Don’t you just love it when you feel like a child on christmas, full of excitement and hope? I know I do. But even thou those situations seem to hit me less and less these days, I usually feel like that when I open the mail to find a long-awaited record I’ve ordered. The latest one was the newly released ablum Storm Corrosion, a collaboration between two of my favorite music producers in the modern generation; Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree) and Mikael Åkerfeldt (Opeth). When I first heard about a possible unity of the two gentlemen I was totally thrilled. I instantly knew that the end result has to be awesome, because none of them have ever made anything I didn’t like. And as it turned out when I saw the video they released of the song “Drag Ropes” a while ago I was right, but more on that later.
My first impression from holding the vinyl-record in my hands was about the artwork by Hans Arnold, which is really cool. It gives away a really dark and mystical vibe, which tells me about some of the horrors the world (read: humanity) have had and has to offer. It also gives a pretty clear image about what the album has to offer sound-wise.
The general sound of the album is (like the cover-art) dark, but really calm and easy-going, organic and honest. Sound-wise it kinda reminds me of Opeths “Damnation”, but you can clearly hear the touch of Steven Wilson. Opeth is generally more up front and physical, while Wilson adds his strange, abstract sounds, making it more psychedelic. I’m not going to categorize it, because that would not be fair to the music, but many relate Opeth and Porcupine Tree to heavy-metal, which this record is NOT.
Knowing the music of both Wilson and Åkerfeldt from before, I knew that anything could happen, and I didn’t expect a record that sounds like neither Porcupine Tree nor Opeth. Both of the guys have a really broad range of musical taste, and they are not afraid of practicing them. And when I saw the video I mentioned before, I was really excited to hear what else they manage to come up with. But, as it turns out, nothing really radical happens, at all. The whole record simply continues on the same path, without any ups-and-downs and surprises. Now, this could usually be a pretty dull thing, but in this case it’s not bad at all. This is one of those records you should just put on, lie down in a dark room, and float away in, completely closing out the rest of the world. It’s beautiful, full of interesting soundscapes and I just don’t feel the need for change. It works as it is, without any borders dividing one piece from another.
This leads me to one problem I encountered; I bought this on vinyl. Now, I love vinyls, and whenever I have the choise I usually go for the vinyl copy. It feels like you really get the full package, with awesome artwork, great sound, and they look so nice in my collection. But in this case the music is divided on 2 discs; 4 sides, on which each side contains about 10-12 minutes of music. This makes a whole lot of running changing sides and discs, which is not very pleasant when I (as I mentioned before) just wanna lay down, close my eyes and dream away. It’s an unwanted break, which interupts the flow. So, I would actually recommend buying the CD version, and I’m considering buying it on CD too. But it’s still totally worth the money I spent, and it makes a great addition to any vinyl collection.
If you appreciate great and innovative production, and artistic music writing, I really recommend that you check this out. You can start by watching the music-video below, which gives a pretty good idea of what it’s all about:
Have a good one!