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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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In AbsentiaIn Absentia
Lava 2002
Audio CD$3.93
$1.92 (used)
Fear Of A Blank PlanetFear Of A Blank Planet
KSCOPE 2012
Audio CD$7.72
$6.99 (used)
DeadwingDeadwing
Lava 2005
Audio CD$6.87
$5.95 (used)
The IncidentThe Incident
Roadrunner Records 2009
Audio CD$7.82
$3.64 (used)
Lightbulb SunLightbulb Sun
Import · Special Edition
Snapper UK 2008
Audio CD$10.05
$11.00 (used)
Stupid DreamStupid Dream
Kscope 2009
Audio CD$10.59
$18.53 (used)
Sky Moves SidewaysSky Moves Sideways
Kscope 2009
Audio CD$10.47
$16.18 (used)
Octane TwistedOctane Twisted
KSCOPE 2012
Audio CD$11.64
$12.49 (used)
RecordingsRecordings
Special Edition
Kscope 2010
Audio CD$10.38
$7.99 (used)
SignifySignify
Special Edition
Kscope 2009
Audio CD$10.58
$9.00 (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 | 615 ratings
On The Sunday Of Life.....
1991
3.92 | 720 ratings
Up The Downstair
1993
4.10 | 979 ratings
The Sky Moves Sideways
1995
3.81 | 866 ratings
Signify
1996
3.98 | 977 ratings
Stupid Dream
1999
4.01 | 1082 ratings
Lightbulb Sun
2000
4.22 | 1799 ratings
In Absentia
2002
4.08 | 1497 ratings
Deadwing
2005
4.22 | 1836 ratings
Fear Of A Blank Planet
2007
3.71 | 1177 ratings
The Incident
2009

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

4.44 | 362 ratings
Coma Divine Live
1997
3.76 | 74 ratings
Spiral Circus Live (LP)
1997
3.68 | 122 ratings
XM
2003
4.17 | 6 ratings
Live in Poland
2003
3.93 | 256 ratings
Warszawa
2004
4.04 | 123 ratings
XMII
2005
4.21 | 148 ratings
Rockpalast
2005
4.50 | 122 ratings
Arriving Somewhere...
2006
3.35 | 203 ratings
We Lost The Skyline
2008
3.65 | 101 ratings
Ilosaarirock
2009
4.24 | 156 ratings
Atlanta
2010
3.50 | 136 ratings
Octane Twisted
2012

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

4.57 | 445 ratings
Arriving Somewhere...
2006
4.72 | 433 ratings
Anesthetize
2010
4.26 | 35 ratings
Octane Twisted
2012

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

2.51 | 90 ratings
Yellow Hedgerow Dreamscape
1994
3.19 | 293 ratings
Voyage 34 - The Complete Trip
2000
4.17 | 303 ratings
Recordings
2001
4.23 | 202 ratings
Stars Die: The Delerium Years 1991 -1997
2002

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

3.47 | 47 ratings
Tarquin's Seaweed Farm (K7)
1989
3.25 | 37 ratings
Love, Death & Mussolini (K7)
1990
3.00 | 33 ratings
The Nostalgia Factory (K7)
1991
3.45 | 20 ratings
Radioactive E. P.
1992
3.67 | 89 ratings
Voyage 34
1992
2.88 | 41 ratings
Voyage 34 : Remixes
1993
3.24 | 51 ratings
Moonloop E.P.
1994
3.82 | 145 ratings
Staircase Infinities
1994
3.79 | 43 ratings
Waiting
1996
3.30 | 70 ratings
Insignificance (K7)
1997
3.80 | 20 ratings
Ambulance Chasers
1997
3.62 | 13 ratings
Coma Divine II
1999
3.89 | 28 ratings
Stars Die - Rare and Unreleased
1999
2.81 | 39 ratings
Stranger By The Minute
1999
2.82 | 40 ratings
Piano Lessons
1999
2.85 | 40 ratings
Pure Narcotic
1999
3.06 | 52 ratings
4 Chords That Made A Million
2000
3.22 | 49 ratings
Shesmovedon
2000
4.13 | 85 ratings
Transmission IV
2001
2.95 | 170 ratings
Metanoia
2001
3.44 | 119 ratings
Futile
2003
3.30 | 28 ratings
Delerium EP
2003
3.56 | 103 ratings
Lazarus
2005
3.91 | 415 ratings
Nil Recurring
2007
3.96 | 61 ratings
Transmission 10.1 - Ilosaarirock
2009
2.62 | 57 ratings
Time Flies
2009
3.80 | 5 ratings
Acoustic Session Jan 2010
2010

PORCUPINE TREE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Staircase Infinities by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1994
3.82 | 145 ratings

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Staircase Infinities
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Originally intended to be released as a double album with the previous year's "Up The Downstair," the end result was that the material left over from those sessions was released as an EP in 1994. This 30 minute collection of five tracks is much in the vein of "Downstair." It continues the pathway that Steven Wilson chose to develop the psychedelic rock strand of his creative forces. Despite being similar to the previous album in spaciness, this material is a lot mellower as I don't hear as much Ozric Tentacle influenced electronic tendencies nor as many upbeat songs. These tracks are slower and trippier with long drawn out spaced out passages. There is percussion to be had but all is set on chill mode.

I actually find the five songs on this EP to be of slightly higher quality than "Downstair." I love the chord progressions. I love the tasty guitar solos and effects. It seems like Wilson had developed down his own path a little bit more so even this was created roughly at the same time of "Downstair" it really sounds like it could have been recorded a year later. It also seems like the gateway to the next album "The Sky Moves Sideways" where I hear all those rhythms, patterns and spacey electronic effects ratcheting up a few notches. Although this was originally released as an EP, I acquired it as a double album on the 2005 remastered version of "Up The Downstair." Spacey, relaxed and stimulating at the same time.

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 Up The Downstair by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Studio Album, 1993
3.92 | 720 ratings

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Up The Downstair
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Prog Reviewer

4 stars UP THE DOWNSTAIR is the second official album but really the debut of all original material since "On The Sunday Of Life" was really a compilation of previously released material. After that extremely eclectic album displaying all the possible paths Steven Wilson could steer his faux band turned into the real thing band PORCUPINE TREE, it is this album where he settles on his Floydian space rock sound that not only borrows from the past but also incorporates everything spacey released up to that point. At times this reminds you of Pink Floyd especially in the guitar soloing department but there is also a hint of Ozric Tentacles and their hyper electronic beats, times that remind me of German Krautock and certain passages that show an interest into the heavier riffing that would be much more emphasized on later releases. There is also a smattering of progressive electronic to be found. This was a fruitful time for Wilson. This was originally intended to be released as a double album since in addition to the material presented here he also wanted to include what was released the next year as the "Staircase Infinities" and tripped out material from "Voyage 34" which was released as a single the previous year.

Interesting to see the various opinions ranging on this one. Some praise this album for its prescience of evolving the psychedelic space rock subgenre and others dismiss this as one that is too similar to other surrounding albums being the lesser of the lot. I can see both sides of the debate on this one, however at this point I don't think Wilson had quite developed his space rock sound to the point where it sounds significantly different than his previous workings or other similar bands such as Ozric Tentacles. It is certainly has a Steven Wilson stamp on it but it is one of him at a certain stage of his ever evolving tendencies to add certain sounds here and there. On the other hand I quite enjoy this album even if it may be one of my least favorite of their entire discography. One of the most amazing things about PORCUPINE TREE is that they as a band are incredibly consistent in their quality in both songwriting and production. I find very few peaks and troughs in their music. I find a smooth high quality sound from album to album. This one is no exception. Having said that I do prefer the similar sounding space rock on "Staircase Infinities" a little bit better. The songs are better written and while this is a nice zone out album that you can just surrender and let your intellect dissipate for a while, "Staircase" has more interesting developments for my tastes. 3.5 rounded up

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 Fear Of A Blank Planet by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Studio Album, 2007
4.22 | 1836 ratings

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Fear Of A Blank Planet
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by inkblowout

4 stars This album have proven to be Porcupine tree's heaviest album and also the most progressive in comparison to In abensia and deadwing. This album was the first I've heard from porcupine tree and when I heard it I was instantly hooked. They proved to themselves that they could be metal without overdoing it. Steven Wilson has done an amazing job producing this record and after listening to this record millions and millions of times I can say that this is one of porcupine tree's best album.

But why give it four stars? well this is a solid album which many prog fans will enjoy but it's far from being a masterpiece and this album believe it or not is not prefect.

Fear of a blank planet: The title track of the album and this song and it's actually not bad. You can definitely tell that Steven's lyric writing has gone down which kinda bring away the porcupine tree "feel" from previous album. The lyrics sound like something a nu- metal or a punk band would write. But musically the song is prefect. Catchy, heavy and proggy in a way. (B)

My ashes: In my opinion the weakest song in the album and I really have nothing to say about it. Lyrics are better then fear if a blank planet though. (C+)

Anesthetize: The best song in the album, this is the 17 minute epic. It's proggy, heavy. The song stands out because of it's length and it's considered the main attraction for this album. Alex's solo is great too. But lyrics don't stand out until the 3rd part of the song which is one of the most beautiful vocal harmony I've ever heard. (A)

Sentimental: Took me a while to get used to but it reminds me of a song that should be "stupid dream" but a great song. (A-)

Way out of here: it's the single for this album.... I wasn't expecting anything special. The song tends to draw me out of attention after the 2nd chorus but nevertheless a good song (B+)

Sleep together: refer to "fear of A blank planet" (B)

Overall rating: (b+)

It is a must have for most prog fans.

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 Transmission IV by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2001
4.13 | 85 ratings

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Transmission IV
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by admireArt

3 stars A day in the life of Porcupine Tree!

Transmission IV (Moonloop), a forty minute long unedited improvisation, is at its best "inspired", although at close distance, a swirling tribute, here and there and everywhere to Mr. Pink's "trade-mark" guitar atmospherics. Why Steven Wilson intended to do so? I guess with such a vast discography, it could have been let pass by.

Maybe I did not check out and David Gilmour was an unexpected guest! (I am joking, but I did actually, check out!)

Anyway! The best parts of the improvisation, is when PT sounds like PT, and not PF, which ironically are, the more "electronic ambiental" parts or the "funkier" ones. Maybe as a "live" experience, it could have been haunting, but as such, it is good but not essential. (Unless you collect all of PT's records, which I don't).)

***3 PA stars.

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 Fear Of A Blank Planet by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Studio Album, 2007
4.22 | 1836 ratings

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Fear Of A Blank Planet
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by Progrussia

4 stars Difficult to contribute regularly by reviewing just the obscure stuff for the sake of popularizing it. Gotta move on to popular stuff... Well, what to say here. Has Steven Wilson become a grumpy old man? Singing about the apathetic generation? "Only MTV". When was the last time depressed teenagers watched it anyway? 1991 when Nirvana was on?

On Fear Of a Blank Planet Porcupine Tree move sideways from the more heavy/pop stuff of recent albums. This is more of a gloomy, synth atmosphere-heavy rock with occasional heavy outbursts. Given all the widely different stuff they've done - from psychedelia to electronica to metal - this seems like their niche. It suits well Wilson's average-guy vocals. Clearly this is one of their more conceptual albums. It's just that I felt more variety and excitement on other Porcupine Tree albums.

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 In Absentia by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Studio Album, 2002
4.22 | 1799 ratings

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In Absentia
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by Roland113
Collaborator Neo-Prog Team

5 stars . . . In my not so humble opinion.

"In Absentia" is an essential prog masterpiece. Every respectable prog collection should have this album in it. Porcupine Tree is one of the most popular prog bands of the nineties and this century and "In Absentia" is the best, most complete album front to back in their catalog. When my Dad asked me about modern prog music, this is what I played for him, and he loved it. This album hits you from the very beginning of "Blackest Eyes" through the soulful end of "Collapse the Light Into Earth".

For starters, the song writing by Steven Wilson and company is phenomenal, "Blackest Eyes" mixes the heavy and the acoustic almost interchangeably, the contrasts between the differing sections grab you while the dark, brooding lyrics sink into your soul. "It's so erotic when your make up runs . . . " "Trains" is one of the catchiest songs Mr. Wilson's ever written, the chorus sticks with you for days, while "Lips of Ashes" is almost entirely Richard Barbieri atmosphere. "The Sound of Muzak" again features a wonderfully catchy chorus.

Each and every song on this album has a notable moment to it from the progression at the end of "Prodigal" to the groove and atmosphere of ".3". This album has been reviewed by countless people at this point, if you haven't listened to this album yet, do yourself a favor, go find yourself a copy of "In Absentia" and enjoy it. Every aspect of this album is fantastic. Easy five star rating from me.

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 Anesthetize by PORCUPINE TREE album cover DVD/Video, 2010
4.72 | 433 ratings

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Anesthetize
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by thwok

3 stars I want to start by stressing the fact that I am a big Porcupine Tree fan, like most of my fellow reviewers here at Prog Archives. I think Steven Wilson is one of the best songwriters in progressive rock. The rest of the band, especially Gavin Harrison, are brilliant musicians. However, I'm only mildly impressed with the Anesthetize DVD concert. Therefore, I'm going to give it 3 stars. It's definitely very good, and definitely not essential to a progressive music collection

I don't watch a lot of recordings of live concerts. The thing is, a live concert should be an interactive experience. The band does very little of that on this DVD. On the VH1 cable network I recently watched a Live from the Download Festival 2009 special, where Iron Maiden were the headliners. The band stomped on most of the younger groups that preceded them. Bruce Dickinson, who is in his 50's like the other members, was running around the stage, talking to the audience, and getting them worked up. On this Anesthetize DVD, Steven Wilson is clearly emotionally involved with what he's playing. However, he barely says anything beyond introducing the songs.

As for the set list, appreciation really depends on personal choice. This DVD contains some of my favorite PT songs, but "favorite" is an entirely subjective decision. I agree with many of my fellow reviewers that "Anesthetize" is better than "Arriving Somewhere". I too find the camera work on "Arriving Somewhere" a little distracting. The slide show in "Anesthetize" is cool, but I care more about the band. Since this is a Steven Wilson production, "Anesthetize" is impeccable from a technical standpoint. However, I can hear these songs by listening to PT's impeccably produced studio releases. I just expect more from a live concert.

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 On The Sunday Of Life.....  by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Studio Album, 1991
3.02 | 615 ratings

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

Review by siLLy puPPy
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Although this is the first official PORCUPINE TREE release it wasn't at all the beginning. Everyone knows that PORCUPINE TREE is really the talent of Steven Wilson dressed up as a band and that is not to dismiss the talent of the members who have contributed to this prolific band's wonderful sounds over the decades but the fact remains that Wilson is the conductor and main talent on board. This first album is really a compilation of the the material that he began created as a joke actually. The idea actually started all the way back in 1987 when Steven Wilson and Malcolm Stocks decided to make a fictional band that was influenced by psychedelic space rock music especially in the Pink Floyd arena. They went to great lengths to create a faux history and personas. Sounds to me like it was meant to be a Pink Floyd inspired Spinal Tap thing. Although intended to be a joke while focusing on his "real" band called No-Man, Steven released a couple of cassette only albums and they proved to catch the attention of the right people who decided that some of this material actually had a place in the market.

That brings us to the debut album ON THE SUNDAY OF LIFE. Although officially the first album, this is really a compilation of tracks off the cassette recordings that Wilson created on his then newly purchased recording equipment. The great thing about this album is as stated in the liner notes, namely that this album really represents all the possible avenues that Wilson could have gone down. Although there are clear moments of those that he did go down in the form of the psychedelic rock and crossover prog with beautifully melancholic melodies in a rock context, there are many tracks on this album that do not represent any of the later PORCUPINE TREE albums in the least. There are industrial rock tracks, new age ambient tracks and highly experimental ones that remind me more of the indie pop band Ween. It is clear from this debut album that Steven Wilson is a formidable talent who is more than capable of developing several branches of music. This is a remarkable album. I just love it. It was more than I ever could have expected coming to this after hearing most of the later albums. What we have here is a clear indicator that Steven Wilson was a hugely talented musician capable of greatness and in that regard he hasn't disappointed. Unfortunately the collective rating on this is unjust. This is eclectic to say the least but I enjoy every single track on this and contemplate all the possible avenues Steven Wilson could have taken. A very interesting album that displays Wilson at a stage before he had a fanbase and had to focus on that aspect of his music.

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 Fear Of A Blank Planet by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Studio Album, 2007
4.22 | 1836 ratings

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Fear Of A Blank Planet
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by ProgolateCookie

4 stars This album starts off with one of the band's most boring and plain parts but then it becomes something magical. Even classic prog dude, Rob Fripp is on it to add texture and it is amazing.

I think this is the first one Steven mixed himself or at least in a while cos I know he didn't do In Absentia. The art is amazing too, Lasse Hoil is incredible.

The long one "Anthesthetize" is the best track clearly and you can almost forgive the opening track being so tedious as the rest is PROG! "Sentimental" is also really good for the lyrics. My 3rd fav PT album and much preferred in a lot of way to most of his solo stuff apart from Raven.

82% - 4

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 Delerium EP by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2003
3.30 | 28 ratings

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Delerium EP
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by thwok

2 stars I'm a big Porcupine Tree fan. I think anything they put out is worthy of our attention. I do prefer the later releases, from Signify forward. I think the Delerium EP is simply unnecessary.

For my money, the better tracks are Signify and the full-length version of Radioactive Toy. "Signify" has the most drive of the four tracks. I definitely prefer the latter, less-ambient albums by PT. The longer version of "Radioactive Toy" is also good stuff.

However, all of this material is available on other PT albums. So, I'm not really sure why the Delerium EP was put out. There's a good chance that fans of the band already have this songs. According to the ProgArchives administrators, this EP is no longer available. Maybe PT's record company feels the same as I do. The band later released a more comprehensive Delerium collection. Each PT release is at least worthy of attention, so I'm giving this EP two and half stars.

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