Review Summary: Mikael Åkerfeldt and Steven Wilson push the boundaries on this release, drawing on influences such as Scott Walker, Steve Reich and David Crosby.
Storm Corrosion is the result of an ambitious collaboration between Mikael Åkerfeldt of Opeth and Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree. This is an album that will initially shock the listener, as it bears very little resemblance to either of the two artists’ previous works. Featuring no death metal growls, distorted guitar riffs or any sort of catchy choruses, this is an album that is orchestral, almost gothic, borders on folk, and very much relies on minimalism and atmosphere as part of its driving theme. On balance the album is a success, and Åkerfeldt and Wilson deserve an enormous amount of credit for crafting an album that is completely different from anything they have produced in the past.
Storm Corrosion features very little traditional drum fills. With the exception of one crazy drum solo in Hag
, the rest of the album utilises other forms of percussion in quite an abstract way. Hand percussion is used, as well as the ride symbol. The intent was for the album to distance itself from traditional, rock-style drumming. Even Gavin Harrison’s drum solo in Hag
could hardly be called conventional; lasting around thirty seconds, it is muffled, and subsequently sounds unglamorous. However, it really does work for the song.
is an eerie track boasting orchestral arrangements and gothic choirs. It is an impressive number, and makes no apologies for being completely out there. The rest of the album is of similar quality, with Ljudet Innan
being an obvious highlight. It is a beautiful and atmospheric song, with impressive guitar work. It is recommended to start with those two tracks, as they are decidedly the strongest on the album.
One of Storm Corrosion’s biggest shortcomings is its lack of lasting appeal. After multiple listens, the album starts to lose a bit of its charm, and unfortunately it becomes quite dull to listen to. It is hard to pinpoint the exact reason for this, but it could be due to the fact that the album does not really have any individual stand-out moments. Sure,Drag Ropes
has gothic choirs and lyrics; Storm Corrosion
has melodic guitars and clever use of hand drums; Ljudet Innan
is a unique number featuring some pretty bizarre but awesome use of percussion. But despite these occasional flashy moments, this is an album where the songs do somewhat meld together, making Storm Corrosion an album most appreciated when listened to from start to finish in one sitting.
If the listener approaches this album with an open mind, they will be rewarded. Intentionally differentiating itself from anything considered mainstream rock or metal, Storm Corrosion is a powerful and enjoyable record, often pushes the boundaries, and is definitely worth the listener’s time and money. As a bonus, the album artwork is totally awesome.