Storm Corrosion - Storm Corrosion
Roadrunner Records
Progressive Rock, Ambient
6 songs (47:24)
Release year: 2012
Roadrunner Records
Reviewed by Goat
Major event

A much-anticipated collaboration between the frontment of two of the most popular progressive acts of the moment was always going to displease as many as it pleased. The natural assumption is, after all, that if you brought Opeth's Mikael Ã…kerfeldt and Porcupine Tree's Steven Wilson together that you'd get something like a cross between their two bands - personally, I originally thought this project would give us something between Blackwater Park and In Absentia. Of course, Opeth's recent album Heritage and the prog influence of Steven Wilson's marvellous solo albums meant that that was foolish, and Storm Corrosion is instead something quite different. Almost uniformly relaxing and gentle progressive rock, very 70s with a massive folk influence, this album is sure to please fans of Opeth's Heritage and sure to displease those who wanted something heavier and harder. It's impossible to deny the excellence at work from the opening track Drag Ropes alone, though, a nine-minute atmospheric march led by Mikael that is at times beautiful, catchy, whimsical, and oddly creepy. Experimenting all the way through, from jangly melody to a mass of acapella vocals gradually backed by percussion and funky bass (what drums there are are provided by Porcupine Tree and OSI's Gavin Harrison) it's a great opening to a good yet patchy album, which lacksan overall flow and cohesive feeling.

The following title track is led by Wilson's vocals and leans more towards Porcupine Tree's softer moments, acoustic strums leading into ambience and back, rather jarringly on the return journey. It's pleasant enough for what it is, but for a ten-minute piece feels like padding and compared to some of the experiments on Wilson's solo albums comes over as lacking. A lot of tracks on the album will either strike you, or pass you by - the gentle quirkiness of Hag brought a smile to my face, but the stark piano and vocal murmurings will not be as enjoyable for everyone, even with the electronic oddness towards the end. Happy is just plain odd, with more electronica and acoustic strums (and at just under five minutes the shortest track present) doing little at all. Fortunately the following Lock Howl sets the album back on track with an ominous build-up enhanced by folksy flourishes, the expected ambient section working better and continuing the atmospheric touch. Finale Ljudet Innan takes a more ethereal route, a ten-minute glistener that begins with high-pitched vocals, continues withtypical ambience and softly entrancing prog melodies to a smooth finish. It's one of the best pieces simply because it doesn't feel like an experiment, but a serious effort. Sadly, several pieces here fail to match up and so the album can't help but feel patchy, but what is good is excellent. Make an actual album rather than collecting experiments together next time please, chaps.

Killing Songs :
Drag Ropes, Hag, Ljudet Innan
Goat quoted 65 / 100
Aleksie quoted 60 / 100
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