The Crucible reviews

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    Punj Lizard

      8/10 Album of the week. German version, see link :

      Motorpsycho are doing well! In the midst of contemporary relativizations and ironic refractions, it is a blessing to watch a band take on the biggest rock album of all times, with no double bottom. With "The Tower", the three Norwegians were already pretty close, as this album is in terms of proportion and suspense, as one of their masterpieces. Now this is the difficult act to set up a proper successor. They went to Wales and got support from prominent producer duo Andrew Sheps and Deathprod. A tail comparison with its predecessor bypasses the work titled "The Crucible" by limiting itself to 40 minutes of running time. The other part of the truth, though, is that the tracklist consists of just three songs, with the 20-minute title track as the crown jewel.

      The prelude is incredibly brutal, "Psychotzar" is a massive "We are Motorpsycho!", With heavy riffs and rolling rhythm section this piece rolls powerfully in its first half, no cross-cuts and pirouettes, raw energy for the thirsty engine. It is precisely the simplicity that initially prevails that thwarts the listener unrestrainedly for what is to come. These are then in the second section of the song Kirchenglockenbombast, but also used with great sensitivity sentiment. The song thus serves as a kind of successful crash course for newcomers who want to get a taste of the work of this cultically revered band. "Lux aeterna" specializes in the soft, psychedelic joy of gigantic melodies. The wonderful harmony vocals of Bent Sæther and Hans Magnus Ryan are of course thickly applied, but with strings and horn blowers, the sky door is opened in such a sustained manner that any kitsch reproaches on this larger than life anthem simply bounce off, remember? This band wants everything and usually does it. And one element of the piece completely unfamiliar element such as this freak-jazz-part in the middle part to install conclusively, not everyone succeeds.

      Something more special it is with the eponymous final track. That Motorpsycho over the very long distance unfold tension and force, they showed recently with "A pacific sonata" and "Ship of fools" on the predecessor. So now twenty minutes … And Motorpsycho would do well not to overtax the listener over the life of the song with a bombastic fireworks insert after another. This piece takes back to a large extent, glides through wide landscapes, sometimes galloping, sometimes in the quiet corridor. Here, the Scandinavians take a psychedelic drive, which remains the core element of this piece, even if there are subtle outbursts and distinctive melodies to admire. It's more about atmosphere than plot, the guitars wander out into the area, and at the beginning and end of the piece, a frugal but powerful groove makes you feel like you're crossing the desert with a locomotive. The renunciation of the huge spectacle is of course risky, especially in this Songlänge, but trust motor psycho here on the power of moods and yes, that also works. Direct force can be found on this record as well as filigree differentiation, exactly in the right weighting and joined together with an intuition that leaves one astonished. Motorpsycho are thus still at a peak of their creativity, King Midas sends his regards.

      Punj Lizard

        I figured a separate thread for reviews might be handy for those who are interested in reading them.

        Here's a short one from (in German) who give the album 8.5/10

        boomer former helm

          well, can't wait to hear it. great review :)

          Great King Rat

            I'm also looking forward to hearing it. But the review …?

            This might be off topic but I still need to write it down 'cause it's been annoying me for years now. In Germany, music journalists tend to have a pretty wild style of writing. You get loads of strange metaphors and comparisons and generally very daring formulations. Maybe that's due to fact that it's difficult to describe music with words in the first place. So it might be true in other languauges as well, I don't know… But that guy beats them all! There's almost no sentence I don't stumble upon. Hardly have I encountered so many crooked images, grammatical violations, simply wrong words and logical mistakes in one text. I sort of understand what the author wants to say but when I read those sentences carefully I end up with a bad headache very soon. I consider that text an insult to anyone with a little bit of sprachgefühl (my dictionary says that can be used in English… a feel for language?). Call me a pedantic killjoy if you want to, but that text is absolutely terrible. Jeez, I need a beer now.


              Well, they call it "das Land der Dichter und Denker", so I guess everyone wants to have a go at it. :P


                @ Rat: You pedantic killjoy :lol:


                  I'm with the Rat. It's like a clumsy draft for a text which, when finely tuned, might have evoked imageries as intended. But I know the difficulties since I myself write about music and always hope to avoid these traps. Sometimes you really struggle and would be better off keeping it very basic. I find this review not as annoying as what the writers for Spex magazine did way back when, when you could read 10 pages on an artist or an album and still have no idea what it was all about due to the writers' narcissism. At least this one here did focus on the subject at hand.


                  true :lol:


                    That's the web for you – you find a lot of trash in picture and writing, because these days nobody's ever editing anyone's or even his own stuff (and of course noone would get paid for it either). So if you want to read reviews in a language that's not full of clumsy, crooked imagery and orthographic mistakes you have to stick to the few surviving magazines (mostly printed, but some also digital). Or just hang around here ;-)


                      F#ck for words from strange critix._ whatever._ i cant wait to hear it by myself._ Discoklo still loves you [allmost] all whatever they say._. Waiting still for f# money to get you wherever i can catch you._._. :oops: :STG:

                      Kid A

                        just read the review and I second Great King Rat’ s comment 120%. This is just crap.

                        Punj Lizard

                          I can't seem to get the full url, but search "motorpsycho crucible prog magazine David west" and you should be able to get the review on Press Reader

                          Punj Lizard

                            Here's the full review from Prog Magazine.


                            A three-song, 40-minute glide to the edge of the solar system.


                            1 Feb 2019

                            DAVID WEST

                            Faced with the intimidating task of following 2017’s epic double album The Tower, Motorpsycho return with just three tracks on their latest release, although that still amounts to 40 minutes of music. The Crucible is their second release with Tomas Järmyr behind the drum kit, joining founders Hans Magnus Ryan and Bent Saether. The album was recorded at the venerable Monmow Valley Studios, Wales, where Black Sabbath crafted their odes to darkness in the 1970s. A fitting choice, as the opening Psychotzar kicks off with an Iommi-esque riff from Ryan that’s loaded with doom. Saether’s bass rumbles away in the depths like a leviathan roused from slumber heading to the surface while Järmyr pummels at the drums, knocks on his cowbell and periodically unleashes a great wash on a gong.

                            Motorpsycho’s use of vocal harmonies separate them from heavy metal’s forefathers, while Lux Aeterna finds them leaning more towards their psychedelic side with

                            Ryan singing about leaving our mortal flesh beneath the soil. The first section of the track is full of Mellotron melodies borne along gently with a trippy 60s vibe. Then it turns a corner and suddenly plunges down into an abyss of discordant chaos, where distorted Mellotrons collide with acerbic guitar riffs as the trip turns sour. Happily, the final chapter of the song sees it mellow out, as Ryan sings ‘Take the pain away, there’s nothing left for anyone to say,’ and it climaxes with a gorgeous wash of psychedelia.

                            Then it’s time for the main event with the album’s title track, a 20-minute acid rock/space rock odyssey that recalls the spirit of early Pink Floyd. Where Psychotzar and Lux Aeterna are credited solely to Saether, it took both Ryan and Saether to craft The Crucible itself. It’s a kaleidoscope of a song, shifting between colours and tones as the mood takes it. It all begins with an urgent energy as Saether and Järmyr set a breathless pace before it opens into a jazzy, psychedelic passage that’s just the prelude to an expansive guitar solo. Yet however far out the trio venture, and at times it feels like they’re gliding out towards the far edges of the solar system, they never lose sight of the song. Even when The Crucible disintegrates into a mass of disembodied effects or swirling Mellotrons, it’s always another musical step forwards, not a freak-out – however glorious – merely for the sake of it. And when the main melody sweeps back in, the result is ecstatic.

                            Even in the shadow of The Tower, Motorpsycho continue to shine.


                            wow! this should will be very interesting on stage :-)


                              This sounds really exciting! Did´nt expect such great media response after the already huge Tower reception. Another week to go…


                                Indeed! I might even start buying MP albums again! (ok, I bought The Tower)

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                              …hanging on to the trip you're on since 1994