CD REVIEW: Storm Corrosion

Porcupine Tree and Opeth are both bands with distinctive sounds – Pink Floydian prog rock on one side, and sprawling progressive death metal on the other. So you could be forgiven for expecting a collaboration between each band’s masterminds (Porcupine Tree’s Steven Wilson, Opeth’s Mikael Åkerfeldt) to be a progressive death metal epic full of odd time signatures, crushing riffs, growled vocals and ambient guitar solos. But for hints as to what you can expect from Storm Corrosion, you need to look into each artist’s most recent works. Wilson’s Grace For Drowning leans more towards lush soundscapes and psychedelic ambience, while Opeth’s Heritage could have come straight out of the seventies, with its vintage progressive rock (rather than progressive metal) elements that share more in common with King Crimson and Yes than Dream Theater and Symphony X.

And it’s here, in the middle of these two releases, that we find Storm Corrosion. The album’s six tracks – the term ‘song’ doesn’t quite cover it in this case – typically end up in a very different place to where they start, with structures that seem dictated by the previous note rather than any adherence to accepted song structures. And that’s a big reason why it’s such an engaging experience.

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Roadrunner signs Steven Wilson/Mikael Åkerfeldt collaboration

Aside from the new Van Halen, it’s got to be the most highly anticipated album of the year in my little corner of the world: Storm Corrosion, the collaboration between Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree and Mikael Åkerfeldt of Opeth. And they’ve just signed to Roadrunner Records. Loved Wilson’s Grace For Drowning and the fusionesque Heritage by Opeth? Wilson says this album completes that trilogy. Can’t wait to hear it!

PRESS RELEASE

OPETH’S MIKAEL ÅKERFELDT & PORCUPINE TREE’S STEVEN WILSON TEAM UP FOR STORM CORROSION

Roadrunner Records is pleased to announce the signing of Storm Corrosion.

Storm Corrosion is the long-discussed and highly anticipated collaboration between two of the modern progressive rock scene’s most innovative and multi-talented artists: Porcupine Tree’s Steven Wilson and Mikael Åkerfeldt of Opeth. The pair will release Storm Corrosion on April 20.

Wilson and Åkerfeldt have been friends since the late ’90s, when Wilson co-produced Opeth’s reveredBlackwater Park album. Over the years, they’d often spoken of working on a project together, but it wasn’t until recently that they managed to make something happen, when Mikael flew over to visit Steven in the UK and they ended up in Wilson’s home studio throwing ideas around. That visit was the nascence of a whole self-titled album, written and produced by the pair and mixed by Wilson.

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COOL GEAR ALERT: PRS SE Mikael Åkerfeldt

It’s unofficially Opeth week here at I Heart Guitar – after all, new album Heritage is out now and it kicks all sorts of ass – so let’s take a look at the Paul Reed Smith SE Mikael Åkerfeldt signature model.

This puppy was unveiled at NAMM this year, and although Mikael didn’t use it on the Heritage sessions, he definitely stands behind this guitar. And why not? Legendary PRS-designed tremolo bridge, SE HFS and SE Vintage Bass pickups, old-school bird inlays, 24 frets and that cool Opeth stylised ‘O’ logo. This is a classy axe, and I’ve long been impressed by PRS SE build quality. To be honest, I wasn’t really impressed during the first year or two of the SE line, but manufacturing tolerances and build quality zoomed right up pretty early on and now I rank them pretty high – especially the SE One, the Torero and the Orianthi and Paul Allender signature models.

By the way, check out my interview with Åkerfeldt here.

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CLICK HERE to buy the Mikael Åkerfeldt signature model from Musician’s Friend.
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