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Porcupine Tree - Stars Die: The Delerium Years 1991 -1997 CD (album) cover


Porcupine Tree


Heavy Prog

4.20 | 272 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
3 stars The Early Years - a curio, but not essential.

After having heard the brilliant 'Deadwing' and the excellent 'In Absentia' and 'Scenes From a Blank Planet' I had come to the conclusion that Porcupine Tree could do no wrong. I love their blend of Progressive Metal and Symphonic Rock. The lyrics are inspired and Wilson's soft crystal clear vocal style is awesome on all these three CDs that I can highly recommend. However these early years as represented on this compilation are not quite as absorbing or well-produced as their latter work. While these tracks do not live up to the high expectation or excellence as the aforementioned CDs, there is still much to recommend on this compilation.

CD1 begins with the catchy riff heavy 'Radioactive Toy' - a 10 minute rocker with incredible instrumental breaks that features in their live performances. 'Voyage 34 - Phase One' is a blissful combination of rock and experimentation with prog elements. There is a very eerie track that relies heavily on keyboards and is overall an instrumental with a creepy spoken voice that explains how the recipient was high on hallucinogens and was able to come down every time except for the one time when he met himself on the downstairs. It sounds cheesy perhaps, but it genuinely is very ethereal. (Many tracks are based on LSD experiences and seems to be a major theme on the album.)

CD2 begins with the excellent 'Stars Die' and the epic 18 minute 'The Sky Moves Sideways - Phase One' which is phenomenal music and worth getting hold of if you love symphonic prog.

'Signify II' is also a highlight and the distorted weirdness of 'Sever' and 'Dark Matter' are worthy additions.

In conclusion, this is a good addition to your collection if you are after early Porcupine Tree and don't want to fork out for the first few albums. There seems to be a good mix of what the band were doing in those days. However, this is not their best work. Far from it. Many of the tracks are very dull and forgettable. But this was an experimental phase of their evolution as progenitors of neo progressive heavy prog, and as such are well worth a listen. The best of course was yet to come.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 3/5 |


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