A good old fashioned modern prog record (!?)

johna_online's picture
What's it called?: 
Storm Corrosion
What does it sound like?: 
Well if the title of this piece is a bit oxymoronic let me explain. As a child of the 60s and early 70s I grew up with and loved to death the progtastic acts of the day. As the years and decades roll by whilst I will always remain fondly nostalgic I don't listen much to that style of music anymore. However I have of late been drawn to individual tracks by Porcupine Tree. Which bring me to this album which is a collaboration by PTs Steve Wilson and some guy from a Swedish death metal act called Opeth (oh my faint heart !) Anyway its all rather splendid (apart from the dreadful sleeve). The heavy riffage is kept to an effective minimum and the sound mainly focusses around atmospheric guitars, mellotrons and chilled rather spooky vocals mixed in with some modern ambience. Think of the good bits of say Lamb Lies Down, early 70s Floyd sugared with a bit of Sigur Ros and even Spirit of Eden and you wont be far wrong. It's also a concept album (bless) but I havn't a clue what it's about.
What does it all *mean*?: 
Modern prog is clearly capable moving forward and keeping relevant whilst nodding respectfully to its legacy. Steve Wilson is a talented boy (as no doubt is the Opeth chap but I don't feel the desire or need to explore his back catalogue.)
Goes well with …: 
This is a great headphone jobbie - worked particularly well whilst walking the hound in the country on a still, grey autumn morning but would no doubt also suit 'a quiet a night in' with a small glass of something.
Might suit people who like …: 
Late Peter Gabriel period Genesis; Meddle; the less frentic bits of Crimson; David Sylvian; more modern artists like Marconi Union and Sigur Ros. Also those who simply appreciate some really well played and thought out songs and arrangements.

Comments

Sounds just my bag. Ta JA!

... a death metal act? I don't think so (well, maybe their first few albums, but then you'd have to call those Beatles chaps a 'Motown cover band'...). Opeth's latest ('Heritage') is a fully-formed prog album (like 'Thick As A Brick' with more guitars...), and their three Steven Wilson-produced LPs are spooky folk-rock in the best 70s tradition.

They sound great! Just my bag!

Blackwater Park, the first SW-produced album certainly contains a good dose of death metal, including cookie monster vocals (worth persevering with, honest), alongside some more progressive stuff. Deliverance is one of their heaviest albums and is unquestionably death metal, whereas the simultaneously-produced Damnation is very definitely spooky folk-rock.

It's thereafter that the death metal influences started to take a back seat to the prog and 'spooky folk' influences.

....AMAZING record

nearly 8 quid for cruddy MP3 off Amazon or five and a half for the CD. So I'll wait a couple of days for the CD!

"Damnation" arrived this morning. Am on third play. Love it!

to see if I can pick up a copy ...

I havent actually heard Opeth but got the death metal tag off Spotify. Apologies. The spooky folk rock comment above now makes perfect sense

Sound's even better with a jazz cigarette. ;)

is English Electric by Big Big Train. It was a recommendation from Anthony Curtis (@735songs), another member of the Massive and jolly good it is too. Peter Gabriel vocals, flute solos, mellotron, but with a surprisingly modern sound. It's available at http://bigbigtrain.bandcamp.com/album/english-electric-part-one for £4.50 to download if you're interested

I subscribe to Prog magazine. As reading material goes it's not a patch on the lovely Word but it is a valuable reference to the world of untold musical treasures. Big Big Train was one that slipped through the net as I trundled off on me jollies after reading about them. Thanks to your link I am listeneing to the new CD and loving it (man). I'm a sucker for Gabriel-era Genesis and this hits the spot. Big XXX from me.

I shall have to try these. Sound fab!

no one has mentioned that former XTC man Dave Gregory is on guitar!

The sound clips are great. Looking forward to it. Any other suggestions for spooky prog folk ideally with female singer gratefully received!

I'm listening to Storm Corrosion, and the wonderful new Big Big Train albums. Both keepers - but English Electric is perhaps the more impressive.

very mid-period Genesis though, isn't it? It's nicely done but it's not terribly original.

Originality? Is that even possible any more? When was the last time I heard something original? Beefheart in '69?

As someone put it elsewhere, this may be an exercise in re-arranging the prog fridge magnets, but it's bloody nicely done.

I do feel they are at their best when they're not trying too hard to be Genesis.

I get a feeling you'd love these - try Big Big Train first. I got to say that I am kinda blown away by it.

for the heads up, Burt. They sound very interesting indeed. I'll definitely check them out.

A little while ago I recommended a foreign Prog band called Wobbler. Recommendation still stands.

...and I shall be ordering English Electric in a couple of clicks, any more recommendations, other than those already mentioned here,;-))

solo albums. Insurgentes is his first, but I prefer his more recent Grace for Drowning album, featuring appearences from Steve Hackett, Trey Gunn, Tony Levin, Nick Beggs (yes, indeed, but he's a phenomenal bassist), Dave Stewart (the Egg one, obviously) and Pat Mastelotto.

Melancholic, occasionally quite frightening, seventies-styled, jazzy prog.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nirbBE-GkfA

We were both in IT support. He in Hemel Hempstead, me in Birmingham. He was (and probably still is) a really nice chap. I'm glad he's doing well.

to King Crimson, Jethro Tull and now ELP. I would say he was doing v-e-r-y well. I much prefer early Porcupine Tree. In Absentia is not my favourite CD but this track "Trains" is representative of all that is good about PT.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXkEPk9ibX8

Incidentally, when looking for the video above this one appeared at the top of the page. Never heard of King Bathmat, the track is not bad but it allows you go and download free tracks from the Reverbnation website.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xUiSBG8RoM

... and sounded much better than what I was expecting, given that one of the duo is the lead singer of a "death metal" band.

It should be emphasised that Opeth have produced two albums - "Damnation" and "Heritage" - that contain none of the growl vocals that many people dislike so much, and which are both excellent albums. I believe Steven regards the Storm Corrosion album and the Heritage album, along with his own solo album Grace For Drowning, released around the same time, as like a trilogy.