|Photo by: Amazon|
Key Tracks: "Drag Ropes," "Ljudet Innan"
Friends, family, strangers who just randomly stumbled upon this album review online: we gather here today to celebrate the musical marriage of two very well-respected progressive rock musicians. Lars Mikael Akerfeldt of the progressive death metal band Opeth has known his musical partner, Steven John Wilson, for many years now. Today, with their new project Storm Corrosion, the two finally tie the knot in their musical union.
The date when these two musicians began their musical flirtation was February 27, 2001. On this day Opeth released its landmark record, Blackwater Park. Wilson produced the album and ever since that fateful day these musical partners have been inseparable.
Wilson went on to produce Opeth’s next two albums, and at that point Akerfeldt began to feel suffocated. Wilson was becoming a clingy partner and Akerfeldt needed his space. He was not ready to end his relationship with Wilson, however, and in order to reassure his partner of the commitment he made, he decided to make a guest appearance on Porcupine Tree’s album, Deadwing. Wilson could not have been more excited for Akerfeldt to become involved with his main musical project, and soon their musical relationship reached a new level.
In 2006, the two became musically engaged. It’s not entirely clear which musician proposed to the other, but nevertheless the announcement was formally made. Both musicians decided to unite under one project, and they asked Mike Portnoy of Dream Theater to help them make their dreams come true. The engagement process was a long one, and eventually the musicians decided that they did not need Portnoy’s assistance, and that together they could accomplish anything.
Now the year is 2012. Akerfeldt and Wilson wrote their musical vows to each other last year through Opeth’s Heritage and Wilson's solo record, Grace for Drowning. Under their new project, Storm Corrosion, both musicians would become musically married. Their debut self-titled record is the true combination of Heritage and Grace for Drowning.
The album shows just how hard both musicians have been working during their long engagement process. Storm Corrosion is a complex record with masterful orchestrations. No song on the record is straightforward, and each one requires numerous listens to fully absorb. This isn’t an album one can simply sit down and listen to, and that’s exactly what both musicians were aiming for. Their relationship is too complex for anyone to easily understand, and their musical marriage proves that.
Songs such as “Drag Ropes,” “Hag” and “Ljudet Innan” are all reasons why this musical marriage proves to be successful, but there is no easy way to assign a numerical rating to a relationship like this. Both Akerfeldt and Wilson have united to create an album that is musically jaw dropping but not necessarily engaging, which will cause some listeners to feel isolated and confused. But both musicians have said what they needed to through their union, and created the music that celebrates their partnership. Storm Corrosion is a beautiful piece of work that truly demonstrates what it means to be in a committed musical relationship.
And now without further adieu, I now pronounce Steven John Wilson and Lars Mikael Akerfeldt: musician and musician. Kissing each other probably won’t be necessary, though. This isn’t that kind of ceremony.
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