The concept for The Incident (the band’s much lauded 10th and most recent studio album) emerged as Porcupine Tree’s creator Steven Wilson, was caught in a motorway traffic jam whilst driving past a road accident. “There was a sign saying ‘POLICE – INCIDENT’ and everyone was slowing down to see what had happened… Afterwards, it struck me that ‘incident’ is a very detached word for something so destructive and traumatic for the people involved. The irony of such a cold expression for such seismic events appealed to me, and I began to pick out other 'incidents' reported in the media and news, I wrote about the evacuation of teenage girls from a religious cult in Texas, a family terrorising its neighbours, a body found floating in a river by some people on a fishing trip, and more."
Consisting of 18 tracks, each song is written in the first person, attempting to humanise the detached media reportage of each associated event. The first 14 tracks form part of a 55-minute song cycle, with the last 4 having been recorded later (and originally released as a second disc to stress their independence from the song cycle).
The album was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Surround Sound Album and reached the Top 25 in the US and UK album charts. It was awarded "Album Of The Year" in Classic Rock and German magazine Eclipsed.
The Incident marked another step forward in the incredible journey of the band that began as a solo studio project and grew to a multi-Grammy nominated act and one of the world’s most revered live bands, selling out arenas across the globe and wowing fans with their incredible performances.