Porcupine Tree - In Absentia

Year of Release: 2002
Label: Lava
Catalog Number: 83604-2
Format: CD
Total Time: 68:18:00

It's a reasonable expectation that whenever a band makes its major label debut they should go balls-out and produce the best album they've ever made for the occasion, right? Well, Porcupine Tree has done just that with In Absentia.

First things first: This is not your father's Porcupine Tree. The band is evolving away from the "progressive" genre and more towards heavy metal and modern rock. The acoustic melodies, thickly layered harmonies, and top-notch musicianship remain, but the songs are shorter, punchier, and feature more guitars and less dreamy psychedelia than albums past. And while Steve Wilson's lyrics have never been uplifting, here they are darker than ever: "Blackest Eyes," "Strip The Soul," and "The Creator Has A Mastertape" offer horrific images of human evil that will cause some listeners to turn away in disgust.

Taken as a whole, though, In Absentia rocks from start to finish and hauls out surprises that will please most Porcupine Tree die-hards and win new fanatics as well. "Blackest Eyes" combines black metal with a Beatle-esque melody, while the instrumental "Wedding Nails" sounds like what might happen if Rush took the riff from the Allmans' "One Way Out" and ran it through a meat extruder. "The Sound Of Muzak" provides a progressive touch with its seven-count guitar melody, and the one-two combination of "Prodigal" and ".3" show the continuing influence of Pink Floyd on Steve Wilson's muse. For speed metal lovers, "The Creator Has A Mastertape" moves along at a breakneck pace, only to be countered by the eerie "Strip The Soul" (the video is included on this enhanced cd) and the delicate piano ostinato of "Collapse The Light Into Earth".

Progressive rock purists will not appreciate Porcupine Tree's chosen direction this time out, but heavy rock lovers should take notice. Powerful and diverse, In Absentia is Porcupine Tree's best effort to date, one that sets them at the forefront of the modern rock scene.

Blackest Eyes (4:23) / Trains (5:56) / Lips of Ashes (4:39) / The Sound of Muzak (4:59) / Gravity Eyelids (7:56) / Wedding Nails (6:33) / Prodigal (5:32) / 3 (5:25) / The Creator Has A Mastertape (5:21) / Heartattack in a Layby (4:15) / Strip The Soul (7:12) / Collapse The Light Into Earth (5:54)

Richard Barbieri - keyboards
Colin Edwin - bass
Gavin Harrison - drums
Steven Wilson - guitars, keyboards, vocals

Additional musicians: John Wesley - guitars & vocals
Aviv Geffen - background vocals

On The Sunday Of Life... (1991)
Voyage 34 (1992)
Up The Downstair (1993)
Voyage 34: Remixes (1993)
Staircase Infinities (1994)
Moonloop E.P. (1994)
The Sky Moves Sideways (1995)
Signify (1996)
Coma Divine - Recorded Live In Rome (1997)
Stupid Dream (1999)
Voyage 34 - The Complete Trip (2000/2004/2005
'4 Chords That Made A Million' (2000)
Lightbulb Sun (2000/2008)
'Shesmovedon' (2000)
Lightbulb Sun - Special Edition (2001)
Recordings (2001)
Stars Die: The Delerium Years 1991 - 1997(2002/2005)
Metanoia (2002)
In Absentia (2002)
In Absentia (European version) (2003)
Warszawa (2005)
Deadwing (2005)
Porcupine Tree (2006)
Fear Of A Blank Planet (2007)
Nil Recurring (2008)
The Incident (2009)

Arriving Somewhere... (DVD) (2006)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin UK

Added: November 17th 2002
Reviewer: David Cisco

Artist website: www.porcupinetree.com
Hits: 528
Language: english


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