For every Opeth and Porcupine Tree fan, the collaborative by Mikael Akerfeldt and Steven Wilson was a highly anticipated album. We kind of already knew what sort of musical direction that the Opeth frontman was taking as of late and with Steve Wilson’s regular repitoire of prog, we should have known exactly what to expect. There was a huge uproar from Opeth fans when Mikael Akerfeldt announced that there would be no death metal styled vocals on the new Opeth album, Heritage. Frankly, I was pleased to hear that. It’s not that I don’t like Akerfeldt’s harsh vocals, in fact I love them. It’s simply the fact that sometimes I need a break from that kind of stuff and I really enjoyed Damnation, another album that a lot of Opeth fans do not enjoy as much. If you’re a close-minded metalhead that thinks anything other than metal is garbage, then you’ll truly reject the likings of Storm Corrosion and you’ll miss out on some really good music.
Heritage was an Opeth album like no other Opeth album, even Damnation. It took the their progressiveness to a new level for the band. The sounds that Opeth have been making for the past 20 years were now missing something, yet…it wasn’t.
Steve Wilson, on the other hand, hasn’t exactly changed his sound much from Porcupine Tree to his solo albums. Prog is what the man does and he does it oh so well. Put these two brilliant music minded individuals together and you’re going to have a very dark progressive rock album, and that’s exactly what Storm Corrosion is. If fans expected Akerfeldt’s death metal vocals on this album, they should have known after the Heritage release, that it wasn’t happening. Now, about the album.
I’m sure you’ve heard some or most of the album by this point. After all, it has been out for almost two months now; therefor, I’m going to keep this rather short. The album is only made up of a handful of [lengthy] songs in prog-rock nature, mainly the opening track, title track and the closing track. There are a lot of dark moments in the music and I can only assume that those are more of Akerfeldt’s contributions than Wilson’s. There are a lot of ambient moments that can be a bit too long and drawn out, creating a boredom if you’re concentrating all of your efforts on listening. Overall Storm Corrosion is a nice collaboration between two great musicians. The only drawback that one could really conclude with is that sometimes it feels like and Opeth album and other times it feels like a Stephen Wilson/Porcupine Tree album. Both of those are not bad things, and as good as the music and musicians are, I don’t think that either collaborator strayed far enough from their own styling to make something truly unique to the cause.