Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Tales from the Progressive Oceans # 17

                   PORCUPINE TREE: In Absentia (2002)
'In Absentia' was released on September 2002, it was the 7th Porcupine Tree's studio album, and it is considered as the band's crowning achievement selling over three times more than the band's previous albums.
 The album marked several changes for the band, starting with the addition of the new drummer (Gavin Harrison), who helped with the change of musical direction. Porcupine Tree's previous albums can be characterised as Progressive/Psychedelic/Space Rock, but this album was the first to move into a more "Progressive Metal" direction. One of the main reasons for this change in their sound was the friendship between Steve Wilson and Mikael Akkerfeldt (Opeth), which affected the sound of both bands. Porcupine Tree's sound became more powerful and heavier, and at the same time Opeth made a turn to a more classic Progressive Rock sound, influenced from the big bands of the '70's.
 The album was released on the 24th of September 2002, and it was very well received by the critics and the band's fan base. The opening track 'Blackest Eyes' was picked up by major Rock radio stations, and received a massive airplay, making the album known to a wider audience. In order to support the new album, Porcupine Tree started a tour supporting the band 'Yes', but as Steven Wilson stated later on, it was a big mistake.
 'In Absentia' in its original version includes 12 songs, and has a total running time of almost 70 minutes. (On January 2003 a 'special edition' was released, including 3 more songs).
Almost all the songs are very good and powerful compositions, worth listening to. In my opinion 'In Absentia' is one of those albums which you put in your CD-player, and listen to it until the end.  
  If I had to pick some songs as the album's "highlights", I would pick: 'Blackest Eyes', 'Trains', 'The Sound of Muzak', 'Gravity Eyelids' and 'Collapse the Light into Earth'.
  I definitely recommend this album to all those who are fans of Rock music, and especially to those who are fond of Progressive Rock,and they can accept a more "modern" approach.
                          My rating would be 4.00 out of 5.00 stars.