier albums of the 90's. But in true Porcupine Tree style the metallic element is only part of the story - there is of course the almost obligatory spaced out ambient sections, smooth acoustic breaks, judicious use of electronic synthesizers and some good old fashioned prog rock moments.

The obvious highlight of the album is the seventeen minute opus 'Anaesthetize'. What an incredible journey this track is. Though comprised of a single track, this is really three separate tracks cleverly arranged together with interwoven lyrical themes. So in that respect it's a little bit like Genesis's 'Suppers Ready'. Individually the three musical sections are wonderful compositions, but when arranged together they really do mesh brilliantly together and tell a disturbing story that is the cornerstone of the album's concept. There is also the small matter of the sublime Alex Lifeson guitar solo during the first movement of that song - that alone is probably worth the price of the record!

Every song offers something a little bit different and I'm sure any fan of progressive music who hasn't already heard this album will definitely find plenty on offer to get enjoyment from. For me this is the best Porcupine Tree album, and, assuming the band doesn't get back together, will probably be the crowning achievement of the band, at least from my perspective. Pretty sure this is the only PT album worthy of the sacred 5-star rating - so that's what I'll give it!

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 Lightbulb Sun by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Studio Album, 2000
4.03 | 1264 ratings

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Lightbulb Sun
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by AndyJ

4 stars Porcupine Tree's sixth album, 'Lightbulb Sun', is perhaps the bands most commercial sounding and pop-oriented release, and marked a natural progression in the song writing and style from their previous album, 'Stupid Dream'. Afterwards the band would find themselves replacing some of the pop influences with metal, which ironically landed them with far more exposure than this album ever received!

In a nutshell, 'Lightbulb Sun' is simply a fantastic progressive rock album driven forward by Steven Wilson's unique take on progressive music composition. It is an album very much of two halves. The first half of the album consists of relatively short duration, softer and poppier sounding songs. In the second half of the album things get a bit more complicated in their arrangements and instrumentation, not to mention the song durations increase quite a bit! The opening track, "Lightbulb Sun" is a microcosm for the rest of the album to come - delicate vocals from Steven Wilson, pop melodies but combined with some soaring progressive guitar parts and engaging musical structures.

The band really find themselves on fire on the fourth track of the album, "Shesmovedon", which might be one of the finest vocal performances by Wilson, and the melodies and arrangements are absolute perfection. It is a haunting, beautiful, soulful and highly enjoyable piece of melancholic rock music. The other strong highlight on the album is the bass driven "Hatesong", with some sublime bass and guitar interplays throughout.

Prog rock fans will probably be drawn straight away to penultimate track on the album, the 13-minute epic, "Russia On Ice". This is definitely one of the most transformative tracks on the album, and gives a nod to the style Porcupine Tree would follow on later releases with some heavier guitar riffing towards the end of the song.

Porcupine Tree as a band have always been about evolution - their musical style has never stayed in the same place for too long, which is one of the reasons why they have remained so vital in the progressive rock community. 'Lightbulb Sun' marked the end of an era for the band as they moved into new territories with 'In Absentia'. The biggest crime in the music industry is how this band has never achieved massive world-wide success, and how albums like 'Lightbulb Sun' have remained relatively unheard of by fans of rock music.

A very solid 4-star album by one of the finest progressive rock bands out there.

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 Pure Narcotic  by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1999
2.91 | 44 ratings

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Pure Narcotic
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by thwok

3 stars This PURE NARCOTIC single is primarily valuable for established fans, although the primary purpose of a single is to draw in radio listeners new to the band. Although PT puts out uniformly interesting releases, this isn't where I'd turn first. If you're on Prog Archives and you've bothered to search for this single, I'm going to assume you're probably familiar with PT.

The two tracks from STUPID DREAM are good, but not the best from the full album. I'm not a big fan of "Tinto Brass", but Steven's guitar solo is terrific. The third track, "Door to the River" from METANOIA, is nice; it's more of an ambient experiment than an actual song. If you're new to the band or STUPID DREAM, I don't think this is a particularly representative example of what the band does. I would start with a different single or EP.

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 Stupid Dream by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.98 | 1139 ratings

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Stupid Dream
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by tomprog

3 stars I originally explored Porcupine Tree after listening to and loving Steven Wilsons solo works. This came as a surprise seen as my musical preference is symphonic prog, a different genre in itself. In 1998, Porcupine Tree released this album, Stupid Dream. It was their first exploration of a slightly more commercial, melodic change of sound for a band that go though phases, ending up with the current alternative 'prog' metal in the albums to come (In Absentia, FOABP).

The album kicks off with the standout track, a fantastic 7 minute ride with the name 'Even Less'. The song starts out with a slow, guitar riff led introduction, before the rest of the band kicks in playing along with the riff, immediately portraying a changed sound from the Porcupine Tree albums that came before (Signify, The Sky Moves Sideways). The song continues at a great pace and has a great chorus, however, the slower middle section I find tends to outstay it's welcome, that could have turned this song from good to brilliant. Nevertheless, this song is still highly enjoyable and a favourite among porcupine tree fans.

The next three songs, Piano Lessons, Stupid Dream ( a short instrumental) and Pure Narcotic are simple, melodic songs that cause no offense, but tire with repeated listens. I have no love for ' Slave Called Shiver'.

The next highlight of the album comes in the form of 'Don't Hate Me', a melancholic but strangely uplifting song that Steven Wilson intended to be a duet (which can be heard on Steven Wilsons 2016 release 4 and a half). This song comes with great lyrics and a memorable chorus.

Another 'commercial' number comes with 'this is no rehearsal', again pleasant the first few times but unmemorable. This is followed by the slightly disturbing 'baby dream in cellophane', that haunts in the verses but lightens up in the chorus.

'Stranger by the minute' is THE memorable song on the album, a pleasant listen that improves, rather than deteriorates with further listens. The melody to this song is fantastic with great understanding between Chris Maitland on the drums and Colin Edwin on the bass making for a great rhythm section. Steven Wilsons vocals also shine on this track with him adding in his own vocal harmonies, making for a pleasing listening experience.

Up next are two songs, A Smart Kid and Tinto Brass, neither which I have much love for. However, the last song on the album, stop swimming, ends an album in typical Steven Wilson style (I drive the hearse, Happy Returns/ Ascendant Here on... , Feel so low etc.). It's a thoughtful song that ends the album on a high note.

Overall, not Porcupine Trees best but a distinct change in direction, featuring songs that stand up with their best. But however, too many fillers to be considered as one of their best albums.

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 Up The Downstair by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Studio Album, 1993
3.90 | 824 ratings

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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.

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 The Incident by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.67 | 1332 ratings

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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*)

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 Anesthetize by PORCUPINE TREE album cover DVD/Video, 2010
4.67 | 493 ratings

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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.

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 In Absentia by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Studio Album, 2002
4.24 | 2104 ratings

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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

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