Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Porcupine Tree - In Absentia CD (album) cover


Porcupine Tree


Heavy Prog

4.26 | 2625 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars I am a huge PT man and this was the album that introduced me into the magical world of Prog( I was a huge PF fan tho but that was it till I heard this album). This album to me sounds like a concept Album, though there are people who feel otherwise, I'll try to say what I made out of this album

1. Blackest Eyes- 10/10 that riff at the start keeps you hooked to the song, it was just..magical.I actually didn't like metallic riffs till I heard this for the concept, you see this album is about a killer but for me it shows the duality in yourself, which is the angel and the devil part, you get the idea from the lyrics that the main character has had a messed up life "I got wiring loose inside my head I got books that I never ever read I got secrets in my garden shed I got a scar where all my urges bled I got people underneath my bed I got a place where all my dreams are dead Swim with me into your blackest eyes" this song is basically the introduction of the character, you feel sad for him and the rest of the song is about how he looks at his childhood and wonders what he has become, the lines "A few minutes with me inside my van Should be so beautiful if we can I'm feeling something taking over me" reflects that he is desperately craving for killing, its when the bad side of you takes over the good one

2. Trains- 10/10: I wish I could give it 20, but hands are tied..this song in one word is and Steven share the same love for trains, which is not because they are powerful,fast and blah blah, its because we have memories attached to that, this is what the song is about, the killer looking back at the happy moments of his life, maybe his love life, "Train set and match spied under the blind Shiny and contoured the railway winds And I've heard the sound from my cousin's bed The hiss of the train at the railway head Always the summers are slipping away" this reflects that once he was a human, he had feelings 'always the summers are slipping away' means when you are with someone you love but no matter how much time you spend it feels short, and you want more..but can't get it, total desperation how you keep searching for a way to make it stay..the last four line describe, the sexual fantasies of him which later turns into obsession as the album progresses..overall its a pt classic and is about how desperate you fell when everything you had just goes away

3. Lips Of Ashes- 9/10 this one builds a scary atmosphere which complements, the theme and steven's voice perfectly, this is where our character first murders someone..and then fulfills his fantasies on the helpless human being, the line 'you and I connection failing' has got double meaning, one is the simple one where the victim is slowly dying...and the other to me seems is how you lose connection with the good part of yourself and 'drill down inside' of the bad part

4. Sound of Muzak - 8.5/10: this is the song that maybe doesn't fit well with the concept, its about steven's anger (or maybe the killers?) anger towards the music industry, how the untalented people are being millionaires while talented young people are forced to starve, how the music is engineered to suit you, which is something I believe should not happen, you discover music, its not the other way round

5. Gravity Eyelids- 8.5/10: this song bring backs us to where we left during lips of ashes, its the longest song on the album and lyrically similar to lips of ashes(I mean in concept), you can see the killer part of him has fully taken over, he is becoming a psycho who craves for sex, you can see how he talks to his victim in this song, how he asks her to smile and be calm(scary!)there is no much need to explain the lyrics much as I it straight in your face, with sexual lyrics and murder

6. Wedding Nails- 9/10 in one word, thunderous, just look at that guitar, but wait there is concept here too, what do you associate with wedding? bells right? wedding bells symbolize happy marriage, but the song contains nails, which signifies something is wrong, and he's not happy, maybe he tried to settle with his life but again the killer instinct of him takes over and he wants to murder again, you can see the anger explained through the music itself

7. Prodigal- 8/10 in this song we have aviv(co partner in blackfield) as a backing singer, he was also present in sound of muzak, lyrically its about how he tried everything to be his normal self,religion,smoking, but he was cheated, which only increase his hatred than anything else, he tells himself to close his eyes cause like all things in his life the rejection and disappointment will pass too

8 .3- 7.5/10: this song is 75% instrumental but yet brilliant, the lyrics reflect the modern day life, how you always fear that the atomic and nuclear warfare will eventually wipe out the human race and this is how the killer feels too

9. The Creator Had A Mastertape 8.5/10 "He captured and collected things And he put them in a shed He raised a proper family So he could tie them to a bed"

this song is about how he tortures his family everyday an the regret he feels but yet he can't help himself, he's helpless

"He worked himself into the ground And drove a spike into his head A voice said "Are you happy now? 'Your sordid home is running red"

10. Heart attack in a layby - 10/10 touching, imagine you loved someone all your life, and she hates you, still you kept loving, you did everything to make her happy only to find yourself depressed,insulted and suicidal..but one day she says she's sorry for everything and you're happier than anything, you just wanna go there,kiss her and grow old together, this is the song about but with a twist, you can hear the song is sad, inspite of the happy(somewhat) lyrics at the start, the girl says sorry to the guy and he's so happy that he decides to sit cause his body is aching, but he doesn't realize he's having a heart attack and dying, its like when you wanted something all your life, and in the end were fingertips close only to realize you still didn't get it....its like give one drop of water to the thirsty and then leave him to die #we'llgrowoldtogether

11. Strip the Soul- 9/10: this song is the climax where he eventually tortures his family to death, it has quite disturbing lyrics, "Spread it wide, my wife, my life, push the camera deeper" which gives details about his life

"This machine Is there to please Strip the soul Fill the hole A fire to feed A belt to bleed Strip the soul Kill them all"

he eventually kills them and buries them yet he believes they are with him

"They are not gone, they are not gone, they are only sleeping In graves, in ways, in clay, underneath the floor Building walls, overalls, getting bored, I gotfaulty wiring Brick it up now, brick it up now, but keep the bones"

12- Collapse the light into earth- 9/10: this is where the album ends, he finally finds the real self and the title of the song serves as the metaphor as how light wipes out all the darkness on earth

overall a good album to anyone who wants to check out porcupine tree

Progkid | 5/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this PORCUPINE TREE review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.