PORCUPINE TREE — Fear Of A Blank Planet (review)

PORCUPINE TREE — Fear Of A Blank Planet album cover Album · 2007 · Metal Related Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
aglasshouse
Porcupine Tree is definitely a band of many words. Fronted by the one and only Steven Wilson, it's hard to guess what their next sound (although usually temporary) will be. This sort of way of musicianship is rather homogeneous with Wilson's acts, which range from noise and shoe-gaze to art rock and experimental rock. Very interesting man as well as the band he occupies. When asked, people in our present society may have partially forgotten PT, but those who do have an inkling of what they are know this album is their proclaimed best effort.

This band, as I stated before, has obvious similarities between Wilson's releases and their own in the fact that you don't know what they're going to do next. Antecedent to it's release, Porcupine Tree had already well moved on from the alternative spacey prog rock that was present on albums such as Lightbulb Sun. In Absentia of 2003 was most likely the turn-point of the bands musical ideology, moving into whole different sounds that contained heavy crunching riffs. The thing that was clear is that the band liked the new sound they developed, and quickly became one of the flagships of the progressive metal industry along with giants like Dream Theater and Opeth. But this album is something else. It balances both the anger of In Absentia and Deadwing with Lightbulb Sun-esque art rock, making for a decent mix.

My thoughts when I first heard this weren't that great. I've never been a huge fan of progressive metal in general, as stated in my previous reviews. Snark-y art metal seemed inane to me, and wasn't enjoyable in the least. I will admit that coming back to this, however, was actually much more impressive than the first. Wilson's monotone vocals coincide awkwardly with his own guitar and Edwin's base at times, though the quality and care put into the tracks outright redeems it pretty quickly. As an overall effect, this album does extremely well. I give kudos to Wilson and friends; they've impressed me this time.

(rating rounded from 3.5 to 4)
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Unitron wrote:
49 days ago
Yeah, this sucks!!!!!!!!!!!
Bosh66 wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Without wishing to stoke this genre debate, I would say that this of all the releases is a prog metal album and a great one too.
Unitron wrote:
more than 2 years ago
I've never understood the debate over what genre they are. Honestly, it's their early albums that have the metal influences and their later releases that are fully-blown metal. Anyways, good review one of my favorite albums.
UMUR wrote:
more than 2 years ago
It still makes me a bit uneasy when people Refer to Porcupine Tree as a progressive metal act, when the metal element of their sound is usually only a minor feature on their albums. Even their most metal related releases (of which this is one of them) only feature few metal related sections. Genre discussion aside, this is to my ears a great album.

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