Title: The Incident
Artist: Porcupine Tree
Genre: Progressive Rock
Release Date: 11th September 2009
Label: Roadrunner Records
Initiated as mere fictional project in 1987, PORCUPINE TREE soon became more real than ever imagined and a centre of Steven Wilson’s various musical activities. The former joke grew to a real band and within their meanwhile 22 years spanning career this band has managed to constantly evolve and move forward with their sound. ‘The Incident’ is PORCUPINE TREE’s tenth and newest studio album, centering on a 55 minutes long song cycle in 14 episodes
The story begins with ‘Occam’s Razor’, a for the most part solemn prelude that segues into ‘The Blind House’ which builds up a rocking wall bordering on the metal to abruptly cool down with oppressing, melancholic soundscapes and Wilson’s pervasive vocals. In its later stages the song even reveals a slight indie timbre. This is only the starting point of an equally epic and diverse journey that brings forth pearls such as ‘Kneel and Disconnect’ that is caressing the soul with piano and soft acoustic guitar flourishes of an undying beauty, or the following ‘Drawing The Line’ beginning with a chiming melody growing to an emotive network of moods, layered over slow, precise drum beats. Towards the middle, the song gains momentum and a rockier side is taking control bringing a simple yet unashamedly catchy chorus with it.
The album’s title track sets up a really cold and threatening mood with clinical electronic rhythms and a Steven Wilson who damps down his voice to a whisper just to take a different direction again as the song will do later. The centre piece ‘Time Flies’ is a composition of epic dimensions. It’s a sentimental opus about the simple fact that time runs faster than you think and you’ve got to take every chance you’re being offered. Besides that, it comes up with one of the best guitar solos I’ve heard on a PORCUPINE TREE thus far. Not even the splendid delivery on the emotive end of the story ‘Drive The Hearse’ can keep up with that, even though its grandeur and heart-rending emotionality brings me close to tears. That is also thanks to Richard Barbierie’s expansive sound carpets, opening a corridor right into the soul and plucking the heartstrings.
Furthermore, the album holds 4 additional compositions on a separate CD which are detached from the concep. The disc starts with the placid ‘Flicker’, relying on slow-motion rhythms and spherical sound sculpturing. ‘Bonnie The Cat’ will be a revelation to those folks thinking that some of the compositions on the main disc were a little to simple in structure. The tempo is higher here and the time signature of Harrison’s drumming is odd to say the least, and these are only a few qualities this sang has in stock. The third track ‘Black Dahlia’ rather follows the path of the first tune, remains at a slower pace, and ventures out into psychedelic realms. The final act is made by ‘Remember Me Lover’, a piece going through a remarkable progression whilst retaining the second disc’s prevailing serenity for the most part.
I must say that I feared this 55-minute composition could become a disaster, even though I hoped for the opposite at the same time, and luckily ‘The Incident’ became the mentioned opposite. It’s presenting a band at their best and I’m absolutely excited about the stuff after various listening sessions. The material on the second CD in my opinion is equally strong stuff with such highlights as ‘Bonnie The Cat’ and ‘Remember Me Lover’. An absolute recommendation!
01. Occam's Razor - 1:56
02. The Blind House - 5:47
03. Great Expectations - 1:26
04. Kneel And Disconnect - 2:03
05. Drawing The Line - 4:43
06. The Incident - 5:20
07. Your Unpleasant Family - 1:48
08. The Yellow Windows Of The Evening Train - 2:00
09. Time Flies - 11:40
10. Degree Zero Of Liberty - 1:45
11. Octane Twisted - 5:03
12. The Séance - 2:39
13. Circle Of Manias - 2:19
14. I Drive The Hearse - 7:21
01. Flicker - 3:41
02. Bonnie The Cat - 5:45
03. Black Dahlia - 3:40
04. Remember Me Lover - 7:30
Steven Wilson - Vocals, Guitars, Piano, Synths, etc.
Richard Barbieri - Keys, Synths, Piano, Mellotron
Colin Edwin - Bass, Guimbri, Saz
Gavin Harrison - Drums
http://www.porcupinetree.com/ / http://www.myspace.com/porcupinetree
Total: 9 / 10