Rating:
9.4
Porcupine Tree - In Absentia
24 September 2002


01. Blackest Eyes
02. Trains
03. Lips Of Ashes
04. The Sound Of Muzak
05. Gravity Eyelids
06. Wedding Nails
07. Prodigal
08. .3
09. The Creator Has A Mastertape
10. Heartattack In A Layby
11. Strip The Soul
12. Collapse The Light Into Earth

[European Special Version bonus disc]
01. Drown With Me
02. Chloroform
03. Strip The Soul [video edit]


The fact that Porcupine Tree caught my attention is that mainman Steven Wilson had helped Opeth on co-writing many songs on Damnation and Black Water Park, so I was sure I will not be deceived by this release "In Absentia," released in September 2002 via Lava/Atlantic Records. I was very excited to hear what an Opeth manager could offer and what "In Absentia" is all about.

Let's begin to say that this is no album for pure extreme metallers and even less for fans of the black influences, so if you are like that, stop reading and don't even think about purchasing it. Being a recent fan of Porcupine Tree, I can say with no doubt that this album is recommended for progressive/rock fans and for sure Black Water Park and Deliverance Fans. In Absentia generates an original musical structure similar to Opeth. Although, this album will always be considered as the band's best album ever, I fell in love with the band's progressive rock sound when getting this masterpiece. Progressive/darkened sound mixed with flawless drumming and guitar arrangements and great keyboard-driven passage work together with the affectionate vocal presence of S.Wislon.

There's this genuine sound of Opeth (Death Whispered A Lullaby) in Blackest Eyes, soothing uneasiness perfectly expressed with the song's chorus. Followed with Trains, starts with an acoustic passage then evokes a great progressive driven dark rock sound. Lips Of Ashes, Sound Of Muzak, Gravity Eyelids and Wedding Nails sound sad and evoke distressful atmosphere and remind you of the sad side of Atonement and Reverie/Harlequin Forest in Ghost reveries. Acoustic guitars swarming up with catchy vocals to create groovy melancholic character (it's merely what Ghost Reveries lacks).

The progressive path following the band since the re-entering on the scene has increased the chance to create a new sound completely different of the early career's albums. In Absentia sounds very well and has probably accelerated many heartbeats. It's not perfect but not either so far from perfection.

Album highlights: Blackest Eyes, Trains, Lips Of Ashes, The Sound Of Musak, Gravity Eyelids, Wedding Nails.

Performance: 10
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 10
Production: 10


Band profile: Porcupine Tree
Album: In Absentia


 


written by Mindheist | 17.09.2006


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



Comments

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ylside - 17.09.2006 at 23:45  
This album is great, although it seems that it runs out of strengh after it's first half, like you mentioned in your album highlights. The first five or six songs are This album. The Sound Of Musak, Gravity Eyelids, Wedding Nails and my personal pick.
Damnated - 25.09.2006 at 20:50  
this album is just not a 9.4. it's too pop influenced and defenetly not their strongest. it's a good album, though
Mindheist - 25.09.2006 at 22:47  
Written by Damnated on 25.09.2006 at 20:50

this album is just not a 9.4. it's too pop influenced and defenetly not their strongest. it's a good album, though

, well i really want to know what's their strongest so, .
Damnated - 25.09.2006 at 23:09  
Written by Mindheist on 25.09.2006 at 22:47

, well i really want to know what's their strongest so, .


The Sky Moves Sideways is their ultimate best, if you ask me, but on second place I say Up The Downstair, Signify and the live Coma Divine. listen to them
Spyroid - 20.11.2006 at 01:19  
This album is awesome, and one of the reasons that this is my favourite band.
Bsquared - 03.07.2007 at 17:15  
How come this album has a 9.4 with 64 votes and is not in the top 100 album list?
Mindheist - 03.07.2007 at 17:20  
Written by Bsquared on 03.07.2007 at 17:15

How come this album has a 9.4 with 64 votes and is not in the top 100 album list?

It appeared in the 3rd place on Top 20 albums of 2003 according to MS awards, not bad at all.
avatarofdiscord - 04.07.2007 at 02:22  
This album is great.
Thryce - 20.07.2007 at 14:42  
Written by Bsquared on 03.07.2007 at 17:15

How come this album has a 9.4 with 64 votes and is not in the top 100 album list?

Because, Top 100 albums require at least 80 votes. Top 20 albums of the year require 20 votes.
Bsquared - 22.07.2007 at 23:08  
Thanks, I see now, It used to be only 50 votes
Mizer - 31.08.2007 at 16:11  
9.4 feels just too much for this.. 9.4 is almost perfection. Sure this album is good, but to be fair, half of the tracks are just average/nothing that special. There are a few memorable songs, but as a whole it's not that outstanding. Solid production though.....tough pick. I'd say something between 8.5 and 9. Guess it's just a matter of taste....
Spyroid - 20.10.2007 at 01:54  
Written by Mizer on 31.08.2007 at 16:11

9.4 feels just too much for this.. 9.4 is almost perfection. Sure this album is good, but to be fair, half of the tracks are just average/nothing that special. There are a few memorable songs, but as a whole it's not that outstanding. Solid production though.....tough pick. I'd say something between 8.5 and 9. Guess it's just a matter of taste....


Everybody is overrating nowadays, 8.5-9 is still really close to perfection, I'd say that not many albums at all deserve that high ratings. Only albums by my favourite artists and a few others does. So if you just like half the album, 8.5-9 seems waaay to high.
But since it's one of my favourite albums, 9.4 is not too much. A matter of taste, as you say
Apollyon - 21.10.2007 at 05:02  
fucking great a true masterpiece
BloodTears - 18.08.2008 at 23:05  
I disagree that this album cannot be appreciated by fans of extreme metal, whatever "pure" means in this sense. I think people underestimate people's taste in general.

And I don't see the similarity between what Porcupine Tree does and what Opeth does, at all. And I am big fan of both bands, I know them pretty well.

Also, unlike you, I would give a 10 to the songwriting, because that's what makes Porcupine Tree stand out as a band.

Having said that, it's your opinion and it's how you see things, so this is really not a criticism.
Powerslavex - 02.11.2008 at 12:13  
I like this album i think an 8 is fair
MourningPalace - 13.11.2008 at 16:44  
Great album
Boxcar Willy - 29.01.2010 at 18:19  
These guys look great goona check em out!
lord artan - 28.06.2010 at 17:47  
I love this album
SauradipGhosh - 23.01.2011 at 19:44  
No similarity between death whispered a lullaby and blackest eyes.
JCJen7 - 07.04.2011 at 05:12  
This album and Queensryches Operation Mindcrime were the first albums I really got in to lyrically. Although not a concept album per sey (or w/e), it does have a common theme, DARK. From serial killers to child abusers, derailed trains and the grim future of music, lyrically this album is incredible.

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