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Porcupine Tree - In Absentia CD (album) cover


Porcupine Tree


Heavy Prog

4.25 | 2542 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

The Progmatist
4 stars Porcupine Tree seems to be one of those bands that always comes within a hair of creating a masterpiece, and I think In Absentia is a great example of this. Can you find a better trio of opening songs than the ones featured on this album? "Blackest Eyes" is able to weave an almost perfect balance between emotional melody and pure rock power, "Trains" is perhaps the band's most nostalgic accomplishment to date, and "Lips of Ashes" takes the listener on a spacey journey, culminating in a beautiful guitar-vocal unison toward the end. It is "The Sound of Muzak," however, that seems to break the near-perfect flow. And I would argue that it is these types of simple, bass-driven songs which contribute to the album's falling short of a five star rating. Don't get me wrong: I have no beef with some of the band's hard rock leanings. For me, "Wedding Nails" is an example of an instrumental on this album that rocks hard but still contributes to the album's coherent flow.

When everthing is said and done, this album is without a doubt one of the band's finest achievements. It features some of their best work, and it successfully blends hard rock with their traditional psychedelic tendencies. Songs like "Trains" and "Prodigal" alone make it hard for me to give this any less than five stars. And when an album fades out so beautifully as it does with the string-supported "Collapse the Light Into Earth," it is almost easy to convince yourself that you've listened to a masterpiece. Nevertheless, I feel that some of the pieces here simply take away from the atmospheric flow initiated by the opening trio of songs, and I just can't bring myself to declare this wonderful album a masterpiece.

The Progmatist | 4/5 |


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