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Storm Corrosion - Storm Corrosion CD (album) cover

STORM CORROSION

Storm Corrosion

 

Eclectic Prog

3.77 | 436 ratings

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Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer
4 stars For fans of modern prog, a feature-length collaboration between Mikael Åkerfeldt and Steven Wilson seems like a dream come true. Each has been a mainstay of the metal/art/prog rock scene for more than a decade. Between them there are literally dozens of exemplary music to enjoy. As a fan, it's not so much a question as to whether or not it will be appealing, but rather: what the heck will the album sound like? Åkerfeldt and Wilson are very eclectic, especially in there more recent offerings, though each musician's reputation for creating dark pieces is probably a safe bet on the tone that Storm Corrosion will take.

And dark it is; and hauntingly beautiful, and cryptic, and subtle, restrained, and provocative. Storm Corrosion will turn off many listeners because of its torpid, structure less nature and fragile tones that seem to make no pretense towards hooks or memorability. Instead, Åkerfeldt and Wilson let the careful listener revel in emotional soundscapes that drift by melodically, usually acoustically, and always with more than a hint of menace.

The opening is a haunting blend of keyboards and vocal textures, telling the tale of a hangman bidding farewell to his victim. It's a challenging opener with a lot going on; it's also one of the few tracks that resemble a "normal" song, in the sense that it seems more present than the songs that follow. Here we're given many acoustic and electric guitar textures and counter rhythms, yes somewhat Crimson-esque, though distinctly more relaxed and sinister. The vocal interplay between Åkerfeldt and Wilson is also reminiscent of Gentle Giant, though again, much more evil than you may expect.

The title track is a gorgeous. Soft guitar strumming, flute tones, and Wilson's evocative singing. This was the first moment in the album that the lyrics really grabbed me. Check this out: "In his silence the storm corrodes. Passed on the second hand slips outwards. Born in the curve the song drips endless." Beautiful and strange and poetic. The song takes a serious shift halfway through, transforming into a hellish experimentation of dissonant chords. Normal listeners will probably turn off the album at this point... it just made me want to listen more.

"Hag" is a somber and threatening song carried by mellotron and bottom-heavy riffing. It sounds close to Opeth's recent releases (which is a very good thing), "Happy" follows up in much the same manner. We're given an upbeat and tension-filled instrumental with "Lock Howl," which builds nicely and makes a fitting climax to the album.

The closer, "Ljudet Innan" is a slow-paced, tender song that lets the listener drift off to subtle tones and chords that throbs to a meditative conclusion.

Overall, I enjoyed Storm Corrosion quite a bit. It took several listens to get there, and only with headphones and a quite space could I really hear what Åkerfeldt and Wilson are striving for here. It's not a knock-out, but it is a beautiful and perilous experiment that gives these two musicians a chance to show us something new to enjoy, though it is very much informed by they're individual tendency towards dark and emotional music.

Highly recommended for fans of theirs, but also for listeners interested in something soft and subtle and highly artistic, though also with an edge of nightmare. In the end, it's neither the song nor the playing that I walked away enjoying the most, but rather the experience.

Songwriting: 3 - Instrumental Performances: 3 - Lyrics/Vocals: 4 - Style/Emotion/Replay: 4

Prog Leviathan | 4/5 |

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