fear of a blank planet
well, as almost every reviewer here has already put it, that’s right, this is the most anticipated album of the year. with huge expectation in it, of course. the most obvious reason, if it has to be mentioned, is previous porcupine tree album’s (deadwing) high status as the best in its genre, as voted by none other than members of progarchives.com.
there’s an indication of some kind of mighty burden to the band by saying that, either it is realized or not. and it seems as if the band should compete with themselves.
but when the first sound flows out from the speakers and can be heard clearly in the opening track, the title track fear of the blank planet, which is followed by crisp guitar arpeggio, and then taken over by gradually-growing-faster groovy rhythm, every imagination about unmatched expectation disappeared just like that. not only it, confirmly, is porcupine tree’s signature sound. more than that, what can instantly being sensed is that the band delivers once again irresistible, intelligent, intense and awesome music.
and that’s definitely true. throughout the album, there’s always melody, sounds, rhythm, and also space textures that make each transition from one song to another flows like one’s driving in a freeway. even small contributions from rush guitarist alex lifeson and king crimson guitarist robert fripp –both are respected professor in the progressive rock landscape –also has the capabilities to strike a deep chord with the listeners. each of the six songs –totally clocking in at less than 60 minutes –can be enjoyed on first listen. to dive further, and to absorb every aspect the band’s offerings, what’s needed are only patience and willingness to understand the kind of problem the band addressed.
among them is concerning the bleak future for kids whose life is dominated by computers and mtv. the band deliver it in the song titled anesthetized. at nearly 18 minutes, this epic is a journey across imaginary manacing atmosphere. it started with the twinkling opening where steve wilson’s plaintive vocals intensify his brooding lyrics before reaching majestic peaks of devastating sonic grandeur. it’s easily the best track.
like the band previous efforts, from each phase of development since releasing on the sunday of life (1991), this latest output still combines rock, psychedelia and ambient elements. and with the injection of metal sounds, as it has been doing more recently, the band stretch a proper canvas on which they paint gloomy colors that represent the choosen theme.
(posted earlier on progarchives.com)