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128 of 130 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Do You Believe In Ghosts?
As classic rock magazine recently said, Porcupine Tree are the most important band you've never heard of; Now onto their 9th studio album, their second on a major label, the band seems on the verge of bobbing above the commercial rock surface that they've floated just underneath for so many years.
Based on ideas from a ghost film script (not a full-blown concept...
Published on 21 Mar 2005 by Jaz

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Album but...
This is my favourite Porcupine Tree album, so I hear you say why give it only 3 stars.

Well if like me you like to listen to music on your MP3 player then you would have wanted to be able to put this onto it.

Well the wonderful people of Sony have put copy protection onto the disc so you can play it in a standard CD player and DVD player but as soon...
Published on 18 Oct 2010 by J. Cartwright


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128 of 130 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Do You Believe In Ghosts?, 21 Mar 2005
By 
Jaz (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Deadwing (Audio CD)
As classic rock magazine recently said, Porcupine Tree are the most important band you've never heard of; Now onto their 9th studio album, their second on a major label, the band seems on the verge of bobbing above the commercial rock surface that they've floated just underneath for so many years.
Based on ideas from a ghost film script (not a full-blown concept album though) written by a friend of front man Steve Wilson (No Man, Blackfield, and many more projects), Deadwing is one of the more diverse albums the band has recorded, with more creative input from Colin Edwin (bass), Richard Barbieri (keyboards) and Gavin Harrison (drums) this time around.
The title track starts the experience with an electronic intro which leads up to the feet tapping main-riff. The band has carried on the heavier rock sound of 2002's In Absentia, but it's more blended into the overall sound this time. The track features some fantastic vocal contrasts, unlike any the band has done before.
Shallow, as Steve Wilson describes it, "is a big dumb rock song, done the Porcupine Tree way". It's probably the one song that will divide the long-standing fans opinion. Not the best on the album, but has received favourable radio airplay over in the U.S.
After the all-out-rock of the first two tracks, Lazarus calms things down; it's a really beautiful song, full of pianos and slide guitars. It really wouldn't sound out of place on mainstream radio alongside current pop acts like Keane and Coldplay.
Halo bring the sonic experience back into heavy rock territory, it's obviously a track Colin, Richard and Gavin gave a lot of input to - the drums, keyboard effects and bass are really prominent here.
Arriving Somewhere, But Not Here is my highlight of the album, it's pure perfection, all 12 minutes of it. It really showcases Steve Wilson's writing and vocal talents.
Mellotron Scratch suffers from coming directly after Arriving Somewhere.... It's by no means a bad song, it just hasn't quite grown on my yet.
Open Car, the shortest track, is a bit of a schizophrenic song, altering between hard riff and sublime sing-a-long chorus.
The Start of Something Beautiful starts exactly that, beautifully, and carries on; one of Barbieri's showcases. At the 4m50s point the song gets even better, entering into a more traditional PT sound heard on some of their previous albums.
And so we come to Glass Arm Shattering, which carries on the PT tradition of ending an album on a relaxing high, full of luscious harmonies, pianos and sound effects.
Now that we've addressed the songs, I suppose we better address that little word beginning with a P in Amazon's current description of the album.... Progressive.
This isn't progressive as in 70's Prog Rock. These days the term refers to music and bands which aren't afraid to stray from the 3 minute verse-chorus-verse structure. In that respect, yes you could describe this album as having progressive features. Some songs flow into each other, some don't.
It's probably at this point where I should say, you'll like this album if you're a fan of blah blah blah. I could do that, but the list would be far too long.
If you're a fan of intelligent rock music, and aren't afraid to stray beyond the mainstream 3 minute single, give this album a chance. Be warned though, as any PT fan will testify; One album is never enough. You'll soon find yourself hunting down their entire back catalogue, then all the side projects and then all the albums Steve Wilson has produced with other artists, and then dear reader, Mr Wilson will have you hooked for life!
You have been warned!
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, 5 April 2005
This review is from: Deadwing (Audio CD)
Another month, and another batch of releases from the prodigious Mr Wilson, this the most recent from his long running, and criminally under-rated Porcupine Tree outfit. Hot on the heels of the excellent Dronework, released under his Bass Communion moniker, and the equally high quality Continuum Volume I (Continuum being a collaborative project between Bass Communion and Belgian soundscape artist VidnaObmana), the latest addition to the huge, albeit mostly deleted, Porcupine Tree catalogue does not disappoint. Quite the opposite.
The album is a masterpiece. Somehow this band, with the possible exceptions of The Sky Moves Sideways and Lightbulb Sun (though these are both excellent albums that should grace any music lover's collection) manage to keep improving with each release - an outstanding feat considering the consistent high quality of their output.
Based upon a film script written jointly between PT leader and multi-instrumentalist Steven Wilson and Mike Bennion (who directed the band's Piano Lessons video from the Stupid Dream album of 1999), the album is a complex and intelligent work of power and beauty. The undoubted highlight of the album, the centrepiece Arriving Somewhere But Not Here, clocks in at just over twelve minutes and flows between a smooth haunting beauty to an almost metal-esque structure and back without losing a sense of flow. The same can be said for the rest of the album, with harder tracks such as Shallow balanced out by mellower tracks like the excellent Lazarus and the emotive Mellotron Scratch. The switch in styles mid album is incredibly effective and in no way seems uncomfortable - the layout of the album is remarkably cohesive and well thought out.
Put simply, there is not a weak track, or even a weak point, on the album. With any justice, this should be the album that sees Porcupine Tree hit the major stage in terms of worldwide audience and success, although it is an almost predictable certainty that this will not happen, as the majority of the music buying public continue to follow the whims and demands of the moguls of the "music" industry. This is a crying shame, as it is the work of artists such as Porcupine Tree and Steven Wilson that keep real music alive. I would strongly urge people with a love of real, intelligent music, of whatever style, to take a chance to discover this incredible band. I would challenge anyone to be disappointed with what they find.
This album should be in everyone's collection. Buy it now and let yourself be seduced by their finest album to date, and undoubtedly one of the releases of the year. Glory in its perfection! And struggle to consider how it may be possible for Porcupine Tree to improve on this master work for their next album!
Afterword - also keep an eye out for the forthcoming limited edition version that will be released on 26th April (coinciding with the general US release date of Deadwing) in hardback book format with 72 pages. Furthermore, on 10th May Deadwing, as happened with previous album In Absentia, will be released on the DVD-Audio format mixed into DTS5.1 surround and complemented by extra tracks. In the meantime, do not deprive yourself of this amazing album and buy the standard version today.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Album but..., 18 Oct 2010
By 
J. Cartwright (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Deadwing (Audio CD)
This is my favourite Porcupine Tree album, so I hear you say why give it only 3 stars.

Well if like me you like to listen to music on your MP3 player then you would have wanted to be able to put this onto it.

Well the wonderful people of Sony have put copy protection onto the disc so you can play it in a standard CD player and DVD player but as soon as it goes into a CD-Rom drive you can't play it.

The album is for me the best album and would have been awarded 10 stars but due to the copy protection only gets the three. I recommend that you save your money and buy a high quality download from the bands official website, not only can you put onto a disc and MP3 player but you also get a live bonus track.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure bliss!, 8 May 2005
This review is from: Deadwing (Audio CD)
Ok, so first of all I'd bought In Absentia after hearing Blackest eyes, and I was very impressed by it...
I saw Deadwing in my local cd store and at first I didn't wanna pay for it as I was into a different sort of mainstream rock at the time.
So I got my girlfriend to buy it for me!
I decided to give it a whirl and homed in on the 2 singles, Lazarus and Shallow. Shallow immediately caught me with its catchy beat, and although Lazarus took a little while longer to get me swooning, after a few listens I soon found myself unconsciously singing it at work.
So I soon set about playing the rest of the cd, and that was it, it soon was repeatedly played in my car, at home, online, anywhere! Even got my girlfriend into a few songs (and she hates most of my music!)
*This is an absolutely stunning album!*
Track 5 especially is an absolute masterpiece, reminiscing the Pink Floyd animals sort of music. It lasts over 11mins and still u think it could go on!
Every track on this cd will move you in some way, either jumpin up and remembering u're alive, swinging the emotions back and forth, or just wishing you could crunch up the volume to levels worthy of a U2 gig!
This is a cd that will constantly find its way back into my heart I feel and I can't help but now feel thirsty for more porcupine tree music, old and especially, new!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SUPERB, 30 July 2007
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Deadwing (Audio CD)
This album is quite simply the best album of the 21st century. Porcupine Tree are the best modern band around (although Arena run them close). All their albums are superb AND THIS IS BEST OF THE LOT. A classic variety of Great songs. Sweeping prog, Rocking prog, Haunting Prog. Stand out tracks are...all of them. It's PROGTASTIC. Buy it!
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Porcupine Strike Again!, 9 July 2006
This review is from: Deadwing (Audio CD)
Take a good, hard look at this album, because it's arguably one of the best you'll ever see. Presumably you're here because you're either a fan or Porcupine Tree, or you're looking to get into them- firstly, let me congratulate you on making a sound choice. :P And this is probably the best album to get for someone looking to get used to Porcupine Tree. Many would find their earlier work slightly too psychadelic and weird, but Deadwing strikes an awesome balance between every aspect that you could want in an album. It's just...excellent. Steven Wilson has been somewhat criticised for moving towards a more mainstream aspect, but this is partly what makes the album so accessible, and in the end, it makes for great listening too! Far lighter and more melodic than it's predecessor, In Absentia, Deadwing has a fine balance of songs to capture the interest of many types of fans.

1)Deadwing- The title track, in my opinion, ties for best track on the album. I'm a huge prog fan, so for me, it's a good opening. From the cool little melody at the start to the solo-ridden ending, everything about this song screams quality, and the distorted vocals of Wilson work so well with the overall tone of the song. Dark lyrics, mind.

2)Shallow- The undisputable rocker of the album, right from the heavy riff at the start, Shallow really hits the mark after the very balanced Deadwing. The cacophonous section in the middle of the song will either be loved or hated, but overall, the song's a pretty good effort at a mainstream single. ;)

3)Lazarus- Possibly the best song when I went to see them live, this is just as good on the CD. One of the most beautiful piano melodies in recent memory, this is perfect for just listening to in awe- just don't listen to it if you're feeling sad, or depressed. You're almost guaranteed to cry. You can really hear the emotion in Wilson's voice as he churns out the vocals here, making the hair-raising ballad one of the highlights of the album.

4)Halo- At first, I didn't like this song so much, because of the fairly funky chorus. But after a while, it grew on me, and now it remains a worthy song! However, the bass riffs in this song totally rock, one of the bass highlights. I think this song suffers slightly from being sandwiched between two of the best songs on the album. :P

5)Arriving Somewhere But Not Here- Tied with Deadwing for best track on the album, though I personally might give the title track the edge. The song begins hauntingly, with Wilson's chilling vocal messages clear for all to hear- ("Never stop the car on a drive in the dark..."). The song just keeps on building and building, with continued vocal brilliance from Wilson, until the guitar soloing kicks in at around 4 minutes. From then, the song keeps rattling on, until it changes pace completely and radically, turning into basically a heavy metal section, which is surprisingly cool. Then the song winds up again with the guitar...it's an amazing song.

6)Mellotron Scratch- The scratching of a mellotron...beautiful. That's what this song is. Placed in the same category of emotion that Lazarus rules, it's another cracking vocal performance from Wilson here.

7)Open Car- The closest Porcupine have gotten to a real lead off single since Blackest Eyes, it doesn't disappoint. With two alternating sections throughout most of the song, one light and pacy, the other heavy and distorted, it's a real mixed bag- but a good mixed bag. The chorus is one of the better ones, too.

I'm getting tired now, so I can't do the rest- but it follows a similar trend of awesomeness. Whether new to Porcupine, or a fan, this is an almost essential purchase.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dead good!!, 17 May 2005
By 
Dr. D. B. Sillars - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Deadwing (Audio CD)
Ok, let's cut to the chase on this one. This is without a doubt Porcupine Tree's defining moment so far. Everything they have done in the past has led to this recording.
With their last album "In Absentia", Porcupine Tree turned an important corner. Not only was that released on a major label, but leader Steven Wilson took the band in a more heavier direction, reflecting his interest in bands such as Opeth, Meshuggah and Tool. That led to a more rigidly structured album, with less room for more atmospheric based songs or extended pieces. With "Deadwing" the metal elements have become seamlessly integrated with the more languid style familiar from earlier albums such as "Signify" and "Stupid Dream". The results are stupendous!
This album is so assured and full of confidence and doesn't let up for a single minute. Highlights for me are the epic 12 minutes of "Arriving Somewhere But Not Here". This moves along at a steady, but rattling pace building up to the fantastic metallic guitar onslaught which really does raise the hairs on the back of your neck. "Open Car" is so infused with a cold sensuality, the lines "hair blown in an open car, summer dress slips down her arm" are so unbelievably evocative! "The Start of Something Beautiful" is my absolute favourite. Great chorus and another superb instrumental build up. The whole album is a winner though. A satisfying culmination of everything Steven Wilson has been striving for with the band. Where they go from here is anyone's guess, but for now this is pure gold!
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Worthy Successor to "In Absentia", 4 Oct 2005
By 
Neil Wilkes (London, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Deadwing [DVD AUDIO] (DVD Audio)
This disc is truly a well crafted example of the DVD-Audio format, with the one downside being the use of 24/48 resolution for the 5.1 mix instead of the more open sound of 24/96.
This minor niggle aside, the album was written with multichannel in mind - and it shows. The mix is from Elliot Scheiner, and you are grabbed from the opening track (Deadwing) and does not let up until the final notes of "Glass Arm Shattering" die away to silence.
In addition to the main album, there are 3 extra tracks to boot.
No matter what type of DVD player you have, this album will play on all players with the addition of a PCM stereo and a DTS surround track in the Video_TS folder.
Perhaps the only other criticism I can think of is the lack of a 5.1 Dolby Digital stream to ensure widest possible compatibility as not all home setups are DTS capable - although to be honest, most are these days.
This album should be in everyone's collection as a superb example of how good multichannel music can be when done well.
Audio formats on the disc are
24/48 MLP 5.1 Surround
24/48 DTS Surround
24/48 PCM Stereo.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!, 5 April 2005
By 
This review is from: Deadwing (Audio CD)
Since discovering 'In Absentia' last year, Porcupine Tree have fast become one of my favourite bands. The level of musicianship as well as the songwriting just simply eclipses what most other bands are capable of. This time around, Steve Wilson seems to have taken on some influences from some of the heavier bands that he's worked with and produced. There is some really heavy guitar on here which is heightened by its juxtaposition with atmospheric keyboards and sampling. There are one or two 'Pink Floydy' moments, particularly in the vocal department, but this is no bad thing and Porcupine Tree do have a sound that is totally their own. Where other so-called 'Progressive' bands like Dream Theater go out of their way to show you how many notes they can cram into a song, Porcupine Tree are understated and subtle, yet still with a majesterial power to move you into dimensions of sheer joy and emotion. This has been on my mp3 player since I first received the CD and at the moment I just don't want to listen to anything else. All other bands are now irrelevant!
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good but could have been perfect, 5 Dec 2005
By 
T. Parker "thenuttysquirrel" (Cheltenham) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Deadwing (Audio CD)
Whether you like this album or not very much depends on what you want from Porcupine Tree. A previous reviewer complained that this didn´t compare well to some of their earlier stuff, and that the decline had started with Stupid Dream. For those who want neo-Progressive rock the early records are where to look, especially the Sky Moves Sideways and Voyage 34 (though that is technically a single, just a monstrous one). These days Porcupine Tree are more of an accessible rock band, and have been since Stupid Dream and Lightbulb Sun (their best 2 albums in my opinion), but they are far more interesting, inventive and powerful than the vast majority of their peers.
Deadwing represents a further venture towards the heavy side of rock, following in the footsteps of In Absentia. The first few times I heard it I have to confess I was disappointed, so if you buy it stick with it, because (like all PT), it gets better the more times you hear it.
For me the highlights of the album are Lazarus and Mellotron Scratch. The second half of Mellotron Scratch, with it´s sumptious conter-melodies, is one of best bits of music I´ve heard from PT or anyone else, and Lazarus is a delight from start to finish. The Start of Something Beautiful is excellent as well, with its storming finish leading nicely into Glass Arm Shattering, a beautiful laid back closing track that caps the album off perfectly. Halo, the first half of Arriving Somewhere But Not Here and Deadwing are all very good as well, although the title track in particular is a grower rather than an instant likeable tune. Open Car is a successful attempt to meld heavyness with a beautiful chorus, its punchy style suiting its brevity.
However, although this is a great record, it isn´t as good as it could have been. Arriving Somewhere etc would be a contender for PT´s best song ever (which is quite an accolade), but when the heavy crunching guitar comes in the tune is definitely spoiled, and you wonder what on earth the point was of that, as if in the studio they accidentally cut in some Metallica or something without noticing. The start of Mellotron Scratch is also rather tame and uninteresting in comparison to the glory of what follows, and Shallow is nice enough, but a bit limited (a big dumb rock song as the band call it).
Despite the sense of greatness not quite achieved with this album, it is nevertheless an excellent listen, packed with excellent tunes and harmonies, and I have yet to get bored of it, after months of fairly frequent listening. May it bring them the recognition they deserve.
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