From page 80 of Classic Rock Magazine April 2005
New-prog torch-bearers come up with probably the best album of its kind you’ll hear all year.
Signing to a major label when you’re a cult band with an intriguing 12-year career behind you can bring with it pitfalls. For a band as individual as Porcupine Tree, that means expectation unfulfilled and ideological clashes.
With 2003’s In Absentia, Porcupine Tree sold twice as many albums as they’d sold prior to signing to Lava and still didn’t skyrocket to superstardom. They still may not trouble the airwaves of the nation’s broadcasters too often, but the good news is that with Deadwing the band have made even bolder strides to be the first of their ilk to crack the so far elusive mainstream.
Deadwing is by far and away the heaviest album, in musical terms, of their career.
Steve Wilson’s guitars rage over tracks likes Shallow and Open Car, bringing to mind (unlikely as it may sound) Metallica duelling with Rush. Equally, the two lengthy set-pieces – the bombastic opening title track and the intriguing Arriving Somewhere But Not Here, possibly the most immediate yet intricate tunes the band have ever conjured up – will delight all Porcupine Tree fans.
But it’s not all sturm und drang. If bands like Coldplay can sell the ridiculously huge quantities of records that they do, there’s no reason why the mesmerising piano on Lazarus should not propel Porcupine Tree up the singles charts.
Elsewhere the mellower Mellotron Scratch and Glass Arm Shattering find ex-Japan keyboard player Richard Barbieri creating the kind of soundscapes that have been the band’s stock in trade for years. In all, Deadwing is their most focused and direct album yet, and a wholly satisfying experience.