Porcupine Tree
Stars Die: The Delerium Years



by pulseczar USER (67 Reviews)
December 1st, 2005 | 6 replies

Release Date: 2002 | Tracklist

All my friends question the band’s name. They’ve been silly enough to call them “Country”, “Emo” or even “Black Metal”. Rest assured, those friends are musically retarded, but Porcupine Tree are one of modern music’s most unique bands. It all began back in 1988 with the Tree’s mastermind Steven Wilson. The band’s been going strong for a quite a long time now, Churning out progressive gems like The Sky Moves Sideways back in 1995 to a more modern rock sound with Ligthbulb Sun and In Absentia. Stars Die: The Delerium Years 1991 -1997 documents the years from when Porcupine Tree was a one man psychedelic project to a full fledged pretentious, progressive band. It’s probably the best introduction a fan of Deadwing or In Absentia will get, besides a time machine and keys to Porcupine Tree’s studio.

Spanning through 6 years of Porcupine Tree’s time on Earth, the album doesn’t fail to deliver a fast variety, showing various experimentation as well as natural evolution. Experimentation" Try Voyage 34, Porcupine Tree’s first attempt at a big, pretentious magnum opus. Ooooh it didn’t go too well. You can already feel the Pink Floyd influence looming over in Radioactive Toys judging by the David Gilmour mimicry both vocally and guitar-wise, Voyage 34 voyages into the seas of
Full Blown Rip-off by impersonating Another Brick in the Wall part 1. The loses its structure as it noodles around for another 8 or 10 minutes as a Twilight Zonesque narrator tells the fragmented story of some guy’s bad acid trip. He’ll never buy from that dealer again. Experimentation is essentially what Porcupine Tree’s first album On the Sunday of Life..... was, which the first four songs on here are from. There’s a fine line between line between “Experimentation” and “What the fuck is this guy doing"” crossed, blurred and desecrated on the album, there’s only 6 actual songs on it out of the 20 or so litter. This compilation helps cut the crap, so to speak. The spacey ambience experienced in Voyage 34 gleams throughout the rest of the Tree’s career as shown on Stars Die..., structured better to make songs like the monstrous The Sky Moves Sideways - phase one.

Two primary seeds are planted in Porcupine Tree’s fertile soil by the production: Ambient Eggplant and Pop Potato. Songs like Synthesia (oh Goodness the extended version!) deliver catchy pop hooks whilst delicately layered with atmospheric sounds. The Sky Moves Sideways is an epic that sinks its teeth into the listener and whisks allure ambience into him. The whimsical Nine Cats openly shows the melodies and pop sensibilities of Porcupine Tree (or just Wilson, as it was only him at the time) through the crisp acoustic guitar and Wilson’s delicate voice. The mixtures of eggplants and potatoes among other things sometimes catches one off guard, but how can you describe Porcupine Tree as heard in Stars Die..." Other than diverse, progressive or ripe with sexual connotations (oh don’t ask...), Steve Wilson suggests simply “Porcupine Tree music”. Big help.

Disc 2 focuses on the albums The Sky moves Sideways and Signify (both recommended) and all the b-sides and rare goodies that happened in between. Oh boy, Porcupine Tree sure know how to make b-sides and rare goodies. They’re in fact better than the couple of rather generic, forgettable and pointless songs on this compilation. The psychedelic pop of Men of Wood that hints to an embryonic Porcupine Tree, the ghostly Stars Die, the new eclectic mix of The Sound of No-one Listening, any Porcupine Tree fan should pick this up for the great relatively inaccessible stuff on this collection (that includes their early albums, pretty hard to find). Once these era’s of varied, experimental and pretentious music reach you, you’ll be hooked! Or utterly disgusted... I can guarantee either one based on your coolness. But one question remains about Stars Die: The Delerium Years 1991-1997, why did those slackers misspell Delirium"

See ya.

Stars Die: The Delerium Years 1991-1997-------------> 4 stars

Oh you wanted me to answer the question, because the record label they were on was run by a bunch of stoners hoo kant spel forr shet an spelld delerium insted of delirium. kthxbai.

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user ratings (125)

Comments:Add a Comment 
December 1st 2005


Good review, I like Porcupine Tree. I havn't heard this CD before.

December 1st 2005


Very good detailed review, well done.

I enjoy Porcupine Tree from time to time, I don't think I will be getting this because I have In Absenta and Deadwing.

December 1st 2005


this has some up the downstair songs which is great

great review, glad to have you back

Edit: Oh, and your friends are musically retarded.This Message Edited On 12.01.05

December 2nd 2005


Album Rating: 3.5

Great album. It's a great summation of their sound before they got more popular with In Absentia and Deadwing.

I like this album better than Deadwing but it's not as solid as In Absentia.This Message Edited On 12.02.05

April 4th 2006


Album Rating: 4.5

I had commented on this before, I guess it got erased.

This compilation is one of the best ever made. I can put this on and just have an afternoon of amazing space/prog rock.

Stars Die is one of the best songs ever.

June 30th 2011


Album Rating: 4.5

Always liked this album, it flows like it's a studio album rather than a compilation of songs, and most of the songs keep my interest relatively well. Of course there are some songs that I could pass on, but overall I think it showcases their overall sound before the turn of the century quite well.

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