STORM CORROSION is the much hyped, much talked about collaboration between two of modern prog rock’s heavyweights in OPETH‘s Mikael Akerfeldt and PORCUPINE TREE‘s mainman Steven Wilson. If you were to judge an album based on its cover art, one might expect a virtual labyrinth of complex, involved music to serve as a soundtrack to acclaimed Swiss artist Hans Arnold‘s richly detailed and intricate artwork. But sadly you would be wrong. So what exactly do the masterminds behind STORM CORROSION have to offer? Would the duo take a modern approach and craft a record along the lines of TOOL and modern day RUSH meeting up with PORCUPINE TREE? Or would they dig deep in to nostalgia and profess their love for all things CAMEL, NEKTAR and KING CRIMSON taking us all on a mindblowing prog rock odyssey? Or would the group take us on a smoke induced psychedelic journey heavy on the HAWKWIND and PINK FLOYD? Sadly all of the above scenarios are far more imaginative than what one will actually receive with STORM CORROSION.
Beginning with lead track “Drag Ropes,” our protagonists make it abundantly clear that less is more, and that they will seek to offer the listener collectively less than they ever have before. Super subtle, understated vocal lines by Mikael are backed by an assortment of gentle background ambiance that tries very hard to create a mood, but leaves the listener feeling flat. Five minutes in, the guys thrown in some off kilter vocal harmonies in attempt to mix things up, which leads in to some light guitar work which might be some of the most musical material on this album. But it unfortunately comes across as an afterthought as opposed to something substantial.
The title track follows with some dainty folk singing and strumming before arriving at a soothing yet not particularly inventive “solo.”