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Nil Recurring

4.3 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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Audio CD, February 19, 2008
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Editorial Reviews

This CD features the complete new recordings from Porcupine Tree of their EP which was previously only available at their concerts. Porcupine Tree is an English progressive rock band formed in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, England by Steven Wilson. Their music is a combination of rock, psychedelia, and metal. Wilson once commented: "I like so many different types of things, and they all go into the melting pot, if you like, that produces the music of Porcupine Tree." During the nineties they focused on psychedelic music though they incorporated a wide variety of styles from electronic music, mostly from trance and krautrock due to Steven Wilson and Richard Barbieri's liking for 1970s bands such as Tangerine Dream, Neu! and Can. Since In Absentia (2002), the sound of the band has developed more into progressive metal. Peaceville Records. 2008.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 19, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Peaceville
  • ASIN: B0011BJQ52
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #300,583 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Consisting of four songs written from the same sessions for _Fear of a Blank Planet_, _Nil Recurring_ is a Crimson-like refraction of some of the songs from that album. You can see "Sentimental" from that album in its alternate form "Normal," which has an almost too-jarring prog-metal break in the middle of some sweet middle-eastern-tempered acoustic lines. This seems to me like one of the rawest and demo-like of these outtakes, and is a very solid track, but feels a bit undercooked. The opener, and title track, is a true dream meeting between King Crimson's Robert Fripp and a very game PT, who craft an eerie, intense, subtle build of a track that has dim echoes from their _Level Five_ era work, with a little _Thrak_ thrown in as well. (Side note: Can you imagine Gavin Harrison in a dual-drum configuration with Mastellatto from Crimson? He plays like Bruford and Peart's meth-snorting cyborg lovechild.)

The two latter tracks though, are simply magnificent, every bit as good as anything on the album, and rock with even more reckless abandon than anything i've heard from this phase of the band yet. Steve Wilson does some fine soloing, and proves he is quite the underrated axeslinger - this is some of the best pure playing he's ever done, especially on the brutal conclusion for "What Happens Now?". Throughout these tracks, Gavin Harrison savagely peppers the listener with absolutely breathtaking airtight fills. His work on "Cheating the Polygraph" (which he also gets a co-writing credit with) is especially noteworthy; Moving from a Bruford-like jazz swing as Wilson's gorgeous chording glides effortlessly over, to frenetic metal choruses showcasing his trademark polyrhythmic double-bass rolls.
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Format: Audio CD
Nil Recurring is comprised of four songs which add a luster and polish to last year's masterpiece, "Fear of a Blank Planet" beautifully. However, when blended with "Fear", the two separate releases linked together work remarkably well as a complete project. Each of the four songs on "Nil Recurring" carry the themes or motifs which highlight "Fear". I have created my own version of "Fear" by incorporating the songs of Nil Recurring. It is intersting to see where these songs fit in the Fear mix. My favorites on Nil Recurring are "Normal", which contains variations of "Sentimental" and starts with a dynamic accoustic guitar intro and then simply soars. Outstanding!! The last song, "What Happens Now" is a tour de force for Steve Wilson: great vocal and a blast of sonic guitar that he displays in concert. This is great stuff.
Taken together, "Fear of a Blank Planet" and "Nil Recurring" continue the long string of brilliant music that Wilson and his mates have turned out regularly. Perhaps the well-deserved attention is finally coming to them, with the recently announced Grammy nomination for surround sound album. If you love Wilson's other stuff and with no new PTree music on the horizon this year, this is a must.
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Format: Audio CD
I am amused that many of the complaints here are due to the length of this CD. In my opinion, half an hour of PT rewards the listener with much more quality music than most bands' full-length CDs. The songs on Nil Recurring are not merely outakes from the FOABP sessions, and even though SW makes use of some of the conceptual and musical themes that occur on Blank Planet, each composition and performance easily stands on it's own.
In particular, Cheating the Polygraph showcases the talents of Gavin Harrison more than any PT track I can think of (besides the live version of Hatesong), and What Happens Now? is one of those tracks that about the third time around you realize just what an amazing song it is.
When I began buying albums they were typically around this length; this one is worth every penny.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Fantastic mini album! Steven Wilson utilizes the more recent sounds of PT like FOABP and Deadwing.

Track Info:
1.Nil Recurring is an instrumental song
2.Normal is a fantastic song with a great guitar riff (it uses a chorus to that similar on the track "Sentimental" from FOABP)
3.Cheating the Polygraph is what some fans consider to be the best on this album, although it is not my favorite track on the album but it is very unique.
4.What Happens Now? Really really good song, reminds me of The Sky Moves Sideways the way its format is. This and Normal are the two best tracks on the record.

Any PT fan should get Nil Recurring, they will not regret it!!!
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Format: Audio CD
I don't understand why these songs were left off Fear of a Blank Planet. They blend perfectly with the FoaBP songs and seem close enough to the theme of the album as well. The second track, Normal, is a continuation of Sentimental with a heavier groove. It sounds perfect played back-to-back with Sentimental--as if they were meant to be one song. Similarly, the final track, What Happens Next?, uses many of the same effects and similar sections to Anesthetize--it'a almost a reprise to that song. Why not add them to the album?

Moreover, I thought that Fear of a Blank Planet was a step down compared to the previous two albums, but that changes when you add these songs. The first track on Nil, the title track, is an excellent heavy track. Along with the rocking parts in the other three songs, it makes FoaBP a much heavier album (unlike many who have reviewed FoaBP, I thought it wasn't nearly as heavy as the previous two and is more mellow than I would have preferred). It also makes FoaBP more diverse and complex--overall, raising it from 4 to 5 stars. Quite simply, FoaBP is incomplete without the songs on this ep. No fan of Porcupine Tree should leave Nil Recurring out of their collection.

Combining Nil Recurring with FoaBP makes a nearly perfect 80 minute cd that is every bit the equal in quality to In Absentia and Deadwing. I recommend this order:

1. Fear of a Blank Planet
2. Nil Recurring
3. Anesthetize
4. Cheating the Polygraph
5. Way Out of Here
6. Sleep Together
7. Sentimental
8. Normal
9. What Happens Next?
10. My Ashes

P.S. $35? --Ouch! Go to the PT website.
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This is the album that FOABP should have been! 4.5/5 stars.
Well, on my final thought about SW trying to go mainstream, I just don't see it with that record. First off, you can't have a huge break-through album with only 6 songs on it, none of which are shorter than 5 minutes, and one track being 17 minutes!! Anyone knows that there's no way songs of that... Read More
Sep 28, 2007 by The Piper at the Gates |  See all 13 posts
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