The Incident Review

Review by Antonio Giambartino, translate in english by Giorgio Capocasa. 

Photo and Video by Lasse Hoile

 


When you're listening to a concept album you just can't listen to a single song or stop it to resume it later.
You have to have at least one free hour and you are going to need the right mood too.
Watching an art film you have to be ready, to pay attention and to find the meanings of the film.
“The incident” is just like a film - it's splitted in many periods, some dramatic, some wistful, others expectant, others enraged.
I have never make a point of lyrics, listening to rock music. In my opinion, the composer has to make me feel the arguments just with the music - splitting wisely the periods.
This album talks about 'beginnings' and 'endings', the daily reality - everybody may have an Incident.
And after that, your life won't be the same.

The Incident

I - Occam's Razor (1.55) 
Sparkling, metallic, pop-music fans won't like this, it drives you into the dramatic atmosphere of this CD.

II - The Blind House (5.47)
The distorted guitars intro is calmed down just after a few second, by the voice of Steven Wilson. A sad and melancholic voice but at the same time young, fresh and magic.

III - Great Expectations (1.26) 
Short and simple song, almost pop. It's title and it's speeding up riff reminds me one of that 'beginnings' mentioned by Wilson, just like in the following song...

IV - Kneel and Disconnect (2.03)...
that talks about a beginning ('start a new career')

V - Drawing the Line (4.43)
In this piece we found the characteristic of the concept album - a slow rhythm in the  beginning, with a soft voice that slowly turn into an explosive refrain in the final guitar solo. “drawing the line” and “taking control”, seem to talk about someone who starts taking control of himself.

VI - The Incident (5.20)
The most brilliant song of the whole album, if fact this is the title-track.
You should first listen to the music, and then the lyrics. I think this talks about the life of a man, or a bad patch, characterised by obsession, routine, noise, troubles. Will to escape from a prison that you've built and of which you've lost the key. And finally the freedom - a wonderful choir, a sad but hoping crescendo and the screaming “I want to be loved” . Simply touching.

VII - Your Unpleasant Family (1:48)
Short and intence piece, I'm just listening to the music because I still have to read the lyrics.
But the Gilmourian solo in the ending is simply awesome. 

VIII - The Yellow Windows Of The Evening Train (2:00)
Magic and peace, memories from my infance, a smiling child- these are the images I see in the ideal film that I'm wathcing.

IX - Time Flies (11:40)

The central piece of this album. The music is perfect and obviously pink floydian, in fact some parts of this song remind me of the period Animals – The Wall . 
My secret dream, listen to David Gilmour and Steven Wilson performing together... two generations that made the most beautiful notes in the history.
This song is very lengthy, acoustic parts and rhythmic too, with wisely used effects and synth: even after their Metal period, Porcupine Tree are still great electronic musician
In the lyrics some good gems of wisdom: “You realize time flies / And the best thing that you can do / Is take whatever comes to you”

X - Degree Zero Of Liberty (1:45)
The same distorted guitar chord that starts the Album, is now played in a softer version in order to introduce the following piece.

XI - Octane Twisted (5:03)
This is the antithesis of the song “The incident” . A soft guitar arpeggio and a calm voice accompanied by a double falsetto voice, don't let you imagine that in a few seconds a dramatic run-up will start, a wonderful guitar escape that ends with a question mark.

XII - The Séance (2:39)
Once again calm after the storm, a new beginning, or a return to the beginnings. In this sad piece we find the Octane Twisted intro music theme, breaking the tension made by the latter . Sadness, but acoustic guitar, and double falsetto voices evoke hope.

XIII - Circle Of Manias (2:18)
Another piece in which we find monotony, obsessions, noises and electronic sounds wisely mixed up to the metal of Steven Wilson's guitar. 

XIV - I Drive The Hearse (6:41)
This is the ending track. Soft, calm, sad. I prefer to  judge this without knowing very well the lyrics, because this is certainly a sad piece, but that's not darkening , of course. But I simply have to quote these words from the lyrics :And silence is another way / Of saying what I wanna say / And lying is another way / Of hoping it will go away / And you were always my mistake...

This is the ending of this album … with an “ending” that's not an ending, but leaves you out of breath, with so many things to say and the will of listening to it again.

Flicker

This track, even if it's beautifully played, seems something incomplete.
Maybe that's willfully done, in order to make you want to listen the rest of this second disc.

Bonnie the Cat

It's the evolution that many people expected from Porcupine Tree after Nil Recurring.
A nice and "porcupinian" start, in which we hear the ethereal keyboards by Barbieri, Gavin Harrison and Colin Edwin stick out too.
After the third minute we listen to an explosion, someone finds similarity with Meshuggah.
I don't know... but I know that Wilson & Co can sail in all the Musical Seas, even the stormier, like in this piece, without dip and without loosing their own identity.

Black Dahlia

Musically this could have been a concept. It could have been the right tribute to Barbieri who written the music. This is one of those tracks that I listen to two or tree times in a row. Pure beauty. But it ends too quickly...The effects on Steven's voice, the keyboards, the softness of the guitars evoke the old Porcupine Tree.
I can't find similarities, neither in the lyrics, with the book and the film Black Dahlia, that's not one of the best films of Brian De Palma, by the way.
But if you'll ask me if the title's right then I'll answer yes. Song's "black", the "non-colour" colour, the simplest and the most elegant, and it's "dahlia", a fragile flower with many soft petals, hust like the notes of this song.

Remember me Lover

Another wise blend between the old and the new, in the beginning simple atmospheres, calm voice. They almost seem the 'pop period' Porcupine Tree .In a crescendo, this time less unexpected and more predictable, I could appreciate the metallic sound of the guitar and then the previous refrain. At the sixth a dynamic ending, again in the vein of Nil Recurring. Very nice but I'd preferred something more to close this masterpiece. Maybe changing the tracks progression would have made the trick.
But I don't care... my player's on an infinite loop... next track's Occam Razor.


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