Sound — 10
The sound, for the most part, is alt rock mixed with metal, and I gotta say it works one hundred percent. This album is brilliant. It succeeds to having one sound, while their last brilliant epic "In Absentia" was all over the place sonically. This album has songs with rocking riffs like "Shallow" and "Open Car" (Best riff yet), softer, more melodic guitar like "Mellotron Scratch," and cool basslines like "The Start of Something Beautiful." Then, of course, there's the spacey epic "Arriving Somewhere (But Not Here)." The song starts off very melodic and Floyd-esque, and then about halfway through it breaks into the hardest, most dark metal riff PT has created yet. Brilliance.
Lyrics — 8
I can interpret stuff pretty good, but a good deal of the lyrics are hard to interpret, such as "Mellotron Scratch," "Shallow," and "Glass Arm Shatterng." However, there is one song that stands out lyrically is the nearly poetic "Start of Something Beautiful." The last line of the chorus is one of the most well delivered lines ever: "If you thought this was the start of something beautiful, think again!"
Overall Impression — 10
01. Deadwing - good starter, great metal riff. Very catchy. 02. Shallow - brilliant rock song, one of Porcupine Tree's songs actually to chart in the US, and I can see why. Great metal riff and thrashy chorus. 03. Lazarus - after the metal-ness of the first two songs, we get a soft, beautiful poetic song. Another great chorus. 04. Halo - more of a Pink Floyd sort of rock song, it's good. 05. Arriving Somewhere (But Not Here) - something like a Dream Theater epic without superoverload technical proficiency, this song is flat-out amazing. From Floyd spaciness to brutal metal riffs, this song is amazing. 06. Mellotron Scratch - a nice, peaceful break from all of the madness. Very peaceful, relaxing, but also with a nice riff section that's not too hard. 07. Open Car - the song itself is OK, but the riff is their best rock riff ever. It's brilliance. 08. The Start Of Something Beautiful - best song on the album. Best lyrics and an infinitely cool bassline. And the chorus is one thing that you cannot get out of your head once it gets stuck. 09. Glass Arm Shattering - a boring end, unfortunately. A little too spacey for my liking. Overall, brilliance as only Steven Wilson can bring it. I highly recommend this album.