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PORCUPINE TREE

Heavy Prog • United Kingdom


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Porcupine Tree picture
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 2005 ⭐

⭐ 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 lik...
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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 | 943 ratings
On the Sunday of Life...
1992
3.88 | 1102 ratings
Up the Downstair
1993
4.07 | 1469 ratings
The Sky Moves Sideways
1995
3.85 | 1326 ratings
Signify
1996
4.00 | 1466 ratings
Stupid Dream
1999
4.03 | 1650 ratings
Lightbulb Sun
2000
4.27 | 2711 ratings
In Absentia
2002
4.13 | 2170 ratings
Deadwing
2005
4.28 | 2759 ratings
Fear of a Blank Planet
2007
3.69 | 1643 ratings
The Incident
2009
3.90 | 314 ratings
Closure/Continuation
2022

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

4.45 | 503 ratings
Coma Divine
1997
3.47 | 100 ratings
Spiral Circus Live (LP)
1997
3.70 | 162 ratings
XM
2003
3.45 | 22 ratings
Live in Poland
2003
3.94 | 340 ratings
Warszawa
2004
4.03 | 163 ratings
XMII
2005
4.22 | 180 ratings
Rockpalast
2005
4.44 | 252 ratings
Arriving Somewhere...
2006
3.46 | 260 ratings
We Lost The Skyline
2008
3.69 | 143 ratings
Ilosaarirock
2009
4.31 | 223 ratings
Atlanta
2010
3.63 | 246 ratings
Octane Twisted
2012
3.00 | 4 ratings
Köln 4th Dec 2007 (TV Broadcast)
2020
3.33 | 6 ratings
First Live Performance 4th Dec 1993
2020
3.71 | 7 ratings
Los Angeles (30th July 2003)
2020
3.40 | 10 ratings
Coma: Coda (Rome 1997)
2020

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

4.57 | 569 ratings
Arriving Somewhere...
2006
4.65 | 607 ratings
Anesthetize
2010
4.19 | 99 ratings
Octane Twisted
2012

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

2.76 | 141 ratings
Yellow Hedgerow Dreamscape
1994
3.33 | 437 ratings
Voyage 34 - The Complete Trip
2000
4.19 | 428 ratings
Recordings
2001
4.19 | 300 ratings
Stars Die: The Delerium Years 1991 - 1997
2002
2.91 | 4 ratings
Porcupine Tree Sampler 2005 - Transmission 3.1
2005
3.00 | 5 ratings
Porcupine Tree Sampler 2008 - Transmission 8.1
2008
4.30 | 10 ratings
The Delerium Years 1994 - 1997
2016
4.33 | 12 ratings
The Delerium Years 1991-1993
2017
4.00 | 21 ratings
The Sound of No One Listening (2020 Remaster)
2020

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

3.21 | 74 ratings
Tarquin's Seaweed Farm
1989
3.13 | 59 ratings
Love, Death & Mussolini
1990
2.98 | 53 ratings
The Nostalgia Factory
1991
3.74 | 135 ratings
Voyage 34
1992
3.26 | 33 ratings
Radioactive E. P.
1992
2.92 | 64 ratings
Voyage 34 : Remixes
1993
3.33 | 80 ratings
Moonloop E.P.
1994
3.83 | 215 ratings
Staircase Infinities
1994
3.71 | 59 ratings
Waiting
1996
3.37 | 106 ratings
Insignificance
1997
3.74 | 38 ratings
Ambulance Chasers
1997
3.02 | 254 ratings
Metanoia
1998
2.92 | 54 ratings
Stranger By The Minute
1999
2.91 | 55 ratings
Piano Lessons
1999
3.00 | 62 ratings
Pure Narcotic
1999
3.75 | 23 ratings
Coma Divine II
1999
3.98 | 40 ratings
Stars Die - Rare and Unreleased
1999
3.27 | 11 ratings
The Rest Will Flow
2000
3.10 | 71 ratings
4 Chords That Made A Million
2000
3.23 | 67 ratings
Shesmovedon
2000
4.00 | 127 ratings
Transmission IV
2001
4.30 | 27 ratings
Blackest Eyes
2002
4.23 | 22 ratings
The Sound Of Muzak
2002
4.48 | 21 ratings
Trains
2003
3.54 | 39 ratings
Delerium EP
2003
3.17 | 6 ratings
Men of Wood
2004
3.67 | 18 ratings
Shallow
2005
3.61 | 133 ratings
Lazarus
2005
3.48 | 162 ratings
Futile
2006
3.56 | 16 ratings
So Called Friend
2006
3.80 | 15 ratings
Way Out Of Here
2007
3.81 | 16 ratings
Normal
2007
3.82 | 17 ratings
Fear Of A Blank Planet (Single)
2007
3.96 | 524 ratings
Nil Recurring
2007
2.95 | 10 ratings
Novak
2008
3.93 | 73 ratings
Transmission 10.1 - Ilosaarirock
2009
2.82 | 74 ratings
Time Flies
2009
3.36 | 11 ratings
Acoustic Session Jan 2010
2010
3.80 | 10 ratings
Pure Narcotic - Acoustic Session 2012
2020
3.00 | 4 ratings
BBC Session 13th April 2007
2020
4.33 | 69 ratings
Harridan
2021
4.45 | 24 ratings
Of the New Day
2022
3.39 | 18 ratings
Herd Culling (Single Edit)
2022
3.47 | 15 ratings
Rats Return
2022

PORCUPINE TREE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Ambulance Chasers by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1997
3.74 | 38 ratings

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Ambulance Chasers
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars These are the demos from the "Stupid Dream" sessions and we get ten tracks worth over 70 minutes. This has been fun to spend some time with because we're hearing these songs before they are finished. So we get different lyrics, arrangements and sound at times. This was released by the way in 1997 and I'm kind of surprised at the release although I'm glad they did it.

There's four songs that stood out for me including both "Stop Swimming" and "Don't Hate Me" for sounding the closest to the finished product. I have to mention the opener "Even Less" at 15 plus minutes for the different lyrics on the chorus. So glad they changed it before putting it on "Stupid Dream". The 15 minutes isn't too surprising given there's a 14 minute version on their "Recordings" release. They cut it in half for "Stupid Dream".

"I Fail" is interesting as I don't know this one although part of the lyrics are about "waving at the dots on the shore" different song though. I really like the title track as well for being experimental and atmospheric. "Piano Lessons" is upbeat and not far from the final product, same with "Baby Dream In Cellophane" although it's uplifting not upbeat. Love that bass on "Slave Called Shiver".

I agree with the previous reviewer that the rating is difficult considering these are demos but they are also so interesting and really good. Fan boys should love this but I can't go 4 stars considering I prefer the finished product in every case. Still I'm glad I own this.

 Closure/Continuation by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Studio Album, 2022
3.90 | 314 ratings

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Closure/Continuation
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

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

4 stars While it may have been assumed that PORCUPINE TREE called it quits after the lackluster response to their 2009 album "The Incident" and the robust solo career of Steven Wilson (and other projects) that launched soon thereafter, it was indeed the case that Wilson, Gavin Harrison and Richard Barbieri had been planning the next chapter of PORCUPINE TREE all along only kept the project under lock and key leaving the fans to wonder if such a thing would ever materialize. Everyone had to wait until 2022 some 13 years later but finally it has become a reality that PT has indeed decided to carry on by releasing the band's 11th studio album with the rather clumsy title CLOSURE / CONTINUATION.

Unfortunately bassist Colin Edwin didn't participate in this reunion so the band carried on as a trio with Wilson picking up the bass part as well as handing guitars, vocals, mixing and role as band leader. Despite Wilson projecting his new dedication to his solo career, Blackfield, No-Man, Bass Communion, God and Storm Corrosion (does the guy ever sleep?), PORCUPINE TREE had been working behind the scenes on this album for the last decade whenever everyone had a free moment. The results of all this behind the scenes resulted in a rather standard PORCUPINE TREE affair that sounds as if the band never went away and that the ensuing 13 years were a mere two or three.

The band launched the single "Harridan" early as far back as December 2021 and whetted the appetite for rapid PT fans in hopes of another "In Absentia," "Deadwing" or "Fear of a Blank Planet." The hype was heavy but when the album finally was released in June 2022 the enthusiasm sort of fizzled out with complaints about the lack of growth that was deemed necessary to launch PT into the next chapter and well let's face it, the fact CLOSURE / CONTINUATION sounds more like the solo material of Wilson than PT at their peak. The album features the typical rockers and ballads all in atmospheric space prog form however the crossover metal aspects of the band's early 2000's have been tamped down considerably and replaced by some of the electronic wizardry of Wilson's solo efforts.

"Harridan" was an excellent teaser single with jittery firm bass groove that offers everything a PORCUPINE TREE fan could hope for. Lengthy prog workouts that revolve around Wilson's subdued vocal style accompanied by just enough rock heft to craft the proper contrast, the song featured strong hooks and was instantly likable with only the occasional complaints of overtly too complex for its own good keeping it from greatness. Actually it was those very complexities that made it more attractive as PT has been decidedly and often too accessible for its own good at least for the tastes of true prog stalwarts who love the entire arsenal of proggy tricks and trinkets to be implemented. The fans would have to sample a series of singles before the actual release with "Of The New Day" and "Herd Culling" pacifying the fans before the actual album hit the scene.

CLOSURE / CONTINUATION features seven tracks with the deluxe edition featuring three extra. In all honesty i can see why many feel let down by this album as it sounds like business as usual without any significant developments in the band's overall sound. The extra layers of complexity make it a bit more alienating and more difficult to get into upon first listen unlike past glories. The hype raised expectations and the album sort of hums along just like any old PT album of the 21st century. The usual suspects of mopey ambient drenched slow parts followed by heavier rocking upbeat moments is by now the PT playbook. There just aren't enough surprises or magic moments to be found on this one but at the same time this one is much more engaging than the nadir of the band's career "The Incident."

I think it's agreed that CLOSURE / CONTINUATION will probably not go down as anyone's favorite PT album but after several attentive listens i'm actually quite enthralled with this album and its subtle intricacies. Perhaps it's the sappiness of the second track "Of The New Day" that derails the momentum early on for many (as it did me at first) but beginning with "Rat's Return" this album is successful in delivering ample doses of everything PT is known for and in good form. Certainly no instantly sing-along songs here with repetitive motifs but this is by no means as inaccessible as anything in the rock in opposition camp. This is simply PT stretching its boundaries and putting its feelers out as to ascertain a new path to forge in the 2020's. Personally i'm loving this album even if i agree that it doesn't live up to the hype or compare with the greatest albums of the past. After all even a weaker PT album is light years ahead of what many lesser bands can conjure up. BTW the three bonus tracks are excellent and actually better than some of the material on the official album.

 Closure/Continuation by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Studio Album, 2022
3.90 | 314 ratings

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Closure/Continuation
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars My final review of 2022 is a little bittersweet as PORCUPINE TREE are a top three band for me and after hearing that teaser track "Harridan" I was pretty pumped for this. Then there was a problem with the cd getting to North America, big delays. I was fortunate to meet a friend of my daughter's husband's family who just flew into Toronto from England that day and I joked if I knew she was coming I would have asked her to bring me this cd. Her mom was flying in the following week and that's how I got mine.

To my ears this sounds more like Steven Wilson solo which is fine by me but with Edwin out as bass player his subtle playing has been replaced by a very upfront sounding bass played by Wilson, and played like a guitar giving it a unique sound. I like it! We get seven tracks worth 48 minutes and it's "Rats Return" and "Walk The Plank" that keep this at 4 stars. The other five songs are great but those two just never clicked with me. My top three are "Harridan", "Dignity" and "Herd Culling" with the latter being my favourite. "Of The New Day" and "Chimera's Wreck" are very good but a step down from my top three.

Easily a 4 star record and a step up from the previous album "The Incident" which really had it's moments but was inconsistent in my opinion. Still I feel this record lacks that "it" vibe of earlier PT albums. The art work is disappointing to say the least especially when we get some pictures that would make most people reminisce and smile like that hole in one while on vacation at the mini-putt winning a free game or taking off the shoes to walk in the ocean for the first time. I feel that "Rats Return" and "Walk The Plank" just don't fit in with the rest of the album but other than those few complaints I'm quite happy with the music.

 Anesthetize by PORCUPINE TREE album cover DVD/Video, 2010
4.65 | 607 ratings

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Anesthetize
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by altered_beast

5 stars Porcupine Tree is the only band in the world that only qualifies as one of my favorites because of their live performances. Recommend to me a few times I gave them a try years ago and just couldn't really get into them. Then I heard them live. It changed everything. The acoustics and atmospheric sounds had me mesmerized. Gavin Harris on drums made an entire difference especially on the live recordings. Three releases of live musical perfection with Arriving Somewhere, Anesthetize, and Octane Twisted. Of those 3 fantastic live performances this one is my top recommendation.

Anesthetize being available on home video and various audio formats. Fear of a Blank Planet in it's entirety as well as tracks from the EP Nils Reoccurring (minus the title track) which is my one and only complaint. They could have left out Halo which already appeared on Arriving Somewhere and just happens to be my least favorite track.

Fear of a Blank Planet never sounded better. It blows away the studio version. The acoustics and arrangements make it sound almost entirely different. Steve Wilson's multi-instrumental extravaganza and vocal performances really shine.

The epic Anesthetize sounds just brilliant. The live version gives it absolute justice. Way Out of Here is earth shattering! As for the other songs not on the album Dark Matter, Drown with Me, Sever(yeah baby!), Sleep of No Dreaming, etc make of an amazing show a fan could possibly hope for.

Really difficult to listen to without wanting to listen to from beginning to end. It really feels complete and the type of show that made me much more a fan than I already was. I look forward to more live releases as this trilogy of video/audio releases gives us the best sounding Porcupine Tree available and leaves me begging for more.

 Closure/Continuation by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Studio Album, 2022
3.90 | 314 ratings

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Closure/Continuation
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars To all the world, it looked like Steven Wilson had closed the door on Porcupine Tree after The Incident proved to be a somewhat patchy release, and after his solo career kicked into high gear with Grace For Drowning. Far from it - it turns out that Wilson, Richard Barbieri, and Gavin Harrison had kept in touch all this time and had in fact been gently tinkering with new Porcupine Tree material as far back as 2011.

Does it sound like the Porcupine Tree of old? Well, not quite - but that was a band which went through many incarnations, from psychedelia and space rock to Radiohead-esque art rock to borderline prog metal. In addition, it's perhaps inevitable that all three musicians have moved on musically in the intervening decade-and-a-bit - and certainly there's traces of the pensive jazz fusion and synth aspects of Wilson's solo work creeping in here and there.

Is it on the level of the best of the original run of Porcupine Tree albums? I don't think so, but it's far from bad. It feels almost relaxed - the band enjoying working together after all this time, and offering a new, somewhat jazzier side of their sonic universe.

 Closure/Continuation by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Studio Album, 2022
3.90 | 314 ratings

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Closure/Continuation
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by Aussie_Philosopher

4 stars We arrive in into 2022 with news porcupine tree will be releasing a new album after 13 years. Closure/continuum launches off where the trio Wilson, Harrison and Barbieri left off in 2009. After a great 13 year solo career Steven Wilson reinvigorates the band and charts a course into familiar yet sonically beautiful territory nonetheless with some great heavy prog songs like "Harridan" and "Herd Culling" which both exhibit some heavier riffing utilising compound meter and syncopated rhythms. These songs best demonstrate the band really adventuring off into progressive rock territory with their extended track length, allowing band to explore other ideas which enhances the song structure/composition while taking avid prog rockers on a journey (something that modern music rarely does).

In addition to other songs like "on the new day" and "dignity" which are a throwback to Steven Wilsons earlier song writing sensibilities and have a great sense of contrast (from the aforementioned heavier tracks) which incorporates a deep sense of self introspection in the lyrics accompanied with some beautiful acoustic guitars and which also moderately utilise the classic Steven Wilson vocal harmonies that really fill out the mix (when present).

Richard Barbieri again delights us with some intricate and sublime sound design aspects in addition to some raunchy synth tones. Songs like "Dignity" reveal some almost yes type classically inspired lead melody lines used in the section before the bridge, while tracks like "Walk The Plank" have an interesting melody line played on synth in conjunctions with some synth effect sounds thorough the song. Ultimately every song has great use of sound design/subtle effects, brining a greater sense of depth and dimensionality to the song whilst drawing the listener into a sonically rich atmosphere of music.

Audiophiles and fellow PROG music lovers alike will quickly begin to fully appreciate this album after a few listens, this album has some of the greatest dynamic range/headroom I think I have ever come across in addition to a very musically warm and rich recording sound that has great sonic depth. While Steven Wilson remains once again in the rightfully deserved producers seat, Gavin Harrison takes on the roll mixing the drums in which they both do a fantastic job. You may find yourself turning up the volume, like classical music there's great contrast between the lowest and highest levels which is a sign of only moderate use of compression, limiting and loudness.

* People have mentioned that not adding the three extra tracks on the deluxe boxset version was not the best idea as these tracks are very strong contenders with the rest of the album, so maybe a deluxe 2 CD would have been a good idea in conjunction to the standard CD and deluxe boxset. HOWEVER you can buy the extra tracks online (HD TRACKS) and also stream them etc. ALSO the ALBUM LEGNTH I personally think the 50 min mark is a good balance for an album if songs are good, which they are after all many "masterpieces were approximately 40 mins in length one cannot expect a band to release a 12 track minimum masterpiece album every few years. Sumarry

Whist this album may not appeal to all listeners straight away, I would encourage all listeners to approach with an open mind, however in saying that it does a great job at conjuring up different aspects of Porcupine Tree that we ALL like for example long format hard prog rocking tracks that allow the band explore sonic ground, Steven Wilson's lightbulb/ In absentia era like songwriting sensibilities together with social/political and introspective lyrics, Gavin Harrison's fantastic drumming and the sound design/atmospherics and synth tones Barbieri creates. There had been great expections for this album, yet I think after some time like "In absentia" the album will really catch on with people as it demonstrates fantastic musicianship, great contrast of songs together with impeccable production and mixing. 4.5 stars.

 Closure/Continuation by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Studio Album, 2022
3.90 | 314 ratings

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Closure/Continuation
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by rdtprog
Special Collaborator Heavy / RPI / Symphonic Prog Team

4 stars The band is now in a trio format with a new album 13 years after "The Incident". We are in familiar territory here, which is Progressive Rock on the experimental side including electro, jazz, and metal in a way that only this band can do. There is no stand-out track, no filler, everything is full of complex and convoluted song structures that remind us of the atmosphere of the past with a modern influence from Steven Wilson's solo work. This is why I have trouble giving my impression of that album. I enjoyed it from the start, but I thought I was too much looking to evaluate this work with the previous ones. It is not as metal as the latest PT releases, and maybe not as easy to get to, but this is why it requires more spins to appreciate the nuances of the music. And if you can listen to the Blu-Ray, it is even easier to enjoy the beautiful sonics of this album coming from the delicate keyboards of Barbieri to the guitars and bass of Steven and the perfect drumming of Gaven Harrison. So it's not that important if it's not the best PT album, let us simply enjoy another solid PT album and hope that we don't have to wait for another decade to hear another one. I am all "4" * a continuation...
 Deadwing by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Studio Album, 2005
4.13 | 2170 ratings

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Deadwing
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by A Crimson Mellotron
Prog Reviewer

5 stars 'Deadwing' is the eighth studio album released by Porcupine Tree and second overall on a major label (this one being Lava). Coming to life on March 24, 2005, 'Deadwing' quickly became the band's best-selling release, later on it was surpassed by its follow-up on sales, but none of this really matters here, since in the wonderful world of progressive rock the quality of the music and the joy of the album experience are the most valuable metrics for deciding whether an album is good or not. The history surrounding this record is quite interesting - it is a ghost story based on a screenplay written by Steven Wilson and Mike Bennion; Unfortunately (or not?) the project failed to find funding and the songs written with the purpose of being part of a soundtrack were left for the next Porcupine Tree album. Now, there are several versions of this album in the sense that the original European release only featured nine tracks, of fourteen in total appearing throughout the different editions of the release, while fifteen were written during the sessions, according to the band - quite confusing, right? However, no matter which edition of 'Deadwing' one gets, this remains a grandiose album that will certainly satiate even the snobbiest prog rock connoisseurs.

One could make the argument that since this one comes right after 'In Absentia' it should get some points taken off for originality, given that the heavier sounds prevalent on the aforementioned album mixed up with the experimental and emotive approach to songwriting, is also present on 'Deadwing', but Porcupine Tree's 2005 effort is just as excellent as the one coming before it - ambitious, avant-garde, unsettling at times and crushingly beautiful at others, coherent, memorable, having an unmistakable character, warm and embracing and simultaneously haunting and dark, it seems like 'Deadwing' really has it all, it has all the building blocks that make up this band, it has every texture that one seeks upon approaching Porcupine Tree's music. Not to mention the guest appearances by King Crimson's Adrian Belew and Opeth's very own Mikael Åkerfeldt.

Just listen to the opening 10-minute title track - haunting vocals, uneasy lyrics, no real chorus, massive, threatful sound, an almost grotesque and abrasive guitar solo by Adrian Belew and an all-encompassing warmth that Steven Wilson so successfully inject into all the music he produces. Then comes 'Shallow', a bit of an outlier for Porcupine Tree, with its straightforward rocking sound, but this one is also so well written, so memorable and impactful - another success on Wilson's side. 'Lazarus', or the lovely, romantic, beautiful side of Porcupine Tree, this one really has to be experienced, not just listened to. 'Halo' is one of these songs written for the film script, and it references religion, since this had been one of the topics found in the script - the chorus of it is just infectious. 'Arriving Somewhere But Not Here', or the 12-minute centerpiece of the record, this is one of the band's towering achievements, developing from an abstract soundscape-like intro to a very organic, devastatingly emotive, and cerebrally experimental piece of music, this is where the prog credentials of the band are the strongest. 'Mellotron Scratch' is a lovely and melancholic moment, I personally love this song, I find it touching and compelling, everything about it works so well. 'Open Car' is one of the most 'visual' tracks on the album, if I may use such a phrase, the images it evokes are quite strong and vivid, the sound is agonizingly angry, gnarly, and the playing is tight and straightforward. 'Start of Something Beautiful' is quite an essential and experimental song for Porcupine Tree, certainly a unique piece in their discography, and another one that has to be experiences. Then we have the album closer 'Glass Arm Shattering' that references some of the band's earlier works, rooted in the more psychedelic explorations of a group like Pink Floyd, a massive influence on Wilson, as it is well known.

As for the other tracks found throughout different releases of the album, one has to say that they are no less interesting that what is displayed on the main disc. 'Revenant' is a fabulous instrumental that reminds me of something like '.3' from 'In Absentia'; The same goes for 'Mother & Child Divided', while 'Half-Light' sounds distantly like 'Glass Arm'. A re-recorded version of 'Shesmovedon' appears on one of the versions of the album, as well as a track called 'So-Called Friend', subsequently replaced by 'Open Car' during the final masters on the original edition, a must-hear song, quite excellent, heavy, and progressive.

No weak spots on 'Deadwing', the album is simply a killer from start to finish, the band plays phenomenally, the quality of the songs is undeniable, it is packed with Porcupine Tree classics and it plays a cerebral part in the band's catalogue - this is definitely one of the most important progressive rock releases of the modern age, deservedly very highly recommended.

 In Absentia by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Studio Album, 2002
4.27 | 2711 ratings

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In Absentia
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by AFlowerKingCrimson

4 stars I wrote this review (modified slightly) several years ago under a different username but will repost it now being that today is the 20th anniversary of this classic album. However, I have decided to give it four stars instead of my original five. It's still an excellent album but maybe more like 4.5 than a full 5 for me but for this repost I am rounding down to 4 instead of my initial decision to round up.

"It's so erotic when your makeup runs. "

I suppose there is a good reason this album is featured in the top 100 here at Progarchives. I have kind of gone back and forth between whether I feel this a four or five star album. However, at the very least it is worthy of 4.5 stars. Anyway, the music here is quintessential Porcupine Tree. It has the qualities of the albums before it as well as some of the heavier edge of the albums that followed it. I'm not too keen on the two after this but this album is really something special. It's arguable as to whether or not this was Porcupine Tree's big breakthrough album. It certainly did get them a larger audience in no small part due to the fact that they were touring with Yes around the time this album came out. It's also one of PT's most consistent and most popular albums among prog fans and probably among PT fans as well. This album also marks the first time Gavin Harrison makes an appearance as their new drummer(replacing Chris Maitland) and does a very fine job.

The album starts off with the memorable "blackest eyes." This song marks the first and only time I ever heard them on mainstream commercial radio (WZZO out of Allentown PA) back soon after it was released. Next up is another PT classic in "trains." This song reminds me of something off of either Stupid Dream or Lightbulb Sun(the two albums that preceded this). From here on end the songs seem to take turns between heavy and dreamy. Many people cite this as the first time the band experimented with metal sounds and while this is true for the most part the band has always had more than one mood or sound permeating their music. Even before this they had heavy moments but maybe they weren't as intense as some of the moments on here and later. On here there is probably more of a symphonic element and less of a spacey element although Porcupine Tree never seem to abandon any of their trademark qualities entirely and even the later albums include their distinct sound.

Overall, this is a must have album from the earlier part of this century and a perfect entry album for anyone who wants to check out Porcupine Tree.

 Closure/Continuation by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Studio Album, 2022
3.90 | 314 ratings

BUY
Closure/Continuation
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by The Crow
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Finally, after so many years of waiting, Porcupine Tree decided to return with this collection of songs kept in the closet with some more recent compositions.

That is why the title of the album makes a lot of sense!

The fact is that, as expected, the quality of these compositions is somewhat uveven, offering some songs that can already be considered classics of the band (Harridan, O The New Day, Dignity, Herd Culling), along with others somewhat moremore forgettable (Walk the Plank)

In any case, it is an album that undoubtedly surpasses the disappointing "The Incident", although of course without reaching the level of masterpieces like "Deadwing" or "Fear of a Blank Planet".

Thank you for this excellent and long-awaited comeback, guys!

Best Tracks: Harridan (very progressive, intense and beautiful at the same time), Of The New Day (great in its simplicity and melancholy), Herd Culling (my favorite on the album, remembering the best moments of "FOABP")

My Rating: ****

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

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