24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on 24 August 2009
Porcupine Tree along with "Threshold" have been the underdogs of the mirky waters of the progressive world for a long time now, they havent made us a bad album yet (Fingers crossed for the incident out in Sep09)
"Signify" for more reasons than one is definately in the better half of the tree's catalogue.
"Signify" is a melo-dramatic affair, focusing in on the fusion of tense atmospheric moments, melody and the occasional rock riff.
And that's exactly what Porcupine tree is so good at, making albums where you have short interludes which decend into mid-length songs with perhaps one or two epic songs thrown in, all tied-up as a combined effort making the whole album feel a watertight majesty.
With signify picking out favourite songs is not easy and the reason for that is becouse the album seems meant to be listened to as one song, as opposed to a breakdown, or in other words like a "concept album without the concept" however personal standouts for me are [sleep of no dreaming, waiting part1 and Dark matter]
But truth is i can sit down and listen to it throughout enjoying the small but intricate details in such beautiful sound landscapes, here in my opinion "Signify" measures up very well against the tree's best, including [Sky moves sideways, Stupid dream and Lightbulb sun] but even they don't capture the emotion and sensitivity as well as this album.
As i'm sure many of you are aware "Signify" as well as the first half of the tree's catalogue have been re-released as single and double Digipaks where some have included an extra disc of 5.1 surround and others a disc of studio session demo/cut material.
"Signify" as well as the album comes with a full length disc of demos and cut material as a bonus, many of them are really quite good others not so much so, but is definately a valuable bonus.
Coming in a well presented Digi-pak staying true to the rather dark and somewhat mis-leading album cover art, this becomes an instant value for money product indeed.
Porcupine Tree here have demonstrated some of the best progressive rock since 70's Pink floyd and continue to do so with each subsequent release i'm absolutely clear that "Signify" is a classic and is worth every single penny of your hard earned cash if you wish to uncover one of the best albums the 1990's has to offer.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 16 November 2001
Its a terrible shame that Porcupine Tree do not get bigger press than they do because this is a work of genius. Beautifully constructed with dark atmospherics and finely polished production, this is PT's Dark Side of The Moon. And Steven Wilson is a modern day Roger Waters.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 2 September 2009
This is definately one of the best and most important Porcupine Tree albums that there is. This is the begining of the sound that they have developed over the last four albums. It is an absolute masterpiece. It begins with the psychedelic/rock riff of bornlivedie and ends with probably my favorite PT song, Dark Matter. on this album it is evident that Steve Wilson was incorporating influences from his side project Bass Communion on some of the songs.
Steve Wilson has an immutable knack for writing the most beautiful soundscapes, fusing influences such as psychedelia, rock, ambient electronica to even pop to form richly crafted songs that will remain memorable for years to come.
So, is this album worth buying? most definately
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
If you like Pink Floyd in the Meddle era anything by this band is for you. This is powerful psychedlic music with great tunes and Gilmour-esque guitar work. Some tracks are instumental and often seem drenched in acid induced delerium. The guitar solo at the end of Dark Matter is my all time favourite, the 1st time I heard it I had a massive pleasure rush and was crying by the end. It's like clawing up to the heavens and touching God (seriously, I mean it). The new 2nd CD has some quality out takes that tops off what for years has been a top ten album for me.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 22 February 2012
I am new Porcupine Tree fan and really like their work, starting my collection with Dead Wing. I had not listened to their early music much. I had seen Signify and decided to give it a try it is fantastic and one or two of the tracks are amazing the best one for me is Dark Matter. Not only do you get Signify but also Insignificance demos. Which again is really good esp. Wake as gun 1, Hallogallo. All tracks on both discs are a little different to later P,T Albums but brilliant. I would highly recommend this album as it gives another dimension to P.T.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 7 September 2003
Want an album of songs that just grows on you with every play ?
Buy this now - play it 5 times and you will be hooked.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 20 January 2010
I've never written a review before, but felt compelled to do so for this particular album. I've been a fan of PT for a couple of years now and now own all there albums, both Blackfield albums and Steven Wilson's solo album. I got into PT because I love Pink Floyd and was looking for a modern, similar sounding band, and thanks to Amazon I came across PT.
Signify is a strong album that puts together all that came before to create there strongest album at this point in there existence. A short spoken intro begins the album before Signify kicks things off. I recommend turning the speakers right up for this one. It's a light metal sounding instumental, which is a small nod in the direction of where the band would be headed in much later in the future. The Sleep Of No Dreaming brings things down to a lighter level and is a strong 2nd track that builds from the impressive work of Richard Barberi's spacey synths. Waiting is up next, one of the albums highlights with it's laid back acoustics, superb harmornies and excellent guitar solos. Sever is a good pounding track, followed by the acoustic led Every Home Is Wired. Intermediate Jesus and Light Mass Prayers are the next two tracks and I find both a little boring. The best is saved for last in Dark Matter, this is a nod to Pink Floyd and builds and builds to a magnificent climax with a fantastic guitar solo. The bonus disk is a compilation of demo's and left overs. Highlights are Wake As A Gun 1, Waiting, Smiling Not Smiling (which sounds like a Syd Barrett song) and Nine Cats (Acoustic).
There's a track on this 1996 album from the wonderful Porcupine Tree, led by its presiding genius Steven Wilson, called Every Home is Wired. It continues, emphasises and embroiders his ongoing concern with the commodification and distancing of lives via (among other things) an increasingly anti-social 'social media' - and is a moving and beautiful piece of music into the bargain. No only that, but Wilson sings it as expressively and as elegantly as he sings all his songs. Apart from being a fine singer and tremendous guitarist, the man writes songs to last.
The first time I played Signify, I lay on my bed, lights dim, closed my eyes and let the music wash over me, realising - having by now heard a lot of both the Tree and Wilson's work under his own name - that they are my favourite contemporary band, their consistency and brilliance an inspiration and a joy.
This one is a potent mix of songs and instrumentals, with some spoken word in there too. The overall impression is of a man and a band (and a production, as ever, of clarity and sensitivity) making the finest and most resonant music they can, turning their distinctive version of what wee call rock music into art.
I love too the way Wilson will go from a solitary voice to a blissful CSN-type harmony, or from a rock guitar passage to something lyrical and meditative.
I've come to love Wilson and his cactus band, and this stunning, often breathtakingly lovely album gives me even more reason to seek out everything with which this astonishing singer-songwriter-guitarist involves himself.
I have the 2007 2-disc version, the second CD being a very welcome one, separately entitled Insignificance, of alternative versions of the songs on CD1 plus tracks not recorded for the original release of Signify.
An essential, musically riveting instalment in the ongoing saga of a marvellous band.
on 20 April 2014
My introduction to Porcupine Tree was 'Stars Die - The Best Of Porcupine Tree'. Very shortly after that I went on a spending spree that amounted to (several months later) owning all ten of their studio albums (and years later owning everything they released!). Of their earlier albums, the two that really felt special were 'the sky moves sideways' and 'signify'. While 'The sky Moves Sideways' took it's influences from the likes of 70's Floyd, 'Signify' was a much more diverse offering. I certainly hear Krautrock influences here, but most importantly, I hear the band finding their own unique sound and style. This album sounds to me more like the same band that created 'Fear of a blank planet', whereas 'The Sky Moves SIdeways' and earlier albums sound like they were made by another band . But that makes sense because this was their first album as a fully functioning band, whereas previous offerings were either fully solo or Wilson with occasional band support.
Signify matches the psychedelic soundscapes of earlier albums with a rawer guitar sound that didn't fully re-appear until their early 2000's album 'Lightbulb Sun'. This album is more song focused than their preceding albums, but a far cry from their 90's pop albums that came after. Certainly there are more instrumental tracks and 'interludes' than fans of 2000's era porcupine tree might be used to, however I believe they fit well with the album's more psychedelic nature. This album is also significantly darker than previous efforts, and probably their darkest until their excellent breakthrough album, In-Absentia. All in all, I believe that if you appreciate Porcupine Tree as they are today and perhaps are looking into acquiring their vast back catalogue (ohh its more than 10 albums believe me!), then Signify if your best place to start. If you need any further convincing, listen to 'Dark Matter', it stands as one of Porcupine Tree's finest songs they ever made.
As an additional comment, special mention must be made to the excellent packaging, presentation and extras that come alongside this release. The extra CD is a long out-of-print 47 minute release that compiles a collection of outtakes and demos from the Signify recording sessions. While the sound quality may not be quite up to the usual high standards, its an interesting listen (if not essential). The album is cased in a a 'digi-book' style design and is really a work of art when compared to the bog-standard jewel-case.
on 7 November 2010
What are very comlex,dark,intellingent Album
Everything about what PT stand for as progressive rock band is on this and more besides.
In Summary > bornlivedie - Bland weird atmospheric intro with voices but sets the scene, Signify a 2 bar simple riff that builds with percussion gathering inertia in complexity,speed and soundscape the synth section add a very effective typical PT atmospheric feel.
Sleep with no dreaming - Very bluesy airey verses which slowly floats by with sinister lyrics with a great chorus that rises out of the slow pace of the track to deliver great PT vocal harmonies
Pagan-Forgetful but short - An Airey sound piece with ghostly sounds delivered a echoes background noise - Short oppressive weird very dark and intense piece
Waiting Phase 1-2 - absolute PT masterpieces rises - Similar to russia on ice / anethetise / arriving somewhere etc - atmospheric guitar floatin that in PT style kicks in to an almost frenzied assault with guitars asymmetric percussion - Although 2 songs I think it is 1 - yes that style and that good.
Sever - a simplistic Plodding riff that almost sounds to start with very slow and clumsy bass line and voice overdubs that sounds like its out of synch but as we all now all comes together in PT and the track builds to give a very effectiove soundspace with drum line and bass thundering out a repetive driven sound with superb harmonies
Idiot Prayer - Fantastic instrumental that starts of with a very Haunting melancholy intro that gets you into the laid back mood before a gradual rise in with punching drum and bass line increasing the tempo into a fast music attack with overdubbed extracts of the mad preacher in the back ground - again first class and very well produced with fantastic soundscape play loud.
Every Home is wired - very zep feel to this acoustic - very atmospheric with offset harmonies that repeat at a pace to irritate before the guitar lead kick in.
Intermediate Jesus - Almost Jazz based riff with asymmetric percussion totally weird and with overdubs of the frenzied american preacher thrown in- one for the sound tech enthusiasts as it complexity takes it out to the fringes towards self indulgent jamming section played against an erratic bass and drum line.Weird and very intense.One for the Audio buffs.
Light Mass Prayers - Repetitive Atmospheric wall of sound floating through with rising and falling soundscape - Another for the Audio Buffs as every sound will doubt come alive from different parts of the room on a good sound system.
Dark Matter - Great track bringing the band back on track to deliver. A slow paced song with very subtle bass line and SW delivering a very sinister bass line with a very pleasent acoustic section playing which makes the song so sinister that rises to fantastic chorus line. Another great classic track that only PT seem to now how to deliver that builds into a heavy sorrowful riff that then fades away leaving the listener with a very pleasent after taste of the album.
This album is superb with a couple of weird pieces separating very strong material. This is the album where the experimentation of the band started coming together with fantastic results.
A very unpredictable Album that really works with experimentation layered into solid riff lines and overdubbed vocal sections from different characthers this is a band and album to be cherished within the rock fraternity as this is a very clever, well produced album by a band that takes risk and experiments with sounds,styles and mixes taking music into new genres and often putting them all together in the mix and creating something very special. I bought this after the the last 5 albums thinking it may be a little too much in the experimentation of sound at the expense of been tuneful - This experimentation works as the music is so strong it is PT at their best. If you like PT this is up there with Deadwing/Absentia/FOABP/Incident/Stupid dream and possibly beyond.
The second CD is the early demos - on its own nothing stand out but a worthy addition to complement the album and shows how the band have built up the pieces on disc 1 to what they finally became showing the attention to detail. Again another for the soundbuffs.