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Porcupine Tree - The Incident CD (album) cover


Porcupine Tree


Heavy Prog

3.67 | 1516 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars There are the facts, then there is perception based partly upon experience, culture, and education. There is also politics, of which politically correctness is disingenuous in regards to facts. Then there is faith, which can be pure and absolute within the soul, and yet vulnerable to an extreme in relation to politics, perceptions, and fact. The intent may be absolution and humility to a greater power and a future bathed in eternal light.. Deceivers and charlatans will prey upon a pure and faithful soul. They see you kneeling in your blind house. They use your faith against you for their own earthly desires. "Breathe out. Blind House. Free Love. Feel Love."

That evil can so perfectly exist and lead astray those devoted in faith to God should not be a surprise to anyone. These are the facts- throughout the history of the world the fight between good and evil has been as much a war within each community as it is a war between nations. Now go write a novel about this. Go write a play about this. Or, if you are Porcupine Tree, go write a concept album about this. Make it epic.

This is a contemporary telling of an age-old tale. The photos in the jacket remind us of 2008, when the State of Texas removed 450 children from a ranch near El Dorado and from their parents, members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS). The Texas Supreme Court later ordered the children be returned to their parents.

In "The Blind House" you can almost hear the sect's leader, Warren Jeffs, speaking these words to the children, "It's no concern of theirs/The world aside/Corrupts my child/So trust these eyes."

Does Porcupine Tree tell this story in an epic way? Not completely, yet well enough to inspire. It is dark theme. It is dangerous. Their music is filled with angst, with pain, and twisted refrains.

This is a bold journey of music and story where the theme of betrayal is repeated in "Great Expectations" when Steven Wilson sings, "They locked you up/So I forgot you.forgot you. and again in "Drawing the Line" with the lyrics, "Unto others what they always do to you/The most twisted of your rules". Perhaps nothing is more powerful than "When a car crash gets you off you've lost your grip/When a fuck is not enough you know you've slipped/When the church is full it means you've just been had". "The Incident" even feels like a car crash and a fuck and church full of used and abused believers.

The entire story falters with what is easily the most accessible and enjoyable song on the album- Time Flies. This song stands out alone on Disc 1 as an antithesis to the epic tale being told. It contains one of the finest, passionate guitar solos since Pink Floyd's Animals and The Wall- the story is about memories and the harsh reality of life, "But after awhile you realize time flies/And the best thing that you can do is take whatever comes to you/'Cause time flies" Steven Wilson sings, "Can you stop smoking your cigar?" Framing the lyrics is a picture of two young boys standing arm in arm. It is a sweet/sad song, but hardly with the strong moral undertone that carries the rest of the songs to their conclusion.

In the powerful Octane Twisted, there is blood flowing out of the stream and in The Seance, the singer begs, "give me something new please, something I can love." Is the protagonist lost without his belief? "Given time I fix the roof/Given cash I speak the truth" he sings in I Drive the Hearse. For all intents and purposes, the story ends here.

Disc 2 has four excellent songs and the theme of the story may be within each song, but each song is so distinct from the other that it raises the question, did the label pressure Porcupine Tree to add a second disc to improve sales? There is a long, and nearly faithful continuity to the theme of this album that could have carried for a similar length on disc 2- yet this shorter disc feels like an afterthought, as if a second ending was hastily added. Of these last songs, Black Dahlia is a stellar piece, challenging Time Flies for top song on the album. As for this reviewer, he found great satisfaction in the very last song Remember Me Lover- it was a clear reminder of this reviewer's own personal decision to make life changes, "But now I've got to be the one to turn away. it's time to react".

Where so many bands stick to formula, it is refreshing to listen to The Incident. It is comforting to know that there are bands willing to challenge themselves to be something more than artists within a medium. Porcupine Tree takes risks, dares to elevate while taking us on a descent into dark subjects-where the real world lies. An epic journey, with only a few unscheduled stops along the way.

progrockcritic | 4/5 |


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