In Absentia

In Absentia is the seventh studio album by Porcupine Tree, first released on 24 September 2002. The album marked several changes for the band, with it being the first with new drummer Gavin Harrison and the first to move into a more heavy metal and progressive metal direction, contrary to past albums’ psychedelic and pop rock sounds.

While not a formal concept album, many of the songs still have common themes related to serial killers, youthful innocence gone wrong, and criticisms of the modern world.

The album’s title is also tied into this, with the phrase being Latin for “in absence” or “in one’s absence”, often in reference to a person’s rights when mentally unable to be represented in court in legal situations.

Steven Wilson said of the title:

“It comes from… It’s related to some of the lyrics. It’s about people on the fringes, on the edges of humanity and society. I have an interest in serial killers, child molesters, and wife beaters… Not in what they did, but in the psychology of why. What caused them to become unhinged and twisted? Why are they unable to empathise? It’s sort of a metaphor – there’s something missing, a black hole, a cancer in their soul. It’s an absence in the soul.”

In Absentia Tracklist

  1. Blackest Eyes
  2. Trains
  3. Lips of Ashes
  4. The Sound of Muzak
  5. Gravity Eyelids
  6. Wedding Nails
  7. Prodigal
  8. .3 (Dot Three)
  9. The Creator Has A Mastertape
  10. Heartattack In A Layby
  11. Strip The Soul
  12. Collapse The Light Into Earth

In Absentia Production Credits:

Arranged by Porcupine Tree
Produced by Steven Wilson
Engineered by Paul Northfield
Mixed by Tim Palmer and Mark O’Donoughue
Mastered by Andy VanDette
Surround Mixes by Elliot Scheiner at the Eyeball, Sept-Dec 2003
Mastered by Darcy Proper, Sony Studios, NYC, Jan 2004
dts Encoding by David Duncan
DVD Produced by Jeff Levison
Executive Producer for DTSE: Jeff Skillen

Porcupine Tree

Steven Wilson – vocals, acoustic & electric guitar, piano, keyboards, banjo
Richard Barbieri – analog synths, mellotron, hammond organ, keyboards
Colin Edwin – bass guitar
Gavin Harrison – drums, percussion

Additional musicians

Aviv Geffen – backing vocals (on “The Sound of Muzak” and “Prodigal”)
John Wesley – backing vocals (on “Blackest Eyes”, “The Sound of Muzak”, and “Prodigal”), additional guitar (on “Blackest Eyes”)


In Absentia Deluxe Edition

Featuring remastered stereo and 5.1 surround sound mixes, additional studio recordings, a disc of unreleased demos and a new feature length Lasse Hoile directed documentary on Blu-ray. 4 disc set presented in a 100-page hardback book.

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