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Storm Corrosion - Storm Corrosion CD (album) cover


Storm Corrosion


Eclectic Prog

3.77 | 435 ratings

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Quirky Turkey
4 stars And now for something completely different...

Together, Steven Wilson and Mikael Åkerfeldt have crafted something very special indeed, being the most organic sounding album any of the two have done. They've apparently shared the contribution with a 50-50 effort, with both partaking in the song writing and vocals, Wilson in charge of the production and keyboards, and Åkerfeldt playing most of the guitars. This album marks the third installment in the unofficial 70s influenced trilogy with Opeth's Heritage and Steven Wilson's Grace For Drowning.

Storm Corrosion is a mixture of quite a few styles and thus being a hard album to simply label with a genre. If I were to draw a few from the list I'd say it's folk, ambient, experimental, and eclectic prog, all swirled together in a dark yet beautiful, vintage 70s inspired album. There is a minimalist feel to the album and is best heard in a quiet environment so full concentration can be applied to hear every detail. There is percussion but it isn't used frequently. And as it's prog, it requires several listens to fully take in and appreciate.

Drag Ropes starts off the album and immediately presents a dark, quirky atmosphere that would fit in a world that someone like Tim Burton would conjure. The folky minimalism and darkness assumes that there's been a Comus influence, among others. The instrumentation is organic with strings and acoustic guitars giving the song some character. A notable quality of the song is that it differs from the rest of the album and stands out because a lot seems to happen, and it has a strong and strange personality. I would say this is the most 'eclectic' song on the album and the most 'different.' Definitely a strong start to the album and one of the best tracks.

The title track is a gentle, quieter, emotional, and more relaxed song where the acoustic guitar and Wilson's vocals come to the fore. The exception to it's soft beauty occurs when a nightmarish and unsettling wall of sound rises and ends with a series of abrupt stops. This represents the experimental side of the album and it's this kind of thing that makes it special and sparks attention from the listener. While there's beauty to this lengthy song, not too much happens and it appeals as just 'another track' off the album. Although great and necessary to the whole, it's minimalism is what causes the album to detract from being a prog rock masterpiece. The same goes with the next couple of tracks.

Hag is an interesting one. It has a disturbed quality to it, with it's daunting pulsing bass and the eerie mellotron. There is also the inclusion of an unsettling crowd of laughter here and there, and again it's these subtle details that make the album something different. Wilson's vocals are present yet again and fit the quiet and haunting atmosphere nicely. However the most interesting feature of the song is the inclusion of a sinister 'heavy' section with Porcupine Tree drummer Gavin Harrison on drums. But this album wants to be different, so the drums' bass and treble have been filtered out. This is a high moment for the album.

Happy is probably the weakest of the songs and offers little distinct qualities. Instrumentally, it's emphasis is acoustic guitars and Wilson's vocals. I initially wished that Åkerfeldt could have showcased more of his vocals at this point, but it's not that big of a deal. Sound effects are used to give it an eerie quality which is a plus. Overall it's nothing special but still a welcome addition to the album as a whole.

Lock Howl is the only instrumental on the album and focuses on a rhythmic build-up of layered instruments to create an intriguing piece of music. Strings and Wilson's weeping electric guitar compliment the acoustic, folky vibe. The dark and quirky sound is brought back with a short change in the middle of the song. A highlight and very awesome indeed. For some reason I couldn't help but feel that this track didn't really seem to 'go anywhere' and could have built upon further. But one comes to accept and move on from these initial personal gripes.

Ljudet Innan is in my opinion the best song on the album. After Åkerfeldt gets to do some more vocals (in falsetto!), the atmosphere is immensely beautiful and entrancing with what sounds like a mellotron and choir being built upon with guitar sounds. While the album as a whole is constructed with either attention-catching amazing moments, or the soft atmospheric moments, this song is a combination of both. I have never been so captivated by either of the artists. After delicate vocal parts and percussion follows, the album closes with a dark yet beautiful section that perfectly concludes the atmospheric trip that is Ljudet Innan.

Storm Corrosion's motto seems to be 'dark yet beautiful' as this is the omnipresent sound to be heard here. The organic quality of the album and minimalist style is a blessing from the two artists whose mission was to create 'something very different from usual'. There is a strong salute to 70s music with the use of the instruments from the time that made the music from that era so organic, such as electric piano and the mellotron. But this is not a full vintage album (as like Opeth's Heritage) and uses modern production to create this album as a breath of fresh air.

While not a 5 star masterpiece, this a very rewarding album. I pray that Mikael Åkerfeldt and Steven Wilson get together again.

I recommend this album not to the average Porcupine Tree or Opeth fan, but to open-minded listeners who aren't afraid to encounter something far from the norms of the artist's more commercial appeals.

Quirky Turkey | 4/5 |


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