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Porcupine Tree - The Incident CD (album) cover

THE INCIDENT

Porcupine Tree

 

Heavy Prog

3.71 | 1152 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Juan.Pablo.Gonzalez
5 stars Porcupine Tree has grown from a pseudonym to a soaring modern prog band that has set new standards for the genre. Steven Wilson's definitive project, as his persona is divided in multiple genres and projects, like No-Man, Blackfield, Bass Communion and I.E.M. But let us get to business. The Incident, Porcupine Tree's tenth studio recording RELEASED through a label (hardcore fans must not forget independent releases from the early days like The Nostalgia Factory and Tarquin's Seaweed Farm) . The Incident cannot be described with one word, since it comprises a plethora of ambients, melodic structures, emotions and compositional traits. This double album, shaped in a similar manner to Dream Theater's Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence, sees the whole of the first disc loaded up with a 55"+ title track, divided into fourteen rich movements, which are seamless when played together, yet coherent when played on their own. SW's compositional talents and influences are explored in depth.

Track-By-Track

Well, we'll divide the title track into its 14 pieces. OCCAM'S RAZOR - The song cycle begins with a single chord, repeated three times in a bar, in several bars. This movement has nothing special, it serves as an introduction, and features bass and guitar soudscaping, which makes it a perfect prelude to the suite and...

THE BLIND HOUSE - This movement is based upon the mishaps of residential cults in the USA. A magical progressive rock piece, which should be analyzed more from its lyrical richness, rather than from its music, which is still perfectly engineered.

GREAT EXPECTATIONS - A baby movement. This features a compelling odd time signature riff after the mellow acoustic intro, and serves as a starter for...

KNEEL AND DISC. - This movement, to the illustrated connossieur means a lot. A small account of SW's feeling when he decided to become a musician. A beautiful piano epilogue makes it a perfectly mellow and certainly meaningful piece, which then passes on to..

DRAWING THE LINE - It's PT, it's straight on rock, and it's great. Who said prog rockers always have to use complex musical tricks and odd time signatures? It's the very musical versatility and the capacity to compose simple things while engineering them perfectly that makes a good prog artist. And then again, SW is great at this. The guitar solo is a great piece of thinking, not to savvy, not too simple. Harrison's drumming is seamless yet outstanding.

THE INCIDENT - The title movement centers around the car accident that made SW give birth to the whole concept of "after this, thing will never be the same". It has an electronic drumming intro, which blends into the metal-like guitar riff, and the perfectly orchestrated triple-voice line "Got a feeling...". Wilson's playing combines perfectly with Harrison's drumming and Edwin's simple groove.

YOUR UNPLEASANT FAM. - Taking on the electronic drum pattern from the previous movement, Your Unpleasant Family features the magical voiceovers characteristic of PT (read; Mellotron Scratch, Normal, etc.), and is quite simple. It is the first step of a transition into a low paced break in the cycle, which continues with..

THE YELLOW WINDOWS... - Richard Barbieri is not a keyboard virtuoso like Jordan Rudess or Rick Wakeman. But he is certainly in a league of his own when it comes to soundscaping with organs and sounds. The nostalgic rumble of a gramophone is the main attractive of this piece, which makes the listener prepared for the great music about to come...

TIME FLIES - The center-movement of the cycle. True Pink Floyd influence, some might say plagiarism, but this is false. At 11:40, it makes up about 1/5 of the whole song. It is a lyrical movement, which ponders on the quick passing of time (Time Flies, people), and features great ambience. First optimistic music, then obscure, then optimistic once more. A great masterpiece. Time Flies shows why single editions suck.

DEGREE ZERO... - The chord that started this soaring musical monster returns. It's part of an ambient once more, more like a phase-out from the outstanding Time Flies. Guitar noodling is more evident.

OCTANE TWISTED - The beginning of the end. It stars with a simple guitar structure, and blends into a soaring Tool-like riff, with hints of The Blind House's riff structure and tribal drums, complete with synth-aah's and great soloing by Wilson.

THE SEANCE - A simple movement at first, taking on Octane Twisted's initial melodic guitar, but then showing great acoustic riffing, a small proggy start for...

CIRCLE OF MANIAS - You wanted prog? If you weren't able to spot the prog by now, here's a very obvious piece. A very odd time signature (I'm not sure, I'm guessing either 9/8 or 7/8) certainly, mixed with an offbeat guitar riff in the background, makes it hard to find the One at certain points.

I DRIVE THE HEARSE - Beautiful. Just beautiful. It starts with a small guitar accompanying for Steven Wilson's magistral lyrics, and then the title is sung, making the music a 5/4 riff with several guitar over dubs. This repeats two times, until it fades out with a 6/4 melody and great drumming effects by prog-lord Gavin Harrison.

DISC 2

FLICKER - Did SW compose this as an epilogue to The Incident? The lyrics don't say so, but the music does. A soft piece with no odd times, or drastic changes. Just beautiful and mellow. Like only PT could pull it off.

BONNIE THE CAT - Prog, prog, prog. This song has prog written all over it. It's a dark side of love told in a very complex drumming structure. Edwin and Harrison make the song in its most intricate meaning. The hateful lyrics make it a dark and strong piece that's worthy of any prog-metal fan's time.

BLACK DAHLIA - Sure, it's monotonous and slow. Bu it's, once again, beautiful. arbieri mellows things up while Wilson sings about murder and betrayal. Again, this record looks at prog's lyrical and conceptual side, not musical virtuosity and hard instrumental tricks.

REMEMBER ME LOVER - The end of the end. A very strong piece, ranging from sadness and bitterness to hatred, metal and a great finale. The end is dry,and abrupt, but gives the listener great expectations (THE INCIDEEENT!) on what Wilson and his band might come up with in the studio next time.

OVERALL

The Incident is not a boring record, it's not a record that lacks imagination. It is MADE of imagination and a very solid concept. For me, it is an instant classic. Five out of five. Keep it up, Wilson.

Juan.Pablo.Gonzalez | 5/5 |

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