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Porcupine Tree - Nil Recurring CD (album) cover


Porcupine Tree


Heavy Prog

3.95 | 536 ratings

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3 stars Porcupine Tree's "Nil Recurring" is the companion to "Fear of a Blank Planet", an EP with some outstanding tracks that make the experience of FOABP all the more endearing. It begins with the title track, an instrumental with tons of psychedelic guitar and a pulsating riff. The heavy sound is excellent and it could have done with some vocals I felt. It is nice to know though that Robert Fripp was guesting on the track with his inimitable lead guitar style.

'Normal' has an acoustic intro, then an outburst of metal and finally Wilson's gentle vocals. The melody is similar to previous PT songs, especially 'Sentimental'. It works though as a reminder of that style and is a companion piece to the material on FOABP, perhaps even belongs on that album somewhere. It has a great drum and guitar explosion later, and some multi layered harmonies.

'Cheating the Polygraph' is Wilson in contemplative mood and features the tense metal breaks juxtaposed with dreamy ambient passages. The wah-wah lead break is certainly outstanding and has an emotional edge then it moves to a spacey atmosphere; perhaps the best song on the EP.

'What Happens Now?' is a post rock exploration with dark tones, a nice recurring motif, odd phased vox, and a strange guitar solo. It feels like part of 'Cheating the Polygraph' as it has the same melodic vibe. Perhaps it would have been better as part of one epic that clocked over 15 minutes giving the band a chance to launch into some great improvisations and crescendos. Unfortunately the EP does not have enough space for such things and it ends far too soon. The riff at the ends are taken from FOABP I can tell, but I like the way the guitar riffs blend at the end into a solid brew of complex time sigs.

After this EP I was left with the question of why it was not released as a bonus CD to FOABP but that's the way it is, I guess, and Wilson would have his reasons which hopefully are not purely based on financial gain. He believed it would break the continuity of the album, but as a second CD surely this would have worked okay. This EP came with a whole slab of hype at the time, people raving it was a masterpiece and that it was brilliant unmissable prog, but of course in retrospect it is nothing of the sort; Wilson has gone on to do so much better especially in his solo career, such as with the masterful "Grace For Drowning". "Nil Recurring" is a decent EP, though of course only a shadow of the quality of FOABP.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 3/5 |


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