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Porcupine Tree - The Incident
Let me get this straight. Porcupine Tree’s main man Steven Wilson expressed his horror about today’s technology a couple of years back. How today’s kids simply download everything and thus not fully know how to appreciate an artist’s work. That partly inspired the concept of their masterpiece Fear of a Blank Planet two years ago. So how it surprised me that I had to download their new work in order to review it. An incident perhaps? 

Again they released a sort of concept album. The Incident is actually one 55-minute song divided into 14 episodes. As vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Steven Wilson states on the Roadrunner website: ‘A slightly surreal song cycle about beginnings and endings with the sense that after this, things will never be the same again.’ The result is a dark kaleidoscope of songs with very few uplifting moments. The Incident explores the more ambient soundscape side of Porcupine Tree. The band's work is noted for its atmospheric nature anyway, but this time it sounds like the songs are designed rather than composed. Designed to give the listener the feeling he's falling into a downward spiral. There isn’t really a band you can compare them to. Perhaps you can mention Pink Floyd or Tool, yet the densely compacted guitars are reminiscent of King Crimson. It isn’t an easy thing to describe their music.

But things are never easy around Porcupine Tree. The concept of The Incident was conceived as Wilson witnessed the aftermath of a car accident. Apparently struck by the police sign saying simply ‘Police-Incident’, he began to collect other similar incidents reported in the news. He found it ironic how events like these are reported so coldly. Therefore lyrics are written in the first person to humanize stories that have been dehumanized. You can clearly tell that every word is chosen carefully. Additionally, Wilson delved back into incidents in his own life that had profoundly affected him, including a lost childhood friendship, a séance, his first love and the day that he decided to give up secure employment to follow his dream of making music. It is therefore not a traditional concept album with one basic story with characters and plotlines, but rather a central theme on which all the songs on the first disc are based on.

The self-produced album is completed by four stand-alone compositions that are housed on a separate CD to stress their independence. Because of the nature of the album, you really miss something if you simply download this. It took me a while to realize that the first disk is actually one continuous stream of songs. If you listen to them in a random order you severely miss the point of this album. I highly recommend going out and buy the original copy. It is the best money can buy in 2009 and you won’t be disappointed.
Porcupine Tree - The Incident
95/1001Details Roadrunner Records
Released on Tuesday Sep 15th, 2009
Progressive (Guitar Oriented) / Symphonic Metal

Writer @Angel on Tuesday Sep 8th, 2009

Tags: #Porcupine Tree
Tracklisting Disc 1
The Incident
I. Occam's Razor
II. The Blind House
III. Great Expectations
IV. Kneel And Disconnect
V. Drawing The Line
VI. The Incident
VII. Your Unpleasant Family
VIII. The Yellow Windows Of The Evening Train
IX. Time Flies
X. Degree Zero Of Liberty
XI. Octane Twisted
XII. The Séance
XIII. Circle Of Manias
XIV. Drive The Hearse

Disc 2
1. Flicker
2. Bonnie The Cat
3. Black Dahlia
4. Remember Me Lover
Line up Steven Wilson - Vocalist/guitarist
Gavin Harrison - Drums
Colin Edwin - Bass
Richard Barbieri - keyboards