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Porcupine Tree - Arriving Somewhere... CD (album) cover


Porcupine Tree


Heavy Prog

4.57 | 543 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars Porc Tree is one of the most popular names in progressive music in our technologically advanced day. It's a wonder their first DVD was released sixteen years after Porcupine Tree's first single came onto the market. Well, the waiting has paid off.

Arriving Somewhere... is as perfect as a DVD can be. The set list is diverse, and (much to the happiness of yours truly) very long. I have all of The Tree's studio albums, and yet they play some songs never to have graced my ears. They also play most of the classics (except for Freebird, that is). The dynamics are astounding: violent riffs of Blackest Eyes lead into the serene piano of Lazarus, with nothing but a quick "thank you" from Wilson, and a few moments of cheering as transition. But not only are the dynamics powerful in terms of volume: but also in the band's exploration into various genres. They can flow from a metal song straight into a pop song, or a jazzy/rock jam into a spacey/acoustic tune.

Gladly, this DVD does not suffer from the plague of all live efforts: familiarity. If the live song is exactly the same as the studio version, then there is very little beckoning us to listen to the former. But, considering about a third of the set were originally recorded when Chris Maitland was the drummer, many of the songs have radically changed. The most significant of these changes can be seen on the extraordinary Hatesong, where Gavin Harrison really pulls all the stops. After that song, any viewer will easily rank Harrison with Portnoy, Peart, Bruford, Collins, or whomever they consider the best. But even on the songs Gavin had originally recorded with The Tree, they keep things fresh. Even if it's a brief instrumental section which wasn't on the original, or simply faster fills or improved solos, they always find a way to spice things up. And on the last song, the classic Trains, Steven shares a laugh with the spoilers...

One thing about that album which may not sit well with some people is its effects. Visual whatnot appears in every song: whether its a flash of letters suddenly flying across the screen, or a strange lighting, or black and white, or a scratched film effect, or a blurry shot slowly coming into focus, or simply a strange camera angle, there's always something odd happening. I think Lasse Hoile did a fine job with this, and I find it quite interesting: it perfectly fits with Porcupine Tree's odd and eerie music, and it also makes things a bit more interesting. And as if that wasn't enough, there are some very, very interesting and capturing footage being played in the background, on a large screen, during the songs. Three of these videos can be viewed fully in the special features of the DVD, which is quite nice.

Sound quality is top-notch, and video quality (while no effects are going) are equal. We can really hear everything perfectly and distinctly, and the clear footage of all those instruments can really get some musicians pumped. The bonus footage on the bonus disc is phenomenal and adds to what is already a perfect DVD. Footage from the German Rockpalast of Futile and Radioactive Toy is really awesome, and Gavin's video-edited "Cymbal Song" is extremely nifty. The photo gallery may prove to be a tad boring for anyone who is not a massive Tofu Bush fan. Anyone who is a Tofu Bush addict will love it, though, (especially with the ethereal ambient music in the background). I'm convinced that because Porcupine Tree explore so many different styles of music, there will be something here for anyone, and to any devoted Tree fan, this is a must buy.

Shakespeare | 4/5 |


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