Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy, oh boy did the brilliant Motorpsycho outdo themselves this time! My record player is on fire!
Motorpsycho must be the Norwegian band with the most varied musical output ever. And this in a career where albums, EPs and music seem to just flow out of the powerhouse trio.
However, in the last years they seem to have stayed in the progrock mold.
And less than two years after the absolutely fantastic The Tower, which was their new drummer Tomas Järmyr’s first album with them, they have outdone themselves with an amazing progrock epos, which goes by the name The Crucible.
While the music is very concentrated and focused this time, they cast a much wider net lyrically.
It all starts off with Psyhotzar, which is like a Black Sabbath track, where the heavy riffs are mixed with good old fashioned Mellotron keyboard. Notice the gong in the beginning of the song, the way the drums kick in and the lyrics about paranoia. Those who misses the days when Motorpsycho rocked out gets their treat here, even if the song is nine minutes long.
Robert Fripp from King Crimson is not known for giving out positive superlatives, but even that cranky old bastard must feel the need to undress and run naked around the park shouting out of sheer joy while listening to Lux Aeterna. It’s tight, psychedelic and very demanding, and I can’t wait to see this performed live in a few months time!
The album is constructed like a good old fashioned classic Yes or Genesis record from the period around 1972 – 1975. Side A has two tracks, and then the main epic is on side B.
The Crucible has everything that the perfect prog composition needs: A quiet slow buildup which is then shattered by hard drumbeats and guitar riffs, before an intense section with wild bass playing and guitar kick in. This is then followed by a series of slow and quick sections that interchanges, all of which are played, sung and performed with solid precision. In the middle we get an ambient like section which calms everything down for a few moments, before we hit the 17 minute mark and it’s all kicked up in high gear again when the main riff that started the whole composition returns. Holy diver, how lovely it is that some bands can still create progrock of this magnitude!
I should be careful saying stuff like this, especially considering that the album has only been out for a few days, but I think this is my new favorite record from Motorpsycho. I’ve played it so much in the past few days I’ve had the LP that for a while I thought my turntable would catch fire!
The band certainly is on fire on this record. The best record of the year! So far!
PS! Some cloth eared nincompoops will call this album pretentious. To those people, I want to quote Rick Wakeman of Yes: «Someone told me that they found our music overblown, self indulgent and pretentious. I know, I replied. It’s good, ain’t it?»