Storm Corrosion
Storm Corrosion


2.5
average

Review

by JF Williams USER (18 Reviews)
August 2nd, 2012 | 16 replies | 1,335 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A disappointing album from musicians capable of so much more.

8 of 8 thought this review was well written

As much as I admire Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree and Mikael Åkerfeldt of Opeth (one of my favorite bands), their hotly anticipated (and long overdue) collaboration album under the moniker Storm Corrosion made me leery. Supergroups are always a gamble; for every Down there’s a Hellyeah, for every Them Crooked Vultures a Chickenfoot. We always hope pitting great minds together will yield something unique and timeless, but just as often such a situation becomes a breeding ground for clashing egos.

However, neither of these expected outcomes occurred – the respective geniuses of Åkerfeldt and Wilson manage remarkably not to clash in an ego battle; in fact, they’re largely absent. The self-titled album sounds like an unfinished, cut and paste series of song ideas that at times hint at something more but always manage to fall flat. Sonically the album reflects their shared love of 70’s progressive rock music (as loosely as this can be called “rock”), and is largely percussionless. Delicate fingerpicked guitars, high pitched vocal harmonies and King Crimson-esque pseudo-jazz fusion flourishes dominate the album’s 6 tracks. That said, very little actually happens for the album’s full 47 minutes – each song plays like an intro track, never taking much time to develop or build into a cohesive song, preferring to flirt with idea after idea until the song eventually ends, listless and climaxless. While this lack of a linear song structure isn’t something inherently bad (in fact I love plenty of bands that eschew such conventions), the material fails to deliver in terms of atmosphere, evocative power or emotional panache.

The listless nature of the songs is particularly frustrating considering the compositional excellence and emotionally captivating body of work of Porcupine Tree and (especially) Opeth. It’s not a simple desire for the death metal bombast of Opeth or the hard rock accessibility of Porcupine Tree that leaves so much to be desired in Storm Corrosion, as both bands have proven themselves capable of producing music just as subdued, and in some cases entire albums (see Opeth’s excellent album Damnation for such an example) that are miles away from such limp, half-baked mediocrity.

Opening number “Drag Ropes,” while sporting some odd, almost eerie fingerpicked guitar, is nearly 10 minutes of pure buildup – all tease and no climax. Despite the crystal clear production (as is typical of Wilson) and the lushly layered arrangements of flutes, keyboards, acoustic and electric guitar, (sparse) percussion, bass, and a multitude of vocal tracks, at no point does the song sound like anything more than a glorified jam session that was chopped up, run through Pro Tools and garnished with some symphonic bells and whistles. The rest of the songs more or less suffer from similar issues – the title track, while opening with beautifully delicate acoustic guitar and vocal melodies courtesy of Wilson, ultimately spends all of its bloated 10 minute running time either preparing for an actual song to start or uselessly building an atmosphere that simply isn’t there – it’s hard to tell where the song (or any of them for that matter) was ever intended to go. “Happy,” “Lock Howl” and closer “Ljudet Innan” continue down the same path, with the latter sounding like stock music to be played quietly and on a loop as the soundtrack to an Animal Planet documentary.

Granted, I really don’t hate Storm Corrosion at all – with a little bit of the cohesion and focus Wilson and Åkerfeldt are more than capable of, Storm Corrosion could have easily achieved something great instead of merely hinting at it. Unfortunately I think I’ll have to stick with Blackwater Park and Deadwing to scratch that Åkerfeldt/Wilson itch when it arises.



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user ratings (372)
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...

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

  • Wreath (2.5)
    ...

    Angel STAFF (4)
    Mikael Akerfeldt and Steven Wilson unite their talents to craft an eerie and ethereal worl...


Comments:Add a Comment 
JF Williams
August 2nd 2012



51 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

If you want to read more of my reviews check out the blog I co-created -
freeassociationnonsense.blogspot.com

TheNotrap
August 2nd 2012



7981 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Nice work, have a pos.

breakingthefragile
August 2nd 2012



2943 Comments


Very well written review, I love that opening paragraph. I actually based my rating off of the same reasons you bring up here, but those same reasons don't come close to killing the album enough for me personally to bring it down to an average rating, they're just minor issues to me. But that's just my opinion, have a pos.

Digging: Glassjaw - Everything You Ever Wanted To Know...

Gyromania
August 2nd 2012



15198 Comments


that at times hint at something more but always manage to fall flat.


could not agree more. great review.

DoctorNurse
August 2nd 2012



475 Comments


agreed, this album is flat out boring

MichaelSnoxall
August 2nd 2012



12163 Comments


I enjoyed this album, but I wouldn't listen to it again. Perhaps I was too generous with my 4.

MO
August 2nd 2012



18229 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"listless and climaxless."

maybe anti-climactic?

review is excellent, pos

also I couldn't agree more with the last track, I don't get everyones stroke fest over it

Digging: Immolation - Dawn of Possession

FelixCulpa
August 2nd 2012



1237 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Also just a note potato don't post review while other of your reviews are up on the first page under
"User Reviews" so you don't clog up the space with just your reviews and knock down other user reviews
from the list.

Also, are you Swedish, like me, or is the swede part just, there.

linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
August 2nd 2012



1844 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Yes, excellent review, although I don't think all of the album is quite as unable to produce beautiful atmosphere, in that 'Drag Ropes' and 'Hag' definitely do go somewhere. I see your point though, this was underwhelming to say I have a soft spot for both Akerfeldt and Wilson's works.

Digging: Black Anvil - Hail Death

JF Williams
August 2nd 2012



51 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

@MetallicOpeth
Yeah sorry about that, I'm new here and I didn't notice it was pushing other reviewers down. I'll space em out next time. And I'm actually an American with Irish and Swedish ancestry, hence the potato part.

MO
August 2nd 2012



18229 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

^ wrong user, but cool

FelixCulpa
August 2nd 2012



1237 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

@MetallicOpeth (jk)
No worries, most new users who already have reviews do the exact same thing. Ahh okay well then you're name makes perfect sense.

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
August 2nd 2012



19970 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review, although I personally like this album a lot.

DeadBeat
August 2nd 2012



529 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

it's ok

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
August 2nd 2012



4380 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I dont agree with your opinion, but the review is very well written. POS'd.

ChoccyPhilly
March 18th 2014



3459 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It's a grower... great review though, was a pleasure to read

Digging: Sun Kil Moon - Benji



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