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Porcupine Tree - The Incident CD (album) cover

THE INCIDENT

Porcupine Tree

 

Heavy Prog

3.71 | 1151 ratings

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Morningrise
2 stars 2009 Biggest Let Downs: Part 1

2009 was said to be a great year for prog. Well, I'm not really sure whether to include myself in the group of people who believe this or not. Don't get me wrong, I've really enjoyed lots of works that came out last year, such as IQ's Frequency, Beardfish's Destined Solitaire or Mastodon's Crack The Skye just to cite some. The problems came out from the bands I was expecting probably the most. So, what 2009 really was for me was a year full of surprises, in terms of not knowing what to expect from each band, and that causing me to turn my back to some on my favourite artists for others instead. That was the case for Dream Theater (I wasn't really surprised that BCASL turned out to be as terrible as it was. It's just that whenever a new DT release is out I still keep the hope of finding something unique and fresh such as Images And Words), Queensryche, and, last but not least, Porcupine Tree.

Now, let's analyze PT's context before this release. They had the hard task of matching a masterpiece like Fear Of A Blank Planet, which, for me was the best release of 2007 by far. They had announced that the new album would be double and it would include a 55 minute epic. Expectations were real high for every PT fan (myself included).I really couldn't wait for this new album to come out. So, what happens when you desperately desire something so bad and when you finally get it, the taste in your mouth is not as sweet as you would suppose was going to be?. The dissapointment is even bigger than the initial desire. That's exactly how I felt after listening The Incident. It took a long time for me to finally decide to write a review on this. I was really anxious to express my thoughts on the new album, but, also I didn't want to rush out on it, since I've read tons of reviews of people stating that The Incident was an album that grows on you once you've listened to it several times.Sorry folks, that was not my case. First of all, there is no 55 minute epic in here. It's just a concept piece that is separated on 14 tracks which are hardly connected one to each other. Secondly, I've always defended Porcupine Tree from people I know who think they are a boring band. With The Incident it was really the first time I found a PT release boring and uninspired. So uninspired that two of the three tracks that I enjoy the most on disc one seem to be total rip off's from other bands. As many people have stated, Time Flies, the central piece of the supposedly epic, has too many similar elements with Pink Floyd's Dogs. So therefore, although it is quite enjoyable, it's hard for me to fully appreciate it. The other track is The Incident (track 6), which sounds pretty much like a Massive Attack song. I like Massive Attack, so this had to appeal me. The problem is that when I buy a Porcupine Tree album I want to listen to Porcupine Tree. Not Tricky, nor Daddy G, but Steven Wilson. In fact, whenever I listen to this song, it always seems to me that in any time of the song I will hear: "Moving up slowly inertia creeps" or "karmacoma, jamaica'aroma". I mean, come on!, is this the same band that two years ago wrote awesome and original tunes such as Anesthesize or Fear Of A Blank Planet?.The only real original Porcupine Tree moment in disc one is I Drive The Hearse, which unluckily is the last track, so it is difficult for me to reach there before I turn my cd player off. Some moments on The Blind House are pretty decent too. But the rest is either filler or a yawn concert.

Disc Two hasn't got much more to offer, with one exception.But before we get to the songs, why the need to make a double album if all the songs fit together in a single cd?. The only advantage I get from it is that these songs won't be included in the next Porcupine Tree album, so it is a nice opportunity to start again fresh and new. Ok, now, let's get to the last tracks. Flicker has a certain Pink Floyd feel (just a feel)and it is an average PT tune. Nothing remarkable, but not that bad either. In fact, it really stands outin what the whole album is. Next we get another track with vocals "a la massive attack". Only that this time, Bonnie the cat doesn't appeal to me even a little bit. I usually tend to skip this song because I don't find almost anything to rescue. Perhaps the last part, in which the song gets a little heavier. Nevertheless, it is quite an experimental song. It didn't work on me, but some people may find it interesting. It may be worth to listen to it and take your own conclusions. My thoughts over black dahlia are similar to Flicker. Average Porcupine Tree. So I don't feel the need to extend this review further just for this track. Finally we get to Remember Me Lover. And this, my friends, is what Porcupine Tree should be about.Beautiful song. It is a very laid back track that grows a bit on the chorus. Afterwards it gets a little heavier just to get laid back and heavy once again. Great arrangements and rhythm transitions all over this track. Really recommended.

So, it is true. I didn't like The Incident. I think it was a wrong step in the band's direction. But hey, all the greats have taken some wrong steps along the way. I think it's just a stone in the middle of the road. Steven Wilson is a genius and I have no doubts that the next Porcupine Tree release will blow our minds once again. It's just a matter of waiting a couple of years for that to happen.

Morningrise | 2/5 |

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