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Storm Corrosion - Storm Corrosion CD (album) cover

STORM CORROSION

Storm Corrosion

 

Eclectic Prog

3.77 | 368 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

LakeGlade12
4 stars 4.3 Stars. The beauty of a distant storm

Storm Corrosion is the debut release where Seven Wilson and Mikael Åkerfeldt contribute equally in one recording. Released over 10 years after the highly acclaimed Blackwater Park (the first time SW contributed to a Opeth album), its surprising how long it would take them to produce a joint effort. However instead of producing some sort of PT/Opeth Prog metal monster they deliberately chose to surprise everyone with a very atmospheric album.

There was a lot of hype around this album (mainly from their record company) with them claiming they had created some sort of new genre of music. I definitely wouldn't go that far, but I would say that the first 4 songs are quite original and fairly difficult to pin down in terms of direct influences. Fortunately the name of the band/album does very well in describing the music. Most of the songs are dark and rich with tension and threat, like that of a distant thunderstorm that could cause some serious damage. But the storm mostly misses you and so all of this suspense never materialises into anything. Corrosion is also an excellent adjective as this music is not for those who want a quick frill. If you give this album the time it deserves it will leave a lasting impression on you.

The album starts with "Drag Ropes" which is definitely one of the highlights of the album. There is a excellent music video of this online which is well worth checking out. If this song isn't your cup of tea, then neither is the rest of the album. The song starts slowly with lots of tense atmosphere and depressing lyrics from Mikael. The lyrics give way to a slow instrumental that focuses on fine details that adds to the overall atmosphere. The mood is suddenly broken with a repetitive vocal harmony from SW and MA and an increase in energy. But the threat dies do and the song moves into a very delicate and moving instrumental (one of my favourite parts of the album). The song finishes in a similar way to how it started to in order to bring about proper closure.

The first 5 min of "Storm Corrosion" are very similar to that of "Deform to Form a Star" from SW's "Grace for Drowning", except it is even more delicate and atmospheric. This is probably the most accessible and easy to enjoy part of the album and anyone who is used to SW's ballad side will know what to expect. The second part however is full to the point of bursting with of eerie sound effects. Its what you would expect in a horror film just before the monster appears and things get gory. However like with Drag Ropes the tension vanishes and the song becomes relatively peaceful again.

"Hag" is another tense song, but unlike the previous two there aren't many beautiful elements added in. This is not to say that this song lacks the fine detail of the other songs, its just that everything in the song is aimed to build dread (e.g. creepy laughter in the background). This is also the only song where the suspense actually turns into something that could be classified as metal. In the middle of the song there are some sharp electric guitars and some frenzied drumming from Gavin Harrison. But this is short lived and the song finishes with more sinister lyrics and atmosphere.

"Happy" is the most depressing song on the album (what would you except from SW and MA!) and it is probably the weakest. It suffers from the strength of the last 3 songs and doesn't make a impression (even after many listens). Its not as atmospheric as Drag Ropes, not as tense as Hag and nowhere near as beautiful as Storm Corrosion. Its a mixture of the last three songs in style but doesn't have a unique selling point.

Up until this point the album was quite original, but "Lock Howl" can be described as a standard King Crimson styled instrumental without the bite. It would fit very nicely into Opeth's Heritage. Its not a bad song, but there is nothing special about it.

"Ljudet Innan" is the only song here that is completely lacking in tension, its just 10 min of Talk Talk inspired peace and tranquillity. The song starts with a falsetto from MA (didn't know he could do that!) and gentle atmosphere. This gives way to several minutes of pulsing ambience which could be used for meditation. A slow and repetitive piano tune appears with SW's vocals showing up and disappearing several times. A relaxing yet engaging instrumental closes the album with distant crying vocals from Wilson. The song may not be original but it is still of a high quality and another highlight.

The 3 longer songs don't disappoint and are 5 star material IMO. Hag is also strong, but tracks 4 and 5 are nothing special. So I'm happy to give this 4 strong stars. This type of music is not for everyone (many a PT and Opeth fan won't like this) and it certainty is not accessible. But if you can get into the dark world SW and MA have created then you shouldn't be disappointed. So watch that Drag Ropes video and decide if this is for you!

LakeGlade12 | 4/5 |

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