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Porcupine Tree - In Absentia CD (album) cover


Porcupine Tree


Heavy Prog

4.27 | 2711 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars I wrote this review (modified slightly) several years ago under a different username but will repost it now being that today is the 20th anniversary of this classic album. However, I have decided to give it four stars instead of my original five. It's still an excellent album but maybe more like 4.5 than a full 5 for me but for this repost I am rounding down to 4 instead of my initial decision to round up.

"It's so erotic when your makeup runs. "

I suppose there is a good reason this album is featured in the top 100 here at Progarchives. I have kind of gone back and forth between whether I feel this a four or five star album. However, at the very least it is worthy of 4.5 stars. Anyway, the music here is quintessential Porcupine Tree. It has the qualities of the albums before it as well as some of the heavier edge of the albums that followed it. I'm not too keen on the two after this but this album is really something special. It's arguable as to whether or not this was Porcupine Tree's big breakthrough album. It certainly did get them a larger audience in no small part due to the fact that they were touring with Yes around the time this album came out. It's also one of PT's most consistent and most popular albums among prog fans and probably among PT fans as well. This album also marks the first time Gavin Harrison makes an appearance as their new drummer(replacing Chris Maitland) and does a very fine job.

The album starts off with the memorable "blackest eyes." This song marks the first and only time I ever heard them on mainstream commercial radio (WZZO out of Allentown PA) back soon after it was released. Next up is another PT classic in "trains." This song reminds me of something off of either Stupid Dream or Lightbulb Sun(the two albums that preceded this). From here on end the songs seem to take turns between heavy and dreamy. Many people cite this as the first time the band experimented with metal sounds and while this is true for the most part the band has always had more than one mood or sound permeating their music. Even before this they had heavy moments but maybe they weren't as intense as some of the moments on here and later. On here there is probably more of a symphonic element and less of a spacey element although Porcupine Tree never seem to abandon any of their trademark qualities entirely and even the later albums include their distinct sound.

Overall, this is a must have album from the earlier part of this century and a perfect entry album for anyone who wants to check out Porcupine Tree.

AFlowerKingCrimson | 4/5 |


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