29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
A Musical Pandora's Box,
This review is from: Fear Of A Blank Planet (Audio CD)
Firstly I totally agree with the previous comments that this band has earned its deserved reputation through a lot of hard working years in the industry. What is most incredible is that the quality of their output is constantly of such a high standard, and if there are any cracks they certainly aren't visible here. When you finally prise Deadwing from the HiFi you'll be greeted with a killer acoustic riff that signifies the next stage in the journey.
Definitely a "concept" album (cough...) but in perfect Porcupine Tree style, there's some very clever weaving on display here with lots of musical references to previous PT songs and shed loads of cheeky hidden reminder riffs throughout the 6 new songs. A genuine musicians paradise, but still very accessible throughout. I take my hat off to MR Wilson yet again, this could well be my album of the year and its only April.
As predicted, "Fear of a Blank Planet" is my current fav but only because of its familiar warmth (Deadwing 2?) and superb lyrics. "My Ashes" is the vocal showcase vehicle for those signature harmonies and provides a chance to gather your thoughts before diving into the main course that is "Anesthetize". This may well be referenced as the "Arriving Somewhere" of this album but to comment at this early stage would be denying the song its chance to fully unravel. I will say that its 17+ minutes are a thing of beauty. Sombre and reflective in places, and brutal in others. The intro alone had the hairs on the back of my neck standing up. You know you are in for a ride and pay off is worth its weight in gold. Long songs can be a mixed bag but thankfully PT have the experience and skill to fully justify its lengthy running time. "Sentimental" was already lost in a sea of new information that simply can't be processed in such a short time. I did note the reference riff from "Trains" and I'm sure this one will be a grower. "Way out of here" starts on a misleading downer before hammering in with one of the best riffs on the album. After the first chorus the tempo is upped and we're right back on track with yet another crowd pleasing anthem. This theme is then carried over to the final track "Sleep Together". Its pounding bass lines and synth's are put to full effect and round off a fantastic album that will have you wondering where that 50mins disappeared to and skipping straight back to track 1 to start all over again.
For those new to Porcupine Tree this is truly a great time to be introduced. Fans of Deadwing and In Absentia will see this as the natural progression of an already accomplished and criminally underrated band. I strongly urge anyone interested in this genre to give them a try. They're the UK equivalent to Tool and that's highest praise I can offer.