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Porcupine Tree | Octane Twisted

by John Kindred
– Publisher –

PORCUPINE  TREE - octane twistedWhile 2012 found the members of Porcupine Tree scattered and working on other various projects, the band chose to close out the year with the release of Octane Twisted. This double-CD release contains two live shows; one recorded in Chicago, and the other was recorded at Royal Albert Hall in the U.K. A special-edition release of Octane Twisted also is available and contains a third disc, which is a bonus DVD that contains the filmed footage of the Chicago concert.

The first CD of Octane Twisted features Porcupine Tree performing their 2009 studio album, The Incident, in its entirety. All 14 songs are performed on April 30, 2010 at The Riviera in Chicago. Again, the performance was recorded for the audio and video release. The second CD of Octane Twisted features Porcupine Tree performing at London’s Royal Albert Hall. Seven songs are included from that performance. While the majority of songs presented here are from the band’s earlier recordings, they do perform “Bonnie the Cat” from The Incident’s bonus CD.

For those who have never been indoctrinated into the world and sound of Porcupine Tree, Octane Twisted is quite a good introduction to the band. The band is influenced by ‘70s prog-rock bands. Most significantly, Pink Floyd inspired Steven Wilson to found the band in the late ‘80s. Eventually, the group released its first studio album On The Sunday of Life in 1991. So, after 10 studio albums, Porcupine Tree firmly has planted its status as a top-notch, prog-rock band in its own right.

Octane Twisted provides fans a window in time, where we can hear and see the band excel in the live environment. The music often fills the room with airy, definitely spacious and trippy vibes. The band is tight, and the arrangements translate brilliantly to the live setting. Whether played back on headphones or through stereo, listeners will be pulled into the audio landscapes created by Porcupine Tree.

The music is built upon many musical textures, utilizing a multitude of instrumentation. The overall sound of the band fuses many elements, including atmospheric tension and experimental explorations, oftentimes contrasted with heavy arrangements, and, ultimately, held together by the guiding hand of Wilson.

For those new to the band, hearing Porcupine Tree for the first via Octane Twisted will send listeners out to discover the band’s previous releases. For those who already have been indoctrinated into the band’s extended family, they will find this a nice addition to their music collections.

Genre: Progressive Hard Rock

Band:
Steven Wilson (vocals, guitars, keyboards)
John Wesley (vocals, guitars)
Richard Barbieri (keyboards, synthesizer)
Colin Edwin (bass guitar)
Gavin Harrison (drums, percussion)

CD 1:

The Incident – Chicago:
1. Occam’s Razor
2. The Blind House
3. Great Expectations
4. Kneel And Disconnect
5. Drawing The Line
6. The Incident
7. Your Unpleasant Family
8. The Yellow Windows Of The Evening Train
9. Time Flies
10. Degree Zero Of Liberty
11. Octane Twisted
12. The Seance
13. Circle Of Manias
14. I Drive The Hearse

CD2:

Royal Albert Hall, London:
1. Hatesong (9.57)
2. Russia On Ice / The Pills I’m Taking (15.02)
3. Stars Die (5.57)
4. Bonnie The Cat (6.11)
5. Even Less (14.28)
6. Dislocated Day (7.05)
7. Arriving Somewhere But Not Here (12:59)

All tracks were recorded at The Riviera, Chicago, 30th April 2010 except CD2
tracks 5-7 recorded at the Royal Albert Hall, London, 14th October 2010.

DVD (a stereo video of The Riviera, Chicago concert – ie CD1 content only):

The Incident:
1. Occam’s Razor
2. The Blind House
3. Great Expectations
4. Kneel And Disconnect
5. Drawing The Line
6. The Incident
7. Your Unpleasant Family
8. The Yellow Windows Of The Evening Train
9. Time Flies
10. Degree Zero Of Liberty
11. Octane Twisted
12. The Seance
13. Circle Of Manias
14. I Drive The Hearse

Label: Kscope

Web: http://www.porcupinetree.com/

Hardrock Haven rating: 8/10

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