"Showing a magnificent constancy of conception, Porcupine Tree delivers us in this "The Incident" a condensed of atmospheric Heavy Rock with chiselled atmospheres and incisive riffs."
ABADDON (24.09.2009)  
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What's new with Porcupine Tree in 2009? To this question, the detractors of the band answer, with a sharp and definitive gesture of the hand: nothing! Fans, on the other hand, will argue that the English combo continues its exploration of atmospheric progressive, purifying the style while keeping the contrasts that are one of Porcupine Tree's trademarks.

It is unlikely that The Incident, their latest production, will change anything in the positions of the pro- and anti-Porcupine Tree. Indeed, showing a magnificent constancy of conception, Steven Wilson delivers here a condensed version of his know-how, always supported by the same musicians, the discreet but indispensable Richard Barbieri on keyboards, Colin Edwin and his inspired bass and of course the immense Gavin Harrison, always so impressive in his genius to use his drums not only as a percussion tool, but as a whole set of instruments.

The credo of these exceptional musicians seems to be to put their talent at the service of a music more atmospheric than ever. And this is where the album lives: does the listener appreciate this type of music or not? The atmospheric can be defined as a genre that will put the composition at the service of ambiences ("atmospheres"), rather than delivering purely harmonic developments (melodic, rhythmic or harmonic variations). In this sense, the style aims in its most successful forms to demonstrate an economy of means that will succeed in installing an atmosphere as effectively as possible. Certain groups like Ayreon, for example, use atmospheric elements to enrich their music (the "spatial" noises are legion in the compositions of Arjen Lucassen), but they are only an element in the service of a larger whole (most often a space opera for Ayreon). With Porcupine Tree, we approach the essence of the atmospheric style, the sobriety of interpretation and composition being tended towards obtaining a precise climate. The opening track Occam's Razor represents in this sense a perfect illustration of a typically atmo track.

The trademark of Porcupine Tree is to place on these chiselled atmospheres tense, incisive, precise riffs, which contrast and emphasize the subject. For the process to be effective, the production must be infallible, and in this field, Steven Wilson has nothing to prove: the record benefits from his inimitable touch which makes it one of the best (if not the best) in the world. Each of the elements brought by the musicians is thus superbly highlighted, and in particular the work of the percussions (listen to the end of Octane Twisted or the intro of Drawing The Line). As usual, Steven also shows that he knows how to superbly use the choirs (Kneel and Disconnect) and to build tracks in the most beautiful vein of Progressive: Time Flies, in more than ten minutes, or Octane Twisted, in less than five, are remarkable examples.

And to add cohesion to the whole, Steven took care to link the tracks of the first CD by chaining them together (remarkable link between Great Expectations and Kneel and Disconnect, or between The Seance and Circle of Manias) and by using reminders of Occam's Razor theme - Degree Zero of Liberty or The Seance - Blind House. This first CD succeeds therefore in a remarkable synthesis of the music according to Porcupine Tree, and we can forgive it some facilities like the redundant chorus of Drawing the Line or the lack of consistency of the eponymous track.

It seems all the more regrettable that the second CD is so far away, in spirit and level, from the first one. Their only common point is probably their simultaneous recording... These four tracks are not fundamentally bad, but quite forgettable and different in spirit: it is difficult to understand their presence next to the remarkable whole of the first disc!

When listening to The Incident, the "anti" will still find that the atmospheric is based on rather easy compositions, using repetitions, and burdened with boring riffs. On the contrary, the fans will throw themselves on this model that Porcupine Tree has been polishing for years and has brought to a quite remarkable level. The small false note of the second album however deprives it of the maximum note!

More informations on

101. Occam's Razor - 1:58
102. The Blind House - 5:47
103. Great Expectations - 1:26
104. Kneel And Disconnect - 2:03
105. Drawing The Line - 4:43
106. The Incident - 5:20
107. Your Unpleasant Family - 1:48
108. The Yellow Windows Of The Evening Train - 2:00
109. Time Flies - 11:40
110. Degree Zero Of Liberty - 1:45
111. Octane Twisted - 5:03
112. The Seance - 2:39
113. Circle Of Manias - 2:18
114. I Drive The Hearse - 6:44
201. Flicker -3:42
202. Bonnie The Cat - 5:45
203. Black Dahlia - 3:40
204. Remember Me Lover - 07:34

Colin Edwin: Basse
Gavin Harrison: Batterie
Richard Barbieri: Claviers
Steven Wilson: Chant / Guitares / Claviers
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