Steven Wilson (along with Mike Portnoy) is probably the busiest bloke in the rock world. Hot on the tails of his own release, the remixed INSURGENTES, and remastering King Crimsons back catalogue, THE INCIDENT is Porcupine tree’s 10th studio album. As is typical now of Mr. Wilson & Co, they don’t follow the norm and come up with a ’safe’ album, but it’s still accessable. For example THE INCIDENT is one long track. A 55 minute epic split up into 14 separate and diverse vignettes. The seeds of this album came when singer/songwriter/guitarist (and busiest guy in the whole industry) Steven Wilson became caught in a motorway traffic jam whilst driving past an accident. ‘’There was a sign saying ‘POLICE - INCIDENT’ and everyone was rubbernecking - it struck me that ‘incident’ is a very detached word for something so traumatic and destructive for the people involved. I then had the sensation that the spirit of someone that had died in the accident entered my car and was sitting next to me’’ - Wilson.

He then picked out other ‘incidents’ reported in the media and news - religious cults in Texas, a family terrorizing neighbours, a body found floating in a river by some people on a fishing trip, and more. Each song Wilson has written in the first person and has tried to humanise the detached media reports. He has even delved back into incident in his own life that have profoundly affected him - a lost childhood friendship, a séance, first love, the day he decided to jack in work in favour of being a musician

THE INCIDENT is a rewarding listen, but is not likely to be absorbed after just one sitting. In fact as your guide and Doctor, repeated listens are highly recommended. The self-produced album is completed by four standalone compositions which are found on Disc 2, done to stress their independence from the title track

TIME FLIES is an important part of the album - it is a sentimental song looking back at Wilson’s childhood and the musical influences that surrounded him. Born in ’67. The year of Sergeant Pepper and the first albums by Hendrix, the Doors, and Pink Floyd all released in ’67. ” It is optimistic in the sense that when you are so young it seems that you have all the time in the world, the long summers etc, but when you get older, well, Time Flies.''Its similar in style to ''IN ABSENTIA'S''''TRAINS''

It certainly plays on all the senses and ranges in style from plain eerie, haunting, hypnotic, desolate, to happy (as close as can be for Wilson), from subtle mesmeric tones (GREAT EXPECTATIONS, KNEEL AND DISCONNECT) to metal (CIRCLE OF MANIAS), even part soundtrack, and the whole damn lot is just masterful in its entirety. DRAWING THE LINE is simply as close to a single as Wilson’s going to write, from the opening glockenspiel to the catchy chorus of “I’m shutting you out, I shutting you out, and I have no doubt”. Great stuff.

As usual, a Porcupine Tree album becomes an item to behold, lavish production, expansive notes, extra cd, and no doubt another version planned on the horizon, I hope.

Porcupine Tree are not your normal rock band, far from it. Always a refreshing change to the norm. Buy this and I guarantee you will not be disappointed. Essential, bloody essential.