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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$3.78
$2.05 (used)
Fear Of A Blank PlanetFear Of A Blank Planet
KSCOPE 2012
Audio CD$7.71
$6.99 (used)
DeadwingDeadwing
Lava 2005
Audio CD$6.36
$3.22 (used)
Octane TwistedOctane Twisted
KSCOPE 2012
Audio CD$9.99
$12.49 (used)
SignifySignify
Special Edition
Kscope 2009
Audio CD$10.58
$9.00 (used)
Stupid DreamStupid Dream
Kscope 2009
Audio CD$10.58
$9.95 (used)
Lightbulb SunLightbulb Sun
Import · Special Edition
Snapper UK 2008
Audio CD$10.05
$8.50 (used)
Voyage 34Voyage 34
Import
Kscope 2009
Audio CD$6.44
$6.28 (used)
The IncidentThe Incident
Roadrunner Records 2009
Audio CD$5.97
$2.72 (used)
Stars DieStars Die
Remastered
Kscope 2008
Audio CD$10.07
$8.69 (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 | 626 ratings
On The Sunday Of Life.....
1991
3.92 | 733 ratings
Up The Downstair
1993
4.08 | 998 ratings
The Sky Moves Sideways
1995
3.80 | 880 ratings
Signify
1996
3.98 | 1000 ratings
Stupid Dream
1999
4.01 | 1105 ratings
Lightbulb Sun
2000
4.23 | 1833 ratings
In Absentia
2002
4.08 | 1523 ratings
Deadwing
2005
4.22 | 1873 ratings
Fear Of A Blank Planet
2007
3.71 | 1198 ratings
The Incident
2009

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

4.44 | 368 ratings
Coma Divine Live
1997
3.76 | 74 ratings
Spiral Circus Live (LP)
1997
3.68 | 116 ratings
XM
2003
4.17 | 6 ratings
Live in Poland
2003
3.93 | 258 ratings
Warszawa
2004
4.04 | 123 ratings
XMII
2005
4.24 | 142 ratings
Rockpalast
2005
4.51 | 129 ratings
Arriving Somewhere...
2006
3.35 | 204 ratings
We Lost The Skyline
2008
3.65 | 101 ratings
Ilosaarirock
2009
4.25 | 157 ratings
Atlanta
2010
3.50 | 139 ratings
Octane Twisted
2012

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

4.57 | 449 ratings
Arriving Somewhere...
2006
4.72 | 438 ratings
Anesthetize
2010
4.24 | 38 ratings
Octane Twisted
2012

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

2.51 | 92 ratings
Yellow Hedgerow Dreamscape
1994
3.19 | 297 ratings
Voyage 34 - The Complete Trip
2000
4.17 | 305 ratings
Recordings
2001
4.23 | 204 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 | 48 ratings
Tarquin's Seaweed Farm (K7)
1989
3.25 | 37 ratings
Love, Death & Mussolini (K7)
1990
3.00 | 34 ratings
The Nostalgia Factory (K7)
1991
3.45 | 20 ratings
Radioactive E. P.
1992
3.66 | 89 ratings
Voyage 34
1992
2.89 | 42 ratings
Voyage 34 : Remixes
1993
3.25 | 52 ratings
Moonloop E.P.
1994
3.82 | 147 ratings
Staircase Infinities
1994
3.79 | 43 ratings
Waiting
1996
3.29 | 71 ratings
Insignificance (K7)
1997
4.00 | 19 ratings
Ambulance Chasers
1997
3.69 | 13 ratings
Coma Divine II
1999
3.96 | 27 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 | 54 ratings
4 Chords That Made A Million
2000
3.22 | 49 ratings
Shesmovedon
2000
4.13 | 85 ratings
Transmission IV
2001
2.95 | 172 ratings
Metanoia
2001
3.40 | 120 ratings
Futile
2003
3.30 | 28 ratings
Delerium EP
2003
3.56 | 103 ratings
Lazarus
2005
3.91 | 418 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
 The Sky Moves Sideways  by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Studio Album, 1995
4.08 | 998 ratings

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The Sky Moves Sideways
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by stefanblazanovic

2 stars Well I decided to move to porcupine tree's earlier stuff and I thought I would start out with "the sky moves sideways" their well known album in the early 1990's. And the first thing that came through my mind when finishing this album is "Pink Floyd ripoff". I'm not a huge fan of pink Floyd but I do enjoy their album "wish you were here" and "the sky moves sideways" is basically a clone of wish you were here. Sure there are some porcupine tree originally (aka Steven Wilson's originally) in this album but the pink Floyd influences are much more noticeable and that what ruins the album for me. It's hard to listen to this album when you listened to "wish you were here" first and you enjoyed the album. But if I hadn't listened to wish you were here first. then this album would be rated 4/5 stars but instead it's going to be 2 stars. It's not that I hate this album. But everytime I want to listen to the album I usually end up listening to something else after the first 2 tracks. I believe that their newer stuff (from stupid dream to fear of a blank planet) is much more original and more tolerable rather then the earlier stuff. But I guess I cannot really say that because I haven't listened to much of their earlier stuff but so far. I'm not impressed.

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 Stupid Dream by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.98 | 1000 ratings

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Stupid Dream
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by Fearabsentia

3 stars Porcupine Tree-Stupid Dream

Stupid Dream is the fifth studio album by Progressive metal/Alternative rock band Porcupine Tree. 'Stupid Dream' marks a stylistic change in Porcupine Tree's sound. Their first four albums followed a metal infused space-rock sound, but the previous release 'Signify' showed a slight shift in sound.

Unlike 'Signify' however, 'Stupid Dream' mostly follows an alternative rock path with the normal metal elements mixed in. It begins with a very strong opener 'Even Less', which was originally a fourteen minute long song, cut short to seven for the album. The bridge of this song is where the really heavy crunching guitar comes in, and builds up. The album also includes Porcupine Tree's first successful single, 'Piano Lessons'. This song is definitely radio-friendly and light music, the lyrics are nice but I find it kind of boring.

My three favorites from the album include 'Slave Called Shiver', which has some awesome bass work by Edwin and has a really funky beat. This song has almost a funk metal feel to it. 'Baby Dream in Cellophane' is a very dark and menacing song that has great acoustics. It has a very nice atmospheric vibe. 'Tinto Brass' is the heaviest song on the album, being a pretty experimental metal instrumental.

Overall, I don't have much else to say about this album. I honestly find a lot of the songs on this album boring, none of the songs are bad just pretty bland. In my opinion they would refine this new style on the next album.

Hope you found this review helpful.

(Originally Written for www.MetalMusicArchives.com)

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 Fear Of A Blank Planet by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Studio Album, 2007
4.22 | 1873 ratings

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Fear Of A Blank Planet
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by stefanblazanovic

3 stars So for my first review I've decided to go with "Fear of a Blank Planet" By the band Porcupine tree. To get things started I have to say that this is a great album. But it isn't the greatest album by them. Why? Well you notice in this album that the music has increased in quality. They've turned more progressive so we'll be noticing longer songs, different time signatures But as the lyrics go.... well it's the worst lyrics I've seen in any album by porcupine tree. It sounds like something linkin park, deftones, and KoRn would write on their albums. It's whiny, annoying and more importantly... It's about teens which the target audience is for teens.

Fear of a Blank Planet (B+)

My Ashes (D+)

Anesthetize (A-)

Sentimental (C+)

Way out of here (C+)

Sleep Together (B)

Overall Album (B) or 3.5 Stars

Fear of a blank planet will bring a lot of surprises to a porcupine tree fan because this album is much heavier than previous album "Deadwing". And quite frankly I enjoy the instrumentals, they bring a lot of life into the song but the lyrics draw me out and I have to constantly remind myself that I'm listening to porcupine tree.

Fear of a Blank planet is a great opener track. It's catchy, melodic, heavy and proggy in some parts. and it has that porcupine tree feel throughout the song, The lyrics are a problem like I've stated before but I enjoy this song very much and it's the second best song out of the album. My Ashes is a very weak song in the album and I tend to zone out while listening to the song so giving a review would be unfair so I'll skip it. Anesthetize.... The closest thing porcupine tree has come to a masterpiece. This 17 minute epic is one of the best progressive metal songs I've heard in a long time. The 3 parts to anesthetize are interesting because not only they sound different but the transition into each part fits prefectly so it maintains that flow throughout the song. And the last part is one of the most beautiful things I've heard in a while.

Sentimental... don't have much to say about this song. The soundscapes sound great but overall a decent song nothing special. Same applies to Way out of here, Steven's vocals are great in the song but otherwise I find myself skipping this song. Sleep together..... What a song. It's a different song but in a good way. It's their most experimental song in the album but they seemed to have nailed it. It's a nice song with a nice outro at the end closing off the album.

Overall I think this album is great but not their best for sure. While the album holds some amazing songs. The album holds some bad apples which I usually find myself skipping. But would I waste my 10 dollars to get this album? No. The album is good don't get me wrong but unless I was a diehard porcupine tree fan I would get this album. But as a casual prog rock listener. I would pass it and get something else. It's not that it's a terrible album and I would get it if was on sale. but if it wasn't for Anesthetize.... this album rating would go lower and I think we all know that....

3.5 Stars

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 On The Sunday Of Life.....  by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Studio Album, 1991
3.02 | 626 ratings

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

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Porcupine Tree didn't exist as an actual band when this first official album was released in 1992. So it makes sense that the effort was an ersatz affair, cobbled together from a pair of older audio- cassette recordings made by a precocious youngster named Steve Wilson, barely out of his teens at the time.

The fantasy 'band' would later come to vivid life as a legitimate group. But in the beginning Wilson imagined them as post-modern, psychedelic teeny-boppers, with fanciful stage names like Timothy Tadpole-Jones and Sir Tarquin Underspoon. The band's drummer, much like the nominal Echo of earlier Bunnymen fame, was a rhythm box known as The Expanding Flan.

The music itself is mostly atmospheric jams with ambient filler, anchored by several outright, airtight pop songs, many of them sporting odd, processed vocals making Wilson resemble Alvin the Chipmunk (in "The Nostalgia Factory"), or a pre-pubescent Geddy Lee (in "Linton Samuel Dawson", name-checking a non-existent light-show operator: Porcupine Tree's own imaginary Pete Sinfield). At least one song, the bouncy "Jupiter Island", sounds atypically not unlike a techno-pop Thomas Dolby hit. And the punchline is further telegraphed by titles recalling Monty Python ("No Luck With Rabbits") or The Mothers of Invention ("Message From a Self-Destructing Turnip").

Much of the album is hard to reconcile with the distinctive Heavy Prog of later PT releases, although a measure of foreshadowing can be heard in the fan favorite "Radioactive Toy", and the nearly eleven-minute "It Will Rain For a Million Years". The former in particular, with its convincing Dave Gilmour guitar mimicry, helped earn the fledgling band its now overused nickname of Porcupink Floyd.

Steve Wilson may have invented the fictitious group as a joke, but without real musicians he wouldn't be able to fashion anything like a stable musical identity until after the project took on a life of its own. There are times when he overplays his youthful enthusiasm, in the abundance of backward tape effects, random voice samples, and so on. And at 75-minutes the album might have been effectively condensed even further from its original sources. But for a homemade studio experiment it offers ample proof of Wilson's skill and confidence on either side of the microphone: as a producer and a performer.

Consider it as a collection of unpolished demo recordings...not for an upcoming album, but for an entire future band.

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 The Sky Moves Sideways  by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Studio Album, 1995
4.08 | 998 ratings

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The Sky Moves Sideways
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by Obsidian Pigeon

3 stars As much as I love Wish You Were Here/Pink Floyd and Porcupine Tree, I cannot really find myself enjoying this album as much as I hoped. For me, Porcupine Tree's really amazing material comes from Stupid Dream onward, with quite a few outstanding tracks coming from the period before then. Perhaps the Radiohead (a band I like, but don't listen to often) influence was simply the cherry on top of Porcupine Tree's sound for me.

Here, the music and melodies just don't seem as strong as they are on Wish You Were Here. While the entirety of Wish You Were Here may be a bit to digest for the average rock listener, it still contained fantastic melodies, transitions, and instrumentals that solidified it as an incredible album. As good as Steven Wilson is at songwriting, The Sky Moves Sideways just doesn't really cut it, for me at least.

That's not to say that I don't find some of this album particularly outstanding. Tracks such as the first part of the The Sky Moves Sideways and The Moon Touches Your Shoulder are particularly great. But as a whole, I just can't enjoy this album as much as I would have liked.

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 In Absentia by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Studio Album, 2002
4.23 | 1833 ratings

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In Absentia
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by Obsidian Pigeon

5 stars This was one of the albums that helped me further delve into Steven Wilson's projects and progressive music in general. While I had listened to more metal-inspired progressive music, such as Symphony X and even Opeth, I was unaware of Porcupine Tree and the entire progressive rock movement from the 1970s. In that way, In Absentia is a fairly dear album to me.

My rating of this album, though, is not based solely on a sentimental nature; the songwriting is top-notch, and each track manages to flow cohesively and even stand on its own. Much of the nature of Porcupine Tree's sound here lies in the subtleties of the music, and each song possesses its own atmosphere. While there are a few tracks that are not up to par with the ones that I consider the best on this CD, I find that the entire experience is incredibly pleasurable.

Even though some may argue that the music on here is not true progressive, I find that it merits a 5 star rating even on this site because of the progressive tendencies of many of the songs and because of the simply incredible songwriting on here.

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 Stupid Dream by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.98 | 1000 ratings

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Stupid Dream
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by Obsidian Pigeon

5 stars Porcupine Tree is a band that I know fairly well, and I love nearly all of their discography. This album, though, certainly claims its spot as my favorite of theirs. The new popish sensibilities are quite nicely woven together with some of their proggy and spacey music, creating an interesting blend. There is a great deal of variety on the album, yet there is still some nice cohesiveness to it all as well.

Some tracks soar to some really cool heights. Opener Even Less, Piano Lessons, A Smart Kid, Baby Dream in Cellophane, and closer Stop Swimming are all enjoyable highlights on this album, each creating an interesting tapestry within a wall of sound.

Stupid Dream essentially helped usher in a new age for Porcupine Tree, as they relied less on their space rock influence and gained a more diverse array of influences.

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 In Absentia by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Studio Album, 2002
4.23 | 1833 ratings

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In Absentia
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by inkblowout

5 stars I give this album a 4.5 out of 5 stars

This album is basically a heavier version of the 1999 album stupid dream. While some songs in stupid dream used a melodic approach. In absentia continues to use the same approach but going to a more metal atmosphere. (Thanks to opeth) In my previous review of porcupine tree's 2007 album "Fear of a blank planet" I stated that FOABP is one of their best albums. In absentia is also one of their best album even a bit better then "fear of a blank planet".

Is in absentia prog rock? Who cares. Even if In absentia wasn't prog, that won't matter because I'll still rate this album 4.5 stars if the album was prog or not.

Blackest eyes (B+)

Trains (A-)

Lips of ashes (B+)

Sound of Muzak (B+)

Gravity eyelids (A-)

Wedding nails (B-)

Prodigal (B+)

3. (B)

The creator has a mastertape (C)

Heart attack In a layby (A-)

Strip the soul (C+)

Collapse the light into the earth (B-)

Overall album rating (A-)

Overall verdict of this album is great, it's a solid album holding some great tracks. The problem with this album that it albums holds some "decent" songs in the album. Tracks that stand out are gravity eyelids, trains, heart attack in a layby. Gravity eyelids goes back into their previous style but in the last half of the track it goes all metal and personally it holds as one of their best songs. Trains is definitely the closest thing that had the potential to become a masterpiece. But because it sounds so commercial it's nothing special but it's still a great song. And sound of Muzak is their overrated song but it holds a nice melodic chorus and shares a few progressive rock elements in the song (4/4 and also moving into 5/4)

But would I waste 15$ bucks just to buy this album? Yes I would. The fact that this is porcupine tree's best work yet proves should be in everyone's collection who like prog metal/prog rock, alt metal and etc. would enjoy in absentia.

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 Staircase Infinities by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1994
3.82 | 147 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 | 733 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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