Well, the new Porcupine Tree has been out a few weeks now. On other websites and publications, I have read some good and some not so good reviews of The Incident .
Listening to The Incident , it is pretty much obvious to me that Steven Wilson has come to terms with the "Progressive Rock" tag that seemed to follow him, even though he did not want (with some reason I may add) to be categorized in that genre. The Incident starts out with a 55 minute suite, that is not really one song, but a collection of tracks linked together and that should be played in that order (dixit the members of the band). This is not totally obvious to me, but in a number of cases the tracks seem to flow naturally one after the other, even though a few abrupt changes of mood are also featured. A second cd, offering four distinct songs, lasting about 20 minutes concludes The Incident .
So is The Incident a strong Porcupine Tree album? ...most certainly. The suite is interesting from beginning to end. It has it's better parts and some not quite has good, but I've listened to it quite a few times and I'm still not tired of it. The 4 extra tracks are quite different in mood, but they certainly could have been sprinkled on any PT album of the last ten years without being out of place.
All in all The Incident continues the Porcupine Tree tradition of putting out excellent albums that allows the band to gradually evolve, this while keeping a link with their previous music. Given the number of albums Porcupine Tree has put out in the last 20 years and the other numerous projects Steven Wilson has worked on, putting out yet another great album like The Incident is quite a feat indeed.
Bravo! and long live Porcupine Tree .