Storm Corrosion – Storm Corrosion

Porcupine Tree and Opeth are two of the leading bands within the modern progressive rock/metal movement, so when Steven Wilson and Mikael Akerfeldt announced they’re working on a new project expectations soared to an incredible level. In several interviews Wilson described the Storm Corrosion album as an integral part of a trilogy, made out of Opeth’s Heritage album and Grace For Drowning, his latest solo effort. Let’s see what Storm Corrosion has to offer.
Storm Corrosion stems from the same state of mind that spawned Heritage and Grace For Drowning. All three albums are clearly inspired by seventies progressive rock, like King Crimson, Manuvishnu Orchestra, Camel, Pink Floyd and probably a host of obscure bands from Akerfeldt’s legendary vinyl collection. That said, Storm Corrosion is altogether an entirely different animal. This album has more in common with Robert Fripps/Brian Eno’s ambient experiments and Pink Floyd’s early adventures in the psychedelic realm. A fair slice of German Krautrock turned be a major source of inspiration as well.
Where many of Pink Floyd’s and Fripps/Eno’s compositions were sonic soundscapes, Wilson and Akerfeldt decided to write actual songs. This focussed approach makes Storm Corrosion more accessible than the aforementioned Fripp/Eno and Syd Barett-era Pink Floyd. Songs like “Drag Ropes”, “Hag” and “Lock Howl” are adventurous and experimental in nature and Wilson and Akerfeldt’s voices complement each other very well. The absence of real drums amplifies the dreamy ambient character of this album.
Storm Corrosion is first and foremost a very interesting musical experiment between two of the leading figureheads within modern progressive rock and metal. Whether the album lives up to the hype surrounding it is in the eye of the beholder. As for me, I prefer Grace For Drowning and Heritage over Storm Corrosion, but that doesn’t mean this album isn’t without merit. The song material is as intricate and challenging as it gets and the dream-like quality makes it the perfect album for a quiet Sunday afternoon. (7/10)

Raymond Westland 

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