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Porcupine Tree - In Absentia CD (album) cover


Porcupine Tree


Heavy Prog

4.26 | 2619 ratings

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Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team
5 stars This is the first of the louder and harder PT albums. It is also one of the best of one of the greatest current progressive bands in the biz. Personally, my favorite is "Deadwing" which is the release after this one, but this one is so very close to being the favorite. It has been reviewed on this site so many times already, so there is really nothing new to say that hasn't already been said. So, I'll keep it short and sweet, but I still have to add my 2 cents worth since I'm PT junkie. If you are a progressive rock fan, then you should have heard this album by now, and if you haven't, then you have some work to do. While it is true that not everyone loves PT and not everyone thinks the lead man Steven Wilson is a prog God like I do, but you can't deny Steven's influence and his contribution to the genre in these current times.

This album is definitely one of the louder PT albums, and the guitar work and loudness of the album works very well. SW's lyrics have always been dark, even in his other projects, of which he has many. But that doesn't mean they have always been loud, in fact some are quite mellow and beautiful. But the harshness in this album and the following two releases is very well executed and drives home the meaning of the lyrics most effectively. The album starts out instantly very loud with the heavy introduction to "Blackest Eyes", but PT uses dynamics very effectively, so the music is constantly changing, even in their heavier albums. The contrast of soft and loud leans more towards the loud side in this album of course, but that really makes the contrast very noticeable and effective in all of the songs. The most beautiful of the contrasts occurs in the transition between the last two tracks; namely of the harsh and abrasive "Strip the Soul" and orchestral and expansive "Collapse the Light into Earth" which is soft and simply lovely with the repeating piano chords and the beautiful harmonies in the chorus. It's examples like this that make PT an album-oriented band and also makes them the masters of dynamics. If only more modern music artists could be this dynamic.

Anyway, after all is said and done, this is a masterpiece of prog rock especially in the use of contrasts and dynamics. It is essential and Porcupine Tree deserves to have it's name up there with the best of the best in progressive rock. Definitely essential. 5 stars.

TCat | 5/5 |


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