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CD Review: Porcupine Tree – The Incident

September 17, 2009 by  
Filed under CD Reviews, Daily Music News

ptcoverPorcupine Tree – The Incident
Roadrunner Records

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Reviewed by:  Chris Cactus

Porcupine Tree has got to be one of the hardest working yet under appreciated bands working today.  Led by mastermind – and vocalist and guitarist – Steven Wilson, Porcupine Tree has released cutting edge albums from their one-man-band debut release On The Sunday of Life in 1991 to their most recent sprawling work The Incident.  Wilson and his band – featuring master keyboardist Richard Barbieri, bassist Colin Edwin, and monster drummer Gavin Harrison – have churned out a steady stream of solid and adventurous music since it became a four-piece in 1994.  Obviously influenced by Pink Floyd and other progressive rock legends, the band manages to remain relevant and progressive in the best sense of the word.  And The Incident is no exception.

The Incident is spread out over two discs.  The first links 14 tracks to form a song cycle (or, rather, a concept album for those of you not scared off by progressive rock terminology) while the second presents four songs recorded during The Incident sessions.

Progressive rock epics – especially ones 55 minutes long – can be obnoxious, bloated affairs with throwaway parts and pieces begging for better editing.  But The Incident suffers from none of these issues.  It is a compelling, listenable and complex piece of music.  And while the sound exhibits Porcupine Tree’s signatures, there are lots of pleasant deviations – walls of acoustic guitars, odd electric guitar solos, shimmering pianos.  While most Porcupine Tree music tends to be fairly dark – and The Incident doesn’t break that mold – there are patches of brightness punctuated with enthusiastic energy.

Maybe The Incident will finally get Porcupine Tree the attention they deserve.  Maybe not.  But if you like good, cutting-edge, adventurous music, The Incident should most certainly be on you list of new releases to pick up.

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