The Incident - Porcupine Tree (2009) [A Review of Disc 1 During the Second…


Set 6 2009, 3:02

Having just finished Disc 1, the actual, entire piece that is The Incident I have a couple of observations I would like to make before I process this music any further. My reaction is very strange because I honestly love every other thing I have ever heard by this band (and I have 305 tracks of Porcupine Tree in my library, and know them all) and this seems to fall so far from the watermarks made by every other composition that I want to believe that I got a joke leak, instead of the real thing. Sadly, I know this not to be true. So here we go (btw, I will write this while listen to the songs themselves, so take that into consideration as to why the writing style is so raw):

Occam's Razor is a new style entrance for a Porcupine Tree album... I like the concept, but it seems to set something up for the rest of the album almost as to say "Here it comes!" its dark and creepy... and then:

we get The Blind House, which makes me feel like I'm listening to what Katatonia's new album will probably sound like (I hope not though), right into a pretty boring verse with out distortion and a emo and unexciting vocal line to accompany it. While the drumming makes it a little more interesting, it sounds like ever other beat from Fear of a Blank Planet. And then we get that wretched chorus. SW needs to stop doing that voice crackle on the high notes. Its pisses me off... (AT THIS POINT I WOULD JUST LIKE TO POINT OUT THAT PT IS CURRENTLY MY #3 BAND, AND I REALLY DO LOVE THEIR STUFF... BUUUUUT.....) this is a terrible song. Totally unexciting... at least the ambiance around the 4 minute mark spaces me out to calm down about how disappointing this is so far. AND THEN IT SOUNDS LIKE IM LISTENING TO Morning View ERA Incubus!!! WTF!!!

Great Expectations: How perfectly named.... alright, I'll give you that one.

Kneel and Disconnect: "You Make Me [track]Feel So Low... SoOoO low..." I'm liking the harmonies and the piano is nice, but nothing terribly special as far as I'm concerned.

So now I'm Drawing the Line.... alright, great beginning the drumming is like an Anesthetize chill beat, with a cute bit of keyboard and and nice piano touches, with a decent vocal melody, and I love the ghastly vocals in the background.... and then.... TRAINWRECK!!!! What the fuck is that!! OMG.... ...i... I'm stunned.... ok, we try to move on from that point, with the same thing as the first verse... and its ok, but we know what lurks just around the corner.... uhh... gets worth with every listen... I don't even know what to say... I can't take the rest of this song after the second chorus simply because it takes of with the same tempo, and so for me, it never got resolved... wow, officially the worst Porcupine Tree song I've ever heard. That was atrocious.

The Incident: What is this? Some kind of Trent Reznor shit?! ... come on dammit!!! really?!?! ok... That "Got a feeling and I want you to feel it" line fucking obnoxious. This is awful. im starting to get obscene because of how upset this is making me.
He wants to be loved, just wants to belong (x8).... k.... I get it... the last two albums have been about how miserable teenagers feel... ok. I don't care. seriously, and I quote: "Music of rebellion makes you wanna rage, but it's made by millionaires who are twice your age"

Your Unpleasant Family: a missed opportunity. Take out that beat and loose the falsetto. It was a nice gesture to bring the sliding guitar back to remind me how awesome Even Less was... I like the hints of the running harmonies that astound me in songs like Drown With Me, Heartattack in a Layby, and Normal.

The Yellow Windows of the Evening Train: My favorite track, without question. Just a nice track to space out to.

and now I get to hear the whole version of Time Flies. i when I first heard the edited version of it, I thought how mediocre it was... I'm quit upset to find that this song is one of the better ones too. After we get past that extended session of acoustic, it sounds like a badly improvised jam session between Liquid Tension Experiment and Earth... yea... isn't weird. That's just what I hear. The transitions are blunt and very stop and go... something I don't want to hear with these sorts of segments... its just poorly composed which is why I am so mind boggled! I know Steven Wilson to be a musical genius. Why am i hearing complete unorchestrated shit? what am I missing.

Degree Zero of Liberty: ok, we start the album over, except with an awesome section in between the heavy parts.

Octane Twisted: So this is nice, we get down to the intimate side of this band. A nice little section where I feel like I'm back in 2001... but for some reason they cannot now resist the temptation to get heavy. I can say that I enjoy the spacey part of the song towards the end. Not bad.

The Seance: This song is chewed pretty badly as far as I'm concerned. The guitar is uninspiring and the vocal line just .... ugh.... is that all you can come up with Steven? The little change up at the end is cool though.

and then right into Circle of Maniacs which sounds like Wedding Nails and Futile having sex.... and then apparently Meshuggah decided to join the party.... ouch.

By the the time we get to[t rack artist=Porcupine Tree]I Drive the Hearse[/track] I am exhausted by extreme disappointment and boredom. I'm pretty sure i am going to enjoy this track more at a different time, but after that heap of shit I just sifted through, the melodies seem to be equally as unimaginative and the riffs as familiar as everything I've ever heard from every generic "Modern Rock" band on the radio... i dunno. I am particularly pessimistic about this album at this point. I am going to continue onto disc 2 now however.

... .i lie... im to exhausted. Sadly, this cant wait till tomorrow.... how sad.

some notes:

* I understand this to be a concept track of 14 parts, however I don't understand why anyone would use that as an excuse for lack of musicality. I love Voyage 34.

* I had pre-ordered this album a month ago and already put money down for it.

* This evolution (if you will) is not at all surprising. I could see it coming in the more lame moments of Fear of a Blank Planet and Deadwing. This just sounds tired and unimaginative.

* i can't FUCKING believe that I am saying all this about one of my all time favorite bands. I'm soooo disappointed.

*The whole album sounds as produced and compressed as Lazarus.


  • BlueGhost60

    Good job. :)

    Set 6 2009, 3:13
  • elf_noldor

    I fucked up new album now remember me lover...

    Set 6 2009, 7:43
  • elf_noldor

    another crybaby doin review after first listen. Good that you didnt listen to 2nd disc becouse you could cry even more over "too long flicker".

    Set 6 2009, 7:49
  • mycoolyoung

    You bring up some good points for sure. I need to listen to this some more and process it. There was definitely a shit load that I enjoyed less than others.

    Set 6 2009, 8:29
  • Fant0mas_

    I you are a metal fan you will not like this one... I'm sorry but PT is a prog band that did a couple of heavier albums. But this is no music for metal heads. This is music for more open-minded dudes I guess. i love this album! It is an absolute masterpiece, I can barely sleep caus how much I love it....

    Set 6 2009, 11:31
  • deidolon

    "But this is no music for metal heads. This is music for more open-minded dudes I guess"... i love all of Porcupine Tree's other material... I just think that this songwriting is by far the weakest... it's actually a total cop out. I don't know what they were even thinking releasing this. It's embarrassing.

    Set 6 2009, 19:25
  • Ateigna should clean your ears first...

    Set 7 2009, 18:57
  • novusanimus

    Wow! Worst review I ever read! First of all, you were reviewing this while listening to it... almost like it was premeditated to totally bash this album. Second, with any prog band I don't even know how you can review something on the first listen let alone while you're listening to it. A band like Tree has to be digested after 4 or 5 or even 6 revolutions of listening to an album before even coming up with any ideas of how you would review it. I listened to the entire concept piece The Incident on a free form prog radio show the other night because I'm trying hard to hold off on it until it is released... obviously I couldn't wait since I kept listening and I must say it was amazing in my view. I can honestly say to me, it does not sound like anything else they've done, but in same vein of complexity. Really great sound and I forgot it after I listened except for certain parts of Time Flies in my head. That is the beauty about bands like this... you listen to it a few times and it will still be fresh the next time you hear it. I also had the chance to hear Remember Me Lover and that blew me away as well. Definitely not a thrash and bash sound, but most prog is more emotion and cerebral than metal. I thought it was funny that you said it was "embarrassing". I believe it would be embarrassing to them if they were looked at as a metal band. Not that some metal isn't good, but you should remember where the roots of experimental and progressive music come from. I respect your opinion, but for anyone else to read this and go by it, I'd recommend them to listen first and build their own perception of it.. I mean it hasn't even come out yet and people are already bashing it... give it a chance. Listen to it a few times and let is sink in. All in all, what I've heard so far was excellent! :)

    Set 8 2009, 5:24
  • Corsnor

    Im feeling almost the same after 2 listens. I also love every other thing from PT but this just seems rushed out as if Roadrunner needs their bands to produce an album every 2 years, even if it isn't done yet. Not 1 track that impressed me. Insurgentes was brilliant though.

    Set 8 2009, 14:26
  • Corsnor

    Drawing the Line indeed is the worst PT track in history. Hotdamn that one sucks.

    Set 8 2009, 14:40
  • deidolon

    [quote]A band like Tree has to be digested after 4 or 5 or even 6 revolutions of listening to an album before even coming up with any ideas of how you would review it.[/quote] No, they don't. I already can pick out every song on this new album. . . but there is just no Steven Wilson magic on the piece at all. Insurgentes was fantastic though. And I agree that it totally sounds rushed and as if only in the beginning stages of the writing process. [quote]Definitely not a thrash and bash sound, but most prog is more emotion and cerebral than metal.[/quote] That's just not true, but ok. And I'm not looking at them like I would a metal band.... not at all. My least favorite stuff of theirs is when they are heavier. I love the Pop Porcupine Tree (i.e. Lightbulb Sun, Stupid Dream) But my favorites are Signify and the Recordings/Futile EP era. I just don't find the emotion or intensity on this album that I have found with virtually every other song I've ever heard by this band. It's just not there. This is whinny and pre programmed. I listen to music (and this includes my metal) for the atmosphere (first), talent (next), and message (very lastly), and there is a forced atmosphere on most everything on here. However the drumming is good, but sounds like everything from Fear of a Blank Planet, which is fine, but I find it a bit repetitive. And the riffs, for the most part, I find rather uninteresting and not very unique.... but perhaps all of this is what they were going for...? Was this album supossed to be a concept album about mediocrity... I mean, I kinda hope so.

    Set 9 2009, 4:40
  • Corsnor

    A concept album about mediocrity? Lol I wish that were to be true. It would indeed fit this one.

    Set 9 2009, 9:21
  • AManOfTwoMinds

    everyone has another taste, but this review is really ridiculous. I can't take it serious. Thank god for my own mind and clean ears. And reviewing a PT album after listening to it 1 time is ... stupid.. as a PT fan you should know that their songs develop more and more while listening 10 times and further. imo it's their best work in their career (i listen to them since year 2000 so i know MORE than Deadwing and FOABP ^^)

    Set 9 2009, 14:58
  • Shesmovedon_

    "The Incident: What is this? Some kind of Trent Reznor shit?!" That's maybe why I like this song :p. "I understand this to be a concept track of 14 parts, however I don't understand why anyone would use that as an excuse for lack of musicality." E X A C T L Y. Glad to know that i'l not the only one to be disappointed.

    Set 10 2009, 11:13
  • thatbenkid

    am i hearing the same album as everyone else? its complex, dense, full of atmospheres, interesting melodies and harmonies. its too early to give a proper review but personally this is great music, what else do you want?

    Set 11 2009, 7:17
  • toolfan92

    maybe give it more listens? it worked wonders for me....

    Set 11 2009, 15:56
  • bassdriver13

    more listens is what it takes. i was mildly disappointed the first time i heard it, but on second listen, it is so much better

    Set 14 2009, 3:45
  • deidolon

    still not impressed. And I have listened to it several more times. Its just nowhere near as good as any other album. hands down.

    Set 16 2009, 15:33
  • Musical_Kage

    I heard In Absentia on Spotify (my first listening of the band), and happened to fall across 'Trains' first, and OMG, I loved it. The sound felt so full, and the msuic itself, wow. I bought the In Absentia album that night in FLAC format (CD quality) from their Burning Shed site, and also bought Deadwing, and Fear Of A Blank Planet. I also bought The Incident after many listens of these albums, and some other albums I am yet to buy, using Spotify (I plan to). I like The Incident, but it does have less tracks, at least when listened to seperately that really shine. I believe Time Flies is my most favourite, but there are some rather good ones. I do have to comment however on the mastering/compression used on the tracks. Its too much... All the other FLAC versions I've heard sound full and rich, and very open, even when guitars/drums/vocals are flaring out of the speakers, but this new album sounds too compressed... I can't really explain it, but when guitars/drums/vocals are there together, it sounds pushed in... Have they changed the masterer/producer since In Absentia?

    Set 22 2009, 20:44
  • mattknight

    I personally think you'd be better off rewriting this review considering the Incident as the song cycle it undoubtedly is - I think that sort of treatment would make your thought processes a little clearer (personally, I'd have been tempted to release The Incident as a single track, with section titles on the sleeve notes, but that's just me probably being a dick!). Plus, doing it that way would most likely contextualise the album better and p[erhaps influence your opinion? THough it doesn't sound as though you're gonna like the album, so it might not be worth it. Personally, I love it, and think that the build-up of the atnosphere throughout the whole album (both discs) is impressive. /hijack

    Set 23 2009, 23:16
  • its_ashish

    The comments I've seen regarding PT's 'musicality' and variety, tones and different styles of music don't make any sense whatsoever. All we have here is fans that wanted something that sounds like their previous albums and who forgot the fact that PT being a progressive band make really different material every album. The Incident caters to different tastes but also requires you to be more open minded with your taste. Its original and there's almost nothing like this out there. If you're genuinely dissappointed with a live show of theirs and can't get into the album after several listens for whatever reason (even though they kick fucking ass live), its fine as long as you know why you don't like it - not some bullshit reason like it lacking 'musicality' or whatever.

    Set 27 2009, 15:28
  • deidolon

    indeed. Ive decided that I will leave you all to enjoy this piece, and I will just go listen to The Sky Moves Sideways again...

    Set 30 2009, 13:57
  • deeee1991

    i totally agree^^

    Ott 3 2009, 12:48
  • deeee1991

    and flicker is the worst song ....lalala lalalacore

    Ott 3 2009, 12:49
  • stefkeB

    Tastes can differ. But I like the album. It's different than previous albums, there is heavy stuff and poppy stuff and atmospheric stuff. And it has dynamics, although it indeed sounds really loud. But not too over compressed for my taste. There is still room to breath.

    Ott 8 2009, 7:33
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