Porcupine Tree In Absentia Review

Porcupine Tree, in my opinion, was not really that "Beyond All Expectations" type of band. That is, before the album "In Absentia " was released on September 24th 2002.

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I think the change that made the band go from "Decent Band" to "Flipping Amazing" was Gavin Harrison [Drummer] joining. It is true that In Absentia was the first Porcupine Tree album that Gavin Harrison was involved with, and I think that is what made the difference.

The album starts of with a massive bang as "Blackest Eyes" shoots through your stereo. The song progresses from this "Incredibly High Energy and heavy guitar riffs" to "Light Coldplay-like sound".

I think that Steven Wilson often likes creating this Juxtaposition between Light and Heavy in his music.

He also likes creating a difference between the sound of the song, and what it is about (An example being in Blackest Eyes. As he plays lightly on the guitar, he sings about a Child Molester).

As the album progresses, the genius of Steven Wilson's Lyrics becomes blatantly apparent.

The song "The Sound Of Muzak" talks about how music is "One of the Wonders of the world" and that "It's going down". He uses the line to describe how the meaning of Music itself is lost among a sea of greed, money, marketing, and selfish ambition, rather than focusing it on expressing our creativity as humans.

This is just 1 among Many genius lines that Steven Wilson writes.

Porcupine Tree - Blackest Eyes

The album continues on...and the listener is silent, and pleased.

Take a moment to listen to "Blackest Eyes" (Video Above) if you have never heard any Porcupine Tree before.

Set List

  • Blackest Eyes
  • Trains
  • Lips Of Ashes
  • The Sound Of Muzak
  • Gravity Eyelids
  • Wedding Nails
  • Prodigal
  • 3
  • The Creator Has A Mastertape
  • Heartattack in a Layby
  • Strip The Soul
  • Collapse The Light Into Earth

One massive attack of energy I noticed was "Wedding Nails". The song is simply sick. It's an instrumental that just has all the right elements in it.

As In Absentia comes to a close, I need to warn you about something. If you have recently experienced the Death of a Close friend, or just broke up with someone, or anything else like that, I need to warn you that listening to the song "Collapse the light into earth" will most certainly cause you to cry.

It doesn't make you a pansy...it's just an extremely emotional song, that's all.

I believe the album is this close to being a concept album. It often hits upon the themes of abuse in the family, murder, and rape.

Almost every song in the album hits upon one of those themes (minus "The Sound of Muzak" and the instrumental "Wedding Nails"). If you know me at all, you know that I am a big fan of concept albums and I have even written a guide on how to write your own concept album.

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About The Writer

My name is Andrew Muller. I love creative art, music, television shows, movies, video games, and a good story.

If you had to find me somewhere, you would probably find me down at O'neils home cooking eating an organic sweet-potato bun breakfast sandwich with ham.

Among my friends, it's a "Muller Classic Move" to eat Mcdonald's at 2am because it's cheap and open 24/7. The joke here is that I'm an idiot. 

I play drums, guitar, piano, and I write & perform music for My Goal Is Telepathy. Take a listen to the latest sound here.