Porcupine Tree - In Absentia (2002) #Review
Hello friends, I've been a bit busy, but again I'm back, with another wonderful album where Steven Wilson is, as one of my favorite musicians can know. And without a doubt his best facet, for me, was in the group that for the first time, and his most popular band "Porcupine Tree". A band that for me is undoubtedly the best progressive rock of the last two decades. Enhancing again this genre that seemed to have been left behind, thanks to Porcupine Tree and other bands like Opeth, the progressive in the last 2 decades, has had quite pleasant moments, which remind us of the times of the 70's and 80's, but with a alternative sound from time to time, to give a modern touch, to all this musical magic that progressive rock generates.
On this occasion I present the 7 album of the discográfia of the English. One of the best and the most popular of the band. In which a change takes place, in comparison with its two last albums, thanks to small influences by the beginning of collaborations at the time, between Steven Wilson and other musicians or bands, like Opeth, and Aviv Geffen. In addition to changes in the alignment of the band, as the departure of drummer Chris Maitland, to give the arrival to one of the best drummers in my opinion, as is Gavin Harrison.
As for the sound of the album, it seems fantastic, without lost moments, with good melodies and harmonies. It also has the great progressive influences of King Crimson and Pink Floyd, always present by Steven Wilson. As every progressive album has many experimental elements, and some very atmospheric and captivating moments. The album has among its characteristics, many sounds or styles of the band in their previous albums, with very hard, distorted and fascinating moments. With environmental passages of quite peace and tranquility. Even some psychedelic touches and moments with some pop and electronica. All these elements offer us a job in my opinion, with a well balanced and structured style. Undoubtedly a great jewel of the progressive rock of the 21st century.
1. An impressive start, with "Blackest Eyes" , where the first minutes are quite strong and emotional, with some very hard riffs. But then the song goes to a chorus much more calm and psychedelic, with a few nice choruses, one of the best albums, from the beginning.
2. "Trains", is the second theme, following this phenomenal beginning, the peak of the album for many arrives, a topic that you will not forget. Theme icon of the band, which starts with a sweet acoustic guitar, accompanied by a background with metrollon. Little by little it increases in sound, to delight us with the best voice of steven wilson, with fascinating choirs. In the middle of the song, they surprise us, with a very sweet moment, accompanied by palmas and a banjo.
3. We continue, with a very rare and psychedelic song, called "Lips of Ashes" that undoubtedly takes us to the beginnings of the band. It is practically instrumental, since it has a very minimalist lyric, and that is complemented more as an instrument. A somewhat dark sound, accompanied by slight acoustic touches, but the voice of Steven Wilson gives joy, and highlights the light in the dark. I really like the riff, in the last minutes, very nice.
4. We continue with another of my favorites, "The Sound of Muzak", a great song without a doubt. With a harder turn, a sound similar to the beginning of the album, with stronger riffs, unforgettable choruses with a lyric quite critical to the current music industry, but apart from all this, the best lies with the drummer Harrison, who demonstrates a great potential, especially interpreting a rhythm that can be complicated, and that is characteristic of progressive rock. My favorite of the album.
5. Continue "Gravity Eyelids" with a start with a very dark and sinister environment, where the voice is quite hypnotic, but the song gradually adds elements to its sound, to magnificently explode in the second half, giving a full turn to a more distorted sound, with powerful riffs and own progressive metal. This is a progressive piece of quality.
6. A fairly fast and powerful riffs, opens "Wedding Nails" a fascinating instrumental and progressive piece, with aggressive touches, and a very fast sound, that includes elements of jazz in passages, to enrich the composition musical. It has quite similarity to the Dream Theater style, very good progressive metal.
7. The next one is called "Prodigal" , it has a sound at the beginning that I can not forget, a very interesting subject, that does not explode at all, but keeps us attentive, to a good sound, with good choirs and fascinating passages, guided by the voice of Steven Wilson. In the end it has more riffs, that enrich the sound, with a very spatial sound or that I feel.
8. Another theme that is practically instrumental, rarely called ". 3" where we will remember old sounds of the band, very psychedelic and sweetly guided from the beginning by the line of the bass, quite nice. In the second half the classic acoustic guitar of the band appears, with a small chorus in a very relaxed atmosphere.
9. The next song, is very influenced by the krautrock, called "The Creator Has a Mastertape" starts again with the bass as main instrument, with a very moving sound and that little by little incorporates new elements such as distortions, mainly in the voice of Steven Wilson, a very good subject, a pleasant style.
10. "Heartattack in a Layby", is the most melancholic song on the album, a beautiful ballad, where the voice of Steven Wilson is the main charm, plus some beautiful acoustics that make up the composition. It is without a doubt a beautiful ballad.
11. With a start similar to .3 we have a "Strip the Soul" , I say similar, for a start controlled by the bass completely, but where the voice also takes center stage, mainly in the moments where the riffs are they become stronger and distorted. There are 7 minutes of quite pleasant moments.
12. Finally we close with "Collapse the Light into Earth" , a very clean and delicate ending, just beautiful. One of my favorite songs of the band, as simple as none, but very beautiful. It's simply a combination of Wilson's soft voice with a sweet piano that completely creates the sound of the ballad.
Bonus Tracks: The original edition of the album, has 12 songs. Which already showed in the top, but it is not over to leave aside, the later editions, where they were incoporated additional topics in the recording and that can not be forgotten, such as: "Drown With Me", a very similar theme to the album, with catchy choruses and the acoustic guitar like never before. "Chloroform", a very dark subject, with a very tenuous atmosphere, but perfectly guided by the battery, is quite pleasant. And another additional song is "Futile", which I do not know why it was excluded from the original version, since it's a pretty good song, with a very strong beginning, some very good riffs and the characteristic choruses of the band, a very recommended.
This is undoubtedly one of the best albums of the band. It has a large number of styles, combined into one, with a very balanced rhythm. They show us in each subject all their great skills in music. Giving us a wide range of progressive rock sounds, like influences from the past decades, but also adding some elements of modern music, to a large extent, like some pop, electronic and progressive metal elements of today. This is undoubtedly a remarkably enriched album, which I highly recommend. I bet that without a doubt, the first songs will once you get caught up in the beautiful musical cast of Porcupine Tree.