Exposé Online banner

Porcupine Tree — Signify
(Delerium DELEC CD045, 1996, CD)

by Steve Robey, Published 1997-02-01

Signify Cover art

On their latest release, Signify, Porcupine Tree continues to consolidate and refine the approach used on their previous release, The Sky Moves Sideways. While Sky was essentially a one-man show by multi-instrumentalist Stephen Wilson (guitars, vocals, samples, keys), this latest album represents more of a group effort. Wilson receives able backing by Richard Barbieri (ex-Japan, Raintree Crow), Colin Edwin (bass), and Chris Maitland (drums). The result is a more immediate, concise sound that distances the band from its reputation as a Floyd-derived space-rock band. The difference is apparent at the outset, with the hard-driving riffing of the title track. From there, the album alternates between atmospheric synthesized instrumentals, semi-acoustic vocal songs, and more killer riffing with Gilmour-like guitar solos. Many of the pieces are punctuated with distant-sounding spoken parts (the audio-verite effect of radio broadcasts pops up now and then), giving continuity to the impressive flow of ideas and styles. The shorter pieces and greater variety of styles makes this a more immediately likable album than Sky, though I would definitely recommend that album as well (see #8 for a Roundtable review). Porcupine Tree occupies a well-traveled but welcome subgenre in the field of modern progressive rock. Both challenging and accessible at the same time, this album is sure to win over some new fans.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 11, 1996 releases

Related artist(s): Porcupine Tree, Richard Barbieri, Steven Wilson, Colin Edwin

Latest news

2017-09-06
Holger Czukay RIP – Holger Czukay, a musical experimentalist without boundaries who has been involved with expanding the sound palette of rock music since the late 60s, has died at the age of 79. After studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the early 60s, he became fascinated with the possibilities of rock music, and was a co-founder of the pioneering group Can. He leaves behind an impressive body of work both as musician and producer. » Read more

2017-08-22
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more

2017-07-27
Yestival Dates Beef up the Beat – Word reaches us that Dylan Howe (son of guitarist Steve Howe) will be joining Yes on their "Yestival" tour, drumming alongside longtime band member Alan White. » Read more

2017-05-19
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more

2017-05-05
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Ain Soph - A Story of Mysterious Forest – Breathtaking instrumental progressive from Japan. From the really short, Mahavishnu-type fusion rifferama of "Crossfire" which opens the album, you know you're in for an enjoyable ride....  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues