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Porcupine Tree - The Incident CD (album) cover


Porcupine Tree


Heavy Prog

3.66 | 1469 ratings

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4 stars Review Nš 25

This is my first review of a Porcupine Tree album. Porcupine Tree is a British progressive rock group formed in 1987 by Steven Wilson, their mastermind, mainly composer and front man. They're one of the best and most important bands to emerge from UK in the last years. They have the guidance of the visionary Steven, who have modernised progressive rock by adding a dash of everything that's happened to music in these days since the genres heyday.

Usually, I start my reviews from a band by my favourite album, their most striking album or their debut album. In this case, I decided to start with the last musical work from the band, because when I made this review I have seen the presentation of the album in a live concert in my country. So, therefore, and after all, I had the two versions, both the studio and the live versions, very fresh in my mind. So, as you can see, I had already made this review some time ago.

'The Incident' is the tenth studio album of Porcupine Tree and was released in 2009. The recording sessions of the album have been started in February 2009, and it was released on September. 'The Incident' is a concept album based on a Wilson's idea. The original idea appeared when he was caught in a motorway traffic jam driving and he passed a road accident. Then, he thought that an accident is something so traumatic and destructive for the people involved, that he decided to make a concept album about it. Therefore, he decided to search some other type of accidents reported in the media and in the news. So, the concept of the album is about several types of accidents very different, like a car crash, a drowning in a river, or a massacre in a religious cult in Texas. Curiously, he decided to call it 'The Incident' not 'The Accident', because he considered the word 'The Incident' a more detached word.

For those who aren't familiar with my progressive biography, I need to say that I'm Portuguese and despite I was born in Lisbon, I live in a small town in the north of Portugal, Viana do Castelo, for some years. On the live tour of Porcupine Tree's 'The Incident', the band had two concerts marked to Portugal. The first was in 20.11.2009 in Lisbon and the second was in 21.11.2009 in Porto. Although I have some family in Lisbon, I live about 400 Km away, and so I decided to go to the Porto's concert with my youngest son. The distance is not far away. It's only about 75 Km away.

I only bought the album in the beginning of November, because the concert was very close to that date. I must say that I was somewhat disappointed with the first listening of the album. After their splendid previous studio album 'Fear Of A Blank Planet' released in 2007, I confess that I expected much more of this new work. So, it was with some expectation, that I waited the presentation of the album live, and above all, because, despite the group had already acted in Portugal in other occasions, for me, it would be the first time that I would see a Porcupine Tree live concert.

The concert was divided in two distinct parts. In the first part the band performed the 55 minutes 'The Incident', without interruption, and in the second part the band played tracks from some other previous studio albums. The only thing I can say is that I became astonished with the concert. Porcupine Tree is really a wonderful live band. When I returned home and I listen to the album again, I maintained my first impression. It still didn't sound to me as good. I usually prefer studio works instead live works. But in this case I confess that 'The Incident' is better performed live than listen on the studio version. The album has a much faster rhythm and is quite heavier than on its studio version. However, to make this review, I had to listen to the album another couple of times. And oddly, I must confess that the more I listen to the album, it better sounds to me. Curiously, I saw, in the same year, three other live concerts in my country. The first was in Lisbon, Dream Theater+Pendragon in June, the second was also in Lisbon the Eagles concert in July, and the third was in Porto, the Progressive Nation 2009-Dream Theater+Opeth+Bigelf+Unexpected in October. However, I must confess that the Porcupine Tree live concert was the best and my favourite of all.

Conclusion: 'The Incident' is in reality a great album, more acoustic and less heavy than the last ones. It's an album with two CD's. The first CD is an ambitious musical project with a fifty five minutes piece of music divided into fourteen separate tracks. The second CD has only four tracks. In my humble opinion, the second CD doesn't explore the same line of the first and it shows the more experimental musical side of Steve. We can say that it's a kind of a bonus CD. So, for this reason, I practically skipped it away, from my review. Certainly, 'The Incident' is the most autobiographical album by Steven, because all the songs are somehow a little bit personal. Probably, it isn't for everyone. It takes time to absorb it. Undoubtedly, we are in presence of an excellent album by one of the greatest progressive bands, which has one of the best progressive artists in our days. Probably, my fault was to have so many expectations about it.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

VianaProghead | 4/5 |


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