Fear of a Blank Planet

Fear of a Blank Planet

by Porcupine Tree
5.0 4

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Fear of a Blank Planet 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Their best so far, strong melodies.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Porcupine Tree have always been one of the most talented, eccentric, and unique bands in the world. Though Steven Wilson (lead singer, guitarist and mastermind) was brilliant on Porcupine Tree’s debut way back in 1993, the band has continued to evolve and mature in their songwriting and musicianship. In many ways, Fear of a Blank Planet is the culmination of this lengthy transformation. I have nothing but praise for Fear of a Blank Planet. It is a staggering achievement, not only for Porcupine Tree, but for music in general. The band has always been a melting-pot of musical styles, but they take this to new heights with this album. It is rife with Progressive-rock intricacies and technical wizardry, but also has more somber, mellow sections for fans of Alternative, Ambient, and Experimental styles. This album also expands upon the heavier direction that the band has taken with recent releases such as “In Absentia” and “Deadwing.” In other words, Fear of a Blank Planet has a lot for metal lovers to appreciate. The album opens with the title track, “Fear of a Blank Planet.” It is one of the band’s best (and most intense) songs yet. For those of you familiar with previous Porcupine Tree records, you’ll likely be reminded of the song “Deadwing.” This song’s lyrics introduce the theme of the album, which deals with the soulless youth growing up today in the world. Steven paints images of children in a comatose-like state, staring blankly into televisions and computer monitors. Because of their dependence upon technology, these youth are growing up without curiosity, imagination, or ambition. They are shallow, dull, and terminally bored, stealing guns to “kill time.” As the song draws to a close after 7-minutes and 28-seconds, one cannot help but see a startling timeliness to Steven Wilson’s message. “My Ashes” is the second song, and is really a great follow-up track to the opener. It is far more subtle and mellow, which creates a nice juxtaposition between the two. Porcupine Tree has always constructed albums that contain contrasting musical sections, and this is a prime example. After the intense “Fear of a Blank Planet,” “My Ashes” is a tranquil, haunting, and beautiful experience. This tranquility is not to last, however. A soft, electronic segue soon leads into one of the longest, most intense songs in Porcupine Tree’s career. Track 3, aptly titled “Anesthetize,” is a brilliant 18-minute hodgepodge of musical styles, ranging from haunting, ballad-style vocal sections, masterful instrumental sections, and bludgeoning metal guitar riffs. The song also features a fantastic, otherworldly guitar solo/duet from Alex Lifeson of Rush. For those of you who appreciate the heavier side of Porcupine Tree’s music, this song is sure to please you. “Anesthetize” is the heaviest song that Wilson & co. have ever written. But among the intensity is an indefinable beauty. “Anesthetize” is a tough act to follow, but Porcupine Tree manage it with “Sentimental.” They once again create a startling contrast. It is a beautiful, moving, piano-driven song. Wilson’s vocals are particularly noteworthy, as are the lyrics, which cry out for a childhood that will never end. This is one of Porcupine Tree’s most beautiful compositions, and is one of my favorite songs of all time. Track 5, entitled “Way Out of Here,” is probably the song that took me the longest time to fully appreciate. I will admit that the chorus is somewhat over-used. But other than that, it is stunning. Wilson’s vocals reach new heights of excellence here, and he truly emotes. He sounds pained and haunted by past memories, as he describes burning photographs of a lost lover. The song is also punctuated by some more impressive
Iain010100 More than 1 year ago
For my taste, Porcupine Tree has moments of brilliance surrounded by long extended less-than-inspired musical moments where the rockin' themes are pounded into the ground, a chord progression repeats on and on, or just noise becomes the filler. In their past CDs I think many of their 7, 15, 20 minute songs can be cut down into very 4 minutes, and out of the good material you'd be able to make one excellent CD out of 3 or 4 others. I compiled my own best of Porcupine Tree mix CD this way.

Fear of a Blank Planet is an exception. I like pretty much everything on it. "Anesthetize," coming in at 17:42 in length, is a great song which progresses nicely throughout, from sweet melodic to crunchy metallic. You can hear some of the musical direction repeated from songs on their other CDs, but that's ok. This is perhaps their most accessible CD to date for those who love mainstream progressive rock, maybe even more so than Deadwing.

If you are curious about this band, you can't go wring with Fear of a Blank Planet.