Rating:
9.2
Porcupine Tree - Fear Of A Blank Planet
24 April 2007


01. Fear Of A Blank Planet
02. My Ashes
03. Anesthetize [feat. Alex Lifeson]
04. Sentimental
05. Way Out Of Here [feat. Robert Fripp]
06. Sleep Together

[DVD-A]
01. Fear Of A Blank Planet
02. My Ashes
03. Anesthetize
04. Sentimental
05. Way Out Of Here
06. Sleep Together
07. Nil Recurring
08. Normal
09. Cheating The Polygraph
10. What Happens Now?
+ Blank Planet [video]
+ Fear Of A Blank Planet [video]
+ Anesthetize [video]


Some artists are too good to be ignored. Porcupine Tree's architect Steven Wilson is one of them. After a long and fruitful career built on a crystalline guitar sound and atmospheric melodies, Steven influenced Opeth and helped them to record the distinctive "Damnation" album. Ever since, his name is on every metalhead's lips despite being more of a rock artist. Porcupine Tree's 2005 offering, "Deadwing", was nothing short of a masterpiece and "Fear of a Blank Planet" follows in the same footsteps.

The title track alone is worth buying this record. Check it the video on the web. If this is somewhat appealing to you, the rest of the album has the same elements all over. With his velvety voice, Steven has mastered his vocal lines to perfection. This is important to point out that his singing is unique and if you are a newcomer to Porcupine Tree, this might take you a while to appreciate the vocals. In any case, the band is continuing on the same path of atmospheric melancholic rock, filled with majestic guitar riffs, grand piano lines and catchy yet very progressive melodies.

Another hint of Mr Wilson's eminence in music is that track #3, 'Anesthetize', features a guest appearance from no other than Alex Lifeson on guitars [from Canadian progressive legendary band Rush]. The experienced ear won't be fooled and recognize his style immediately.

Comparing this album to any of its predecessors would be committing a crime, as all of Porcupine Tree recent albums have been astounding. Let's say that if you like 'Deadwing', you can't go wrong with this one.

"Fear of a Blank Planet" is one of those albums that you can play for anyone in your family or friend circle and get positive feedback from each of them. Yet, this is not a mainstream album by any means. In a way, Porcupine Tree is nowadays Pink Floyd. This is another contender for our 2007 Metal Storm Awards for sure.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 10
Originality: 9
Production: 9


Band profile: Porcupine Tree
Album: Fear Of A Blank Planet


 


written by Demonic Tutor | 15.07.2007



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Dane Train - 15.07.2007 at 05:56  
I love this album. So different from "Piano Lessons" or "Sound of Muzak"
Elijah - 15.07.2007 at 06:37  
An ace review, and you've made me put it on to listen to, haha. Your part about positive feedback from everyone is spot on the money. I've yet to hear a bad word about this album, even from a family that usually hates metal.
__Az__ - 15.07.2007 at 12:54  
Yeah, The positive feedback thing is definately correct, Ive just had a few people say that it took some getting used to, like you said.

But, overall, I really enjoy this album, and yes, the title track is amazing..
Spyroid - 15.07.2007 at 15:11  
I know that I shouldn't compare this one to his older albums, but I actually prefer all the older styles (okay, there's still some album I haven't heard). I'm a bit dissapointed by the songwriting, so I guess I'd give it an 8 there, but maybe I just need some more time to let the album sink in. Otherwise - all 10's, but still someting around 8 overall. I prefer all older albums that I've heard so far.
They played the whole album on the tour, I saw them this week. Just incredible, absolutely one of the best concerts I've attended.
And the video is probably the best music videos I've ever seen.
Slyfang - 15.07.2007 at 16:20  
in my opinion the album cover is the worst part of this album
omn1 - 15.07.2007 at 16:23  
Written by Slyfang on 15.07.2007 at 16:20

in my opinion the album cover is the worst part of this album


I love this album to bits, but I have to agree there. Maybe I just don't "get it" though.
manos - 15.07.2007 at 22:31  
this album is just perfect... i loved it... steven wilson is one of the most talented musicians... i agree, porcupine tree are nowadays' pink floyd!!
Talvi - 16.07.2007 at 02:44  
Yet Another amazing Porcu album. I've only listened last 4, but all of them are fucking awesome. 9+
addiction - 16.07.2007 at 11:34  
i love porcupine tree and this album is probably the best album this year so far. steven wilson is great. the band is amazing live as well! i saw them once a few months ago and i will see them again in november!!! the review was relatively good, i agree more or less, and you are right, just the first song is enough to buy the album for!!!

p.s. the album cover has everything to do with the lyrics of the songs in the album. and mostly the title track. "fear of a blank planet".....which could or will begin from the current generation of 5-10 year olds.......therefore the cover of some kid's eyes that are blank......kind of chaotic and certainly scary. like the lyrics: "xbox is a god to me, my finger on the switch, my mother is a bitch, my father gave up ever trying to talk to me...." i think that says it all and it is enough for you to get the album cover. i personally think it is a really good album cover, makes perfect sense!! and i completely agree as well...
Damnated - 16.07.2007 at 15:24  
awsome album, but deadwing is still superior.
dancingdecember - 16.07.2007 at 16:14  
great review.i agree with all of it."sentimental" is the song that made me love this album.steven wilson is just pure genius.after all this years they keep creating masterpieces.
omn1 - 17.07.2007 at 13:48  
Written by addiction on 16.07.2007 at 11:34


p.s. the album cover has everything to do with the lyrics of the songs in the album. and mostly the title track. "fear of a blank planet".....which could or will begin from the current generation of 5-10 year olds.......therefore the cover of some kid's eyes that are blank......kind of chaotic and certainly scary. like the lyrics: "xbox is a god to me, my finger on the switch, my mother is a bitch, my father gave up ever trying to talk to me...." i think that says it all and it is enough for you to get the album cover. i personally think it is a really good album cover, makes perfect sense!! and i completely agree as well...


I understand as much as that but whats with the big block thing on the bottom? Is it supposed to symbolize the child becoming blank and the cover itself is much like a TV screen?
Either way I have a love-hate relationship with the cover. But the music itself and the concept I love. I can't wait for this bands next release, they just seem to be getting better and better. In my opinion anyway
Daniel - 17.07.2007 at 13:58  
Fantastic Review!

I agree, Id have to say I personally enjoy deadwig more, But this album is as you said, a Masterpeice.

Porcupine Tree are great artists and should be enjoyed by most people, what ever music your into (not really) .

Again, Top review!
Merchant of Doom - 18.07.2007 at 12:14  
it's a good album, but I was disappointed. PT are becoming a bit too samey and mainstream. The trash guitars are, honestly, pathetic and the 'blank planet' theme is dealt in a superficial way. Deadwing was good, but not as good as their masterpiece, In Absentia. And the album is far too short. I would recommend it to newcomers, but for the hardcore fans is a letdown.
Harmonic - 13.08.2007 at 09:02  
Written by Guest on 17.07.2007 at 13:48

Written by addiction on 16.07.2007 at 11:34


p.s. the album cover has everything to do with the lyrics of the songs in the album. and mostly the title track. "fear of a blank planet".....which could or will begin from the current generation of 5-10 year olds.......therefore the cover of some kid's eyes that are blank......kind of chaotic and certainly scary. like the lyrics: "xbox is a god to me, my finger on the switch, my mother is a bitch, my father gave up ever trying to talk to me...." i think that says it all and it is enough for you to get the album cover. i personally think it is a really good album cover, makes perfect sense!! and i completely agree as well...


I understand as much as that but whats with the big block thing on the bottom? Is it supposed to symbolize the child becoming blank and the cover itself is much like a TV screen?
Either way I have a love-hate relationship with the cover. But the music itself and the concept I love. I can't wait for this bands next release, they just seem to be getting better and better. In my opinion anyway


The child's mouth is covered - blacked out. The child has no voice. That's what I read into the album art, at any rate.
BloodTears - 15.08.2007 at 21:58  
U pretty much said it all. I think they whole concept makes sense in the world we live in, its very pertinent. And it is very smart. Actually the album surprised me because I didnt think it would be this heavy. And after listening to the 6 songs I want more. If feels like it is something missing there.

Wilson's lyrics are what we are used to see by him, he is intelligent and that is a big turn-on to listen to any band.

Overall I love it, its among my favourites of the PT discography not surpassing "deadwing" or "in absentia" though.
Ereinion' - 24.09.2007 at 21:10  
The best album of 2007 so far
Dreamwar_86 - 17.10.2007 at 08:14  
amazing album so solid i think is the best work from PT
Glabrezu - 17.03.2008 at 11:55  
Great music and very great vocals, but nowadays Pink Floyd are Anathema
Shadowcross - 11.06.2008 at 11:02  
Written by Glabrezu on 17.03.2008 at 11:55

Great music and very great vocals, but nowadays Pink Floyd are Anathema

Yes what I was going to say too, as much as there will never be another Pink Floyd I don't think PT are as close to Floyd or as good as Anathema at doing that style. Some of The Gathering and Amorphis are other stronger contenders IMO.

Several tracks from this album sound so similar No Quarter by Zeppelin..
Raziel X - 23.08.2008 at 02:41  
Since I am a fan of Opeth's Damnation, this might appeal to me
Powerslavex - 01.11.2008 at 17:41  
I'm not a big Porcupine Tree fan, but i love Fear Of A Blank Planet great album
Passenger - 07.03.2009 at 01:06  
Amazing album, my favourites are Anesthetize and Way Out Of Here.
Fat & Sassy! - 23.07.2009 at 09:38  
This is a very, very depressing album... at least for me it is. Not only are the lyrics very, VERY relative to someone my age, they are intelligent. It makes me sad, because I kinda know/have known people like the person in described in the album.

Oh and another thing... I think this album has a very Radiohead influence to it. No one has pointed this out, so I figured I would.
tea[m]ster - 23.07.2009 at 16:16  
This was the very first Porcupine Tree album I picked up (where have i been right?). I was immediatly hooked. The last 3 tracks on the album are absolutely epic.
BloodTears - 23.07.2009 at 16:50  
Written by Fat & Sassy! on 23.07.2009 at 09:38

This is a very, very depressing album... at least for me it is. Not only are the lyrics very, VERY relative to someone my age, they are intelligent. It makes me sad, because I kinda know/have known people like the person in described in the album.

Oh and another thing... I think this album has a very Radiohead influence to it. No one has pointed this out, so I figured I would.


So basically this album is depressing and sad. What about the songs?
Fat & Sassy! - 23.07.2009 at 19:47  
Written by BloodTears on 23.07.2009 at 16:50

Written by Fat & Sassy! on 23.07.2009 at 09:38

This is a very, very depressing album... at least for me it is. Not only are the lyrics very, VERY relative to someone my age, they are intelligent. It makes me sad, because I kinda know/have known people like the person in described in the album.

Oh and another thing... I think this album has a very Radiohead influence to it. No one has pointed this out, so I figured I would.


So basically this album is depressing and sad. What about the songs?


Well, this is actually the first Porcupine Tree album I've ever heard all the way through. For some reason I kept forgetting to try out their music. I was surprised with some of the heavy moments of the album though, because everything I've heard by them before was a lot more mellow. I like the whole Pink Floyd/Radiohead sound with the metal edge. Until last night, I didn't know what the lyrics were actually about... So now, I don't even know if I can listen to it casually, because I think that it's pretty sad stuff. :/

My favorite tracks are Anesthetize and Way Out of Here. The solo on Way Out of Here is great. Since Robert Fripp is featured on the song, does that mean he does the solo?
BloodTears - 23.07.2009 at 20:02  
Written by Fat & Sassy! on 23.07.2009 at 19:47

Well, this is actually the first Porcupine Tree album I've ever heard all the way through. For some reason I kept forgetting to try out their music. I was surprised with some of the heavy moments of the album though, because everything I've heard by them before was a lot more mellow. I like the whole Pink Floyd/Radiohead sound with the metal edge. Until last night, I didn't know what the lyrics were actually about... So now, I don't even know if I can listen to it casually, because I think that it's pretty sad stuff. :/

My favorite tracks are Anesthetize and Way Out of Here. The solo on Way Out of Here is great. Since Robert Fripp is featured on the song, does that mean he does the solo?

*checks bootleg* I don't think he does the solo, according to the bootleg he did the soundscapes.
Fat & Sassy! - 23.07.2009 at 21:40  
Written by BloodTears on 23.07.2009 at 20:02

Written by Fat & Sassy! on 23.07.2009 at 19:47

Well, this is actually the first Porcupine Tree album I've ever heard all the way through. For some reason I kept forgetting to try out their music. I was surprised with some of the heavy moments of the album though, because everything I've heard by them before was a lot more mellow. I like the whole Pink Floyd/Radiohead sound with the metal edge. Until last night, I didn't know what the lyrics were actually about... So now, I don't even know if I can listen to it casually, because I think that it's pretty sad stuff. :/

My favorite tracks are Anesthetize and Way Out of Here. The solo on Way Out of Here is great. Since Robert Fripp is featured on the song, does that mean he does the solo?


*checks bootleg* I don't think he does the solo, according to the bootleg he did the soundscapes.


Oh ok. Thanks.

I'm not really a big fan of Fripp's work. That's why I would have been surprised if he did that solo.
Marcel Hubregtse - 23.07.2009 at 23:38  
Written by BloodTears on 23.07.2009 at 20:02


*checks bootleg* I don't think he does the solo, according to the bootleg he did the soundscapes.


Don't you mean booklet instead of "bootleg" ? A bootleg is an illegal recording
BloodTears - 23.07.2009 at 23:39  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 23.07.2009 at 23:38

Written by BloodTears on 23.07.2009 at 20:02


*checks bootleg* I don't think he does the solo, according to the bootleg he did the soundscapes.


Don't you mean booklet instead of "bootleg" ? A bootleg is an illegal recording


ahah yes. Bootlegs are the ones I'm trying to get at DT shows but they're too expensive. Thanks for correcting me.
Fat & Sassy! - 23.07.2009 at 23:41  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 23.07.2009 at 23:38

Written by BloodTears on 23.07.2009 at 20:02


*checks bootleg* I don't think he does the solo, according to the bootleg he did the soundscapes.


Don't you mean booklet instead of "bootleg" ? A bootleg is an illegal recording


XD I just figured that was a slang that I didn't know about...
Marcel Hubregtse - 23.07.2009 at 23:52  
Written by BloodTears on 23.07.2009 at 23:39

ahah yes. Bootlegs are the ones I'm trying to get at DT shows but they're too expensive. Thanks for correcting me.


I doubt you get bootlegs at a DT concert.
Here this is what a bootleg is:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bootleg_recording

and here is an example of a Mercyful Fate bootleg site:
http://www.geocities.com/mercyfulfate66/MFBootlegs.html
BloodTears - 23.07.2009 at 23:55  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 23.07.2009 at 23:52

I doubt you get bootlegs at a DT concert.
Here this is what a bootleg is:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bootleg_recording

and here is an example of a Mercyful Fate bootleg site:
http://www.geocities.com/mercyfulfate66/MFBootlegs.html

Yes, Marcel, they were selling bootlegs! They had DVDs there, live shows that they never released officially and sell only at shows and things.
Marcel Hubregtse - 23.07.2009 at 23:57  
Written by BloodTears on 23.07.2009 at 23:55



Yes, Marcel, they were selling bootlegs! They had DVDs there, live shows that they never released officially and sell only at shows and things.



Who was selling that? The band?
Then it is not a bootleg.
A bootleg is somehting which is not done by th band/label/management
Read the wikipedia page I gave a link to on what a bootleg is.
Fat & Sassy! - 24.07.2009 at 01:12  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 23.07.2009 at 23:57

Written by BloodTears on 23.07.2009 at 23:55



Yes, Marcel, they were selling bootlegs! They had DVDs there, live shows that they never released officially and sell only at shows and things.



Who was selling that? The band?
Then it is not a bootleg.
A bootleg is somehting which is not done by th band/label/management
Read the wikipedia page I gave a link to on what a bootleg is.


Is that the same for "official" bootlegs?
Marcel Hubregtse - 24.07.2009 at 01:12  
What blood-tears is talking about could be refered to as " official botleg" I guess
BloodTears - 24.07.2009 at 10:39  
I read it Marcel. I guess it is an official bootleg then but still a bootleg nevertheless

And yes, the band was selling them.
Nosurper - 16.09.2009 at 05:28  
Anyone notice the "Trains" riff played near the end of "Sentimental"? It's so obvious there, I can't believe I never noticed it before. guess Steve wanted to add a little tribute.
BloodTears - 16.09.2009 at 15:27  
Written by Nosurper on 16.09.2009 at 05:28

Anyone notice the "Trains" riff played near the end of "Sentimental"? It's so obvious there, I can't believe I never noticed it before. guess Steve wanted to add a little tribute.


Yes, I noticed that. Wilson says he used it as a sort of intertext, a wink at fans.
Nosurper - 16.09.2009 at 15:50  
Written by BloodTears on 16.09.2009 at 15:27

Written by Nosurper on 16.09.2009 at 05:28

Anyone notice the "Trains" riff played near the end of "Sentimental"? It's so obvious there, I can't believe I never noticed it before. guess Steve wanted to add a little tribute.


Yes, I noticed that. Wilson says he used it as a sort of intertext, a wink at fans.


Oh cool, I knew I recognized it :-D. Yeah, I'm back listening to the old stuff a lot now. I'm pretty disappointed with The Incident .
BloodTears - 16.09.2009 at 16:23  
Written by Nosurper on 16.09.2009 at 15:50

Oh cool, I knew I recognized it :-D. Yeah, I'm back listening to the old stuff a lot now. I'm pretty disappointed with The Incident .


Are you? Why? the reactions have been good so far.

I'm still waiting for the CD to arrive but I'm pretty sure I'll like it at least, judging by the teasers.
Nosurper - 16.09.2009 at 21:21  
Written by BloodTears on 16.09.2009 at 16:23

Are you? Why? the reactions have been good so far.

I'm still waiting for the CD to arrive but I'm pretty sure I'll like it at least, judging by the teasers.


Well as far as the first disc goes, I know that this whole disc is supposed to tie together as one piece but it doesn't come off that way. It's like a bunch of separate songs of random length thrown together. I don't see much direction in the lyrics either. There is also much less of a metal influence on this album. A lot more pop heavy, with use of predominant electronic effects, poppy choruses. A lot of acoustic guitar, which can often be good, but not so much here. If you are a Pink Floyd fan, "Time Flies" sounds nearly identical to "Dogs". It's really weird, I don't understand how Steve didn't realize how similar it was to that PF song. I like a few bits from the first disc though, such as "Blind House", "Great Expectation/Kneel and Disconnect" and the title track. The second CD is really short and mostly forgettable. The final two songs have their moments.

I'm still deciding between a 6 or 7 as far as a rating goes. It's not that I don't like it, but I find their previous five albums to be MUCH better.
BloodTears - 16.09.2009 at 21:42  
Written by Nosurper on 16.09.2009 at 21:21

Well as far as the first disc goes, I know that this whole disc is supposed to tie together as one piece but it doesn't come off that way. It's like a bunch of separate songs of random length thrown together. I don't see much direction in the lyrics either. There is also much less of a metal influence on this album. A lot more pop heavy, with use of predominant electronic effects, poppy choruses. A lot of acoustic guitar, which can often be good, but not so much here. If you are a Pink Floyd fan, "Time Flies" sounds nearly identical to "Dogs". It's really weird, I don't understand how Steve didn't realize how similar it was to that PF song. I like a few bits from the first disc though, such as "Blind House", "Great Expectation/Kneel and Disconnect" and the title track. The second CD is really short and mostly forgettable. The final two songs have their moments.

I'm still deciding between a 6 or 7 as far as a rating goes. It's not that I don't like it, but I find their previous five albums to be MUCH better.


There's nothing wrong with not liking an album. I seem to be getting these positive reacions from people who like prog rock and negative reactions from people who like metal. Since I'm in the middle, I'm guessing I might like it, since I like their pop moments. But I really haven't listened to the album yet.

I think people were getting used to this growing metal-influenced sound in them and now they might've turned the page and that disappoints people. Again, I'm just speculating. I hope I won't be as disappointed though.
Nosurper - 16.09.2009 at 21:53  
Written by BloodTears on 16.09.2009 at 21:42

There's nothing wrong with not liking an album. I seem to be getting these positive reacions from people who like prog rock and negative reactions from people who like metal. Since I'm in the middle, I'm guessing I might like it, since I like their pop moments. But I really haven't listened to the album yet.

I think people were getting used to this growing metal-influenced sound in them and now they might've turned the page and that disappoints people. Again, I'm just speculating. I hope I won't be as disappointed though.


Yeah, you're right on target. One of the things I love about PT sound is how effectively they transition and incorporate metal into their ambient, progressive passages. This feels much more like a Pink Floyd album, which is great, but it doesn't have that same unique quality of their previous work. That said, I am definetly not trying to force my opinion on you or get your hopes down. Post what you think after you hear it!
BloodTears - 16.09.2009 at 22:15  
Written by Nosurper on 16.09.2009 at 21:53

Yeah, you're right on target. One of the things I love about PT sound is how effectively they transition and incorporate metal into their ambient, progressive passages. This feels much more like a Pink Floyd album, which is great, but it doesn't have that same unique quality of their previous work. That said, I am definetly not trying to force my opinion on you or get your hopes down. Post what you think after you hear it!


I will. And you make sure you listen to the album a lot more times so that your opinion can change I'm just kidding.
LICH - 11.12.2012 at 22:17  
Steven wilson is a master of prog no doubt , he also stated in an interview, " i never play the guitar for comfort"
strange because i find relaxation and laxity are key for opening creative doors :/
MichaelAngeloT - 11.09.2014 at 22:36  
Gavin Harrison !!!!!
Lit. - 16.09.2014 at 04:03  
This album is so good, even the MS Front Page wanted to make damn sure no one forgot about it.
Demonic Tutor - 16.09.2014 at 04:34  
Written by Lit. on 16.09.2014 at 04:03

This album is so good, even the MS Front Page wanted to make damn sure no one forgot about it.


Good catch, that was my goof! But yeah, awesome album.

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