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PORCUPINE TREE

Heavy Prog • United Kingdom


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Porcupine Tree picture
Porcupine Tree biography
Formed in 1987 in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire - Suspended activity since 2010

PORCUPINE TREE are incredibly hard to describe because their music doesn't fit into any one genre. I like the description on the back of the album "Signify" (one of my all time favorites). It says "Porcupine Tree have managed to defy genres and blend together numerous ambient, rock and avant-garde styles to create a musical landscape that is both refreshing and compulsively seductive". The great post-GONG revival which gave birth to OZRIC TENTACLES now brings us PORCUPINE TREE. The hypnotic rhythms, spacy synthesizers, glissando guitar and crazy voices which made the style successful are all contained here.

⭐ Collaborators Top Prog Album of 2005 ⭐

⭐ Collaborators Top Prog Album of 2007 ⭐

The band started as a solo project of singer-songwriter-guitarist STEVEN WILSON who, back in the early nineties, released a series of increasingly spaced-out ambient excursions. PT is one of the most innovative bands in prog today combining intense musicianship, unconventional composition and superb studio production. They are unquestionably one of the UK's most inspired and inventive rock groups.

The bands 4th studio album from '96. "Signify" saw Porcupine Tree truly gell as a studio band producing a blend of psychedelia, heavy rock, melancholic pop, kraut rock, and wild experimentation that brought the best out of each band member. Their latest two albums ("Stupid Dream" and "Lightbulb Sun") move the band further away from their influences and into their own catagory, by which other bands eventually will be compared. But if you are a fan of progressive, thoughtful, briliantly executed and flawlessly produced music, you will do no better than PT.

PORCUPINE TREE's eighth studio album, "Deadwing", was released in March 2005 by Lava Records / Warner Music. Less rock-oriented than the previous album "In Absentia", "Deadwing" is partially based on a "surreal ghost story" screenplay written by Steven and sometime PORCUPINE TREE / NO-MAN art collaborator Mike Bennion. The 60-minute, nine-track album contains material varying from short airplay-friendly songs such as 'Shallow' to lengthier pieces lik...
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PORCUPINE TREE discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

PORCUPINE TREE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.02 | 932 ratings
On the Sunday of Life...
1992
3.89 | 1088 ratings
Up the Downstair
1993
4.07 | 1453 ratings
The Sky Moves Sideways
1995
3.85 | 1312 ratings
Signify
1996
4.00 | 1449 ratings
Stupid Dream
1999
4.03 | 1637 ratings
Lightbulb Sun
2000
4.26 | 2694 ratings
In Absentia
2002
4.13 | 2154 ratings
Deadwing
2005
4.27 | 2741 ratings
Fear of a Blank Planet
2007
3.69 | 1631 ratings
The Incident
2009
3.93 | 268 ratings
Closure/Continuation
2022

PORCUPINE TREE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.45 | 501 ratings
Coma Divine
1997
3.47 | 100 ratings
Spiral Circus Live (LP)
1997
3.70 | 162 ratings
XM
2003
3.45 | 22 ratings
Live in Poland
2003
3.94 | 339 ratings
Warszawa
2004
4.03 | 163 ratings
XMII
2005
4.22 | 180 ratings
Rockpalast
2005
4.44 | 248 ratings
Arriving Somewhere...
2006
3.45 | 259 ratings
We Lost The Skyline
2008
3.69 | 143 ratings
Ilosaarirock
2009
4.31 | 222 ratings
Atlanta
2010
3.63 | 243 ratings
Octane Twisted
2012
3.00 | 4 ratings
Köln 4th Dec 2007 (TV Broadcast)
2020
3.33 | 6 ratings
First Live Performance 4th Dec 1993
2020
3.71 | 7 ratings
Los Angeles (30th July 2003)
2020
3.40 | 10 ratings
Coma: Coda (Rome 1997)
2020

PORCUPINE TREE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.57 | 567 ratings
Arriving Somewhere...
2006
4.65 | 604 ratings
Anesthetize
2010
4.18 | 98 ratings
Octane Twisted
2012

PORCUPINE TREE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.76 | 140 ratings
Yellow Hedgerow Dreamscape
1994
3.33 | 432 ratings
Voyage 34 - The Complete Trip
2000
4.19 | 425 ratings
Recordings
2001
4.19 | 295 ratings
Stars Die: The Delerium Years 1991 - 1997
2002
2.91 | 4 ratings
Porcupine Tree Sampler 2005 - Transmission 3.1
2005
3.00 | 5 ratings
Porcupine Tree Sampler 2008 - Transmission 8.1
2008
4.30 | 10 ratings
The Delerium Years 1994 - 1997
2016
4.33 | 12 ratings
The Delerium Years 1991-1993
2017
4.00 | 20 ratings
The Sound of No One Listening (2020 Remaster)
2020

PORCUPINE TREE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.21 | 74 ratings
Tarquin's Seaweed Farm
1989
3.13 | 59 ratings
Love, Death & Mussolini
1990
2.98 | 53 ratings
The Nostalgia Factory
1991
3.74 | 135 ratings
Voyage 34
1992
3.26 | 33 ratings
Radioactive E. P.
1992
2.92 | 64 ratings
Voyage 34 : Remixes
1993
3.33 | 80 ratings
Moonloop E.P.
1994
3.82 | 214 ratings
Staircase Infinities
1994
3.71 | 59 ratings
Waiting
1996
3.37 | 105 ratings
Insignificance
1997
4.00 | 37 ratings
Ambulance Chasers
1997
3.02 | 251 ratings
Metanoia
1998
2.92 | 54 ratings
Stranger By The Minute
1999
2.91 | 55 ratings
Piano Lessons
1999
3.00 | 61 ratings
Pure Narcotic
1999
3.75 | 23 ratings
Coma Divine II
1999
3.98 | 40 ratings
Stars Die - Rare and Unreleased
1999
3.27 | 11 ratings
The Rest Will Flow
2000
3.10 | 71 ratings
4 Chords That Made A Million
2000
3.23 | 67 ratings
Shesmovedon
2000
4.00 | 127 ratings
Transmission IV
2001
4.30 | 27 ratings
Blackest Eyes
2002
4.23 | 22 ratings
The Sound Of Muzak
2002
4.48 | 21 ratings
Trains
2003
3.54 | 39 ratings
Delerium EP
2003
3.17 | 6 ratings
Men of Wood
2004
3.67 | 18 ratings
Shallow
2005
3.61 | 133 ratings
Lazarus
2005
3.48 | 162 ratings
Futile
2006
3.56 | 16 ratings
So Called Friend
2006
3.80 | 15 ratings
Way Out Of Here
2007
3.81 | 16 ratings
Normal
2007
3.75 | 16 ratings
Fear Of A Blank Planet (Single)
2007
3.96 | 522 ratings
Nil Recurring
2007
2.95 | 10 ratings
Novak
2008
3.93 | 73 ratings
Transmission 10.1 - Ilosaarirock
2009
2.82 | 74 ratings
Time Flies
2009
3.36 | 11 ratings
Acoustic Session Jan 2010
2010
3.80 | 10 ratings
Pure Narcotic - Acoustic Session 2012
2020
3.00 | 4 ratings
BBC Session 13th April 2007
2020
4.33 | 69 ratings
Harridan
2021
4.44 | 23 ratings
Of the New Day
2022
3.44 | 18 ratings
Herd Culling (Single Edit)
2022
3.47 | 15 ratings
Rats Return
2022

PORCUPINE TREE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Closure/Continuation by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Studio Album, 2022
3.93 | 268 ratings

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Closure/Continuation
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars To all the world, it looked like Steven Wilson had closed the door on Porcupine Tree after The Incident proved to be a somewhat patchy release, and after his solo career kicked into high gear with Grace For Drowning. Far from it - it turns out that Wilson, Richard Barbieri, and Gavin Harrison had kept in touch all this time and had in fact been gently tinkering with new Porcupine Tree material as far back as 2011.

Does it sound like the Porcupine Tree of old? Well, not quite - but that was a band which went through many incarnations, from psychedelia and space rock to Radiohead-esque art rock to borderline prog metal. In addition, it's perhaps inevitable that all three musicians have moved on musically in the intervening decade-and-a-bit - and certainly there's traces of the pensive jazz fusion and synth aspects of Wilson's solo work creeping in here and there.

Is it on the level of the best of the original run of Porcupine Tree albums? I don't think so, but it's far from bad. It feels almost relaxed - the band enjoying working together after all this time, and offering a new, somewhat jazzier side of their sonic universe.

 Closure/Continuation by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Studio Album, 2022
3.93 | 268 ratings

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Closure/Continuation
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by Aussie_Philosopher

4 stars We arrive in into 2022 with news porcupine tree will be releasing a new album after 13 years. Closure/continuum launches off where the trio Wilson, Harrison and Barbieri left off in 2009. After a great 13 year solo career Steven Wilson reinvigorates the band and charts a course into familiar yet sonically beautiful territory nonetheless with some great heavy prog songs like "Harridan" and "Herd Culling" which both exhibit some heavier riffing utilising compound meter and syncopated rhythms. These songs best demonstrate the band really adventuring off into progressive rock territory with their extended track length, allowing band to explore other ideas which enhances the song structure/composition while taking avid prog rockers on a journey (something that modern music rarely does).

In addition to other songs like "on the new day" and "dignity" which are a throwback to Steven Wilsons earlier song writing sensibilities and have a great sense of contrast (from the aforementioned heavier tracks) which incorporates a deep sense of self introspection in the lyrics accompanied with some beautiful acoustic guitars and which also moderately utilise the classic Steven Wilson vocal harmonies that really fill out the mix (when present).

Richard Barbieri again delights us with some intricate and sublime sound design aspects in addition to some raunchy synth tones. Songs like "Dignity" reveal some almost yes type classically inspired lead melody lines used in the section before the bridge, while tracks like "Walk The Plank" have an interesting melody line played on synth in conjunctions with some synth effect sounds thorough the song. Ultimately every song has great use of sound design/subtle effects, brining a greater sense of depth and dimensionality to the song whilst drawing the listener into a sonically rich atmosphere of music.

Audiophiles and fellow PROG music lovers alike will quickly begin to fully appreciate this album after a few listens, this album has some of the greatest dynamic range/headroom I think I have ever come across in addition to a very musically warm and rich recording sound that has great sonic depth. While Steven Wilson remains once again in the rightfully deserved producers seat, Gavin Harrison takes on the roll mixing the drums in which they both do a fantastic job. You may find yourself turning up the volume, like classical music there's great contrast between the lowest and highest levels which is a sign of only moderate use of compression, limiting and loudness.

* People have mentioned that not adding the three extra tracks on the deluxe boxset version was not the best idea as these tracks are very strong contenders with the rest of the album, so maybe a deluxe 2 CD would have been a good idea in conjunction to the standard CD and deluxe boxset. HOWEVER you can buy the extra tracks online (HD TRACKS) and also stream them etc. ALSO the ALBUM LEGNTH I personally think the 50 min mark is a good balance for an album if songs are good, which they are after all many "masterpieces were approximately 40 mins in length one cannot expect a band to release a 12 track minimum masterpiece album every few years. Sumarry

Whist this album may not appeal to all listeners straight away, I would encourage all listeners to approach with an open mind, however in saying that it does a great job at conjuring up different aspects of Porcupine Tree that we ALL like for example long format hard prog rocking tracks that allow the band explore sonic ground, Steven Wilson's lightbulb/ In absentia era like songwriting sensibilities together with social/political and introspective lyrics, Gavin Harrison's fantastic drumming and the sound design/atmospherics and synth tones Barbieri creates. There had been great expections for this album, yet I think after some time like "In absentia" the album will really catch on with people as it demonstrates fantastic musicianship, great contrast of songs together with impeccable production and mixing. 4.5 stars.

 Closure/Continuation by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Studio Album, 2022
3.93 | 268 ratings

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Closure/Continuation
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by rdtprog
Special Collaborator Heavy / RPI / Symphonic Prog Team

4 stars The band is now in a trio format with a new album 13 years after "The Incident". We are in familiar territory here, which is Progressive Rock on the experimental side including electro, jazz, and metal in a way that only this band can do. There is no stand-out track, no filler, everything is full of complex and convoluted song structures that remind us of the atmosphere of the past with a modern influence from Steven Wilson's solo work. This is why I have trouble giving my impression of that album. I enjoyed it from the start, but I thought I was too much looking to evaluate this work with the previous ones. It is not as metal as the latest PT releases, and maybe not as easy to get to, but this is why it requires more spins to appreciate the nuances of the music. And if you can listen to the Blu-Ray, it is even easier to enjoy the beautiful sonics of this album coming from the delicate keyboards of Barbieri to the guitars and bass of Steven and the perfect drumming of Gaven Harrison. So it's not that important if it's not the best PT album, let us simply enjoy another solid PT album and hope that we don't have to wait for another decade to hear another one. I am all "4" * a continuation...
 Deadwing by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Studio Album, 2005
4.13 | 2154 ratings

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Deadwing
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by A Crimson Mellotron
Prog Reviewer

5 stars 'Deadwing' is the eighth studio album released by Porcupine Tree and second overall on a major label (this one being Lava). Coming to life on March 24, 2005, 'Deadwing' quickly became the band's best-selling release, later on it was surpassed by its follow-up on sales, but none of this really matters here, since in the wonderful world of progressive rock the quality of the music and the joy of the album experience are the most valuable metrics for deciding whether an album is good or not. The history surrounding this record is quite interesting - it is a ghost story based on a screenplay written by Steven Wilson and Mike Bennion; Unfortunately (or not?) the project failed to find funding and the songs written with the purpose of being part of a soundtrack were left for the next Porcupine Tree album. Now, there are several versions of this album in the sense that the original European release only featured nine tracks, of fourteen in total appearing throughout the different editions of the release, while fifteen were written during the sessions, according to the band - quite confusing, right? However, no matter which edition of 'Deadwing' one gets, this remains a grandiose album that will certainly satiate even the snobbiest prog rock connoisseurs.

One could make the argument that since this one comes right after 'In Absentia' it should get some points taken off for originality, given that the heavier sounds prevalent on the aforementioned album mixed up with the experimental and emotive approach to songwriting, is also present on 'Deadwing', but Porcupine Tree's 2005 effort is just as excellent as the one coming before it - ambitious, avant-garde, unsettling at times and crushingly beautiful at others, coherent, memorable, having an unmistakable character, warm and embracing and simultaneously haunting and dark, it seems like 'Deadwing' really has it all, it has all the building blocks that make up this band, it has every texture that one seeks upon approaching Porcupine Tree's music. Not to mention the guest appearances by King Crimson's Adrian Belew and Opeth's very own Mikael Åkerfeldt.

Just listen to the opening 10-minute title track - haunting vocals, uneasy lyrics, no real chorus, massive, threatful sound, an almost grotesque and abrasive guitar solo by Adrian Belew and an all-encompassing warmth that Steven Wilson so successfully inject into all the music he produces. Then comes 'Shallow', a bit of an outlier for Porcupine Tree, with its straightforward rocking sound, but this one is also so well written, so memorable and impactful - another success on Wilson's side. 'Lazarus', or the lovely, romantic, beautiful side of Porcupine Tree, this one really has to be experienced, not just listened to. 'Halo' is one of these songs written for the film script, and it references religion, since this had been one of the topics found in the script - the chorus of it is just infectious. 'Arriving Somewhere But Not Here', or the 12-minute centerpiece of the record, this is one of the band's towering achievements, developing from an abstract soundscape-like intro to a very organic, devastatingly emotive, and cerebrally experimental piece of music, this is where the prog credentials of the band are the strongest. 'Mellotron Scratch' is a lovely and melancholic moment, I personally love this song, I find it touching and compelling, everything about it works so well. 'Open Car' is one of the most 'visual' tracks on the album, if I may use such a phrase, the images it evokes are quite strong and vivid, the sound is agonizingly angry, gnarly, and the playing is tight and straightforward. 'Start of Something Beautiful' is quite an essential and experimental song for Porcupine Tree, certainly a unique piece in their discography, and another one that has to be experiences. Then we have the album closer 'Glass Arm Shattering' that references some of the band's earlier works, rooted in the more psychedelic explorations of a group like Pink Floyd, a massive influence on Wilson, as it is well known.

As for the other tracks found throughout different releases of the album, one has to say that they are no less interesting that what is displayed on the main disc. 'Revenant' is a fabulous instrumental that reminds me of something like '.3' from 'In Absentia'; The same goes for 'Mother & Child Divided', while 'Half-Light' sounds distantly like 'Glass Arm'. A re-recorded version of 'Shesmovedon' appears on one of the versions of the album, as well as a track called 'So-Called Friend', subsequently replaced by 'Open Car' during the final masters on the original edition, a must-hear song, quite excellent, heavy, and progressive.

No weak spots on 'Deadwing', the album is simply a killer from start to finish, the band plays phenomenally, the quality of the songs is undeniable, it is packed with Porcupine Tree classics and it plays a cerebral part in the band's catalogue - this is definitely one of the most important progressive rock releases of the modern age, deservedly very highly recommended.

 In Absentia by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Studio Album, 2002
4.26 | 2694 ratings

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In Absentia
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by AFlowerKingCrimson

4 stars I wrote this review (modified slightly) several years ago under a different username but will repost it now being that today is the 20th anniversary of this classic album. However, I have decided to give it four stars instead of my original five. It's still an excellent album but maybe more like 4.5 than a full 5 for me but for this repost I am rounding down to 4 instead of my initial decision to round up.

"It's so erotic when your makeup runs. "

I suppose there is a good reason this album is featured in the top 100 here at Progarchives. I have kind of gone back and forth between whether I feel this a four or five star album. However, at the very least it is worthy of 4.5 stars. Anyway, the music here is quintessential Porcupine Tree. It has the qualities of the albums before it as well as some of the heavier edge of the albums that followed it. I'm not too keen on the two after this but this album is really something special. It's arguable as to whether or not this was Porcupine Tree's big breakthrough album. It certainly did get them a larger audience in no small part due to the fact that they were touring with Yes around the time this album came out. It's also one of PT's most consistent and most popular albums among prog fans and probably among PT fans as well. This album also marks the first time Gavin Harrison makes an appearance as their new drummer(replacing Chris Maitland) and does a very fine job.

The album starts off with the memorable "blackest eyes." This song marks the first and only time I ever heard them on mainstream commercial radio (WZZO out of Allentown PA) back soon after it was released. Next up is another PT classic in "trains." This song reminds me of something off of either Stupid Dream or Lightbulb Sun(the two albums that preceded this). From here on end the songs seem to take turns between heavy and dreamy. Many people cite this as the first time the band experimented with metal sounds and while this is true for the most part the band has always had more than one mood or sound permeating their music. Even before this they had heavy moments but maybe they weren't as intense as some of the moments on here and later. On here there is probably more of a symphonic element and less of a spacey element although Porcupine Tree never seem to abandon any of their trademark qualities entirely and even the later albums include their distinct sound.

Overall, this is a must have album from the earlier part of this century and a perfect entry album for anyone who wants to check out Porcupine Tree.

 Closure/Continuation by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Studio Album, 2022
3.93 | 268 ratings

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Closure/Continuation
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by The Crow
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Finally, after so many years of waiting, Porcupine Tree decided to return with this collection of songs kept in the closet with some more recent compositions.

That is why the title of the album makes a lot of sense!

The fact is that, as expected, the quality of these compositions is somewhat uveven, offering some songs that can already be considered classics of the band (Harridan, O The New Day, Dignity, Herd Culling), along with others somewhat moremore forgettable (Walk the Plank)

In any case, it is an album that undoubtedly surpasses the disappointing "The Incident", although of course without reaching the level of masterpieces like "Deadwing" or "Fear of a Blank Planet".

Thank you for this excellent and long-awaited comeback, guys!

Best Tracks: Harridan (very progressive, intense and beautiful at the same time), Of The New Day (great in its simplicity and melancholy), Herd Culling (my favorite on the album, remembering the best moments of "FOABP")

My Rating: ****

 Closure/Continuation by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Studio Album, 2022
3.93 | 268 ratings

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Closure/Continuation
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by tugatugatuga

3 stars this album is somehow confusing because it brings the old porcupine tree fans, but also their last 4 albums music loving fans. if you enjoy more the last porcupine tree albums, then this albums is a 50% of your joy,,,but the old fans will also only enjoy it about 50%. fans of porcupine tree from the beginning of their season and the end of their incident album,,well, those ones will enjoy the album at their fullest. i think the album was made too fast, with less arrangements and thoughts,,,,just like it was announcing another departed and this album is their game over because steven wilson doesn't see porcupine tree at his fullest desire, since he likes more of the steven wilson project which in my opinion is a mistake shown in this album. harridan is by far the best track and i which the all album could be more like that track. maybe we dream in the near future to have steven wilson playing in a single band with his best players: Gavin Harrison-Richard Barbieri-Guthrie Govan- Nick Beggs-steven wilson, and from where, all the music they make in studio they could separate and distribute within both audiences. with the same band, one year we would have porcupine tree and the next steven wilson played by the same players who plays both concepts extremely well. it would be the first time something to happen like that. i love old, new porcupine tree, but also steven wilson since he is, and always been a genius behind all of this. we keep talking how good gavin is, but without steven nothing like this would happen in the first place.i hope they come to portugal but for 250 euros a ticket. 1. Harridan 9.5/10 2. Rats Return 9.0/10 3. Dignity 8.5/10 4. Population Three 8/10 5. Of the New Day 7.5/10 6. Chimera's Wreck 7.0/10 7. Never have 6/10 8. Love in the past tense 5/10 9. Herd Culling - 4/10 10. Walk the Plank - 3/10.

 Closure/Continuation by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Studio Album, 2022
3.93 | 268 ratings

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Closure/Continuation
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by A Crimson Mellotron
Prog Reviewer

4 stars As unlikely or surprising as it may seem, Porcupine Tree are back after a little more than a decade of complete silence, and they are back with a heated new studio album, ambiguously titled 'Closure/Continuation', an excellent collection of seven tracks spanning across some 48 minutes of playtime, with three additional bonus songs that do not necessarily fit the main album. However, with all the events that have unfolded in the last two years concerning the band, we can safely conclude that this elevenths studio album was well though out and supposed to be released sometime in the 2010s, with Steven Wilson and Gavin Harrison joining forces and jamming together to what ultimately became songs ending up on this new release, but the time never seemed right, with the busy schedules of the band members... or at least, the remaining ones.

The first Porcupine Tree album recorded by a trio is now a fact - Steven Wilson, Gavin Harrison and Richard Barbieri deliver what has been promoted as 'the most collaborative record' of the band's entire catalogue, with each member contributing almost equally to the final product. Former bassist Colin Edwin never showed interest in playing or recording any Porcupine Tree material, according to Wilson, who gracefully handles all bass duties on the album, which quite interestingly, was mostly written on his bass guitar and Gavin Harrison's drums, in their multiple jam sessions, with Richard Barbieri ultimately stepping in to filter the songs through his own masterful approach to playing keyboards, adding an extra layer of excellence to the fantastic songs.

The album opens with the first single, the first real taster of the new Porcupine Tree sound, the bombastic and haunting 8-minute track 'Harridan', kicking off the whole thing with a quirky bass riff, ominous soundscapes and pitch-perfect drumming by Harrison. The identity of PT seems to be well-injected into this powerful new track, yet there is something different in the way it sounds - the drums are so dominant, so prevalent and masterful, driving the whole song through its many movements, the Rush-like chorus 'attacks' the listener, the guitars are optional and very lovely, and the sound design provided by Barbieri does a lot of justice to this hard-hitting track. After that comes 'Of the New Day', a deceptively simple and tranquil song, with gentle acoustic guitars, melancholic lyrics and gentle keyboard sounds, that turns into a time signature monster, after the chorus hits, as the song has been said to go through forty-two time signature changes. The sound of it distantly reminisces something like 'Lightbulb Sun', but once again, it sounds bright and vigorous. 'Rats Return' sees PT utilizing some math rock riffage, as they provide one of the darker songs in the band's catalogues, commenting on the grim political situation of the world and the leaders-rats who "express having an interest in the public, but when it comes down to it, only want to save themselves".

Then we have the fourth track 'Dignity', which is very atmospheric, peaceful and certainly brings flashbacks of some old-school Porcupine Tree, maybe with hints to 'Russia on Ice' or 'Sentimental', carrying a similar spirit. This also happens to be one of the songs co-written with Barbieri. The 7-minute prog attach of 'Herd Culling' is quite fantastic - the lyrics, the mood, the tempo and all the shifts going on inside the composition are just working perfectly well, giving the album one of the more underrated pieces. The band is playing beautifully, every strum of the guitar, every drumbeat and every key pressed on the keyboards of Richard Barbieri has a specific place and serves a particular purpose in the song, no time is wasted here and there, just straight-to-the-point playing that gloriously fits one of the most interesting art rock songs in Porcupine Tree's catalogue. Then comes the electronic, wavy and grim 'Walk the Plank', another song that has a very prominent Richard Barbieri contribution, while it also has bits and pieces that remind us strongly of 'The Future Bites', Wilson's last solo album before 'C/C' - simply, this is the big surprise on the record, one of the most interesting compositions to have even landed on a Porcupine Tree album. The main album is closed by the 10-minute epic 'Chimera's Wreck', the song that has already gained a sort of cult status among the people enjoying this stellar collection of songs. This one reflects on the death of Steven Wilson's father, while other, more general existential realizations serve as a broader framework of the lyrical content. The music is epic, emotional and thunderous, the song is cathartic, agonizing, haunting and plain killer, one of the best in the entire Steven Wilson universe.

Finally, there is the 3-track bonus disc featuring the instrumental 'Population Three', and instantly recognizable Porcupine Tree number, the sweet 'Never Have', essentially a Steven Wilson solo track that could have been quite welcome on something like 'To The Bone', and 'Love in the Past Tense', a gorgeous little art-rocker, another effort of Wilson and Harrison. It is true that none of these would have fitted smoothly on the main album, all of the songs are quite good, and when presented as bonus material, are more than welcome.

The fact that this is the first Porcupine Tree album to top the all-format UK album chart speaks numbers - their absence has only strengthened the cult status of 'the most important cult band' out there, according to Wilson, with whom I could hardly disagree on this, as his band's legacy and prominence in the genre of progressive rock is immense and inevitable, and now, in 2022, they have reunited and delivered another monolith of a record, another very excellent addition to their truly majestic back catalogue. We could only conclude that everything surrounding the release of this album is simply a great celebration - a great celebration of the music of one of the best bands in existence, a celebration of music as a craft, and a celebration of a musical genre that is still full of vigor, despite the fact that it continues to exist just under the surface, with a couple of exception here and there, 'Closure/Continuation' being one of them.

 Closure/Continuation by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Studio Album, 2022
3.93 | 268 ratings

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Closure/Continuation
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by LearsFool
Prog Reviewer

4 stars It's rare for a long awaited, long delayed, or long lost work of art - in any medium - to live up to even a significant fraction of the kind of hype and hope that inevitably surrounds them. Reunions like that of the groundbreaking and once consistent Porcupine Tree tend to produce LPs considered weak, throwaways, or at best loved only by a few of their biggest fans. Reacting to such albums almost always demands managing expectations. But then every once in a while you get an exception... and even though this isn't quite a full return to form or the very best of those exceptions, Closure/Continuation is an overall cracking record that lived up to my personal hopes.

The album is primarily defined by the softer sides of post-Stupid Dream PT, a string of mellow-rock-unto-metal and Wilson's various dour and tender sides. Most of this is done quite well, befitting the skill and and creativity of Barbieri, Harrison, and Wilson. I will say that a majority of it isn't quite fresh - and in the case of "Herd Culling", it's pretty sub-par - but these tracks make for a solid and enjoyable dose of classic PT, nothing more or less.

Where C/C stands out, then, are a plurality of cuts that do push the limits of what each of these three musicians have done in the past, with or without each other. "Harridan" is some of the heaviest and most intricate they've ever been, Wilson in particular shining on bass alongside some of his better guitar playing, Barbieri's electronics, and Harrison's krakenesque drumwork. It shares my deepest admiration with "Rats Return", a nightmarish dive into political selfishness and media megalomania, complete with a masterful music video of a vicious, madcap revisionist era Soviet late night program. The instrumentation shows the power and creepiness possible on some of their lighter material, whose jagged guitar stabs replace the band's usual metal inclinations. "Walk The Plank" further develops Barbieri and Wilson's electronics as we are taken on a submarine journey. There's also much to be said about the dirgelike opening half of "Chimera's Wreck", with beautiful guitars and keys shimmering around reflections on mortality. While the explosive latter half is among the more run-of-the-mill parts of the record, the combination proves to be excellent.

One last flaw with the record is that the final three cuts are only on deluxe editions, a similar issue to the tracklisting of Swilson's solo The Future Bites. These songs fully round out the project, and in particular the tasty "Never Have" sounds like a throwback to classic '70s prog via the length and breadth of PT's illustrious career.

For me, it's hard to describe C/C as anything other than the least I could have hoped for from a reunited Porcupine Tree and in some ways a worthy successor to their classic '00s run. It is a wonderful listen and one that, at its best, gives me ever more hope for the band's future.

 Closure/Continuation by PORCUPINE TREE album cover Studio Album, 2022
3.93 | 268 ratings

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Closure/Continuation
Porcupine Tree Heavy Prog

Review by aapatsos
Special Collaborator Heavy Prog Team

3 stars Published simultaneously at progrocks.gr

These sounds were missing for many years from our speakers. The direct riffs, the experimentation with funk, the sounds of Tool and Opeth and the nostalgic references of the 70s through the filter of alt prog, which Porcupine Tree helped establish, all sound pleasant to my ears; the recent solo albums by Steve Wilson could not, for various reasons, fill the gap. The Wilson/Barbieri/Harrison trio seem to have worked a lot on these compositions through the years, sounding very mature. The sequence of the songs reminds me of a peaky sine wave (dynamic to mellow and vice versa) and helps consume the album fairly quickly. The elements of surprise but also cohesion are somewhat missing (the sum of parts seems far greater than the whole) and thus this work is unlikely to be mentioned as one of their top moments. The electronic experimentations in Walk the Plank and the peak achieved during the inspired, epic, Chimera's Wreck are not enough to achieve this. Maybe this is not needed for now, perhaps the mature return is enough to satisfy our curiosity (until next time) and it certainly does not take anything away from the group's legacy.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to NotAProghead for the last updates

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