This is by my count, Porcupine Tree's 12th studio album in their 14 year career. Always annoyingly unclassifiable, Porcupine Tree, have always intrested me, and I must say I ahd high expectations for this album. This is my first review, and also my first listen for the album, so I'm going to review this as I listen.
The album kicks off with the title track, Deadwing. After a strange, repeated noise the song comes into flow and Steve Wilson's voice sounds as good as ever. This is the kind of thing I was expecting on this album, but the song didn't really grab my intention until the awesomely atmospheric part 5 inutes or so in. After this it goes back to the sam ting as the intro this time with some strongly phased guitar work. Then the lead guitar kicks in with a nice, creative solo, and from here on things kick ***. Great opener for the ablum 5/5
The next song, Shallow, is kind of different. It starts off with a pretty rocking riff, and after a clean break, things actual get quite heavy in the chorus. This is of course a good thing. One thing to point out about this, is that it is really not progressive at all, which alot of long-time PT fans might resent. I'm giving this one 4/5.
Lazeralus is definately going to be a ballad. It starts off with piano and soft singing, providing a nice contrast to the previous song. I have to admit that this kind of stuff bores me, and I feel that this song is not 'the new Trains' like many people have said. I'm giving this 3/5
Halo is sounding more intresting already. This song blends the progressive rock elements of PT with the heavier ones and in my opinion works pretty well. About 3:20, things get pretty damn cool. This is worth 4/5 I would say.
Arriving Somowhere, but not Here starts off with some sinister, melodic stuff. Being twelve minutes long it's obvious that this one is going to be the epic of the album. I really like the atmosphere when the vocals start, and things are looking very promising for this song. The solo after the vocals stop is sweet, and like most PT solos it actually contributes to the song. The vocals come back in after the solo and things seem like they are beginning to build up towards something. HOwever, 6:00 things slow right down and there's some distorted guitar but the drums have dropped back to high-hat only. A second guitar kicks in with a nice riff and then the drums come back in properly. This part then progresses into a really cool, heavier part. This is one of the most progressive moments on the album so far and I am loving it! At 8:45 it all suddenly stops though and the piano hits some chords whilst the guitar plays a really sweet, clean solo. This solo and the heavy part preceding it is definately the highlight of the record so far. After this the vocals come back in and the song gradually finishes. This song is amazing, I'm giving it 6/5.
Melletron Scratch is next, which starts off with a nice chord progression before Steve comes in with the vocals. The song gives off a relaxed vibe, and sounds like a pretty typical PT acoustic track. The distortion kicks in about four and a half minutes in, followed by a nice little acoustic part that carries on for a while. The song finishes when the music drops out and two singers sing a cool polyphonic part. 3.5/5
The next song is quite a heavy one, Open Car. The chorus on this song sounds really good and caught my attention. A pretty good song, but nothing outstanding, 3/5
Next is The Shattering of Something Beautiful. The song starts off with the usualy, spacy stuff and in my opinion doesn't get going until it gets to the heavier part following this. It goes back to the clean, dreamy stuff for the verse, and the vocals are followed by one of the nicest solos on the record. Following this things get heavier again, before it stops suddenly and you are provided with a really strange part that I am struggling to describe. The piano takes over after this, but things get really good when the distorted guitar comes back in behind the piano. This part here is a highlight of the album in my opinion, and things keep getting better when the vocals come back in. 4.5/5
Now for the last track on the album, The Glass Arm Shattering. The song is really dreamy and is reminiscent of older PT, and I'm sure that alot of people will appreciate this one. I like this song, and it's a nice way to close the album. 4/5
Overall, the album wasn't the masterpiece I was expecting, but it would be hard to produce something as good as In Absentia again. Don't get me wrong, this album is still astounding though. Some PT fans have said this is the bands best work, while I may not agree with this, I would still highly recommend picking the album up.
Arriving Somehwere, but not Here
Shattering of Something Beautiful