In Absentia album cover
In Absentia

Porcupine Tree


Strangely, despite Steven Wilson’s assertions that his rediscovery of metal inspired him to come down to earth, melancholic pop rock dominates progressive/space/psych rock project Porcupine Tree’s major-label debut. There’s just as much Radiohead to “Blackest Eyes” as there is Opeth or Tool. In this case, the move towards the mainstream helped give the songs more grounding, allowing “Trains” and “The Sound of Muzak” to lodge in the memory centers – something his more esoteric early work failed at. It’s Wilson’s heartfelt emoting that stands out more than the impressive musicianship.

Jeff Treppel

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