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Old May 1st, 2005, 06:48 AM   #1 (permalink)
Bleakest Harvest
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Porcupine Tree - Deadwing

Porcupine Tree - Deadwing
Lava Records - 7567934372 - 04/04/2005
By Patrick Walsh



English progressive hard-rock outfit Porcupine Tree have finally followed up 2002's excellent In Absentia with another album of tunes that continues the songwriting heights they've breezed effortlessly through since Stupid Dream. As an extension of the oft-metallic noodling of In Absentia, Deadwing works in part as a kind of summation of their more recent embrace of metal whilst recapturing somewhat in places the delicate psych-pop of Lightbulb Sun.

That's not to say that Deadwing is a rehash of past glories, as Steve Wilson and his band of not-so-merry progsters weave a sombre, dark atmosphere on Deadwing that is as many worlds away from Lightbulb Sun's summery cuts like 'Where We Would Be' as it is to the pop-metal anthems found on In Absentia such as 'Strip the Soul'. Opener 'Deadwing' twists and winds through numerous musical vistas, but is for the most part upbeat in tone; however, the fairly rocking nature of the track is offset by Wilson's eerie lyrics. A brilliantly atonal guitar solo courtesy of Adrian Belew gives the track an even more unsettling air, and this song sets the tone of the album; deceptively upbeat, yet always maintaining a tangible atmosphere of isolation, and it is this sustained feeling of darkness that is mostly unique about Deadwing, and makes this arguably their most cohesive work to date.

Of course, Wilson hasn't forgotten that much of Porcupine Tree's appeal has always lay with their ability to exert as much force from simplicity as intricate progressive rock noodling, and the subsequent three cuts; 'Shallow', 'Lazarus' and 'Halo', remind us of the accessibility that belies the band their still relative underground status in the scheme of rock music. 'Shallow' is big, dumb radio rock done the Porcupine Tree way (by their own admission), and works as a hard-hitting and catchy pop-rock song in a similar way that 'Blackest Eyes' did before it. 'Lazarus' shows the band reverting into a gentle, piano filled troupe whilst 'Halo's driving, bass-led rhythms and excellent drumwork are an album highlight. Meanwhile, 'Arriving Somewhere But Not Here' acts as the album's centrepiece, a twelve-minute epic that builds from a Pink Floyd-esque psychedelic rocker into a fully fledged riff workout that recalls Opeth, before winding back down again. 'The Start of Something Beautiful' again reflects Porcupine Tree's further gelling as a band from its days as a Steve Wilson solo project, and is a brilliantly climactic prog-rock workout to boot.

Although they're often cited as a kind of Pink Floyd meets alt. rock exercise, Porcupine Tree have once again defied any comparisons and are intent on following their own legacy by simply creating excellent rock music. Along with Tool, Porcupine Tree are quite possibly the only mainstream rock band worthy of being hailed alongside the classics, and Deadwing is worthy of everyone's attention, be they a metal purist, ageing 70s prog-rocker or floppy haired indie-rock fan, which is proof of their necessity in today's safe, sterile corporate rock climate.

9/10

Official Porcupine Tree Website

Official Lava Records Website

Last edited by Bleakest Harvest : May 28th, 2005 at 05:21 AM.
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Old May 1st, 2005, 07:20 AM   #2 (permalink)
LoboUivante
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the albums seems ok, have to listen to it more often.
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Old May 1st, 2005, 11:39 PM   #3 (permalink)
The Minds Eye
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Porcupine Tree are pretty good I'll probally pick up this cd. Although you usually have to be in the right mood to enjoy their music.
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Old May 2nd, 2005, 07:35 PM   #4 (permalink)
ProgMetalFan
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10/10 Greatest album ever
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Old May 24th, 2005, 04:33 PM   #5 (permalink)
LuminousAether
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It's an ok album, but does not hold a candle to The Sky Moves Sideways, Signify, or Stupid Dream.
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Old May 26th, 2005, 05:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
TehLeperAffinity
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuminousAether
It's an ok album, but does not hold a candle to The Sky Moves Sideways, Signify, or Stupid Dream.
Yeah, those are their 3 best.
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Old May 27th, 2005, 07:28 PM   #7 (permalink)
LoboUivante
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProgMetalFan
10/10 Greatest album ever
kidding... right?
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Old May 28th, 2005, 04:20 AM   #8 (permalink)
Bleakest Harvest
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Maybe not greatest album ever, but an excellent addition to PT's ever swelling discography of brilliance
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Old May 28th, 2005, 05:03 AM   #9 (permalink)
LoboUivante
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ok, better
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Old June 10th, 2005, 09:03 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I'm very disappointed with this album. Lazarus is the only good track on the album, and even that doesn't have much staying power. Stupid Dream is still my all-time favorite by this band, and admittedly the only record of theirs I have ever truly "loved."
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Old June 11th, 2005, 12:02 PM   #11 (permalink)
TUSKA.suomi
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Surely an OK band! You can listen 'nd like whatever they put on an album, mostly.
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Old July 26th, 2005, 03:02 PM   #12 (permalink)
Divatkreació
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I don't find mr. Wilson & Co's newest album as their best works but it didn't disappoint me neither. The album doesn't really have any bad moments almost anywhere and I think that probably the best songs on the album are Lazarus and Arriving somewhere but here.
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Old July 26th, 2005, 04:40 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I LOVE this album. I really do think it is slightly better than In Absentia just because it doesn't really have a disappointing track that stands out on the album (ala the creator or strip the soul.)


This is PT's best album to date, imo. I'm always up to listening to it. One thing I MUST mention here is the superb sound quality and overall production that should have been mentioned in the review. That's one of the many things that makes this album work so well - great listen from beginning to end.



^ Awesome review!
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Old July 29th, 2005, 11:09 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I really love this album as well. I mean, in the past 2 months, i've been HOOKED on Porcupine Tree, listening to them most of the time (I listen to a LOT of music), and they don't get old. They are definitely the BEST prog rock band in the scene today (Dream theater wishes they were this good, maybe not technically, but in EVERY other aspect)

Top 5 of the year with Opeth and Nevermore so far
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Old August 9th, 2005, 04:36 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I got a halo around me
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Old September 14th, 2005, 06:18 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Porcupine tree is a personal fave and their new effort is more than adequate!
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Old October 7th, 2005, 11:07 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Lightbulb Sun is probably my favorite (or stupid dream) However, I really love this album and they put on a great concert.
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Old November 12th, 2005, 03:25 AM   #18 (permalink)
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One hell of a brilliant album, though it has taken a while to fully sink in. Deadwing is probably my favourite PT song out of their entire catalogue, and when you consider what it has to go up against, that is saying something!
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Old December 16th, 2005, 02:37 PM   #19 (permalink)
trickae
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actually its my second favorite album thus far by porcupine tree - second to, of course, in absentia
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Old December 17th, 2005, 02:29 PM   #20 (permalink)
hyperdesire
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pop metal? more like arena, cock rock
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Old January 19th, 2006, 08:29 PM   #21 (permalink)
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I like In Absentia better then Dead Wing, heh but either way its awsome
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Old January 24th, 2006, 12:22 PM   #22 (permalink)
ChildrenofSodom
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never heard them before...what do they sound like?
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Old January 29th, 2006, 01:33 AM   #23 (permalink)
DeviousDVO
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Hard to explain ... just go buy it because it's awesome Some great songs on it - "Lazarus" is my personal fave at the moment ...
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Old May 11th, 2006, 06:38 PM   #24 (permalink)
DoomLordDTR
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all Porcupine Tree is great
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Old May 18th, 2006, 08:51 PM   #25 (permalink)
Dazed and Brutal
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Have you heard about the side project that might occur- Mike Portny, Mikael Akerfeldt, and I forgot which guy from Porcupine Tree, but should be fucking amazing!
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