Porcupine Tree
The Incident


3.5
great

Review

by Nick Mongiardo CONTRIBUTOR (74 Reviews)
September 29th, 2013 | 142 replies | 2,686 views


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The Incident is another solid entry into the Porcupine Tree discography despite some lackluster lyrics and its bloated length.

Not many people can suddenly come up with an idea from nothing. Steve Wilson did exactly this while sitting in traffic waiting for a deadly accident to be cleared off the road. Wilson felt as if the presence of the victims were sitting in the car with him almost like he could look in the mirror and see them sitting in the backseat. It's from this experience that the idea for this ambitious yet ultimately flawed concept album was born. The album features a collection of incredible songs that belong on a later greatest hits album while at the same time features some of the worst the band has ever done. The album as a whole is not bad by any means, but this is way too inconsistent and will not hold your attention for the entire listen.

The Incident is a concept album about events and “incidents” that have happened in the world such as a raid on a farmhouse that housed a cult in Texas. Most of the lyrical content is very compelling and songs like The Blind House really showcases Wilson at his lyrical best. Preceded by a series of chilling yet extremely repetitive chords in Occam’s razor, The Blind House is a hard hitting account of the cult in Texas. Wilson’s fantastic lyrics, intense guitar riff, and exceptional drumming really sells the heart breaking account of these poor teenage girls. The song is passionate in its vocal delivery and it is the definite highlight of the album. Most of the first half of the album actually modeled after The Blind House so you’ll hear lots of basslines and soothing guitar riffs that sound very familiar. In fact the whole first half of the album is the most consistent despite the most abysmal song on this record Your Unpleasant Family being in the first half. Kneel and Disconnect is absolutely beautiful and shows Porcupine Tree at its psychedelic best. The vocal harmonies and soothing nature of the song is breathtaking. Another highlight is the title track whose first half sounds like an incredibly eerie Nine Inch Nails song. However, the second half turns into something more Porcupine Tree like as Wilson delivers “I just want to be loved” over and over again under a soaring guitar riff.

It wouldn't a Porcupine Tree without at least one incredibly progressive epic and that epic this time around is Time Flies. It’s one of the most inspiring songs the band has ever created because of its lyrics about living for now because time does in fact fly by faster than people realize. It boasts creative guitar riffs scattered throughout and the masterful bipolar transition from lighter music to dark music that Porcupine Tree is known for in its new style. It’s followed by a tweaked rehash of Occam’s razor which is an extremely strange discussion and it would have been best to not include Degree Zero of Liberty at all. Thankfully we get the exhilarating Octane Twisted directly after it that uses bits and pieces of The Blind House as a recurring element along with Gavin’s amazing drumming performance and Wilson’s inventive guitar riffs.

Unfortunately the latter half of the album including the four songs on the second disc separate from the album flow is full of songs that are completely forgettable with the exception of I Drive the Hearse and Circle of Manias. Thankfully I Drive the Hearse is incredibly catchy, has amazing guitar riffs, and stays in your head for quite a while and Circle of Manias is a masterfully explosion of metal music. Unfortunately the latter half can’t be saved from its lack of creativity and very lackluster lyrics. This lyrics are actually scattered throughout the entire album and Drawing the Line are the worst offenders. Your Unpleasant Family is terrible and is basically about how someone’s neighbor is annoying the hell out of the other. Wilson sings about taking control in Drawing the Line and the lyrics aren't any better. He also sounds like an overwhelmingly amateur singer because of how seemingly out of breath he becomes when delivering the chorus. Considering that the record is eighteen tracks long, some of these tracks definitely could have been removed altogether.

The Incident is definitely not Porcupine Tree’s best record to date. It is incredibly bloated clocking in at an unnecessary 76 minutes and has some terrible lyrics plaguing it. If some of these songs were removed it would have made the experience a lot more enjoyable. With that said, it still is not a bad record overall because it features many memorable songs like The Blind House, Time Flies, and Octane Twisted. The Incident is sure to not bring in any new fans, but any longtime fan of Porcupine Tree will definitely enjoy it.



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user ratings (1311)
Chart.
3.6
great
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • Cragorio (3.5)
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    YoYoMancuso (2)
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    Mike Allen (3)
    Porcupine Tree attempts to continue their trend of outstanding concept albums, but trip ov...

    Benjamin Bland (4.5)
    A culmination of fifteen years as the world's most relevant progressive rock band....

  • Nosferatwo (2.5)
    For the first time, Porcupine Tree tread water....

    Jorn van Schaïk (3.5)
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    Rob Heald (4)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
menawati
Contributing Reviewer
September 29th 2013



15795 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

probably their worst album, nice job on the review tho

Digging: Synaesthesia (UK) - Synaesthesia

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
September 29th 2013



9112 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks dude. Yea definitely my least favorite from what I've heard so far.

FiveLeavesLeft
Staff Reviewer
September 29th 2013



9682 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Nice review, even though I respectfully disagree

tempest--
September 29th 2013



12613 Comments


yea I love this album

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
September 29th 2013



19993 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

God I hate this album.

conesmoke
September 29th 2013



5177 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Drawing the line is fucking disgraceful... however, I drive the hearse is stellar and as a whole i like this better than in absentia (an entirely overrated album aside from trains and muzak)

Underflow
September 29th 2013



2526 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The lyrics here are better than Fear, though.

conesmoke
September 29th 2013



5177 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

oh hands down bro. bit of a weird comparison though as each song here has a different story.

hiyabootchie
September 29th 2013



338 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The four bonus tracks are pretty good especially Flicker.

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
September 29th 2013



9112 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Oh those are bonus tracks? Always thought they were supposed to be part of the album. Anyway not a fan of those haha

PsychicChris
September 29th 2013



207 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

No word on the second disc? I actually like that just as much, especially Bonnie The Cat and Remember Me Lover. The Incident is not as good as the streak between Lightbulb Sun and Fear Of A Blank Planet, but I do like it quite a bit.

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
September 29th 2013



9112 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I said that the second disc wasn't memorable in my review. I didn't know that they were bonus tracks. Always thought they were just part of the album.

conesmoke
September 29th 2013



5177 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

i think they were songs Wilson wrote before he got the whole "incident" idea. i'm not 100% on that though.

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
September 29th 2013



9112 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Ok I edited the beginning of that paragraph a little bit. They didn't say bonus tracks even I downloaded the album from itunes so I they're technically part of the album. Just not part of the concept flow.

conesmoke
September 29th 2013



5177 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

sometimes i really wish stevens voice would grow a pair.

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
September 29th 2013



9112 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Haha he can be pretty weak. Doesn't really bother me that much considering PT is more about the music than vocals, but damn he's bad in Drawing The Line lol

conesmoke
September 29th 2013



5177 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

lol soo bad. Sir Steben Wilburton will always have his special place in my mind though. Even after his i-pod smashing escapades haha.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0Una_hzeeE

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
September 29th 2013



9112 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Lol that's great. He's said in an interview before that he hates the idea of ipods

KILL
September 29th 2013



70599 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

so many shit tracks on here dno what wilson was thinking but gj

Digging: Gal Costa - Gal Costa

Jethro42
September 29th 2013



12377 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Relistening atm. Album is not that bad.



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