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Porcupine Tree - In Absentia CD (album) cover


Porcupine Tree


Heavy Prog

4.26 | 2619 ratings

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The Monodrone
5 stars Another wonderful album from the masterminds that are Porcupine Tree!

I will start this review by saying that I personally enjoy this album very much, as well as the band. Very different sound, heavier, somewhat more commercial, better songwriting... and did I mention Gavin Harrison, an astounding rock/jazz/metal drummer with an array of sounds and styles, makes his studio debut on this great album?

"Blackest Eyes"- Nice opener. Great heavy parts as well as a great verse/chorus melody, though some of this can get mildly repetitive. 4.5/5

"Trains"- Wow... what a great song! Great relatable lyrics and powerfully conveyed emotions. (Great job Steven!) Addictive acoustic guitars and ambience a la wiz-kid Richard Barbieri as well as groovy drums and Colin Edwin's smooth bass. 5/5

"Lips of Ashes"- Good song, not one of my favorites... not sure why, just never stuck with me. Beautiful vocal melodies and all-around great ambient sounds. 3.5/5

"The Sound of Muzac"- A decent song, one of the first songs I initially heard by the Tree. At first, this song seems really great, but after a few listens, the lyrics seem repetitive and immature in my opinion, as well as some of the music. 3/5

"Gravity Eyelids"- Another perfect song equipped with seductive keyboard ambience and a latter palm-muted/non-palm-muted metal riff. 5/5

"Wedding Nails"- A heavy metal instrumental with a taste of Rush and Crimso, especially the Fripp-like inorganic dark solo. Fast and catchy, thanks to Steven and Colin. Somewhat repetitive but the structure is great and changes a semi-tone for differentiation. 4.5/5

"Prodigal"- Brilliant song (similar to many on Stupid Dream) with nice slide guitar and a very Floyd-influenced melody. Great, sad yet uplifting music and lyrics. Explodes at the end to end this wonderful song, one of my favorites by Porcupine Tree. 5/5

"Dot Three"- Dark and evocative song.. Full of atmospheric sounds and textures and e-bowed guitar. Simple drums yet they go great with this song meant for a calmer reception. The few lyrics go great with the music and Barbieri couldn't have created a better sound for this tune. Such a great Tree song. 5/5

"The Creator has a Mastertape"- Not much to say about this one.. Dark, thrashy guitars, quick drums and vocal distortions give this song an industrial feel, but a very good feel at that. The few guitar notes that begin this song give you the feeling you are in a dark tunnel and a man with an axe is slowly following your steps... Disturbing lyrics that go well with the great and foreboding music. 5/5

"Heartattack in a Layby"- A slow and emotinal track full of anguish and anxiety. Nice dark guitar and great piano and atmosphere. Ending vocal harmonies are some of Steven's best. Wonderfully depressing (irony?). 5/5

"Strip the Soul"- Creepy song. Starts with a bass line similar to ".3" One of the heaviest songs on this album. You can really hear a Tool-like influence here, maybe too much... Lyrics are once again darkly-themed and powerfully conveyed across the music track. Also very groovy. Nice off-beat drums and Barbieri's signature tunnel- and cave- ambient keyboarding. A little repetitive on the guitar side. 4.5/5

"Collapse the Light into Earth"- Piano- and vocal-themed song and possibly one of the best by PTree. One of the best tracks on the album. Sad ending for a sad/depressive-themed album. A very personal and emotional song... a real attention-grabber. Ambiently-distorted guitar nearly ends the track as the piano slowly fades out. Brilliant. 5/5

To make this short, any fan of genre-breaking rock music should definitely purchase this album immediately. It is an emotionally wonderful album full of metal, piano, and a multitude of other sounds not conventionally used in the music of today (besides Progressive Rock).

A very high 4 stars for this album. One of Porcupine Tree's most unique and musically diverse releases.

The Monodrone | 5/5 |


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