Exposé Online banner

Porcupine Tree — Metanoia
(Aether 3, 1997, LP)

by Dan Casey, Published 1999-11-01

Metanoia Cover art

This hard-to-find treat was released after the live album Coma Divine but prior to the latest album Stupid Dream as a limited edition gatefold double 10" vinyl-only release. Recent interviews with band leader Steven Wilson indicate that it will most likely be issued on CD at some point in the future although no plans are in place as of yet. Metanoia is a collection of improv jams recorded on two different dates during the sessions for Signify in 1995 and 1996. The recordings were then later mixed and edited by Steven Wilson at his home studio. The album is in every way the antithesis of Stupid Dream, and simultaneously every bit as brilliant. The opening track "Mesmer (i)" showcases drummer Chris Maitland and bassist Colin Edwin really opening it up in a masterful display of finesse and energy. The syncopated groove continues to build, leaving the listener with a profound sense that this band must have really meshed into a cohesive unit in order to pull of difficult riffing like this in an improvisational setting. Chris and Colin easily steal the show from Wilson throughout this album, and it's a pleasure to hear. Wilson spends a lot of time noodling with guitar effects and keyboard atmospherics, all to great avail. Occasionally, he steps out front with some soloing, but for the most part the emphasis is on the full band sound rather than individual performances. The last portion of "Mesmer (iii)" is positively sublime, easily one of the band's finest moments. A more raw, intense version of "Intermediate Jesus" is contained here as well (but without any of the shortwave radio samples and overdubs). The band shows quite a sense of humor here, too, as "Metanoia (ii)" builds into a frenzy with Maitland going completely out of control until the tape unwinds into a hilarious mock interview at a crowded restaurant in Milan where the guys are discussing what to order and how they feel stupidly overdressed. If this doesn't recall Spinal Tap for you, then the hand-etched phrase "None More Black" in the run-out groove of Side 4 ought to do it. Unlike anything they've done before, Metanoia is a very unique release and comes with the highest recommendation. It will feel like an eternity waiting for this to reissue on CD, so even though the vinyl may be a bit pricy (if you can even find it), it's well worth it.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 18, 1997 releases

Related artist(s): Porcupine Tree, Richard Barbieri, Steven Wilson / I.E.M., Colin Edwin

Latest news

2021-04-01
New Aristocrats Live Album on the Way – No foolin'! These supreme musicians toured Europe early in 2020, just before touring ceased to be a thing musicians could do, and there were some hot performances captured. On May 7, some of these will be releases as Freeze! Live in Europe 2020. » Read more

2021-03-25
Return of Jerry Lucky's Progressive Rock Files – After much consideration and surprisingly, positive feedback, Jerry Lucky is announcing the launch of the progressive Rock Files podcast, featuring the latest progressive rock music from around the world. » Read more

2021-03-14
Jewlia Eisenberg RIP – The sad news has come out that Jewlia Eisenberg has died. As a founding member of Charming Hostess, Eisenberg changed the face of music, bringing together Balkan klezmer, American folk, and experimental rock in a distinctive blend that garnered much praise. » Read more

2021-03-11
RIP Roger Trigaux – The sad news has come to our attention that Roger Trigaux, the guiding force of Present and former member of Univers Zero, passed away on the evening of March 10, 2021 after a long ilness. » Read more

2021-02-14
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

The Bass Gang - Evasioni, Fughe & La Contrabbassatta – Alberto Pocini is a double-bass player from Italy who's played extensively in his homeland as well as with the London Symphony Orchestra. Pocini's After Genesis project attests to his varied musical...  (2007) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues