Do you like 90s style alternative rock? Do you like 70s and 00s progressive rock? Do you like genre-transgression? Do you like innovativity? Do you like dynamicity? Are you afraid of Opeth? If your answer to all of these questions is affirmative, then "Dead Wing" by Porcupine Tree is the way to go. It's a really good alt/prog rock album with nothing but strong songs on it, offering both entertainment and food for thought.
Porcupine Tree have always been pigeonholed with the modern prog movement, but the reality is that they're both a riff-addicted metal band and a troupe obsessed with rich harmonies and memorable refrains. Take the grinding guitar work of "Shallow" which dukes it out with frontman Steven Wilson's undeniably melodic chorus before easing into the delicate, beautifully crafted "Lazarus." Few bands exhibit this kind of depth, be it the dreamy, Pink Floyd-inspired hallucination "Halo" or the Queensryche echoes of "Open Car." If the 12-minute sonic meander known as "Arriving Somewhere but Not Here" is as head-trippy as rock music gets anymore, it is reassuring to know that this Tree is still growing. Ideal for headphones, Deadwing -- despite its title -- takes flight nonetheless.
This is a nice "progish" album. It is not a prog masterpiece, because you have to put it in relation to In Absentia and Lightbulb Sun. But it's definitely quite sophisticated, yet easy to listen to, never get's boring, and the melodies really grow on you pretty fast.
I can understand why some people call this alternative, as it has an alternative touch. But Porcupine Tree has always been difficult to describe, a quality that's not uncommon for prog artists. I'd say that this is a good starting point to get to know Porcupine Tree, if you don't mind a rough edge towards prog metal or alternative.
People looking for the Floyd centric mellow records which Porcupine Tree are famous for should go for Sky Moves Sideways or Voyage 34, Deadwing is considerably more heavy.