Porcupine Tree – Deadwing; DTS Entertainment DVD-A

by | Aug 4, 2005 | SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews | 0 comments

Porcupine Tree – Deadwing; dts Entertainment 69286-01130-9-1 DVD-A ***1/2:  

Porcupine Tree has been around since 1993.  This is their second
release on the DTS label—the first having won the 2004 Surround Music
Award for Best Mix: Non-Orchestral (and previously reviewed in this
magazine).  In addition to the DVD-A track, there is a DTS 5.1 mix
and a PCM Stereo track and the surrounds are mainly used for effect
with most vocals and instruments residing in the front channels. 
The press release describes the music as a “unique blend of rock,
atmospherics, songwriting and dark intellectual cool.”  I’d call
it modern progressive/alternative rock reminiscent of Rush,
Queensryche, Collective Soul, and with early Radiohead-like
vocals.  Much of the music is ominous and somewhat disturbing
still photos accompany every song.  The sound quality on this disc
is very good—better than most big commercial productions these
days.  At times it seems there is an excessive amount of treble,
but it plays towards the chill of the music.  The band truly
doesn’t fit comfortably into one classification/genre which makes the
music more interesting in a way.  Track three is a softer Brit-pop
style song that sounds a lot like the Lightning Seeds.  Some of
the tracks are quite long…12 minutes, eight and a half minutes,
etc.  Just when you think the album is mellowing, songs like track
seven come in at full steam with hard thrashing guitar like Rage
Against the Machine.  All and all it is quite an involving listen
and the visuals help drag the listener in deeper.

As extras there is a six and a half minute long short film on the
making of the recording.  There is also a plentiful photo gallery,
lyrics, links, and a trailer for the record.  There are three
bonus tracks included specially for this release.  The first is an
instrumental best described as mood music.  The second is more
rocking, but still instrumental and reminds me of the group
Camel.  The last has vocals, but is relatively slow–it’s like a
combination of Pink Floyd with weird, electronic backing.  Songs
included are:  Deadwing; Shallow; Lazarus; Halo; Arriving
Somewhere But Not Here; Mellotron Scratch; Open Car; Start of Something
Beautiful; Grass arm Shattering.  Bonus Tracks: Revenant; Mother
& Child Divided; Half-Light.

-Brian Bloom

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