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Porcupine Tree - The Incident CD (album) cover


Porcupine Tree


Heavy Prog

3.66 | 1444 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars With Incident, the Steven Wilson train appears to be running out of steam. All the signs are there for an utterly average album: little outside contribution from guest musicians, trying to follow up from a generally well-received concept album (Fear of a Blank Planet), and--most importantly--an obvious lack of cohesion and musical ideas.

Devoting lots of space to ambience and atmospherics may fool some as powerful musical ideas, but I'm not buying it. In the same vein, haphazardly repeating a few unremarkable melodies throughout the album does not do all that much to build coherence.

Based on the above, you may think that I view this as a bad album. Certainly not! However, the band is somewhat a victim of past success, as each new album must add something unique to the catalog, or else risk fans simply turning to previous material when in the mood for some Porcupine Tree. That's the case with me: in Incident, I see a well-produced album with a few engaging melodies, but find myself simply much preferring previous albums when I need some PT.

Fortunately, there are two major exceptions to this feeling: Time Flies and Octane Twisted. Whether you view the former as somewhat of a copycat (and I do not), it's a good song regardless. The latter is the PT that I enjoy: rocking out, with plenty of action from Harrison (which is noticeably lacking throughout much of the album).

All in all, I'm just not sure what PT was attempting with this album, as there is some pandering to fans (i.e., Time Flies), some exploration of new avenues (via tender ambience), and some simply uncreative songwriting (Exhibit A: the incredibly uninspired quarter note, power chord intro sequence).

Here's hoping the guys find time between tours to rest up and find the direction and inspiration the seems so lacking on Incident.

Flucktrot | 3/5 |


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