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Porcupine Tree - In Absentia CD (album) cover


Porcupine Tree


Heavy Prog

4.26 | 2619 ratings

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Mr. Mustard
5 stars Porcupine Tree kicks off their prog-metal era with perhaps their best effort, In Absentia. Of course there is more to it than the metal, as this is probably the group's most eclectic effort. They mix the pop-rock of Lightbulb Sun and the Pink Floyd touches of The Sky Moves Sideways with some alternative and metal all in a progressive context to create a truly diverse album. Though it consists of 12 rather short songs, each brings something unique to the table.

Blackest Eyes' is the perfect opener, with its driving metal riffs. But it also has some more reserved acoustic sections with vocals.

'Trains' is an acoustic number with a sound similar to their last album Lightbuld Sun. The bridge with the banjo is alone enough to make this one of the band's greatest songs. 'Lips of Ashes' is perhaps the only "weak" song on the album. It's downtempo and doesn't really have too much going for it.

But the highlight of the album can be found in 'The Sound of Muzak.' The song is based on a killer riff in 7/4, along with a drum groove that shows that Gavin is truly one of the greatest on his instrument.

'Gravity Eyelids' seamlessly blends the more atmospheric Pink Floyd sound with some metal riffs similar to Opeth.

'Wedding Nails' is the pure metal, rocking song of the album. Again, this sounds very similar to Opeth in parts, which is no surprise as Wilson has worked with them. 'Prodigal' is another highlight of the album for me. It's main melody just kind of floats by to give a loose, ethereal atmosphere, yet there is still plenty of harder rocking parts throughout. '.3' is another atmospheric song with a very chunky bass line, which again, just sort of floats by.

'The Creator Has A Masterpiece is probably the quirkiest, and darkest song on the album. I've always believed this one is a perfect testament to the unparalleled production abilities of Steven Wilson, as the dynamic sound is surreal.

'Heartattack In a Layby' is pleasant, and has some soothing vocal melodies, but nothing really amazing.

'Strip the Soul' shows the band confronting a more alternatives sound. The bass line is deep and heavy, and the guitar produces some crushing riffs which combine with some Pink Floyd touches to create a rather unique atmosphere.

'Collapse Light to Earth' is a gentle tune with a rather sentimental piano melody. While hardly the best on the album, it is a perfect closer.

Despite a few weaker songs, I believe this is probably the band's biggest achievement. Besides having high quality songs from beginning to end, this album is probably the most well-produced album I've ever heard. For these reasons, I believe this is a must have album.


Mr. Mustard | 5/5 |


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