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In Absentia:Porcupine Tree

Artist: Porcupine Tree

Date Released: September 24, 2002

Label: Lava

Produced By: Steven Wilson


  1. Blackest Eyes (4:23)
  2. Trains (5:56)
  3. Lips Of Ashes (4:39)
  4. The Sound Of Muzak (4:59)
  5. Gravity Eyelids (7:56)
  6. Wedding Nails (6:33)
  7. Prodigal (5:35)
  8. .3 (5:25)
  9. The Creator Has A Mastertape (5:21)
  10. Heartattack In A Layby (4:15)
  11. Strip The Soul (7:21)
  12. Collapse The Light Into Earth (5:54)

2003 Bonus Disc

  1. Drown With Me (5:21)
  2. Chloroform (7:14)
  3. Strip The Soul (Video Edit) (3:35)


Wow! What else is there to say about this album? Its amazing. It is a finely crafted masterpiece of a record. It is purely one of the most complete records i have heard. Steve Wilson definately takes his song writing in another direction on this album. The grunge rock and pop sensibilities of Stupid Dream and Lightbulb Sun are still very present on this release, however song writing has improved tenfold and the songs have taken on a heavier and darker approach.

Blackest Eyes phases in with a dark guitar sound and kicks into a hard hitting heavy rock riff that soon gives way to a pop chord progression played on acoustic guitar with Steve Wilson's modest and chilling vocals echoing throughout, the song wavers between the pop verse and chorus and the heavy rock riffs. 4.5/5

Trains is the most radio ready song on the album and its beautiful, it has some great acoustic chord proggression played throughout and Wilson's vocals are just dreamy. It has a cool interlude with a banjo playing and hands clapping, the guitar solo is great too. 5/5

Lips Of Ashes is a dreamy song with heavy use of the mellotron and spacey guitar effects, and it features some beautiful vocal harmonies reminiscent of late 60's early 70's rock bands like Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. 4/5

The Sound Of Muzak is one of my favourite songs on the album. The drum plays a very awesome beat in a cool time signature with the acustic guitar playing a fun riff in time with it. The lyrics tell of how music is becoming disposable and weak. The chorus is amazing and the guitar solo is very fitting. Great song. 5/5

Gravity Eyelids is another favourite of mine. Heavy use of the mellotron in this song again. This is one of the most spacey songs on the album, it has a very dark and eerie vibe to it. Steve Wilsons vocals are extremely delicate in this song and you can feel his emotion. Towards the end it gets darker by adding in some heavy distorted guitars playing the bass notes in the song, very very cool. 5/5

Wedding Nails is a dark heavy instrumental. I like but i find it to be one of the weaker tracks on the album. 4/5

Prodigal is a song that is a bit lighter than most of the tracks on the album. Its another more pop-sounding track. Its starts out with a slow drum beat and a slide guitar effect. Wilsons vocals are as always soothing and dreamy. The chorus again has more vocal harmonies which sound beautiful, what a great song. 4.5/5

.3 starts out with a groovy bass line and soon a nice flow of keyboards kick in to give this song a nice wavy effect. Vocals are kept to a minimal in this song and come in about half way through the song with a pleasant acoustic guitar. Just a nice, soothing and relaxing song. Can be a tad boring if your not a patient music listener. 4.5/5

The creator has a mastertape starts out with a rather dark sounding guitar lick, but then an obnoxious bass riff comes in and steals the song away. Wilsons vocals here aren't so dreamy here and this song is more challenging, more claustraphobic than other tracks on the album. Its one of the heavier tracks on the album, it has a fast beat for Porcupine Tree and has a lot of vocal effects and dark reverbed guitar effects. Very cool song. 4/5

Heartattack In A Lay By is a very delicate piano and guitar driven balad. It is very sad and melancholic. The vocals and lyrics and dynamics of the music conjur up powerful imagery. But this song has true beauty and the music builds upon itself. Toward the end Wilson truly uses his voice like and instrument and uses lots of vocal layering and harmonising. Truly mesmorising song. 5/5

Strip the Soul is another challenging similar to The Creator Has A Mastertape. Starts out with a sleazy rock bass line with some dark keyboard effects in the back round. The chorus is memorable and dark. It builds up towards the end after a lot of dark noises from the keyboards in a sort of jam from the rest of the band, the heavy guitar riffs kick back in in the same fasion that they do on Gravity Eyelids. 4.5/5

The final track on the album is Collapse The Light Into Earth and it is a piano and vocal piece by Wilson. It is very delicate and has some beautiful piano and vocal work, the lyrics are good and the way they are sung is perfect. A very soft and relaxing sad song but a perfect way to end an album such as this. 5/5

I love this album, everything about it. If you're a fan of proggressive rock, alternative, pop rock and even heavy metal then i recomend this album to you.

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