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Porcupine Tree - In Absentia CD (album) cover


Porcupine Tree


Heavy Prog

4.25 | 2556 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars A stellar album from Porcupine Tree

"In Absentia" is widely considered as the bands best. While it is their best place to start, I prefer "The Sky Moves Sideways," "Signify," and "Fear Of A Blank Planet." Still this album is a great one.

A description of the music: The most I can say about the sound that won't be said in the first point listed in the "PROS" section is that this is probably their darkest album. The outro to "Strip The Soul" is almost undoubtedly the darkest thing they've ever written. Also, as you'll find in most of the bands music, it contains many vocal unisons in the choruses.


The diversity: This album can be seen as part of the bridge between Porcupine Tree's heavy era and their psychedelic era. The means that you will find both aspects on this album. Their psychedelic era can be found especially in tracks like "Lips Of Ashes" and "Heartattack In A Layby." Their heavier tracks include "Blackest Eyes" and "The Creator Has A Mastertape." You will also find a hint of the crossover sound found in "Stupid Dream" and "Lightbulb Sun" in the song "Prodigal."

Drumming: This is Porcupine Tree's first album with Gavin Harrison as their drummer, and he really shines. He makes excellent use of fast-paced rolls and complex time signatures. His strongest track is probably "The Creator Has A Mastertape."

Lyrics: The lyrics, along with much of the music, are dark. Most of the songs on the album are about serial killers, and Wilson effectively displays the persona of these serial killers with ease. He also shows he is capable of writing lyrics that send chills down your spine and make a sad story out of it like in "Heartattack In A Layby."


The final track: While it may be a little harsh to bass an entire con on one average length track, I really feel the main thing this album was missing was a strong closer. "Collapse The Light Into Earth" may have a strong string section, but it's basically the same piano line repeating with a simple chorus. And I really found this song needed a lot more.

The proginess: Another problem that some might find is the fact that quite a few of these tracks being classified prog is questionable. An example is "Trains." Even though it is the strongest track on the album in my mind, there is relatively no prog. Most of the album is like this in the sense that the only prog thing about it is the time signatures.

Song ratings:

Blackest Eyes: 9/10 Trains: 10/10 Lips of Ashes: 10/10 The Sound Of Muzak: 8/10 Gravity Eyelids: 7.5/10 Wedding Nails: 8/10 Prodigal: 5/10 .3: 10/10 The Creator Has A Mastertape: 9/10 Heartattack In A Layby: 9/10 Strip The Soul: 9.5/10 Collapse The Light Into Earth: 3/10

Recommended for: Fans of a bit more simplistic prog. People who don't mind a slightly poppy sound.

My rating: 4 stars. A great album, but it has its flaws. If it had a stronger ending, 5 stars would be a consideration.

DisgruntledPorcupine | 4/5 |


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