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Porcupine Tree - Nil Recurring CD (album) cover


Porcupine Tree


Heavy Prog

3.95 | 536 ratings

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4 stars Porcupine Tree ? Nil Recurring review

By ProgkidJoel

"Please note that the material on the album is definitely NOT comprised of "rejects" from the Fear of a Blank Planet album, in fact we consider it every bit as good, they just didn't fit into what was a very concept driven record. Nil Recurring is a completely self-contained and carefully executed work so you can consider this the second (albeit slightly short) Porcupine Tree album release of the year!"

- Steven Wilson, PORCUPINE TREE

Nil Recurring is a companion album to Porcupine Tree's 2007 release, Fear Of A Blank Planet. It is comprised of four excellent tracks which sit perfectly into the FOABP song cycle. Although these tracks were left out as they didn't fit into the mood of FOABP, they're none the less quality tracks, and take a place ahead of FOABP in my own tastes.

The EP opens with the instrumental title track, NIL RECURRING.

"I just thought it was an interesting idea I had. I had this instrumental, and I didn't have a title, so I called it Nil Recurring. It's always quite hard to name instrumentals, because obviously there's no subject matter to relate it to. I just thought the idea was quite funny. I kind of like absurd titles. I kind of have a history of having these titles that make no sense, like Up The Downstair (1993). I mean Nil Recurring is another paradox like statement. You cannot have the number nil recurring. So it's just a bit of fun really. And of course, it seemed to fit in with the lyrical concept of some of the other pieces that featured on Fear Of A Blank Planet. It was that idea of blankness, of not being there or negativity that helped gave that piece, and the E.P. its title."

- Steven Wilson on NIL RECURRING, the track.

This track features Robert Fripp on lead guitar, although this seems unnecessary, as Steven Wilson could have easily handled the guitar virtuosity shown throughout this track. This track is marked by a heavy sound, although a different type of heavy to the majority of Fear Of A Blank Planet. This feels much more clean and rehearsed. This track is filled with lovely chords and great drums. The track continues with a solidly enjoyable formula of insane percussion and heavy guitar work, closing with a display of insane technical virtuosity from Gavin Harrison.

NORMAL is without a doubt the best track on the EP, featuring a lovely intro in the style of Opeth and all round fantastic playing. This track is a companion to FOABP's SENTIMENTAL, featuring the same chorus. The track has a great ebb and flow, but it didn't suit the atmosphere of FOABP, and as such, was replaced by SENTIMENTAL. This feels much less atmospheric and much more song-based than its counterpart, and is a class Porcupine Tree track. The acoustic guitar work is once again lovely on this disc, and plays wonderfully. This track continues in its bitter-sweet fashion, and around halfway through, heavy acoustic guitar and drums break through, opening up a whole new emotion and feel to the track. After this section comes the best part of the song ? A repetition of a great lyric (Wish I was old and a little? Sentimental) and some lovely guitar work yet again. These lyrics transpose the opening lyrics to SENTIMENTAL, which state "I never wanna be old? And I don't want dependence". The centerpiece to a fantastic EP.

CHEATING THE POLYGRAPH is another solid track in the style of Fear of A Blank Planet, featuring a masterful guitar solo and all-round delicious instrumentation. This track is definitely in the same vein as FEAR OF A BLANK PLANET (track), although its still a lovely song on which stands perfectly on its own two feet. Another lovely midsection to a fantastic disc.

WHAT HAPPENS NOW? Is another great song, this time featuring part of the mid-section to ANESTHETIZE. It opens with a drum repetition, which is somewhat similar to PT's older work on SIGNIFY. This song has a dark atmosphere and some great vocal work. The guitar work on this track is super-melancholic and virtuous, and fits perfectly with the rest of these great tracks. A massive change of pace marks the last two minutes of this song (and disc) and closes with an incredibly dark feeling and genuine emotion.

This disc is a must have for PT fans ? I prefer it to FOABP, on the whole.

Enjoy it! -Joel

progkidjoel | 4/5 |


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