Roadrunner Records 2012
The prospect of a musical meeting of the minds between Opeth‘s Mikael Åkerfeldt and Porcupine Tree‘s Steven Wilson certainly sounds enticing on paper. But as is often the case, the expectations may be more exciting than the end result.
Storm Corrosion is the much-hyped collaboration between the aforementioned pair and while it certainly serves as a vessel for their artistic indulgence; it does little in the way of attempting to appeal to anyone but the players involved.
Rich with lingering atmosphere, this pairing heavily favors delicate acoustic strums, folky, and at times near choral, vocals and immense soundscapes. Modestly progressive yet vast in breadth, it is a distinctively unique aural experience. One effortlessly aided by lush colorful instrumentation, marathon-length tracks and an undercurrent of subdued orchestral grandiosity.
But therein lies the problem—the material sounds more like a score or the background music for a scene the listener is forced to create themselves. An exhausting amount of patience is demanded to appreciate what this talented duo have put on display here. Instant gratification is not their intent as momentum and dynamics are sidelined by elegance and ethereal beauty.
To some it will be written off as a pretentious venture as it almost begs of a somber state of mind to even be remotely digested. Truly the vastness of “Storm Corrosion” caters to a very niche audience and its general dreariness and slow burn tempo can weigh heavily on the psyche.
But what is bland to some will be brilliant to others and in this case the thin line between artistry and ego will lie solely in the eye of the beholder.
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