Before I go on to the actual track by track review, some more information about this album.
This album, the follow-up of the incredible 'In Absentia' is to be seen as a sort of concept album, telling a story of the script for what is to become a movie, documentary or something along those lines. So all the lyrics and melodies and rhythms were made according to the script written by Steven Wilson and some other person.
Alrighty, enough chatting around, time for the track by track:
1) Deadwing (9:46)
Starts of with some weird sounds provided by Mister Barbieri and some recordings from stuff happening on a train station (I think)
At 0:36 the songs starts, and you know immediately know it's Porcupine Tree, the groovy bass, the sharp guitars, and the nice drumming.
A very hard-rockish beat.
At 1:26 Steven starts singing, and it's really nice to notice his vocals have grown since albums past.
Quite the melodic singing, and some parts in between in a sort of whispering voice, adding some mystery to the song.
3:26 a guitar solo, this sounds just the way it should, very mellow feel, before going into something Porcupine tree is so well known for: awesome vocal arrangements, very spacey, I love it.
After this the song continues pretty much in the same way as before.
5:17 the guitar and keys start playing something different, the bass just holds on to the same bass line.
And after a few secs it turns in to a fall down, very easy going very spacey sounds, weird guitar tone accompanied by weird synth sounds.
The bass plays some high notes now, sounds great, after that the drums kick in, quite heavy.
At 7:31 we get a solo going on again, very unusual. After this there is some experimental stuff going on, sort of soloing before hearing another recording and fading out.
Great way to kick of the album.
2) Shallow (4:17)
This song was released as a single, it continues the edgy and rocky sound. It has a bit of a 'Whole lot of love' feel to it. The song is quite the loud song, but it flows very well.
The hard parts are being broken up by some softer parts.
At 2:38 a very drowned in a wall of sound soloing part going on. After that back to the normal structure.
This song doesn't really stick out to me, not something that sounds very PT like, but a good rock song nonetheless.
The song stays stuck in your head, it has a great tune.
3) Lazarus (4:18)
Very different song compared to what I've already heard.
Starts out very mellow, with some piano and light guitar.
Steven Wilson can put so much emotion in his voice.
The lyrics to this song are great.
On this song Richard Barbieiri really shines,
The key parts on this song sound just awesome.
This song is great!
Nice break-ups, and vocal harmonies, this shows PT are more alive and kicking as ever been.
4) Halo (4:38)
Very bass driven song, I would describe it as a mix of Slave called shiver and The creator has a master tape.
The lyrics are quite funny actually.
Guest musician on this song Adrian Belew.
When at 2:30 the bass becomes more prominent you can notice how great the bass sounds on this song.
Als o note the very tight drumming.
The solo delivered here by no one less than Adrian Belew shows that this isn't really a PT solo, the solo is great nonetheless!
Very rocking song, near the end piano adds to the great tone of this song.
5) Arriving somewhere, but not here. (12:02)
This is the gem on the album for me.
Starts of with weird sounds (organ) and a clock ticking, after a while some percussion come s in.
This ambient tone continues till 1:58 when guitar and vocals come in, very nice sounding.
Background vocals by one of my Idols; Mikeal Akerfeldt.
This song is very emotional, and it doesn't carry on too long, this song is an adventure.
Worth every second. Quite a sad sound, but so laid back at the same time.
Right in the middle there's some soloing, that could be the work of Mikeal, not sure though, and after this the song gets a bit more groovy.
The song has a certain metal feel to it now, can't describe really, just listen for yourself.
8:40 some other unusual guitaring,
Man, before you know, the song is almost over, this is so well written IMO.
The outro part starting somewhere halfway the 10 minute mark is very emotional, and has lots of subtle sounds to give it just that extra bit.
I would give this song a 5,5/5, but that's not really fair so just a :
6) Mellotron scratch (6:57)
Starts of with some guitar and after that some chords, this song sounds a bit like, stranger by the minute.
Very dreamy vocals. This is a great track
Nice vocal harmonies.
The song is very dreamy, just a good song.
Note the use of the glockenspiel, adds a lot to the song.
I do feel like some of the break-ups are a bit out of place sometimes.
Very weird, when you think the song ends, it goes completely another way, and sounds nothing like what you've heard before, but after some time we're back, and you can enjoy some great vocal harmonies
Great song nonetheless.
7) Open Car (3:46)
After some lighter songs, back to a bit more rock.
Very dark sounding.
I love the lyrics to this song:
Something broke inside my stomach, I let the pieces lay just where they fell'.
The vocal harmonies are probably the best of the album.
You should really check the lyrics for this.
This song is over quite fast, shortest song on the cd.
8) Start of something beautiful (7:39)
The start of this song is rather techno like, but that's just the start.
Pay attention to the drumming on this song, it's sweet!
The drumming really sticks out, as does the chilled soloing in the middle,
And after the soloing the song becomes very intense. So laid back, experience this for yourself!
Dreamy beyond imagination. So many influences flow together on this track.
9) Glass arm shattering (6:17)
Weird, starts of with some very cranky guitar sound.
Right on from the beginning weird sounds make up this song.
Very laid back, reminds me of the sky moves sideways on some parts.
Yes, I think it's quite a good comparison.
Did you like that? Than you will like this too.
Porcupine tree grabbing back to older days on this one, and doing it great.
Quite an experimental track, with some awesome vocal harmonies!.
This is a great way of ending this wild trip.
Incredible, they did it again. I thought they couldn't top In Absentia, but this is just great.
Not (yet) saying it is better than In Absentia, but this is soon going to be a classic in my eyes.
Every PT fan should get his hands on this. And anyone who hasn't heard of them, this is a good way to start out.
This cd has all PT is about
: very rocky, to ballads, to groovy bass lines, great soloing and on top of that SW's vocal(harmonies).
You must really check this out.
This deserves a: