Storm Corrosion
Storm Corrosion


4.0
excellent

Review

by Angel STAFF
May 1st, 2012 | 563 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Mikael Akerfeldt and Steven Wilson unite their talents to craft an eerie and ethereal world containing only the vaguest remnants of their past works.

Even upon their first meeting, there have been talks between Mikael Akerfeldt of Opeth and Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree of a collaboration of some sort. Since then, the two have become close friends with both of their bands signing to the same label and each contributing to work of the other. After about a decade and several more albums from each band, Akerfeldt and Wilson finally started writing for the project, eventually named Storm Corrosion. The album of the same name was written and recorded sporadically over the course of 2010 and 2011 at Wilson’s home studio (after sessions of wine drinking and trips to record stores). The end result was a body of music more minimalistic and dream-like than anything either musician has produced before.

“Drag Ropes” opens with a slight cinematic grandiose before winding into something much more bizarre and almost unsettling with creeping, dissonant keyboard accompaniments, only to cede the docile, comforting folk stylings of the album’s title track, its effortless beauty hanging on the subtle interplay between repetitive acoustic guitar and gentle, dazed vocals. Storm Corrosion greatly favors simplicity to the technical wizardry the duo can be often associated with. Arrangements are sparse with just enough layering to create a loosely bound sufficiency. The majority of “Hag” embodies this by utilizing just a few ominous descending bars of piano mimicked by Wilson’s voice before energetically erupting into a distorted drum solo, compliments of Gavin Harrison, amidst sinister chords of guitar and piano, exuding a very “Grand Conjuration”-esque vibe.

The album’s most admirable strength, however, is perhaps the fact that it hardly resembles anything put forth under the Opeth or Porcupine Tree monikers at all. Each track is noticeably devoid of any strong percussive foundations or traditional rock or metal structuring, progressive or otherwise. Instead, the songs roam, not sure of destination and deliberately indifferent to one altogether, rather celebrating the beauty of the unhurried journey that’s sprawled out before the listener. The collaboration seems to serve as an outlet for influences that would have less of a place in the two musicians’ other projects, influences like krautrock and early avant-garde that culminate here in a wholly unique sound but derive a slight welcoming familiarity from the pair’s vocals and Akerfeldt’s distinctive lead guitar work.

While many of the musical devices employed are nothing new for either party, Storm Corrosion takes on an atmosphere completely removed from its sibling endeavors. The album plays out like a fantastical dream, sometimes foreboding and sinister but always beautiful and mystifying. “Ljudet Innan” closes things out with some soulful crooning from Akerfeldt before droning on in a tranquil sea of synth and eventually returning to a bit of light percussion, bluesy guitar licks, and some similarly soulful pining from Wilson. The lush and lilting vocal melodies induce such peculiar wonderment, often tearing away at the aperture separating soothing from haunting, while overarching synths, strings, and distorted vocal backdrops serve to erect the towering weightlessness of the captivating reverie.

The album will likely birth opinions spread across the board from Opeth and Porcupine Tree fans alike, the spacious nature undoubtedly boring some while bewitching others, ultimately boiling down to one’s own musical exposure and palate. And though Storm Corrosion as a musical outfit isn’t really the progressive supergroup many were likely expecting, it’s nice to see two good friends and talented musicians that respect and admire one another coming together to push themselves creatively. Really, a fifty-fifty mixture of the two bands’ sounds would have just been a complacent copout, regardless of quality. While it’s unclear whether or not the twosome will follow up this effort, their eponymous debut stands as an impressive offering that may take repeated listens and an open mind.



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user ratings (376)
Chart.
3.6
great
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • Armando (5)
    A masterful effort, courtesy of the two of the best masters of progressive music nowadays....

    Scott M. Baldwin (2)
    This is why I get bothered when artists try to be both accessible and experimental....

    Limoncello (3.5)
    Mikael Åkerfeldt and Steven Wilson push the boundaries on this release, drawing on influe...

    JF Williams (2.5)
    A disappointing album from musicians capable of so much more....

  • SauradipGhosh (4.5)
    Mikael Akerfeldt and Steven Wilson's Labor OF Love can be perhaps best described to be "se...

    Wreath (2.5)
    ...


Comments:Add a Comment 
AngelofDeath
Staff Reviewer
April 30th 2012


16137 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album's out in Poland, and blah, blah, blah.

Expected to like this but not as much as I did.

ThyCrossAwaits
May 1st 2012


3052 Comments


Thank god somebody else liked it.

doesnt sound like opeht bwp fuq dis

BassDemon333
May 1st 2012


3377 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Really enjoyed this. Great review.

Digging: Mudvayne - L.D. 50

MO
May 1st 2012


18682 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yea awesome review man. This is slowly growing on me.

IMZA1793
May 1st 2012


843 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The strings section in Drag Ropes is amazing. Album's slowly growing on me. Don't know what to rate it
yet.

IMZA1793
May 1st 2012


843 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

STORM CORROSION OF LOVE AND EMOOOOOOTION

PistolPete
May 1st 2012


3611 Comments


I was excited about this but "Drag Ropes" was too goddamn boring for my liking, kinda mad at myself for not appreciating this. Music video for that was weird too.

Digging: Banks - Goddess

Xenophanes
Emeritus
May 1st 2012


10594 Comments


I dig how different it was from what I was expecting. Great Job as always, Zack.

Digging: Grouper - Ruins

AngelofDeath
Staff Reviewer
May 1st 2012


16137 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks, Eli.

plane
Staff Reviewer
May 1st 2012


6094 Comments


Cool album, still digesting. Agree much with this review

CaptainDooRight
May 1st 2012


29134 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

good album

Digging: Kangding Ray - Solens Arc

CaptainDooRight
May 1st 2012


29134 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i feel the production is pretty bad tho

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
May 1st 2012


20676 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review Angel. Album rules.

Digging: Townes Van Zandt - Townes Van Zandt

Dimor
May 1st 2012


1758 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Let off some steam Base.

Album is good, truly around 3.5/4.0. Its a grower though.

KILL
May 1st 2012


71795 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

sweet review bro, great album

Digging: Invisible - El jardin de los presentes

Irving
Staff Reviewer
May 1st 2012


7283 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

Wait wut is this already out?!

Digging: U2 - Songs of Innocence

Cragorio
May 1st 2012


7 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah very nice review man. I heard "drag ropes" when it was released last week but it seemed very quiet and incomplete without the awesome video. Does the rest of the album feel like a film soundtrack?

Dimor
May 1st 2012


1758 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

No its not out officially. Allthough it has leaked on certain sites.

Wizard
May 1st 2012


19406 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I have a feeling this is going to suck but I will still give it an obligatory listen.

Digging: Khonsu - Traveller

helixrockerkid126
May 1st 2012


19 Comments


The artwork intrigues me.



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