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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very important 'Incident'
When the album was released, my first listen made me wonder whether there were a few errors in the concept, but rather than rush to review like some did here during September, I decided to give 'The Incident' several listens before reaching a judgement. Is it my favourite PT album? No, but it is brilliant when you've given it time and picked out all of the nuances...
Published on 14 Nov 2009 by Rik P

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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A step (back) in the right direction...
As a long-time fan of Porcupine Tree (and other Steven Wilson side projects) I was becoming increasingly frustrated with the Tree's more recent 'progression' (most notably the heavier sound that became more prevalent from Lightbulb Sun onward). Porcupine Tree fans tend to fall into two broad camps: those that prefer the older, more Floydian and trippy vibe of their...
Published on 5 Oct 2009 by Kevin O'Keefe


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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very important 'Incident', 14 Nov 2009
By 
Rik P "Rik P" (Bournemouth, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Incident (Audio CD)
When the album was released, my first listen made me wonder whether there were a few errors in the concept, but rather than rush to review like some did here during September, I decided to give 'The Incident' several listens before reaching a judgement. Is it my favourite PT album? No, but it is brilliant when you've given it time and picked out all of the nuances.

A 55 minute concept track is ambitious and does it really hang together seamlessly? Not sure, but as a collection of pieces, the Wilson genius is all there. We have tracks that take you back to the likes of Lightbulb Sun and Stupid Dream and a continuation of the flirtation with metal riffs. 'Time Flies' is an homage to Pink Floyd and 'I Drive the Hearse' is a beautiful and subtle ending to 'The Incident'. CD2 consists of 4 tracks that were produced as part of the writing process and for me, 'Flicker' and 'Remember Me Lover' are the stand out pieces there.

OK, I'll be honest, I'm a PT fanatic and have been since they released Signify. If you are a fan of serious rock music then Porcupine Tree and their founder, Steven Wilson are vitally important to the ongoing life and success of the genre. They need our ongoing support and interest and they are phenomenal live. Take the PT journey, it's a fulfilling one for fans of serious rock music.
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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A step (back) in the right direction..., 5 Oct 2009
By 
Kevin O'Keefe (Yorkshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Incident (Audio CD)
As a long-time fan of Porcupine Tree (and other Steven Wilson side projects) I was becoming increasingly frustrated with the Tree's more recent 'progression' (most notably the heavier sound that became more prevalent from Lightbulb Sun onward). Porcupine Tree fans tend to fall into two broad camps: those that prefer the older, more Floydian and trippy vibe of their early-to-mid period or those who welcomed and have enjoyed their move into heavier rock territory. I fall squarely into the former category and - I am delighted to report - it looks like my patience has paid off (at least in part, which I will come to shortly).

Don't get me wrong; PT never fully 'lost the musical plot' with their last few albums: there are fantastic and transcendent cuts of elegiac power to be found on their more recent offerings ('Arriving Somewhere But Not Here' & 'My Ashes' for example) but sometimes these gems were marooned in a sea of more harsh material and I found they suffered as a result. Hence I have long been waiting (well 'hoping' actually) for an album that would go back to their old 'formula' of perhaps more simplistic yet ultimately more rewarding longer musical excursions. Which finally brings me to my specific thoughts on this album (phew!):

Let me firstly start with the negative by saying that the song-cycle 'The Incident' (which constitutes all of CD1) didn't work for me as a concept. Although it does contain a musical refrain that is revisited and that anchors the piece together it is not strong enough to link the different passages thematically; in fact some of these tracks would not sound out of place if placed in an entirely different context (as they do not rely on each other to 'work' in my opinion). In other words this seemed to me a bit of a hotchpotch of songs that may - I'm guessing here - have been massaged into a concept album retrospectively as it were (i.e. merge the songs, add the musical motif here and there etc). The songs are of variable quality and, yes, they do feature a hard rock/metal sensibility at times but there are nevertheless two quite outstanding tracks among the 'concept' that demand particular attention. The first is the track 'Time Flies' which on first listen actually made me laugh out loud! Why? Well, it is such a shameless and affectionate homage to Pink Floyd that I could scarcely believe PT's brass neck. As soon as the first couple of bars were underway I thought 'mmm...this sounds like Gilmour's urgent, staccato riff in 'Dogs'. Later we are treated to the deep reverberating guitar sound as heard in 'Time' from Dark Side Of The Moon. And to top it off Wilson then uses the almost exact sound (possibly even some of the same chords) that Gilmour employs in the sublime coda/outro at the end of 'Sheep'. What stops all this from being a very clever pastiche is the fact that 'Time Flies' is a superb song that stands up on its own merits and - for me - is possibly 'the' stand-out track of the album: a fully-realised mini-concept within a beautifully executed song. The other notable song of CD1 is the final track 'I Drive The Hearse'. Again this may not please those that like PT at their heaviest but for those that Love Wilson's bleak-yet-tuneful Blackfield work you'll feel right at home here: lyrically and emotionally this is very moving stuff indeed.

Now to CD2 i.e. the CD that is NOT part of the song-cycle. Although only four tracks in length I actually found this to be the better of the two discs and - ironically - I felt all these tracks stood together in a way that the first CD doesn't. The first track `Flicker' has a slow and sinuous feel that put me in mind of 'Spirit Of Eden'period Talk Talk (high praise indeed). Somewhat formless and with no real progression (and all the better for it) it successfully evokes that indistinct PT 'mood' that they do so well. 'Bonnie the Cat' is heavier fare which sets the tone superbly for possibly the highlight of the album namely 'Black Dahlia' which then segues beautifully into the final track 'Remember Me Lover'. These two tracks typify a lot of what I look for in Porcupine Tree's music: powerful yet melancholic (sometimes desperately sad) music that stirs an indefinable sense of loss and wonder in the listener (perhaps best examples of this might be 'Fadeaway' or 'Dark Matter). Now THIS is what I'm talkin' about!

In conclusion, this is not the rumoured return to their previous sound that many might have hoped for. Uneven though it maybe it nonetheless has brilliance in parts that harkens back to former glories. Older fans may as well get used to it: the 'Sky Moves Sideways' days are gone - and what's more most fans seem to prefer the newer PT incarnation anyway. This album has pulled off the trick of managing to straddle the two styles with grace though and, although I'll always prefer their dreamier, psychedelic side, I now find myself more amenable to their increasingly contemporary sound. Hell, I may even learn to love it one day! 'Three stars' for now then (due to the unconvincing 'concept' and a few below-par tracks) but this has potential to be upgraded to four in time. Here's looking forward to the next chapter in Steven Wilson's (and PT's) intriguing musical odyssey...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 star album from a 5 star band..., 1 Nov 2009
By 
Marc Van Kerschaver "Makkedude" (Oudenaarde, Belgium) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Incident (Audio CD)
In 2002 In Absentia was the first PT album I heard and I was blown away. Ever since I got everything I could lay my hands on and discovered a band with a range as wide as a star system. Steven Wilson is an absolute genius but it's not all gold the man touches (I'm not that fond of No Man for example...). With PT however he strikes the mother lode every single time.
The anticipation after In Absentia, Deadwing and Fear of a Blank Planet was high though. Could they really deliver another album as good as its predecessor? The answer is yes, but...there is a but. The Incident is `different' from the latter three. PT digs back in their older work and mixes the more psychedelic soundscapes from The Sky Moves Sideways and Up the Downstair with the harder rocksound of Absentia, Deadwing and Planet. With that they create a new sound and it almost seems like you hear a new band. I must admit I wasn't that enthusiastic when I first heard The Incident and I can very well imagine when this is the first PT you hear it can raise an eyebrow or two. But after a few sessions the music, the beautiful lyrics, the dark atmosphere Steven Wilson excels in...it all kicks in...without mercy.
CD 1 holds fourteen wonderfully woven songs about everyday `incidents', from a car crash to neighbours from hell, from first love to lost friendship. This fifty-five minute piece belongs, to my opinion', to their best work. CD2 has only four songs but again from the highest quality. The whole takes you on a seventy-five minute trip with not a single weak moment.
I'm quite critical when it comes to music and I'm not afraid to be negative even about my most favorite bands but in the sad landscape of (mostly commercial) contemporary music, Porcupine Tree is a real gem, four musicians making music that surprises, enchants and excites every time, again and again.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic album, 14 Oct 2009
By 
D. GREENWOOD - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Incident (Audio CD)
The Incident cycle is brilliant, working both as one song and 14 independant tracks (for most of them at least). The second disc of tracks is also fantastic, with Bonnie the Cat being a highlight of the album.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Give it a chance and you'll see!!!!!!!, 6 Oct 2009
By 
A. M. Gill - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Incident (Audio CD)
A lot of people have been harsh with this new album and, yes on first listen it seems a let down, but give it a few spins and you'll start to hear the beauty and brilliance at heart. There's a very dark and sinister undercurrent flowing through this work but it doesn't once take away from the melody or the stunning musicianship. The title track is a stand out moment, dark and edgy and with more than a hint of malice about it, closing track "I drive the hearse" sits at the other end of the spectrum, being light and gentle and simply stunning.
If you percevere you really COULD find something for everyone here, and whereas, to these ears, it still doesn't top "deadwing" or "Signify" it comes VERY close!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Porcupine Tree , HOt as ever, 9 Nov 2009
By 
DJ Campbell "Drummer D" (N Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Incident (Audio CD)
Downloaded a cheap version of this to hear it first but after a few plays in car and shallow sound on my hifi I had to get the actual CD. I have recently got into this band by reading about the drummer Gavin Harrison in Modern Drummer magazine.
This is a class innovative album with plenty of contrasts. Lovely melodies held together with Harrisons subtle odd meter rhythms which hook my ear. Then swift changes into skull bashing hardness which is still melodic put very powerful. Bought a ticket to see them in Glasgow in december even though I have to get a flight and book hotel. This really flexes the muso muscles in my head with resulting satisfaction.!!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The very essence of progressive music., 30 Oct 2009
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This review is from: The Incident (Audio CD)
This album is the 10th from "progressive rock" band Porcupine Tree. If you like many genres of music encompassed and grounded in sonically and musically interesting rock conventions, then Porucpine Tree are the best its going to get. If you are a fan of Opeth, Nine Inch Nails, Frost, Pink Floyd, King Crimson, Meshuggah, Sigur Ros, Muse or just about anything else, you will find something for you here, cleverly woven into the aural fabbric of this record. Ambitious yet personal "The Incident" is yet another evolution of what Porcupine Tree are: hence the term progressive.
Even if you are just a fan of inspiring production values, layered soundscapes and masterful songwriting this record has all of those things. Whats special about Porcupine Tree besides their musicality is the ethos and concepts that are perpetuated throughout the lyrics and emotion of each song, Porcupine Tree frontman Steven Wilson goes into an "incident" in each song and tries to imbue with the emotion and poingancy that it once had before it was sanitised by the media that feed us these news stories. This theme forms the backbone of "The Incident" and is adds gravitas to the beauty, melancholy and brutality off the music, a combination that is so lacking in today's mainstream music.

10/10

Key tracks:

the lot, this should appreciated as one stream of consciousness as it was written, as it was intended to be experienced.

Olly.
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24 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Experiencing The Incident, 16 Sep 2009
By 
A. Sumpton "mr-nose" (Absolutely Everywhere) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Incident (Audio CD)
Porcupine Tree have always had a loyal fan base, and thus every fan feels passionately about a certain point in PT's career; usually depending on which era they discovered the band. This is where The Incident is bound to divide some of the fans. It never reaches the blistering barrage of the heaviest parts of FOABP's 'Anesthetize', nor does it reach the blatant Floydian influences of songs such as 'Don't Hate Me' on Stupid Dream. What on offer here is quite simply a unique collaboration of each musical style PT have attempted in the past 15 years, condensed into an album with a haunting concept but delivered with all the majestic talent that made me fall in love with the band in the first place.

Although the first CD should be listened to as one long journey through love, life and death it is split up into 14 tracks each telling a story about a certain 'Incident' that inspired the concept of the album. Each sub-section to the 55 min title track is linked lyrically and in theme, if not directly connected by the song transitions. The entire song itself goes through many changes, from the powerful down-tuned rock of 'Blind House' to the beautifully melodic climax of 'I Drive the Hearse'(Which contains a sublime guitar solo reminiscent of 'A Smart Kid' from Stupid Dream). The Incident touches on many emotions and absolutely nails the balance between earlier PT and more recent PT.

However, what a lot of the reviewers on here have seem to have forgotten about is the second CD. Just when i thought the whole album could not get any better i was treated to some of the best individual songs the band have released in years. 'Bonnie the Cat' for example provides the progressive metal complexity of FOABP whilst 'Black Dahlia' (personal favourite) and 'Remember Me Lover' really pull on the heart strings to complete an outstanding second CD.

Overall The Incident is bound to divide audiences, but it shouldn't really because it contains almost everything that have made Porcupine Tree one of the most impressive and important British rock bands around today. It may be a lot for a first timer to digest, but for many die hard Porcupine Tree fans like myself this really is heaven.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rock that shows progression, 10 Jun 2011
This review is from: The Incident (Audio CD)
Porcupine Tree have been releasing consistently good albums over several decades. The Incident is the latest in the line, and from the hard-edged opener of Occam's Razor through to the finale it represents an intelligent and accessible approach to the genre.I would move to a 5 star rating if the vocals were a bit stronger. Steve sings well enough, but for me well enough is not quite good enough given the high standard of the creativity and craftmanship exhibited in all other areas of the work. To finish on a positive note, I love the percssion - it reminds me of Bill Bruford in his pomp, and underpins the feel of the music.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Incidentally brilliant but still no "In Absentia", 23 Mar 2010
By 
D. Boyles "danjamboy" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Incident (Audio CD)
I was slightly worried by the latest release from Porcupine Tree. Having liked them from the beginning with "On The Sunday of Life", and seeing the development from the psychedelic through to the progressive, it was obvious that the band's newly adopted heavier style was pretty much here to stay. I wasn't over-awed by their last release "Fear of a Blank Planet" and "Deadwing", whilst a decent release, hadn't matched the brilliance of "In Absentia". In my opinion, nothing has touched that album, and my other favourites "Stupid Dream" and "Signify"

Enter "The Incident" and the album which Colin Edwin, bassist, said would "encompass not only their latest heavier elements" but would also "return to the classic older PT sound".

A car crash and its effect on those involved provide the concept for the album with the traditional melancholy and angrier, heavier interludes that we have seen more often in the last 4 albums.

"Time Flies", the 12 minute epic of the album, harks back to the older styles of Porcupine Tree that we know and love. The much softer acoustic guitar work during the verses and the catchy strident chorus' are interspersed with a magnificent Floydy section where Wilson really lets rip with a solo. Indeed, there are a number of tracks which could easily fit on the "Signify"/"Stupid Dream" era of albums. The shorter songs "Great Expectations", "Kneel and Disconnect" and "Your Unpleasant Family" are fantastic examples of this. We're even treated to the ambient and abstract in "Yellow Windows ..." and "Occam's Razor"

To remark on Edwin's comments, it does feel like a much more "encompassing" album all-round. But, it wasn't what I expected in terms of being a complete return to that classic late 90's - early 2000 sound, if you can pigeon hole the era in that way. To me "In Absentia" offered that bridge between the heavier sounds later relied upon and the traditional proggier elements. It also added that commercialist aspect to their music, without putting people off.

Those who manage to get their hands on the Special Edition of "The Incident" with the extra 4 tracks are in for a treat. Gavin Harrison really creates the most unusual, brilliant piece of drumming on "Bonnie The Cat", and "Remember Me Lover" and "Black Dahlia" come full circle by offering a bit of everything from all the styles we have seen on this album, and probably all they have done in the past too!

Overall, and I don't mean to harp on about it, I cannot be as excited about this album as I was by "In Absentia" but I think it is a definite improvement on "Fear of a Blank Planet" and probably "Deadwing" too. I can't give this release 3.5 stars on Amazon, but on the other hand, I think it is worth more than 3 stars as you just cannot fault Steven Wilson's brilliance of song crafting and production. So 4 it is.
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