The much anticipated deluxe edition of Porcupine Tree’s iconic 2002 album will be released on 21st February.
3CD/Blu-ray set 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, plus 100-page hardback book with exclusive content including photography by Lasse Hoile, Carl Glover, Richard Barbieri and John Blackford from the recording sessions, subsequent tour and more, extensive biographical liner notes and track-by-track commentary by Stephen Humphries, artwork drafts, and handwritten notes and lyrics.
In Absentia was Porcupine Tree’s seventh studio album, first released in 2002, the first in a run of three albums that for many represent the pinnacle of the band’s artistic achievements. Not many albums can claim to have created a new genre, but with its fusion of metal, progressive rock, ambient textures, and acoustic singer-songwriter styled material, it became a blueprint for a generation of bands to come. It also represented a commercial breakthrough for the band, eventually going on to sell three times more than the band’s previous releases. In Absentia features many of Porcupine Tree’s most beloved songs, including Trains, The Sound of Muzak and Blackest Eyes. While not a formal concept album, many of the songs have common themes related to serial killers, youthful innocence gone wrong, and observations of the modern world, setting a template for many of songwriter Steven Wilson’s future songs.
This deluxe version of In Absentia provides an unrivalled insight into a seminal album. The first CD features Steven Wilson’s 2017 remaster, which has considerably less compression and limiting for a more dynamic listening experience.
The second CD includes all of the additional finished studio recordings the band made during the period. Collapse (intro), Drown With Me, Chloroform, and Meantime were all recorded during the album sessions in New York, while Futile and Orchidia come from the post-album promo-only Futile EP. Radio edits of Trains, Blackest Eyes and Strip the Soul are also included.
The third CD comprises over 70 minutes of demos recorded at Wilson’s home studio during the two years leading up to recording the album. Many of the selections differ from the final versions, with additional sections, alternate lyrics, and different arrangements. Also included are demos of three songs that were not subsequently recorded by the band, all released here for the first time: Imogen Slaughter, Watching You Sleep, and Enough.
The Blu-ray features the new master of the original stereo mix, the 5.1 surround sound mix created in 2003 by legendary engineer Elliot Scheiner, plus the audio from the second CD, all in high resolution audio. It also boasts a new 109-minute feature length documentary film directed by Lasse Hoile, chronicling the making of the album with interviews and archive footage.