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Porcupine Tree - In Absentia CD (album) cover


Porcupine Tree


Heavy Prog

4.26 | 2619 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars Porcupine Tree's finest hour.

In Absentia follows the logical evolution Wilson and company started with Signify. Shorter songs, strong melodies, a harder, heavier (borderline metal) sound (probably due to Wilson's producing stint with Swedish death metallers par excellence Opeth), sumptuous vocal melodies, great spacy keyboards, all packed in masterfully written songs and upgraded by an amazing production job only Wilson can deliver. It is to be noted that In Absentia is also Gavin Harrison's first album with PT, and he brings the band to another level with his amazing creative playing. Precise, tight and colorful, his drumsticks are like paint brushes coloring the percussive side of PT. Neil Peart's praise of Harrison's work says it all. Elegant indeed !

Darker than any of PT's previous offerings, In Absentia is an album of contrasts. From the opening metal riff of 'Blackest Eyes' to the acoustic driven delight called 'Trains', Wilson and company never let up the creativity and diversity throughout the entire album. From brutality to beauty and back again.

All songs are great, nothing remotely weak here, and the running order balances the album perfectly, allowing you to breathe when necessary and headbang when you need it. My favorites (though I love them all) are the mini epic 'Gravity Eyelids' and the wondrous 'Heart Attack In a Layby', showcasing some of the best vocal melodies and harmonies these ears have heard. I was amazed to find out they could pull this one off live, and I was mezmerized when I witnessed it.

A cornerstone album, as important to this decade as was OK Computer to the 90's. An essential masterpiece, a must-have, I am short of words to say just how fantastic this album is. Get it, or suffer the consequences !

Five Stars and you better believe it !

Melomaniac | 5/5 |


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