Finally, after a 13-year hiatus, there is a new Porcupine Tree album; some of us maybe thought that it would never happen, but Steven Wilson “decided” otherwise and released PT's 11th studio album Closure/ Continuation on 24 June.
After reading a couple of rather “negative” reviews I must say that I really love C/C, as it is a 100% pure Porcupine Tree album, featuring their typical and very recognisable unique sound indeed. The seven songs are a formidable mix of tracks from notorious PT albums like The Incident (2009, see review) and Deadwing (2005), but maybe this album does not meet the high musical level of PT classics like Fear Of A Blank Planet (2007), In Absentia (2002) or Lightbulb Sun (2000). Harridan, the first single, features great guitars and it is a really catchy song, furthermore it is also one of the heavier tracks on this album, as C/C focuses more on the “quieter” side of the band's catalogue, which I find a bit disappointing... I would describe Harridan as a brand new up to date Porcupine Tree masterpiece, providing an obvious boost in aggression from the drums (Gavin Harrison is awesome here) and bass guitar, played by Steven Wilson; play it LOUD is my advice! Follow up, Of The New Day, the second single of the album, sounds rather basic, being a recognisable atypical PT ballad-like track. Rats Return is another excellent song as the crunchy guitar riffs stick in your mind forever, while follow up Dignity is probably my favourite track of this new PT album. Dignity mixes influences from Pink Floyd, The Beatles and David Bowie and was composed by keyboard player Richard Barbieri and Steven Wilson; a highly remarkable song that you must experience for yourself. Herd Culling, the third single-video, is a complex, intricate and prog metal-like track, reminding me of the Deadwing album, as the instrumental passages in this song are really impressive, just check out the grimy guitar tones of Wilson or the synthesizer “walls” of Barbieri, excellent stuff indeed. Walk The Plank is obviously the odd one out here; Wilson's ever-increasing falsetto vocals may be too much for some listeners, but to me this track brings back good memories of Wilson's impressive solo album To The Bone! Chimera's Wreck, the longest track on the regular album, is another highlight as it is PT prog rock in the best possible way; an impeccable track, which truly belongs to the best material the band has ever released.
So, conclusion: Porcupine Tree is back (with a vengeance), and I hope that Closure/ Continuation will not be their last album ever and I truly look forward to their live gig in Amsterdam (Ziggo Dome) on November 7, 2022!
****+ Martien Koolen (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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