August 20, 2020 at 07:46 #10978
I thought it might be better to have a separate thread for reviews.August 20, 2020 at 07:48 #37628August 20, 2020 at 07:48 #37629
A rather negative and critical review at plattentests.de. The reviewer scores the album 6/10.
Translation into English from German by DeepL:
The Ego Trip
Mom, this is a very tasty meal but I'm full to the brim! Recently a user in the Plattentests.de forum, actually there were several, expressed his wish that the band Motorpsycho should do something different than their prog rock, which is driven to perfection. Well, also the reviewer was in raptures to the great deeds "The tower" and "The crucible". But one has to ask the question and could have done so already on the last two albums, what the musical relevance of the Norwegians still consists of. Admittedly, compositionally complex rock songs with captivating hymns, the trio can do this like almost nobody else. And stretching arcs of tension over mountains and oceans, that's another speciality of this band. What is missing, however, is the feeling that the Scandinavians would challenge themselves, perhaps even question themselves. And so the new opus "The all is one" is also more of a confirmation, continuation and consolidation of the chosen path. Let's say it directly: Impressive moments, overwhelming for its genre, can also be found here, only that even the most brilliant joke is told at some point.
And if the inhabitants of Psychoverse expect from this review, which admittedly is more of an opinion, to get the tonal details, the sophistry of "The all is one" listed here, they have to be disappointed, unfortunately. Sure, with Lars Horntveth from JagaJazzist and violinist Ola Kverberg, Motorpsycho have brought some jazz expertise on board for the central "N.O.X." suite, which with over forty minutes playing time makes up the lion's share of the album. And it is one of the strengths of this album that their contribution is really reflected in the music. But the reason why signs of fatigue are still noticeable are songs like the title track or "The same old rock (One must imagine Sisyphus happy)". The former is such a motor-psycho standard that the accusation of self-plagiarism quickly comes over your lips. The flowery strings, the drums with plenty of bacon on the hips, the wide vocal harmonies, everything has been there before and in better.
And so one rather finds pleasure in the little things that lie off the beaten track. The hippie miniature "Delusion (The reign of Humbug)" in its modesty for example. On the other hand, however, something like "The magpie": a shooting drive typical for motor psycho, in which the melodic arrangement and the notes played differ from the past, but the compositional modus operandi is exhausted to the point of exhaustion. The fact that a guitar solo is built in, which may be soulful but is loaded with clichÃ©s, fits the picture and arouses the suspicion of ego masturbation.
And then there's the aforementioned "N.O.X." This is the highlight of the album, because you can see beyond your own nose. Beside the jazz elements it is for example the electrified drive of "N.O.X.". II: Ouroboros", which causes a sensation with its irresistible intensity. The organic percussions and the retro organ also contribute a lot to the complex atmosphere. And also the "N.O.X." equipped with driven rhythmics. IV: Night of Pan", equipped with driven rhythmics, also pleases with its compositional frugality, without inflated bombast. This will also be presented in the concluding "N.O.X. V: Circles around the sun pt 2", the end of the suite rather whirls and whirls wildly through the room, Motorpsycho on fire.
If "N.O.X." would stand on its own, one could speak of a successful modification. But "The all is one" carries the ballast of the rest of the songs, which conservatively revive what has been achieved so far. "Dreams of fancy" could be mentioned as a proof for this. Again, melody structure, guitar work and dramaturgical structure are well known. And so the Motorpsycho fan will perhaps speak of the best album of his band, from his point of view justified. From another point of view "The all is one" is redundant, at least in parts.
6/10August 20, 2020 at 07:53 #37631
Streetclip.de review awards the album 9 points and concludes "The All Is One" is a tremendously crazy piece of work, which crowns the "GullvÃ¥g Trilogy".
Translation into English from German by DeepL:
MOTORPSYCHO complete their "GullvÃ¥g Trilogy". After 'The Tower' and 'The Crucible', 'The All Is One' is the last link in a jagged chain.
The disc is released with a once again exquisite artwork by HÃ¥kon GullvÃ¥g as a double LP and double CD. The finally produced 84 minutes were recorded by the well-known gentlemen Bent SÃ¦ther (vocals, bass, guitar, keyboards), Hans Magnus "Snah" Ryan (guitar, vocals, keyboards) and Tomas JÃ¤rmyr (dums). Guests in the first session in September 2019 in France were Reine Fiske (guitar, keyboards, KATATONIA) and in the second session in November 2019 in Norway Ola Kvernberg (violin, STEAMDOME) and Lars Horntveth (guitar, JAGA JAZZIST).
The focal point of the work is the 42-minute epic 'N.O.X.' from the second session, which in the vinyl version covers pages 2 and 3. But first of all, the ladies and gentlemen put their followers in the mood with shorter odes. The almost nine minute opener 'The All Is One' lets the sun shine powerfully and filigree within the old days of LED ZEPPELIN and YES. Due to this consistency, the basic question why MOTORPSYCHO are loved by rock fans of all colours is answered by itself. In contrast, 'The Same Old Rock (One Must Imagine Sisyphus Happy)' shows the contrast between feathery Seventies Prog Rock and mighty quaking Heavy Rock. The Magpie' goes into the blood of arm and leg so feverishly that no part of the body can remain motionless. Even without hallucinogens the sun rises in the middle of the night. In the floating state of absolute silence 'Delusion (The Reign Of Humbug)' sounds just as fitting.
Five parts then lead the listener into the world of 'N.O.X.'. The first part, 'Circles Around The Sun Pt 1', is adorably led by bells and creaking violin sounds, but the darkness of Scandinavian prog rock immediately takes hold. The singing sounds down from cloud 7, the formation shakes like an orchestra and plays itself into the first, shrill ecstasy until the end of the nine minutes. Ouroboros' chooses a stringent tempo without ceasing, so as not to steal the show from the exaltedly singing guitars, before the hectic South American groove ends after eight minutes. Ascension (Strange Loop)' invites you to chill out, but the string sounds soon wake up every colony of cats. In the post-rock and jam canon 'Night Of Pan', the same short sequences of notes are constantly played. Only the wind may push the vocals in between and allow symphonic sounds, which are immediately swept away by the drums over the remaining distance to the next ecstasy, bubbling, waving and sawing. This delirium lasts 15 minutes. The last part of 'N.O.X.' is a single furor – Canterbury in sustained speed, prog rock just before the explosion. 'Circles Around The Sun Pt 2' simply leads to another mad ecstasy.
In the following 'A Little Light' with acoustic guitar gives you a short break. Dreams Of Fancy' shows rejoicing mid-seventies prog rock, which also wanders near RUSH and finally pours out again within its nine minutes in overflowing solos. The Dowser' on the other hand is clear as a bell singer-songwriter material, not necessarily to be found in Scandinavia. For the finale, 'Like Chrome' again brings out nasty guitar sounds as well as 'Kashmir' strings.
The All Is One' is a tremendously crazy piece of work, which crowns the "GullvÃ¥g Trilogy".
(9 points)August 20, 2020 at 08:04 #37632
Great ideaAugust 21, 2020 at 07:11 #37633
Nine stars from Dutch site Arrow: Lords of Metal.
Translation into English from Dutch by DeepL:
The All Is One' is the title of the latest release of the Norwegian trio Motorpsycho. This album is the last part of what with a little bit of imagination you could call a trilogy (the band speaks of 'The Gullvag Trilogy'). A triptych that started with 'The Tower' in 2017 and got a sequel with 'The Crucible' in 2019. About both predecessors I was enthusiastic – as usual with Motorpsycho releases – but with 'The All Is One' the band musically goes not one step further but quite a leap. Next to the old, familiar Motorpsycho (in both sound and composition) new musical paths are being explored again. And just that combination of the old Motorpsycho with the current Motorpsycho makes this new album deadly awesome.
While I can hardly keep my eyes off the really beautifully designed album cover, the long title track is kicked off rather cautiously. The usual ingredients of the last few years pass by here: strong melodies, room for improvisation in a tight structure and great vocal lines (note; the lines are more violent than the vocals themselves, heh, sorry Bent). That line is continued on the first single of the album, 'The Same Old Rock'. It is especially the guitar of Hans Magnus Ryan that grabs the attention in both the chords and the solo. In 'The Magpie' it are those incomparable vocal melodies again that manage to make something beautiful out of a fairly standard song. You have only just grasped the little niemendalletje 'Delusion' when you are confronted with something truly unique. In over 40 minutes (!!) the trio takes the listener on a musical journey entitled 'N.O.X.' which consists of five parts. The amount of instrumentation, musical layers (put on your headphones!), breaks and tempo changes is truly unequalled. It's almost impossible to describe this song well, you just have to hear (and feel) it yourself. Of course there's a risk that after such an amazing trip, you won't be able to hear anything at all. Apparently the band has realised this too, because with the beautiful, sensitive guitar instrumental language 'A Little Light' you can catch your breath. That's a good thing too because you can enjoy 'Dreams Of Fancy' to the fullest by clearing your head. Again the band rises to great compositional heights. What a power these Norwegians have! The Beach Boys and The Beatles are honoured in 'The Dowser' after which 'Like Chrome' waves out the album.
And then you sit down on the couch and relax. A musical trip that is unparalleled. What has the band done! From fragile to sometimes loud, from acoustic to pompous, from small to big and from long to short. That's Motorpsycho anno 2020. And how damn beautiful that is.August 21, 2020 at 07:21 #37634
German online metal mag Metal Inside do not appear to give star ratings, but the writer certainly seems to love The All Is One.
Translation into English from German by DeepL:
As if out of nowhere and without much notice MOTORPSYCHO knock this hammer off an album. "The All Is One" marks the end of a loose trilogy that started with "The Tower" and is mainly held together by the artwork, which here again was the work of Norwegian artist HÃ¥kon GullvÃ¥g. It is almost 85 minutes long, with "N.O.X." in the centre, a five-part work of over 42 minutes in length, which might even challenge the one or other hardened fan of the trio at times.
At the beginning, however, there are familiar sounds: the opener and title track, with its voluptuous harmonies, could also be the epic finale of a long piece and reminds us of earlier phases of the band. The same goes for the following "The Same Old Rock (One Must Imagine Sysiphus Happy)" with its alternations between balladic and straight rock parts and "The Magpie", whose driving, irresistible two-voiced guitar run is directly in your ears. At the end of this first part, "Delusion" is a short acoustic piece. One has rarely heard this band so calm, tender and vulnerable.
But then the already mentioned "N.O.X." begins and takes you on a wild journey, which at most MOTORPSYCHO's cooperation with StÃ¥le StorlÃ¸kken on the fantastic album "The Death Defying Unicorn" could prepare you for. The musical influences here are similar and come – roughly outlined – from the fields of progressive, psychedelic and jazz-rock. Strings and brass are used, but also synth space sounds. Sometimes it is meditative and atmospheric, sometimes mercilessly driving, the long fourth part is largely determined by tribal beats. The bar numbers are mostly crooked, but nevertheless it flows and grooves continuously. The whole piece is instrumental almost throughout, except for the choral-like main theme, which recurs in some places and is also varied in some places.
MOTORPSYCHO work here extremely dynamically, building up and down passages, condensing, going back again and swinging up again and again to grandiose climaxes. In the end, there seems to be hardly any increase possible, but with the last part they top it off with a nearly 6-minute-long, crazy finale. In order to be able to comprehend all the different elements and developments and to grasp this piece in its entirety, it takes several attempts. But if you succeed at some point, you can't help but get carried away, and at times you think you can grasp the intensity of what you hear with your hands.
The last part of the album ties in with the first. With "Little Light" and "The Dowser" there are two more short and calm acoustic numbers to be heard, whereas the great constructed, indeed rocking, but highly melodic (and in the context of the whole album despite its good nine and a half minutes short sounding) "Dreams Of Fancy" could be an older MOTORPSYCHO track again. At the end it becomes relatively straightforward: The hard rock-heavy "Like Chrome" bows to LED ZEPPELIN, but in the verse also to David Gilmour and his guitar sound around the time of "Wish You Were Here".
With "The All Is One" MOTORPSYCHO have recorded an album as unusual as it is brilliant. With the overlong "N.O.X.", basically an album within an album, they enter new musical territory, dare to experiment and expand their sound once again in a fascinating way. The framework for this is formed by pieces with which they refer to various facets of their previous work and thus tie in with their past. Maybe it is too early to speak of a masterpiece, but in any case, what MOTORPSYCHO deliver here is absolutely masterful.August 21, 2020 at 09:08 #37635
Oh wow. Goosebumps….August 22, 2020 at 07:39 #37636Krist RampageParticipant
According to an expert opinion, the first word in the universe is – contrary to popular belief that the first word is the so-called original "Om" – "MMM". Because exactly this sound is at the same time the sound that develops deep out of the stomach and makes its way past the heart, upwards when you hear the music of Motorpsycho. Shit, Corona, no totally sweaty, three-hour Motorpsycho overconcert this year. But luckily they publish regularly and so again now. And gain the advantage of physical publications: You can buy and own them and listen to them just for yourself almost infinitely often – what about "The All Is One", the third and final release of the trio alongside "The Tower" (2017) and " The Crucible Â«(2019) will definitely be the case. As usual, as in the last ten or so albums of the last ten years or so, the three gentlemen give their splendid mixture of – attention – somewhere between the jam band sound of Grateful Dead and the driving sound of Dinosaur Jr.
"The All is One" starts with the title track and it doesn't just look like the end of the aforementioned trilogy. At the same time, the company listeners * gush with goose bumps and melancholy awakening memories on the surface, e.g. For example, of old albums like "Timothyâ€˜s Monster" or the lightness of "Phanerothyme", of these numerous catchy tunes that don't wear out even after the 1000th listening session. And this time, in spite of the progressive prog-rock structure, the overarching Â»conceptÂ«, there are again individual numbers that stand for themselves and that you can force yourself into the body very well with full blow. As cheesy as it sounds, Motorpsycho stands for the constant release of endorphins. "The Same Old Rock (One Must Imagine, Sisyphus Happy)" – instant classic. Anyone who has been longing for an earwig since "Black Hole / Blank Canvas" and "No Evil" will find it here at the latest with "The Magpie". It seems that the guys from Motorpsycho have again turned to simple, catchy guitar melodies, the drums shoot powerfully as usual and give the whole thing the necessary power. The singing – to melt away. How can you sing so beautifully?
The sound from the album is superb as usual. Old friends like u. a. Reine Fiske, Lars Horntveth from Jaga Jazzist will be there again, and the selection of helpers in the sprawling progressive numbers Â»N.O.X. I – V Â«, with a lot of strings and choir background. Spherical solos. Typical quality jamming. After this monster of the song construct it gets a little quieter. After the heartbreaking ballad "The Dowser", the album closes with the optimistic "Like Chrome". Fine. Oh yes. It's a double album. A pleasant surprise for Â»Prog-RockÂ«: It doesn't annoy a second.August 24, 2020 at 18:22 #37637
Burn Your Ears webzine gives the album 9/10, and again the "masterpiece" word makes an appearance!
Translation into English from German by DeepL:
Hard to believe, but despite 31 years of band history and countless releases, MOTORPSYCHO still haven't made it into our record reviews. A serious omission – from our side, of course – after all, the Norwegians have been clearing one laurel wreath after another for decades. "The All Is One" shows once again why.
The final chapter of the "GullvÃ¥g-Trilogy", which so far consists of "The Tower" and "The Crucible", drives the trio's idiosyncratic style to perfection. The mixture of country, psychedelic and jazz also fascinates on the umpteenth album, so that the listener is in danger of getting lost not only in the highly melodic pieces like "The Magpie" or "The Dowser".
An epic of special sublimity
Instead, it is the extravagance that makes its mark on "The All Is One". Finally, the epic "N.O.X.", which is divided into five parts, proves to be a highlight and point of gravity. Over 42 minutes, the Norwegians wind their way from one musical masterpiece to the next, while the listener desperately tries to keep up. But the effort is worth it: once you have fought your way into the piece (and also manage to change the CD quickly enough), you witness a self-contained circle that opens up new details every time you listen.
The main achievement of the Norwegians, however, is by no means the sublimity of their long track, but the fact that "The All Is One" does not drop off even off its center. Thanks to high quality song material ("Dreams Of Fancy", "Like Chrome"), "The All Is One" has become an album of increased artistic value in almost all its moments, and thanks to "N.O.X." perhaps even MOTORPSYCHO's masterpiece.August 25, 2020 at 14:18 #37638
whiskey-soda.de give the album heaps of praise. Their rating is 2+. (I have no idea what this means as their album of the month has a rating of 1.)
Translation into English from German by DeepL:
With "The All Is One" (Stickman Records) Motorpsycho continue their loosely connected unofficial GullvÃ¥g trilogy, which started in 2017 with "The Tower" and continued last year with "The Crucible". The name-giving artist HÃ¥kon GullvÃ¥g was again responsible for the cover design and also contributed further artwork for the discs of the double album and the inner print of the digipak.
The Norwegians have achieved a certain cult status among their fans, and after "The All Is One" one can well understand why this is so, should there have been any ambiguities so far.
Motorpsycho are back and are living up to their name again. The opening title song is groundbreaking with its psychedelic groove, and yet it hardly prepares the listener for what is yet to come. Experimental prog with jazz rock elements meets psychedelic and stoner rock, guitar walls are broken through by billowing electro sounds, saxophones glide somewhere high above pulsating Mellotron sounds.
The centerpiece of the double album is the more than 42-minute long piece 'N.O.X.', which is divided into five parts and two CD halves and even looks bulky. Jazzy saxophones, throbbing electro beats, somber strings, casual brass sections. There may also be repetitive rhythm contructions for minutes, slowly increasing, pulsating synth figures, which are decomposed by diffusely floating vocals and finally overtaken by driving beats. This is prog at its finest with long instrumental sections, the music is completely unpredictable, bulky, jazzy, surprising, ecstatic, invigorating, even danceable.
Around 'N.O.X.', eight more songs are waiting to be discovered, shorter, more manageable, but no less exciting, even if they cannot consistently maintain the high level of the outstanding long track. "The All Is One" is an exciting album for all those who are open-minded for experimental music, who can get involved with long tracks (and what progger can't?) and for all those who want to celebrate psychedelic stoner-jazz of the extraordinary kind.August 25, 2020 at 15:07 #37643JEROParticipant
@Punj Lizard; thank you for all the effort you put into this thread so all psychonauts can feel proud and get even more psyched up about the 'new' music coming. You must be scanning the web every ten or so minutes! Wish I had the time to do that, but thanks to you I don't need to! cheers and threefold cheers again mate!August 25, 2020 at 15:39 #37644
@JERO – thanks my psychonautical friend! My overeagerness certainly intervenes too often on my work day – not every ten minutes, but certainly several times a day! I love reading reviews of Motorpsycho albums – they're so rarely negative! Having said that, I don't mind negative reviews – it's all just opinion anyway, and criticisms of the band are always thought-provoking and rarely lacking substance, coming as they do from people who are actually interested in the band and their output.August 25, 2020 at 19:28 #37645
The first review to appear at Babyblaue gives the album 11/15.
Translation into English from German by DeepL:
In the promo documents the exact details of the cast were once again missing. At least I had the opportunity to learn in advance that Motorpsycho's "The All Is One" would feature a number of guests in addition to the regular trio, among them Reine Fiske (guitars, Mellotron), Lars Horntveth (guitars, clarinets, saxophones, keyboard instruments, usually with Jaga Jazzist) and Ola Kvernberg (violin, also played with Grand General). The recordings were made during two sessions in 2019: the first one was in September in France with Reine Fiske, the second one with Horntveth and Kvernberg took place in November in Norway.
Mr. Kvernberg plays his violin with great commitment and competence in what I consider one of the highlights of the album: the orgiastic-hymnic-ritual "N.O.X. I: Circles Around the Sun Pt.1". For pieces like this, Motorpsycho should be worshipped cultic. Also because they sound uniquely like Motorpsycho and remind us that "The All Is One" is the last part of the so-called GullvÃ¥g trilogy, which began with "The Tower" and "The Crucible". HÃ¥kon GullvÃ¥g is the name of the artist who created the artwork for the three albums. For "The All Is One" the artwork was created especially for the band.
"N.O.X. I: Circles Around the Sun Pt.1" is thus the first part of "N-O-X", a five-part, over forty-minute monster track, which should put most fans of Motorpsycho in a state of bliss. Here the influences of modern classical music, stoner rock, psychedelic, kraut rock, jam rock, jazz and prog come together, occasionally crowned by the strikingly dissonant vocal melodies and provided with a shot of avant-garde. Therefore I would like to start from a small masterpiece. Possibly as a worthy continuation of "The Tower". "N.O.X. III: Ascension" is more of a spherical art rock, intentionally anything but intense. The instrumental level of "N.O.X. IV: Night of Pan", on the other hand, would pass for the most part as a partly quite intense electronic-cosmic Krautrock.
The music of the longtrack was allegedly written for ballet, inspired by painting, alchemy and tarot. Accordingly, the artwork of the LP edition is said to be extensive. As somebody on the band's website correctly wrote, "N.O.X." is meant to amaze, the rest of the album is more for relaxation. Like for example the easy going song "The Dowser", arranged for voice, violin and guitar. It sounds to me like written for lazy summer days. Just like the short piece for acoustic guitars, called "A Little Light". Compared to "N.O.X." even the symphonic-progressive stoner rock of "The All Is One", or "Like Chrome" seems light-weight. Probably these pieces would sound a bit different without Led Zeppelin's contributions to music history.
So what does "The All Is One" have to offer? Contrasts. Next to the masterful longtrack called "N.O.X." are the pieces that are probably officially supposed to be the frame for "N.O.X.". This courageous concept leads me to the impression that the longtrack can stand on its own, but the other compositions are in danger of fading in comparison. In other words: another great record by Motorpsycho!August 25, 2020 at 20:25 #37646
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