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In Absentia [Import]

Porcupine TreeVinyl
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (321 customer reviews)

Price: $48.10 & FREE Shipping. Details
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 : Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Amazon Price New from Used from
MP3 Music, 12 Songs, 2002 $9.49  
Audio CD, 2002 $7.98  
Vinyl, Import, 2012 $48.10  
DVD Audio, Extra tracks, 2004 --  

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In Absentia + Deadwing + Fear Of A Blank Planet
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Product Details

  • Vinyl (November 23, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Tonefloat Records
  • ASIN: B003XKRO9E
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (321 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #185,490 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

When released in September 2002, Porcupine Tree's seventh studio album In Absentia not only was their first for a major label (Lava/Warner) but also the one that added a more heavy sound to the band's already eclectic blend of influences that graced previous albums. A sound that would be explored for most of the decade that had just started, and that opened to a whole new audience. The signing to a major meant that little attention was given to vinyl, as the format was in its dark age at the beginning of the century, and the album was only available on wax through Lava/Warner in Europe for a brief period, in 2003. Tonefloat now releases Porcupine Tree's seminal album on vinyl again in a beautiful re-designed package, as always on 180-gram audiophile vinyl. 1. Blackest Eyes 2. Trains 3. Lips Of Ashes 4. The Sound Of Muzak 5. Gravity Eyelids 6. Wedding Nails 7. Prodigal 8. The Creator Has A Mastertape 9. Chloroform 10. Heartattack In A Layby 11. Strip The Soul 12. Collapse The Light Into Earth

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
141 of 150 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Are there words for this? October 15, 2002
Format:Audio CD
This is perfection. I need to be careful to contain my enthusiasm about this album or my review will be nothing but a maudlin glorification heavy on superlatives but low on actual, uh, 'reviewing'. But...this is a masterpiece. That's enough for me, but I will go on...
It is a concept album, which seems to be trendy all of a sudden. I barely even care when I hear a band I like is making a concept album these days, although it used to get me excited. _In Absentia_ gets the thumbs-up though because the story is actually VERY good. The chilling tale could entirely be peripheral depending on the listener, but to those interested it will find it is an integral part of this powerful record. Telling the story of a child growing up and becoming a serial killer, _In Absentia_ is dark thematically and musically. Bandleader Steven Wilson's lyrics have never blown me away until now. This album deals with some unpleasant subject matter, all rendered with great poetry.
The music, likewise, is remarkable -- and then some. "Blackest Eyes" is the first song on the album -- an almost childlike reflection of the future psycho's condition, and the blend of heavy riffs and plaintive acoustic strumming resonates the protagonist's disposition. When I say "heavy riffs" there, I seriously mean heavy - the crushing power chord strikes and monster distortion reminded me more of Tool than Porcupine Tree. But the song slips perfectly into the familiar, exquisite sonics of PT as well.
This dichotomy is seen elsewhere in the album as well, perhaps most notably on "Gravity Eyelids", with its harrowing build-up to an evil, Opethian guitar riff. "Wedding Nails" is a stunningly executed and composed progressive metal instrumental. "Strip the Soul" is gritty and punishing and enfeebling.
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108 of 114 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spread the word. April 27, 2003
Format:Audio CD
In Absentia by Porcupine Tree may just be the finest album to come along in a long, long time. Trying to describe this album in terms of sound is difficult--think of a band with the vocal harmonies of early REM, the atmospherics of Pink Floyd or Radiohead, and the metallic sound of 70's era King Crimson or Tool. And yet, it sounds totally different from any of them.
Steven Wilson lends a hushed, subtle tone to the vocals that belies the very dark lyrics of In Absentia. The album is supposedly about a child that grows up into a serial killer, although the concept is somewhat vague. Wilson comments on society quite a bit--take The Sound Of Muzak, for example, which targets the state of today's music and how dehumanized and sterile it is becoming, complete with quite a catchy chorus.
The instrumentals are truly awe-inspiring. Supposedly this is Porcupine Tree's heaviest album, drawing on Wilson's collaboration with the Swedish metal band Opeth (which is how I heard about Porcupine Tree, in fact). The music alternates between delicate, soft textures and harmonies to heavy, complex riffs without feeling the least bit forced. The band is equally at home playing beautiful ballads (Collapse The Light Into Earth, Trains) as it is playing crunchy metal (Wedding Nails, The Creator Had A Mastertape).
As far as the album itself is concerned...well, you have to hear it to believe it. I've heard precious few songs that are as deeply affecting as Collapse The Light Into Earth, and Strip The Soul and Gravity Eyelids are two of the best songs I've heard this year. If you aren't excited after listening to the opening riffs of Blackest Eyes, check your pulse.
In a world of commercial garbage, we desperately need more bands like this.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Progressive Bliss from The Tree October 11, 2002
Format:Audio CD
THE BAND: Steve Wilson (vocals, guitar, mastermind behind PT), Richard Barbieri (keyboards and sound effects), Colin Edwin (bass), Gavin Harrison (drums - replacing recently departed Chris Maitland).

THE DISC: 12 songs running at approximately 68 minutes. A 14-page booklet containing song lyrics and assorted pictures with faces scratched off. All words and music written by Steve Wilson (and 2 songs are cowritten by Barbieri and Edwin). Video: "Strip The Soul" playable on your PC. An import of the same album is available containing 2 bonus tracks ("Drown With Me" and "Chloroform"). 2002 - Lava Records.

COMMENTS: Hands down, this is my favorite disc from 2002. It stayed in my car CD player for a month when I first bought it. Perfect in most senses... crisp flawless production, wonderful vocals and harmonies, fantastic musicianship, and great song writing. Porcupine Tree, in my opinion, has always been hard to classify - definitely progressive, rock infused, beautiful instrumental moments painted thru song that wisk you away to somewhere else. Most anything from PT's library begs to be listened to with a nice set of headphones (deep rich textured guitars, layers of vocals, and sound effects galore). There are a few "pop" tunes that perhaps should have made it to the FM airwaves... "Trains" is the best 'pop', and "Blackest Eyes". I sit and scratch my head and wonder - why the heck aren't these guys more popular? Lyrics on "In Absentia" are twisted... a concept album following a serial killer from childhood. If you saw The Tree in concert on this tour, you'd have seen the slide show while the band played - and the complete picture of the album cover - it's the main character losing his mind.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
for my 1st one I piced agood one.
Published 24 days ago by rick chaffee
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome album
I highly recommend this album, it is pure musical genius.
Published 1 month ago by Devon Raymond Murray
5.0 out of 5 stars Great CD
This CD was my introduction to Porcupine Tree, and I was blown away. I can listen to this entire CD from beginning to end. Read more
Published 2 months ago by pennrj430
5.0 out of 5 stars This CD is amazing
Porcupine Tree have always been one of my favorite bands, yet i didn't know of this album. It's just amazing.
Published 5 months ago by Tony Alhwayek
3.0 out of 5 stars Nothing special.
I love Stupid Dream, hoping Absentia would be like it. It's not. I don't get it, maybe it will grow on me. Plus it is an Enhance CD, my old CD player can't play it. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Ned Flanders
5.0 out of 5 stars The first PT album I got
This album was my first foray into Porcupine Tree a few years ago when I originally downloaded it from itunes. But this DVD-A is like hearing it all new again. Read more
Published 8 months ago by jamesdak
5.0 out of 5 stars How did I not know of this band?
This band is great and the music is just outstanding, with great vocals and guitar strokes and other instruments. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Jesse D. Hare
5.0 out of 5 stars Hard hitting excellece.
If you enjoy the heavier darkness of this era of Porcupine Tree, this is a must have. Excellent recording. Great sound.
Published 9 months ago by T R N
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have album.
Awesome album! Sounds even better on vinyl. Highly recommend to any Porcupine Tree fan or anybody that is a fan of great music.
Published 9 months ago by John Zahller
5.0 out of 5 stars In Awe
Mr. Wilson has put out a lot of great work since In Absentia was released, but I don't think he's done anything better than this. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Peter Jackson
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Topic From this Discussion
Porcupine Tree
You know, there's actually a lot of good rock out there right now -- it's just sooo hard to find amid all the trash.

So take hope, with PT you've only found the tip of the iceberg.

Try looking into Dream Theater (Octavarium, Images and Words) if you haven't already gone there.

Oct 3, 2006 by James Bailey |  See all 2 posts
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