Porcupine Tree - Closure / Continuation (5.1/Dolby Atmos) 24-Jun-2022

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AYanguas

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It's not the time, for me. Just that I've tried the album in streaming stereo and Atmos and I don't love any songs... yet?
I pre-ordered the album since the beginning with great expectation. I have now listened to it I think no more than three times. And nothing more. :(

But, OTOH, I am listening now old Porcupine Tree albums with increased interest and nostalgia. Specially the live ones: Coma Divine, Warszawa, XMI, XMII, ... What a great band. Wanted to hear the great Colin Edwin bass lines...
 

sjcorne

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It's certainly not my intention to invalidate anyone's opinion, but I'm kinda surprised at the muted reception this is getting here. Maybe it has more to do with frustrations regarding the marketing and shipping delays than the music itself? Now I haven't been listening to PT since the late-90s, but I don't hear that much of a difference here production/arrangement-wise versus the 'old' sound. With the exception of maybe "Walk The Plank", pretty much all of these songs could have fit on previous albums within the 1999-2010 run IMO.

That said, the area where I am hearing a notable difference versus past material is in SW's lyrics and vocal performance. I love that bit midway through "Herd Culling" ("...did you curse this place") where he really lets it rip, shifting between the more aggressive tone and falsetto. Someone else pointed this out weeks ago, but he definitely shows his vocal range more here than on past PT albums. Lyrically, the themes and words in a song like "Chimera's Wreck" are more eloquent and just less 'obvious' than older stuff like "The Sound Of Muzak" or "Sentimental." I suppose it's redundant to praise the sonics/mix on an SW project - it's not like the older stuff sounded bad by any means (aside maybe from the 5.1 mastering on In Absentia and Deadwing) - but this is a step up in that category too. Of course, YMMV on all of this.
 

The56Kid

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Just received mine from ImportCDs, but have been listening to a digital copy for a few weeks. My initial impressions:
  • Glad it sounds like PT and not a Wilson solo album. I own and love all of Wilson’s solo albums but I wanted to hear the mighty Porc again.
  • Really, really miss Colin Edwin’s smooth yet massive bass that was so integral to the Porc experience for me.
  • Wonderful to again hear Richard Barbeiri’s inimitable keyboard sonicscapes and atmospherics.
  • At least on my system, the difference between the quiet and loud passages is very noticeable and a bit jarring. I noticed some songs had a 4dB difference between the two.
  • No ATMOS for me, but the 5.1 mix is incredibly active and very immersive. As expected, Wilson has delivered another surround sound extravaganza.
  • The Blu-ray is too barebones. Would been nice to get the bonus cuts in 5.1 or at least in hires stereo along with the instrumental tracks included with the CDs.
  • More on the music itself later.
 

bookofsaturdays

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Anyone tried the bonus tracks through the Surround Master? Steven agrees that the stereo mix of Never Have is almost too loaded for just 2 channels, wonder how it would sound through the SM.

I hope to get one in a few weeks time so I’ll be able to test that as well. Cannot wait 😀
 

srbjab

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My copy arrived yesterday and I've listened to the mixes several times. The good news is that the Atmos mix played on the blu-ray sounds noticeably better on my system than the Apple Music stream. It has more detail, separation and punch - undoubtedly due to compression and processing issues with AppleTV. Generally I'm very happy with AppleTV/Apple Music streaming for the price but it won't replace physical media in quality.

I compared the 5.1 mix (which I had not heard before) to the Atmos mix, and frankly IMHO Atmos just blows it away. The addition of the height channels plus the separate side and rear channels, which Steven Wilson aggressively uses, results in an often stunning, immersive listen. It's by far the best way to experience this release.

Musically, while I like this album, I don't think it's better than prior releases. PT has a very strong discography, especially the final string of albums before the hiatus: In Absentia, Deadwing, Fear Of A Blank Planet, and The Incident, all of which brought them global fame. While I think In Absentia and FOAB represent the pinnacle of their output, each of those four albums contain several outstanding tracks that are defining for the band. This new one may grow on me, but so far, fewer tracks are hitting me the same way.

Finally, I have to say the "deluxe" package is... underwhelming. Thin, oversize cardboard with slots to hold the discs (one of which was loose when I opened it), a softbound book with obscured photos and little info, and a nearly empty blu-ray is not impressive. I own all the deluxe surround editions (on dvd-audio) of the prior PT catalogue and in addition to 5.1 mixes, they contain a wealth of additional A/V material including bonus tracks in surround, videos, photo galleries and lyrics. To not include the 3 excellent bonus tracks, or instrumentals, or any video material on the blu-ray is mystifying, especially at the price.
 

fetchmybeer

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My copy arrived yesterday and I've listened to the mixes several times. The good news is that the Atmos mix played on the blu-ray sounds noticeably better on my system than the Apple Music stream. It has more detail, separation and punch - undoubtedly due to compression and processing issues with AppleTV. Generally I'm very happy with AppleTV/Apple Music streaming for the price but it won't replace physical media in quality.

I compared the 5.1 mix (which I had not heard before) to the Atmos mix, and frankly IMHO Atmos just blows it away. The addition of the height channels plus the separate side and rear channels, which Steven Wilson aggressively uses, results in an often stunning, immersive listen. It's by far the best way to experience this release.

Musically, while I like this album, I don't think it's better than prior releases. PT has a very strong discography, especially the final string of albums before the hiatus: In Absentia, Deadwing, Fear Of A Blank Planet, and The Incident, all of which brought them global fame. While I think In Absentia and FOAB represent the pinnacle of their output, each of those four albums contain several outstanding tracks that are defining for the band. This new one may grow on me, but so far, fewer tracks are hitting me the same way.

Finally, I have to say the "deluxe" package is... underwhelming. Thin, oversize cardboard with slots to hold the discs (one of which was loose when I opened it), a softbound book with obscured photos and little info, and a nearly empty blu-ray is not impressive. I own all the deluxe surround editions (on dvd-audio) of the prior PT catalogue and in addition to 5.1 mixes, they contain a wealth of additional A/V material including bonus tracks in surround, videos, photo galleries and lyrics. To not include the 3 excellent bonus tracks, or instrumentals, or any video material on the blu-ray is mystifying, especially at the price.
Agree completely about the underwhelming nature of the deluxe package...and two of my disks were loose, so I beat your one!

The album is growing on me. It isn't peak PT, but I also think that Fear and Incident were overlong and kind of coasting. They should've never put out Harridan as the first track. Yeah, that bass line kicks (and it goes without saying that the drums do too), but there really isn't much to the song. I think that Dignity was the obvious choice for a "single". It has a lot of that classic PT feel to it, and is a legit top 5 PT song ever in my opinion. Barbieri's keys just take you to a heavenly place in that song. Missed opportunity to really generate some buzz around the new release, I think.

We know what we're gonna get from Gavin and he doesn't disappoint. Barbieri really shines on this release too, I think, and not just in Dignity. As usual, his textures and beep boop sounds are just right and just enough to give some of the more lacking tracks something more interesting to listen to. Also, Steven really uses his falsetto to similar effect in this release. He isn't using it to make some disco song like he did with his solo stuff, but rather almost to choir boy effect several times throughout the album-- like an atmospheric, melodic keyboard pad. It works. He also uses it just in the course of singing melody, and it doesn't feel forced or weird. He is very comfortable with it at this point in his career.
 

alansanchez86

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The setlist for this tour is insane.


I dont think they rotate setlists, but we will see.
 

bookofsaturdays

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The setlist for this tour is insane.


I dont think they rotate setlists, but we will see.
Just got out of the Toronto show, all I’ll say is the rest of you are in for a treat.

Just amazing, they played all the ones you’d expect but threw some curveballs in there, including an especially tender one from The Incident!

P.S. Randy McStine is a lovely addition to the touring lineup, almost filled the void that John Wesley left.
 

srbjab

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Looking forward to the Denver show in a couple of weeks. Eager to hear the new material played in context with older songs - hopefully that will boost my appreciation for the new stuff. First saw them on the In Absentia tour in a small theater and it was incredible. They are a very different band, now.
 

fthesoundguy

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That set list is incredible. I’ve never seen them before and they’re hitting most of the songs I would want to hear. Looking forward to next week even more now. I also wasn’t expecting a two setter.
 

kap'n krunch

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The setlist for this tour is insane.


I dont think they rotate setlists, but we will see.
so , who i splaying bass since Colin is out?
 
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