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Porcupine Tree - The Incident CD (album) cover


Porcupine Tree


Heavy Prog

3.67 | 1479 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars What is it? An ambitious prog rock project involving a 50-minute single composition that deteriorated due to personal tragedies and band infighting. Therefore, this is an incomplete collection of vaguely connected musical themes, many of which are uninspired and overlong.

Voice (3.5 stars) ? Vocally not inferior to recent albums in technique, displaying the usual blend of strong harmonious singing and variety of moods. However, the melodies are more rudimentary, less pop-oriented, and on occasion border on irritating. There is also a certain feeling of detachment that I do not believe was the intention, weakening the impact. The lyrics are also all over the place and are not immersive. At one point, he samples himself whispering in a loop for a few minutes too long. Whispering also is used in 'Bonnie the Cat' distracting from the excellent musicianship within.

Sound (3.5 stars) ? The sound production seems carefully put together and matches the quality of modern Porcupine Tree recordings. The band sounds very good, if with notable less chemistry and fewer chances to stretch their skills. The album, with its numerous shorter songs forming a concept, cater to the vocalist, pushing the band to the background or for brief interludes, especially in the first half of the album. The instrumentation is pushed a bit more towards the front on 'The Incident' song, with interesting synth loops and doom metal riffs cutting through. It is not until the 2nd half of 'Time Flies' where we get an extended musical passage with good atmosphere and memorable guitar solo. The only other instance is excellent musicality in the first disc is 'Octane Twisted', with driving riffs and an industrial ending that showcases their great drummer. The band attempted to revisit the full prog on 'Circle of Manias' but now they sound terrible. The second disc is a series of outtakes that allow a bit more room for the band, with 'Flicker' having great sound,'Remember me Lover' having a great angry riff, and especially the percussive 'Bonnie the Cat' with its amazing polyrhythmic and prog metal outbursts.

Song (2.5 stars) ? Initially announced as a 50-minute prog rock composition, the songwriting clearly deteriorated during the process, with a fractured-enough feel that had band separate its sections as separate tracks. Some of these tracks are interludes with little to say that only add space in terms of album duration (two of which are a 1-chord riff). There is bizarre repetition of themes (the song succeeding 'Octane Twisted' repeating the same themes), short undeveloped songs, and the supposed centerpiece 'Time Flies' which is pretty bad as a song, does not even have original ideas choosing to instead rip off Pink Floyd themes, and of course it has to be the one song that is over 10 minutes long. The album's climax 'Circle of Manias' is prog rock at its worst with complexity taking over musicality. Some of the shorter pieces carry good musical ideas but are not always developed enough. A few full-fledged songs are successful, such as 'Blind House' bringing back the excitement of their 'In Absentia' album but with a surprise electronica section, 'Octane Twisted' letting the band shine without losing control of song structure, and the Yes-inspired 'Flicker' on the second disc.

Key Tracks: Blind House, Kneel and Disconnect, Octane Twisted, Flicker, Bonnie the Cat

Zitro | 3/5 |


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