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Porcupine Tree - In Absentia CD (album) cover


Porcupine Tree


Heavy Prog

4.26 | 2617 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars 'In Absentia' was the second PT album I heard, after 'FOABP' Typically I tend to work backwards when I discover a new band! Like 'FOABP' 'In Absentia' was fairly immediate for me. The stand out choruses, and potent melodies are a powerful combination, and as I've since discovered with porcupine Tree, they are good at delivering this formula very effectively from 'Sky moves Sideways' onward.

'In Absentia' opens with 'Blackest Eyes' A metal riff gives way to memorbale verse and chorus, as this excellent opener almost floats along to it's conclusion. Porcupine Tree have crossed the energy of hard rock with the the thoughfullness and ambience of Pink Floyd; Wilsons vocal harmonies as strong as ever. 'Trains' follows, and is among my favourite all time PT tracks. Its prog credentials are arguably thin on the gorund, but the emotion is in generous supply. Wilsons vocals and a superb guitar part make this song one of the bands most heartfelt. Good chord progression, well placed key changes, and a dreamy obscurity about the whole package make 'Trains' a masterpiece. 'Lips of Ashes' is PT at their trippy, ambient best. The brilliant vocal harmonies, set against the slow acoustic guitar part is remminiscent in feel of Pink Floyd, and make for a wonderful soundscape, charged with emotion and spacey ambience. 'The Sound of Muzak'picks up the pace again with a great contrast in feel between verse and chorus, but both memorable equally. 'Gravity eyelids' and 'Prodigal'continue in this vein, maintaining a consistantly high standard of song writing throughout the album. 'Heart Attack in a lay by' has an almost Radiohead feel. I can certainly imagine Thom Yorke singing those lyrics. Porcupine Tree are clearly crossing the divide between classic and more contemporary art rock on this album, and currently I cant think of another band who do this nearly as well.

Only 'Wedding Nails' comes close to what I would call 'filler' A basic metal instrumental with unimaginative and predictable riffs and structure. Other than that 'In Ansentia' is an excellent album throughout; excellent song writing, emotional delivery underpinned by wonderful, crystal clear production. 'In Absentia' offers something for all PT fans, presenting a good and fairly even balance of rock riffs and brilliantly executed ambient soundscapes. 4 stars.

Blacksword | 4/5 |


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