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Porcupine Tree - Octane Twisted CD (album) cover


Porcupine Tree


Heavy Prog

3.60 | 226 ratings

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Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The Incident bonus DVD edition

One of our best reviewers Conor Fynes has already documented the live CDs wonderfully so I will direct you to his early review of the CDs. I just wanted to tack on my thoughts regarding the bonus DVD of the Chicago performance which is what got me excited (I love turning the living room into a concert parking BS and easy access to the beer fridge.) To cut to the chase, if you're wondering whether it's worth it to spring for the deluxe edition just to get the bonus live DVD, the answer is a resounding Yes - in fact it may be the main reason to move quickly (as I believe it is limited). The DVD includes a one hour performance of The Incident material and nothing from other albums.

Seeing the band perform The Incident in one graceful swoop brought the album to life- a vigorous yet loaded band absolutely at the top of their game from a performance perspective. They took a concept album I'd previously appreciated but felt a bit dry and pumped some nice humidity into it. It breathes and sweats while maintaining the album's structure and mystery. Every key track on the album sounded better to me with the stage's mingling of sounds and extra personality coming forth. Wilson's voice has never sounded more confident. This is probably the most emotionally involving the band has been for me. As much as I really love many of their albums, there is a certain frost and distance to their songs, only rarely do they move into my personal space or moisten my eyes. The live presentation of this material gets a bit closer though they will always lack in that department.

The visual experience is key and PT had a tough act to follow in Anesthetize. While clearly a more humble, laid back video presentation, it works perfectly given the attention here is the music, not the showiness. There is a slightly soft, grainy and dark look to the footage, with hushed reds and the expected black edges, while the flesh tones cut through with a golden light. Really nice ambiance to the shots and kudos to those who worked on "the look". I read one complaint out there about fast edits which is something that usually bugs the shit out of me, but the issue was overstated. Yeah,I'd hold things longer and move slower, but it's no problem honestly. There is a video screen with images from the story but little else in the way of distraction from the music. With regard to the sound quality itself, I thought it was very good although I'm not much of an audiophile.

The crushing angular guitar riffs and controlled intensity of Harrison provide great thrills while the gentler sections lull you back to earth. The piece effectively marries the earlier long, spacier PT with the melodic, catchy recent songs. And it's a chance to really become absorbed in one long ride as opposed to feeling like you're moving from song to song ala most shows. This fact leads me to the only tragic downside I can point out: Wilson's denying this performance the stature and possibility it offered for a full stand-alone DVD release. This should have gotten the full ride, a release of the entire Chicago show in it's full glory. I can't imagine why he chose not to. When we finished watching the disc we looked at each other thinking the same thing....we should be watching the second set too dammit!!!

Octane Twisted (CD/DVD edition) is an essential document for fans of this band, and in my opinion it the single best way to experience the material of The Incident. I won't be playing the studio version much anymore, and usually I prefer studio albums to live ones. This edition comes in the dual-digipak book with lots of color photos from the gig.

Finnforest | 4/5 |


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