I've mentioned from time to time that I'm a fan of this band. English, started out in the early 90s with a sort of prog/electronica sound that's morphed over the years more towards prog/metal. I got hooked on them with this album back in 2004. It was one of the first multi-channel disks I bought. I read a review that Elliot Sheiner had produced this and it won a grammy for the best MCH mix in 2003. Anyway, I liked it, then loved it, bought a bunch more PT DVD As which I listen to fairly regularly. All of them feature differing styles of music, but from the late 90s to today, the songwriting and skill have gone from very good to truly artistic, sometimes awe inspiring.
In Absentia was a crossroads album where they started experimenting heavily with shred metal. Something I'm not a big fan of, however in this case, the songwriting and composition of truly sweet lyrics (though dark), interwoven vocals and harmony, prog themes, breaking out into shredding jams, just works. The musicianship, coupled with vocals with a hook, counterpoint timing and stellar recording just melded to together into something special. There are songs on this disk that are some of my all time favorites, a few that are just a tad too much for me, but all are worthwhile.
Style, think Pink Floyd crossed with Genesis morphing toward Opeth. Think all of them at their best, then apply truly amazing mixes, butter/bittersweet vocals, 4 and 5 part harmonies and pristine recordings. If you're of the opinion that DSOTM is the reference multi-channel mix, you'll need to get your ears around this album. Not as many tricky effects and panning sounds, but truly multi-layered, percussion, keyboards, synths and vocals blend in from all fronts. Trust me on this. There's 10 or 11 regular tracks and 3 bonus tracks on the disk. The bonus tracks are every bit as good (some better) than what was released on the original CD.
What brought this on was a listening session last night before I went to bed. I hadn't played this disk for over a year. It sounded so fresh and impressive, I thought I'd write about it.
This DVD A rocks.