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Porcupine Tree - The Incident CD (album) cover

THE INCIDENT

Porcupine Tree

 

Heavy Prog

3.71 | 1186 ratings

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The T
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars This album might well be the disappointment of the year.

PORCUPINE TREE has been releasing great albums since the day they were formed. Even their first, "On the Sunday of life", was an entertaining collection of Steven Wilson's youth's ideas recorded in a disc. From there on, up to 2007's "Fear of A Blank Planet", the British band had never really let me down. That is, until 2009, with the release of "the Incident", probably their weakest album to date.

The album is made of two discs: on disc one, we have the long epic "The Incident", which is supposed to be the focus of the album. It definitely is the most important part of the record, but it's also the one that disappoints the most. Unlike previous long songs by the band (like the title track on this album's predecessor), "The Incident" gets tiresome after a few minutes, and it gets very close to becoming boring by the end. There's a lot of repetition of ideas and not precisely to create a sense of unity in the track but because it would seem Wilson couldn't come up with anything else. The track reeks of lack of inspiration. A few riffs and sections are repeated all throughout the song to make it coherent in the way of a rock leif-motiv, but that's pretty much the most interesting factor about this epic. Where are the outstanding melodies that PORCUPINE TREE has gotten me used to? Even Wilson's singing deviates from the norm, and not for the best. At times he tries to sound too "indie", too "alternative", but he comes up rather like an angry teenager. The music is, in general, rather mundane, with references to PINK FLOYD as always but also to other bands from another musical world, including KORN. Even fantastic musicians like Gavin Harrison seem to have decided to play it safe this time around. The band recorded their longest track ever, using the least amount of creativity ever, too.

I said that the title-track was the most disappointing, which doesn't mean it is the worst song in the album. It's just that for such a long epic, it leaves the listener wanting and expecting so much more. The really bad part of the album is the second disc, where we have four completely irrelevant short songs that could've been left out and would have had the same impact. Probably the least entertaining 20 minutes in the band's history, these four tracks have nothing that makes them stand out from anything recorded by any other alternative-rock band. The typical atmosphere and melody of PORCUPINE TREE's short songs is lost here. Though the rhythm section tries to make the situation a little better, Wilson and Barbieri's complete lack of inspiration make these tracks a chore to sit through.

All in all, an utter disappointment and the worst album in the band's career. While I think it's still better than most of the rock out there, that's just due to the sheer talent of the musicians, who manage to create decent music even when they fail. But in the entire catalogue of the band, it can't stand proudly next to "In Absentia", "Deadwing", "Fear of a Blank Planet", "Signify", "Lightbulb Sun", or any of the rest. For that reason, I'll round the 2.5 off this time, as it's necessary to point out how disappointing this 2009 record really is.

The T | 2/5 |

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