The Incident - The Incident - (8.5/10)
Published on June 21, 2019
Genre:Progressive Alternative / Melodic Rock
The Incident is a London based alternative prog rock band featuring Until Rain keyboardist Lef Germenlis, from the Greek progressive metal band Until Rain. Though at first, their freshly released self-titled debut may appear a bit unattractive, I’d strongly advise you don’t let that fool you. For me personally, it came off as quite monotonous at first glimpse and seemed a bit of a let down, but the more time you spend on it, the better it gets. And for prog rock fans familiar to the likes of Porcupine Tree, it may actually be a real gem.
I guess the soft, almost ballad-like approach to most of the songs is one of the features that may put off the average rock/metal listener and there’s really not much to be found here in terms of instant gratification but I assure you, it is actually not a difficult listen. The first thing to notice is the very melodic and softened approach, heavily making use of clean instruments and usually building up to a guitar riff or heavier pattern as opposed to getting straight into it. The clean guitars and keyboard backgrounds or mellow piano tunes are dominant throughout the record, being mostly responsible for its slightly melancholic, apathetic vibe (the intro for “Starting Over” is a good example) and good ability to set a mood. The vocal delivery is also really melodic, soft and clean fitting in very well with the atmosphere of the instrumental. Amongst this sort of sound, a good thing is that the bass comes through very easily and actually becomes the most oomphy element, interacting well both with the gentle piano and keyboards but also transitioning towards a groovy pace where the drums take the spotlight with smooth, detailed and intricate grooves. Also gotta give a shout-out to the lead guitar sections that bring forth some technical skill but still maintain the focus on musicality.
When switching gears for the heavy side of the music, the vibe seems to be maintained. There’s a clear sense of continuity between soft and heavy or soft and groovy which makes it all somehow feel like chill music. Also the guitar overdrive effect is quite tuned down and doesn’t throw much harshness to the mix. But there’s also energy coming out of it and my personal favorite example of that would have to be the song “Choices” which best displays their classic rock sound and even gets a bit headbangy towards the end.
But the best thing about “The Incident” has to be the progressive touch. The chopped apart pace at the end of “Empty Room” is probably one of the coolest moments on the record. Also Whispers showcases some of the most interesting and satisfying drum work and in “To The Lost” there’s even some use of double kicks which was probably the most unexpected things given the context of the record.
To be honest, this band scores big on nerdy prog weirdness which can make it seem a bit boring but at the same time it seems very ear friendly and melodic and it’s actually pretty diverse in composition, though it may get repetitive in the feel of the songs. I think there were also some jazz and bluesy influences in there. They seem to have aimed for a middle ground between easy and more challenging songwriting style as the choruses and a few main themes seem quite catchy, but the album as a whole tends to be more of a grower and requires a little time to get into. It’s definitely not my first choice as full album stream but I can always enjoy a couple of songs. And the style itself is quite far out of my comfort zone but if this mellow prog rock style is your thing, you should dig into it right now!