Storm Corrosion
Storm Corrosion



by JF Williams USER (18 Reviews)
August 2nd, 2012 | 15 replies

Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

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

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 (570)
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • AngelofDeath EMERITUS (4)
    Mikael Akerfeldt and Steven Wilson unite their talents to craft an eerie and ethereal worl...

    OSEL (5)
    A dreamy, ethereal piece of work that achieves a high level of artistry not often seen in ...

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

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

  • e210013 (4)
    The final part in a loose trilogy along with Opeth's Heritage and Steven Wilson’s Grace ...

    Wreath (2.5)

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

    mandiarmando (5)
    A masterful effort, courtesy of the two of the best masters of progressive music nowadays....

Comments:Add a Comment 
JF Williams
August 2nd 2012


Album Rating: 2.5

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

Staff Reviewer
August 2nd 2012


Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Nice work, have a pos.

August 2nd 2012


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.

August 2nd 2012


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

could not agree more. great review.

August 2nd 2012


agreed, this album is flat out boring

August 2nd 2012


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

August 2nd 2012


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.

August 2nd 2012


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.

JF Williams
August 2nd 2012


Album Rating: 2.5


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.

August 2nd 2012


Album Rating: 3.5

^ wrong user, but cool

August 2nd 2012


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.

August 2nd 2012


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

August 2nd 2012


Album Rating: 2.5

it's ok

August 2nd 2012


Album Rating: 4.0

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

March 18th 2014


Album Rating: 3.5

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

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