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Porcupine Tree - Nil Recurring

Discussion in 'Non-Metal Reviews' started by TheTechnogoat, Feb 20, 2008.

  1. TheTechnogoat

    TheTechnogoat Protean

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    Porcupine Tree - Nil Recurring
    Peaceville Records - CDVILEF235 - February 18, 2008
    By Jack Deming

    [​IMG]

    Upon approaching Porcupine Tree's latest EP Nil Recurring with the knowledge that it was recorded at the same time as 2007's Fear of a Blank Planet, many non-PT disciples may dismiss this album as simply a smattering of lower quality material released for the hell of it, especially given the large volume of music, LPs and EPs alike, that they have released in the past. This would be an unwise assumption however, because if I hadn't been previously aware of this fact, the notion that they seemed similar would not have crossed my mind for a second, because recorded at the same time or not, these albums have noticeably different atmospheres.

    It is somewhat unclear whether these tracks are straight outtakes from the Fear of a Blank Planet album or simply four songs that were written at the same session for a separate project altogether, but whatever the case, the four tracks on Nil Recurring have an undeniable chemistry with each other that presents a quality and complete listening experience. Even though track by track reviews are unanimously hailed as rape in music journalism, I feel I should nevertheless give a modified version of one in an attempt to illustrate the seamless way in which these songs flow together.

    The instrumental 'Nil Recurring' kicks off the album, emitting the vibe of the beginnings of jam session, and then building slowly up and tumbling into an epic release of melody and heaviness. Riddled with odd time passages and interesting melodic ideas, it really gets one in the mood of the album. 'Normal', the highlight of the album to my ears, immediately brings the mood of the music down by lapsing into a spacey, melodic, acoustic opus that with an essence similar to In Absentia's 'Trains', featuring addictive melodic hooks provided by the vocals of Steven Wilson (a main melody is actually taken from 'Sentimental' from Fear of a Blank Planet) and his capoed acoustic guitar playing. The lyrical content of 'Normal' features a lot of the commercial themes present throughout Fear of a Blank Planet, one aspect of FoaBP that I found grew incredibly dull with overuse. This however is one of the very few parallels to FoaBP present on Nil Recurring, and this time the themes are thankfully in moderation. 'Cheating the Polygraph' is a much slower, more ambient sounding track with no real catchy melodic parts to speak of, but very powerful harmonic composition, which is a huge strength of Porcupine Tree's. The album closes with 'What Happens Now?", giving an impression of "winding down" and wrapping everything up musically, only to explode in the end in a last epic crescendo, releasing the tension building throughout the album, absent until now of an all out release of energy.

    To sum up, not only is Nil Recurring fantastic in terms of musical content, but it has an air of completeness I find to be lacking in many EPs and full albums alike. Any piece of music, no matter whether it is long or short playing, should not be simply thrown together but be carefully organized to achieve an overall desired effect, an art exemplified incredibly well on Nil Recurring. But after all, from a band like Porcupine Tree, I would expect no less.

    Official Porcupine Tree Website
    Official Peaceville Records Website
     
  2. Bleakest Harvest

    Bleakest Harvest \m/Misanthropic Hippy\m/

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    Great EP, and I got it attached to FOABP as part of the Ltd Edition LP version, which is nice!
     
  3. Jimm O)))

    Jimm O))) Member

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    I've only heard samples of this CD but it already sounds like I'd like it a lot better than Fear Of A Blank Planet. FOABP really didn't do all that much for me at all.
     
  4. Bleakest Harvest

    Bleakest Harvest \m/Misanthropic Hippy\m/

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    FOABP is definitely superior to this.
     
  5. Pitiless Wanderer

    Pitiless Wanderer Active Member

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    i dont like pt when they try to be heavy but their mellow songs are fantastic
     
  6. Psychonaut

    Psychonaut God Of Emptiness

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    Nice review. 'Normal' is easily the best song on it.
     
  7. metalupmybiip

    metalupmybiip New Metal Member

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    Excellent recording! Respect
     
  8. invaderwhitney

    invaderwhitney New Metal Member

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  9. noise in my mind

    noise in my mind New Metal Member

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    I love this ep so much! It has great melody and harmony with some pretty awesome heavy grooves!
     
  10. master_puppet

    master_puppet New Metal Member

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    although it's an old review I want to support the reviewer and say that this EP is lovely. I hope the group tours in Germany soon.
     

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