Here I am sitting and wondering what is taking so long for the Storm Corrosion record to come out and after quickly checking I realize it was actually released today and it’s up on Spotify. For those who are unaware of Storm Corrosion, it’s a mostly acoustic collaboration project between Steven Wilson from Porcupine Tree and Mikael Åkerfeldt from Opeth – both of which I really enjoy. So here goes, first playthrough is a go and here are my first impressions.
1. Drag Ropes (9:52)
What a haunting piece. Got me hooked right from the dramatic orchestral intro. It’s really hard to find anything to fault in how beautiful Mikael’s singing sounds here. It’s curious how easily you can hear some Porcupine/Opeth things mixed in here, yet it’s such a different and unique thing definitely. Loving the melodies and the melancholy going on through the song.
2. Storm Corrosion (10:09)
Acoustic fingerpicking – something I’ve really gotten myself into more recently in my guitar playing. Plenty of that here by the sounds of it. The howling part is definitely beautiful and chill inducing. The 7 minute mark horrorshow of soundscapes is clearly fitting for the artwork the record has, though I much prefer the outro melody above all else in this song. I can definitely see myself learning the acoustic parts of this song.
3. Hag (6:28)
Continuing from the mixed up soundscape of all things weird and melancholic, the song has a slow start to it. If this was a song by someone I have no knowledge of, I would have probably rushed through the rest of the song to see if there’s anything really good later on. Quite a dark place during the 4:30 mark and I’m not sure whether to love or hate it. Clearly one of the songs that I might need to come back to and try again later – a lot of great songs are like that. Whether this is one of those times I don’t know.
4. Happy (4:54)
Happy? Not the happiest of intros at least :) Like the previous song I find it hard to really grab onto anything – it just is. Bits and pieces are nice but as a whole it left me cold much like Hag.
5. Lock Howl (6:10)
Hearing something that I instantly like – the constant rhythm of the guitar strumming with some beautiful leads over it, awesome. Clapping! I’m wondering if this is what Steven talked about during the interview video and how they laugh/grin when they hear it. I can’t say I find myself doing any of that, too immersed in this world of weirdness and melancholy. I don’t think there was any singing here but the melodies are great.
6. Ljudet Innan (10:20)
Wondering what the name means since Mikael is still singing English. Interesting lullaby-like intro. Traveling through this atmospheric soundscape and taking my time. Quite peaceful actually. Echochamberdrums kicking in on the background. I’m a bit over halfway through and starting to feel impatient and want the song to actually go somewhere. Then again, it’s probably mostly just how I happen to feel right now and might work great another day. First chills shortly after the 8 minute mark – those small changes in the melody making the biggest difference. Really slow start, but a strong ending.
I guess that concludes my first playthrough. Mixed feelings about the record. Drag Ropes, Storm Corrosion and Lock Howl definitely got some of my juices flowing and had some strong elements in them. The other three on the other hand kind of left me cold and wanting for more. As a whole I feel like the songs clearly represent the coverart though and it’s the kind of record I expected it to be knowing it would be this acoustic and cinematic sort of journey. Spoiled with such greatness like Arriving Somewhere, Blank Planet and Damnation I’m left somewhat cold by Storm Corrosion. It’ll be interesting to see if it improves once I listen to it a bunch more.