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In Absentia

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Customer Reviews

A good excuse to be in absentia - take time out

I have fallen into this album time and time again. Sunday afternoon, a glass or two as the sun sinks behind the western horizon. This is a perfect soundtrack. Musical, magical and with the primal juices kicking in just when you need. The track "Prodigal" brings memories of Klaatu's classic "Calling Occupants.." and then the "The creator has a master tape" kicks in to re-state Porcupines rock underpinnings. Stay for a second glass and the luscious "Collapse the light..." to make the afternoon I'm a big fan of the prog rock genre (Yes, Dream Theatre and the like) this is an awsome and accessible blend of progressive and rock.

A Masterpiece

I'm a big Opeth fan, as I was searching the bands profiles I came across Mikael Akerfedlt's favorite band, Porcupine Tree. As Soon as I heard the song "Blackest Eyes" I fell in love with Porcupine Tree. One of the best Progressive Rock bands, A must have for any PT fan or anyone looking for some amazing pieces of music


Essential PT

One of the best albums of the last 20 years, and the perfect place to start for anyone curious about Porcupine Tree. "In Absentia" retains elements of the bands 'spacier' sounds of the past but is driven forward by two things....Steven Wilson's newfound love of heavy guitar (thanks to Scandinavian metal) and the introduction of drummer Gavin Harrison. Both things elevated this album and the band to a new level musically and lyrically that they have maintained since this albums release, especially the incredible style of Harrisons "showy with substance" drumming. I admire previous drummer Richard Maitland's work too, but the drumming here has an assurance and weight to it that was missing before, making the heavier moments that much more effective.

Several songs consist of tales of the seedier and nastier side of life, with "Blackest Eyes" and "Strip The Soul" particularly exploring areas of violence and sadism that suits their heavier toned musical direction. "The Sound Of Muzak" is possibly the catchiest, most straight-forward tune on the album, made more ironic by it's subject matter, the explosion of disposable, market-driven forgettable pop and rock music. "Heartattack In A Layby" is the saddest and yet most beautiful moment on the album for me, drifting through feelings of loss, regret and mortality, culminating in a PT trademark and one of my favourite elements, the interwoven multi-layered vocals and harmonies of SW. Then of course, there is "Trains", a musical acoustic-based evocation of childhood and SW's love of locomotives, and a integral part of PT's brilliant live performances ever since.

The highlights on this album are many. If you are interested in intelligent and impeccably written, performed and arranged rock music, with an eye kept on detail and quality production, you'll appreciate this album, and like me may perhaps find it on your 'Desert Island Discs' lists soon after.


Formed: 1987 in London, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Though he initially came to wider attention (at least in the U.K.) with No-Man, his long-running collaboration with Tim Bowness throughout the '90s, singer/guitarist Steven Wilson gained as much of a reputation for Porcupine Tree. Embracing and exploring prog rock inspirations while always keeping an ear out for newer musical connections, thus sidestepping the pointless revivalism of many of the band's peers, Porcupine Tree has created some noteworthy albums and songs over the years, continuing full-strength...
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In Absentia, Porcupine Tree
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Customer Ratings