Storm Corrosion – S/T (Roadrunner)
Release date: May 7, 2012
Let me get straight to the point: Storm Corrosion‘s debut effort is every bit as gorgeous sounding as the tantalizing bits of music which paved way to dominant atmospheres of darkness.
In an age where music has become so pathetically disposable in the mind of an average listener and attention spans have waned to the point of oblivion en-masse, Storm Corrosion – the much-hyped collaboration between the revered prog masterminds Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree) and Mikael Akerfeldt (Opeth) serves as 2012’s ideal musical litmus test for the initiated and uninitiated alike. The people who get it will be in for a treat beyond treats, and the rest will simply shake their heads in bemusement.
I doubt I can equate with words, what Storm Corrosion creates with sound. When it comes to how he approaches his art, Steven Wilson is something of a renaissance man. Dabbling in various musical disciplines and sub-genres that stretch across an ever growing multitude of projects, bands and artists, Wilson has also quietly earned himself a name as the “go-to” guy for producing and remixing albums by classic progressive rock and metal acts ranging from Opeth to King Crimson. On the other side, Akerfeldt has been consistently crafting a unique sound over the last decade with Opeth and that has moved him into the limelight.
Without doubt there just aren’t enough superlatives in the English language to express the breathtaking beauty contained within this record. There is a clear reason why Wilson and Akerfeldt are regarded as two of the most gifted and respected composers. There is clear heart and emotion behind every note they play and that is exactly what separates them from the multitude of mindless dude’s out there. Right from the first track “Drag Ropes” till the final encounter “Ljudet Innan”, the conventional vocabulary between the duo just treats you with 48 minutes of dark, cinematic, dreamy and dreary orchestral music. The deeply textured arrangements present are sure to surprise you.
To be honest there really isn’t much point in analyzing each song and picking them apart since that would be a gross injustice to something that should be absorbed heart and soul. Each and every track from the album leaves a listener with a wholly unique sound. It’s like a beautiful dream where a listener enters into a mystifying world which these prog mastermind’s have created and complete the journey by uncovering new methods of being heavy – sonically and emotionally – and progressive. Wilson and Mikael’s creativity has always drawn from the golden period for music, around late sixties and early seventies. Back when releasing an album became the primary means of artistic expression, when musicians liberated themselves from the three-minute pop song format, and started to draw on jazz and classical music especially, combining it with the spirit of psychedelia to create “journeys in sound”. One cannot deny the fact that this modern-day encapsulation of 70’s off-kilter acoustics, rich with lingering atmosphere and ethereal woodwinds, certainly serves as a vessel for their artistic indulgence.
Interestingly Steve or Mikael forego the safe route and risk all their artistic integrity with an album that takes more than a singular listen to understand, comprehend and ultimately appreciate. And the reward of perseverance is indeed astonishing. Your mileage may vary, but this is a sonic experience that was built to last. Without doubt this is one of the best records produced in many, many years, and in years to come it should, with any justice, be remembered as a landmark release by one of the world’s few true ground-breaking artists.
Bottom Line – Don’t expect Wilson and Mikael to break into the mainstream with this record but if this doesn’t gain them praise from even the most hardened of critics then it is a travesty.