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Porcupine Tree - Fear Of A Blank Planet CD (album) cover

FEAR OF A BLANK PLANET

Porcupine Tree

 

Heavy Prog

4.26 | 2462 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

TCat
5 stars Wow this album has been reviewed a lot hasn't it? It does my heart good to see Porcupine Tree so popular here in the Archives and to see that a lot of people appreciate their music. Steven Wilson is no doubt a major force in progressive music and he keeps the dream alive for everyone. He has so much influence on many current progressive bands, whether if it's through re-issuing older albums by King Crimson, Jethro Tull, Yes and so on or if it's through production help as with Opeth, Anasthema, or Orphan Lands, or whether it's through inspiration as with I.Q., Archive, Pineapple Thief. Of couse, his most obvious influence is through Porcupine Tree or his own solo works.

So, this album is what I consider the 3rd and last in a series of heavier albums by PT, the first being "In Absentia", then "Deadwing" and now this one. These are the bands best albums in my opinion, I love the hard edge and how it gels so well with the softer passages in the music. These albums are the most inventive and dynamic throughout their discography (even though I love everything from PT).

This album is based on a concept of the fear of how electronics are influencing youth to lose individuality and social skills. It is comprised of 6 powerful songs that are loaded with progressive elements including excellent dynamic use, changing meters, non-traditional rock song structures and so on. The music isn't really challenging as you find in avant-prog music, but it doesn't have to be. If you want that, then check out Steven Wilson's work as Bass Communion or I.E.M. It is powerful music that is more advanced than your standard pop or rock music. There is plenty of beauty and harshness on every single track here, and it is also full of heavy, loud passages and in contrast plenty of soft and quiet sections, just like you have come to expect from the two previous albums from PT. 2 songs here are over 5 minutes, 3 are over 7 minutes and 1 is over 17 minutes, but they all seem to fly by quickly because there is so much to listen to here.

There are beautiful and tight harmonies on the more mellow tracks "My Ashes" and "Sentimental", there are the atmospheric guitar soundscapes of Robert Fripp on "Way Out Here", and there is plenty of darkness bubbling under all of the songs. On "Anesthesize" you get an epic 17+ minute 3 part song that features a bit of everything for everyone. There is something there that would make anyone happy and it all sounds cohesive which is quite a feat considering the many moods that it travels through on it's length. It is never boring and you are always on edge to hear where the song goes next. Alex Lifeson from Rush does a guest guitar solo in the first part of this track. This came about because Alex mentioned in an interview how he was a huge fan of PT, so SW called him and asked if he would like to play on this album. Of course, he jumped on the chance and SW re-wrote the song in order to include his solo.

There is no reason to write a longer review about this album because so much has been said about it already in the many reviews already written here. But since I am an avid fan of the band and of SW, I have to put in my own 2 cents worth and hopefully the few things I have said about this masterpiece of an album will entice someone else to listen to PT's music and enjoy it as much as I have. It is bands like PT that give me hope in music, that there are so many great bands still out there making the best music ever. PT inspired me to explore so much more, and though the music takes some work to find it, there are still countless bands out there that are as good as and sometimes even better than there ever has been. All I can do is hope my words and reviews of great albums like this will inspire others to search as I have and know that progressive rock is still alive and well! Oh, and this album gets masterpiece status.....5 stars.

TCat | 5/5 |

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