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Porcupine Tree - Nil Recurring CD (album) cover


Porcupine Tree


Heavy Prog

3.95 | 536 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars What is it? More Fear of a Blank Planet music, thus more progressive rock songwriting that reflect the perspective of a depressed, angsty teenager. (see Fear of a Blank Planet). These tracks further explore the sound of progressive rock.

Voice (5 stars) ? The vocals, while relatively scarce, make a much stronger impression than its parent album and one could argue this is his vocal and lyrical pinnacle as a singer. The utilization of the vocal effect that makes him sound distant is perfected in 'Cheating the Polygraph'. Melodic singing that includes counterpoint harmonies help make 'Normal' an excellent song. Steven Wilson also delivers one of his most disturbing performances throughout 'What Happens Now?'. While other singers may be more technically skilled and have a wider range, it is impossible to hear these songs performed by anyone else.

Sound (5 stars) ? Perfection in instrumentation and sound production with all band members at the top of their game. The band delivers addicting intricate rhythms: Gavin Harrison not only established himself to be among the best drummers in the world, but has a great chemistry with Colin Edwin (bass). The keyboards help set the mood, and the guitar playing is excellent and versatile. The band is allowed to shine in 'Nil Recurring' and 'What Happens Now' ? the latter featuring extremely complex yet accessible polyrhythms halfway through its buildup.

Song (5 stars) - Porcupine tree as a full-fledged progressive rock band can craft complex, coherent songs of the highest caliber without losing touch of the emotional touch that kept their fanbase. The deeper exploration into progressive rock works as long as songwriting is fluid. Take for instance the middle of 'Nil Recurrent' with the quieter, but dense middle part exploding into a very memorable wall of sound. 'Normal' uses a progressive structure, but retains the melodic themes from 'Fear of a Blank Planet' ballads. 'Cheating the Polygraph' is a structurally simpler song allowing the band to rock out with some of their heaviest musical passages, and also establish lengthy amount of space for the keyboardist (middle section). 'What Happens Now' has some of the best displays of songwriting in modern prog rock and is possibly Steven Wilson's best prog rock song ? building from dark thoughts, to intent, to planning, to action, to chaos from the eyes of a terrorist. It is extremely visual in nature and gets more and more horrifying by the minute.

Key Tracks: Normal, Cheating the Polygraph, What Happens Now?

Zitro | 5/5 |


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