Sound — 10
In Absentia retains the same spacey/psychadelic touch from previous works, while also adopting a heavier side not yet seen. Strip the Soul is a prime example of the heavier side. It gives Tool a run for their money. Blackest Eyes is a bombastic opener that mixes soft, delicate vocals with heavy meatal. The most recognizable change in their style is the use of orchestral strings in songs like Trains and Collapse The Light Into Earth. Seeing how this was the bands first major label release, they held nothing back, and put their whole soul into this album.
Lyrics — 10
Steven Wilson has always managed to keep the fans guessing on what the hell he's actually talking about. I've heard many rumors as to what the concept of the album is. The one used most frequent is the concept of a serial killer or serial killers in general. The songs most evident of this are Blackest Eyes, and Strip The Soul. It would be interesting if this was true, but its sometimes hard to tell. Nevertheless the lyrics and vocals fit flawlessly with the lyrics.
Overall Impression — 10
Since their debut in the early '90s, Porcupine Tree have never ceased to impress fans and critics alike. In Absentia is the band at their pinnacle. Its good to know that there are still bands out there that have their own distinctive sound. In some ways, Porcupine Tree are rocks best kept little secret. It's hard to imagine that a band this talented and creative, are still virtually unknown by other than those in their fanbase. In Absentia is a fusion of heavy metal, brit rock, and progressive. It is quite possibly their most accessible album. A great place to start for new fans.