Review Summary: One of the greatest albums in their discography which is overlooked by many.Fear Of A Blank Planet
was the most commercially succesful and anticipated album from Porcupine Tree. They had made a devoted fanbase that was constantly expending and were promoting their album live just after the Deadwing tour. When released most people loved it, it was diverse, it was epic and it was like nothing they have heard before. If you liked that album chances are big you liked Deadwing
and In Absentia
too. They had more similarities with Fear of a Blank Planet
, which would make it more easier to get into. However Porcupine Tree had a completely other style before that, there are so many gems in their discography that it is hard to find them all, the one is better than the other, and to me, this is one of their best.
This album was made before Gavin Harrison was in the band, the drummer here is Chris Maitland. He has a more relaxed and subtle way of drumming, if you love Harrison's speed and double bass you will find something completely different here. But on this album everyone is playing more relaxed and more subtle, which makes it an album where every instrument is in complete harmony with the other, none of the instruments are really overwhelming.
However the diversity where Porcupine Tree is known for is more evident on this album, for instance the album's opener Lightbulb Sun
is a summery of the entire album, from accoustic to hard riffs and from soft to hard. A song that is much different is the closer Feel So Low
it is a soft piano driven track, which is repetive at times. Another completely different song is Shesmovedon
it feels like a great rocking tune, nothing special, it is just great as it is.
But the best part of the album is called Russia On Ice
, much praise has been given to this song. It is long and epic, with all kinds of styles mixed together and this with the end result. It opens rather calm with lyrics about a drinking problem(Vodka with Ice) and when the instrumental part kicks in it is becoming much harder and much more agressive. There is no bad word I can say about this song, the diversity is great and every part is exploited untill it could be any better.
Another great song on the album isLast Chance to Evacuate Planet Earth Before it is Recycled
, it starts out accoustic and that is the first part of the song, there is nothing really special about that. But the second part is an instrumental part, where all instruments work together in a perfect harmoney. It is like a puzzle with more than a 1000 pieces and when they finally fit together you get a beautiful picture of the way Utopia is described by an optimist.
The rest of the album remains consistent, everything is good, and it has no real downsides. I would recommended to anyone who likes Porcupine Tree, to anyone who likes prog music and to anyone who likes more ambient pieces of music. This is a great album and one of the best things Porcupine Tree has produced in their carreer.
I give it a 4,5/5
Russia On Ice
Last Chance to Evacuate Planet Earth Before it is Recycled