The Crucible reviews

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    Punj Lizard

      This Google translation from German is rather hilarious in places. Link to original follows the review.

      On " The Crucible " MOTORPSCYHO are shorter than on the predecessor and double album "The Tower", but the new album of the Norwegians similarly kills with only a slightly slimmer abundance of musical information and once again confirms the iconic status that the Band holds for years across genres. The record was produced in August 2018 at the Monnow Valley Studios in Wales, jointly by the band itself and Andrew Scheps and Deathprod respectively.

      It is the second combo combo with new drummer Thomas Järmyr, who excels especially in the brass monster 'Lux Aeterna' by filling almost all sound holes with manic drumming. Nonetheless, each member is appropriately empathetic in the sense of the final result; self-serving dumpling was never an issue for the band anyway, and that should be a guarantee for their longevity as well.

      The 20-minute title track begins impulsively with a diatonic harmonized guitar melody – surprisingly stereotypical for this group, which concerns Classic Rock – and winds up post-moderately high, before the frontman struggles with the Groove and accompanied by gentle Mellotron sounds the main part. As a lead vocalist, Bent Sæther generally alternates between programmatic desert rock nöling and powerful chest tone, depending on the mood of the tune.

      If one had to commit to a characteristic of the disc, it would probably playful licks as in the very Stoner -strong first segment of the opener 'Psychotzaar'; in this case, it is even one of several main themes in the song and a hook that works entirely without vocals. The "grande finale" is not until the last minute in coming – in the form of a monumental riff with textless vocals.

      In fact, given the instrumental epic, concrete content is almost a minor matter. On " The Crucible, " each track takes longer than the previous one, but moreover, the creators have not forced a single idea into a tight conceptual corset. The only common thread running through the material is the theme of change, with the focus on death being the general end; Political undertones swing in, if you want to recognize what is possible, but not a must.

      CONCLUSION: On " The Crucible " MOTORPSYCHO whistle again on predictable song structures and go beyond the time frame of the usual song format . The members are fearless and ambitious as before, so fans can access blind people and inexperienced people are invited to get to know this album as well as previous ones.

      Punj Lizard

        And another translated from German.

        In advance, we learned about the 2019 planned new disc from Motorpsycho, that it was intended as a sequel to "The Tower". A sequel that should be more experimental, more compact and darker.

        So a lot on "Crucible" offers a stylistic tightrope typical of motor psycho, which may seem a bit rough and spartan to many retroprog purists. On the one hand there are the driving Stoner Rock or Hard Rock riffs, whose effect is sometimes countered by the Mellotron strings. The vocal melodies that often appear stoic in this context, often with interesting harmonies, reveal that this is not a typical hard rock band. Alone, these vocal melodies awaken the blissful memories of "The Death Defying Unicorn" and "The Tower".

        On the other hand, there are always these filigree interludes, which put the offered even more in the progressive light and could come from an atmospheric retroprog piece. In the last part of "Psychotzar" we learn, however, how a doomig-apocalyptic progressive Stoner Rock must sound, in order to be able to unfold its effect really eerily. I can even hear the apocalyptic ringing of bells and a low-pitched mellotron in the part.

        In at least two parts of "Lux Aeterna" the wind instruments hit a Mellotron. In addition there are vocal melodies between lyrical and epic, so that in turn the early King Crimson and The Beatles come to mind as limping comparisons. After about five minutes, it becomes a hectic jazz rock stoner jam, which can come across as a homage to "21st Century Schizoid Man". The eleven-minute piece is framed by the vocal themes, which are conceived as gently as possible to the acoustic guitars.

        The title track, the longtrack of the album, amazes in the middle section with noisig-distorted guitar sounds. At this point Motorpsycho play for some minutes the true noise rock from hell. Other ideas of the Longtrack are again dedicated to the melodic guitar lines and polyphonic songs, whose origins are to be expected in the "classic" rock of the 70s.

        Interesting that in the drive of a computer "Crucible" is called an EP. For my terms, the work reaches the duration of a conventional LP, can be purchased as such, so it is rather not an EP. Anyway, "Crucible" has become a first-rate, quite progressive motor psycho disc, which will probably once again provide for the discussions on "The Limits of the Prog".


          "Motorpsycho whistle again on predictable song structures" :lol:

          Punj Lizard

            And yet another translated from German:

            After a "album-free" year, Motorpsycho report back in 2019 with a new studio release. Where "album free" actually means only that the Norwegians have not brought out a regular spin. Collective psychonauts were allowed to put two new live albums of the trio last year in the collection. Now it's time to pay attention to the press-fresh work The Crucible. From the aesthetics and tonal appearance, one can understand the record as a direct continuation of the path taken on The Tower. The band itself has no problem with that, as it announced in advance of the release.

            Accordingly, The Crucible sounds like the melting pot of prog, stoner, doom, jazz, pop, folk, orchestral music has been fueling the motor-psycho for years and years with their works. They master the very high art of making themselves comfortable between all chairs, that none of the genres can only manage to stretch the band completely in front of their carts. Good thing, because here is the sense of progressiveness, joy of experimentation and punk rock.


            The video is played embedded by Youtube. The privacy policy of Google applies

            The Crucible comes up with three oversized songs written in August 2018 in a Welsh studio by Hans Magnus Ryan (guitars, vocals), Bent Sæther (bass, vocals, sundry) and Tomas Järmyr (drums) with the kind support of the two co-producers Andrew Scheps and Deathprod were recorded. Psychotzar – with 8:44 minutes of playing time something like the potential song for a single release – winks with his opening riff almost outrageously in the direction of the Black Sabbath. At first, I was not sure if I accidentally hung up on sabotage. The irritation is short-lived. The next moment, the three drill on the reef in their inimitable way and roll out a fat Doomwalze. Lux Aeterna (10:56) has a jazzy charm and the title track The Crucible lasts for over 20 minutes a beast of noise rock and soft melodies from the chain. On The Crucible Motorpsycho play their beloved Motorpsychodelia to the fullest, true to their motto: Make loud, was not!


            Punj Lizard

              And another …

              Motorpsycho The Crucible (released: 15.02.2019 / Stickman Records)

              What a nice Christmas present: When I come home from an errand on December 24th, an envelope is in my mailbox, the address is c / o Pandys-Corner, sender is Noisolution in Berlin. Aha, I am pleased, post from Noisomann. Since Spidergawd's new album might be in there, I think, I'm looking forward to its release in January. Or something else that could interest me. Although I have motor psycho in the back of my mind, but consider it too early for the Promos announced in mid-February The Crucible are already on the way. So I'm in the apartment, throw my stuff out and open the envelope. And there it is: The Crucible – the new album from Motorpsycho. What a nice surprise in the morning of the holy evening !! Of course, I will gladly let you participate and now tell it piece by piece:

              1. Psychotzar

              Only the title of the opener prepares delight. The Tsar's piece sends a guitar intro ahead, followed by a bang before the whole band starts. A really strong kick-off, fat rock reefs immediately spread, with heavy, hard guitar that sounds even earthier and heavier – a bit warmer – than on The Tower. The first excursion of Snah is not long in coming: with a nice fidgety, occasionally confused guitar solo, the essential ingredients of a recent journey through psycho-verse are staked – with a clearly audible reference to the last album. This reference can already be seen in the cover design (which again seems quite apocalyptic and of which I do not trust myself to describe it reasonably …).

              2. Lux Aeterna

              The second of the three pieces begins quietly and gently, balladesque beginning with acoustic guitar and gentle vocals in the stanza stroking the ear canals, the chorus is dressed in robes of hymnic orchestral sounds. But the peaceful atmosphere of the song suddenly takes a sudden turn towards … er … jazzpunk ?? In any case, the band performs well for a while, and soon finds itself back in the waters of the Unicorn Prog Opera style. Only much drier, sometimes even hard on the cacophony border. Finally, the song comes back to its starting point, a final stanza, followed by a concluding refrain (and while I type these sentences in almost awesome emotion from what I've heard so far, I allow the player a press of the pause button and take it inside Turning over a LP). It follows the third and last piece, the title track:

              3. The Crucible

              With barely audible sounds that sound like an electrified version of wind, it's time to get started before the piece begins. Soon, this twenty-minute develops an idiosyncratic momentum. Guitar narratives of almost any color and sound atmosphere alternate with vocals, creating rhythms that grow up to the groove of a The Wheel, a Grindstone, a Big Black Dog and over time give a millstone-like urgency, while in these rhythm floors again infernal noise cascades romp about; In addition, re-tours are made in the unicorn Prog-Rockopern jazz and the riffs merge these sounds with the sounds of Heavy Metal Fruit hits The Tower. Every now and then the piece is interrupted with calm passages, as if it had to stop, gather, rebuild itself, before it ends almost abruptly after twenty minutes. The piece has, as the entire album, a certain radio play character. Where do these musicians only take their creativity, their ideas, always? Bright madness !!

              After hearing it for the first time I did not feel the need to listen to the album again, but tasted the aftereffect, the reverberation in the inner ear, extended and with relish … And: Ladies and gentlemen, it seems to me that this is already here THE album of the year 2019 before !!

              (…. um …, did anyone seriously believe anything else … ??)


              Punj Lizard

                The reviews are coming thick and fast (though this one is barely readable) …

                Still immensely productive, our favorite Norwegians quickly built a fine tower construction.

                The words stagnation, let alone stasis, does not seem to exist in the universe of these bustling northern lights of Motorpsycho.

                It's not too long ago when the engine psycho veterans Hans Magnus Ryan and Bent Sæther built their musically well-structured tower in longplayer garb with their new baton oscillator Tomas Järmyr at the end of 2017.

                The artwork also evoked associations with the Tower of Babel, a clear statement if you're as adept, thoughtful, and clearly defined as you are in musical creation like our Motorpsychos.

                At least the three speak a common language. In their tower, they now give us access to three other tower rooms. Clearly heard as an additional quest to her "The Tower" and also the visual presentation evidently ties in with it.

                Since "The Death Defying Unicorn" it should be clear how overwhelming the team Ryan / Sæther is in the writing of concept albums, which can also be identified clearly despite the participation of additional artists with assertive instruments, clearly as motor psycho.

                It is also great that the many ways that have gone through the years have not been forgotten, but form an ever larger map in the big picture.

                On which our heroes travel continuously and always know exactly where they are. Among other things, the versatile sound cosmos of Motorpsycho at least since Phanerothyme / It's a Love Cult also includes a strong sgt.pepperesque vibration in the vocal harmonies / melodies, which is difficult to negate.

                Although only three tracks are listed on the track listing, this release contains nearly 40 minutes of music. The opener "Psychotzar" is transported by a comforting low-frequency vehicle with 70s flair that is driven by massive riffs, including just mentioned vocal harmonies. Surely the dirt from the early days has long been filtered out and passé, but the Heavyness was skilfully preserved.

                What now rode the three in the middle of "Lux Aeterna", which just times the 10 -minute limit, rode to this short free-jazz downhill, may tell us Tomas Järmyr. After all, all toured together after the first joint recordings funny through the world history and accomplished their music miracles live and untamed on numerous stages. Passed the test, grown together, brave as a Motorpsychonaut with his two colleagues dared the creative shoulder and go to Titanic eye level.

                The centerpiece "The Crucible" occupies the entire B-side and really offers another magnificent prog circus with everything the psychonaut heart desires.

                Especially with a long-lived band like this one stands as a follower in each new album before deciding to go along with the possibly brought along musical development or not. Some hot-loving psychonauts may not have touched the "Demon Box" after "Soothe", as their motorwns suddenly trilled more than they screamed as beautifully as before. At least at the country escapades of "The International Tussler Society" was determined for some of the oven of attentive curiosity. At that time hipster albums of the alternative scene found themselves with "Blissard" and "Trust Us", which in turn made wonderfully shimmering guitar harmonies modern and brought to the ears. If you talk in the psychnonaut scene, there are actually old-love pilots, who were woken up by the name "Heavy Metal Fruit" and the hippie-pop sugar sweet "Aera" already mentioned above "Phanerothyme", "It's a Love Cult" and "Let them Eat Cake" have simply ignored. Too bad. Thus, these poor souls have also missed the ultra-cool "Barracuda", on which their very own need to "let it crack dry" is celebrated in the most beautiful way. Eventually the Stoner-Prog-phase was also rewound with "Black Hole / Blank Canvas", "Little Lucid Moments" and "Child Of The Future". Which musically belongs somehow logically to the following heavy metal fruit had to lead.

                Lured back by the promised and served (savvy?) Metalcrunch in a spacer robe, they just put recovered souls on an adventurous test.

                Motorpsycho and StÃ¥le Storløkken – The Death Defying Unicorn. And here we are. I also have a bit of a rewind and want to get closer to "Still Life With Eggplant", "Behind the Sun" and "Here Be Monsters", at least the final triad of drummer Kenneth Kapstad. During this time, however, I did not engage in motor psycho but took care of the mentioned unicorn, "En Konsert For Folk Flest" and "Begynnelser". From the review of the penultimate mentioned yet a quote to the conclusion …

                "A concept album in progressive rock-pure culture of unbelievable proportions. Purely by the description I have to break actually. BUT STOP THIS ONCE. HAMMER POPULAR BAM BAM BAM. "



                mister conclusion

                  Punj Lizard, don't worry, the last review is unreadable for native Germans, too.

                  Punj Lizard

                    @ mister conclusion – ha ha ha

                    Punj Lizard

                      At least they're all positive. 😀


                        Please, if you translate from a common language to another one, use, not Google Translate.

                        Punj Lizard

                          @ pfnuesel. Thanks – I'll try it!

                          Punj Lizard

                            This one translated from Dutch by DeepL.

                            The Crucible is a tough cultural Norwegian egotrip that seems to kick off in the nineties. Muscle ball rock where the bare upper body plays a guest role. Psychotzar starts right away with hard rhythm guitar metal. Short, fast following powerful chords that immediately draw you curiously into the song. Powervolle vocals that work out that rough edge and in the background at least something of a mellotron is present. The youngster Tomas Järmyr on drums doesn't have to prove himself with these qualities. His versatile percussion gives room for some exotic elements and sounds like he has been active with the band for years. It's fine and responsible that Kenneth Kapstad has finally started to focus on Spidergawd. Järmyr already passed the application procedure on The Tower, and did not manage to adapt to the sound. No, from the very beginning he was allowed to play a determining role. This is immediately clear from the moment the gong hits like a thunderclap. With the soloing we already hear that the accompaniment is grooving and darker moves on, the transition to the psychedelic sequel is still a matter of time. Dirty guitar attacks follow the increasingly thundering bass of Bent Sæther, after the rest of the acoustic part the vocals go towards the cutting of the grunge. Biggest is the sequel indicated with lightning fast passages and static pieces, with at the end an epic ending, while realizing that this is only the shortest track of the record.

                            Beautiful two-partedness lets you quickly carry away in the strong by the seventies influenced progrock of Lux Aeterna. Do not expect frills and high vocals. The Trondheim based Motorpsycho simply has a transversal rough appearance, and the beautiful acoustic introductory guitar playing does not change anything. There is much more room for well arranged melody lines that are polished by the mellotron if necessary. When the biggest thing is done with the symphonic fuss, you get all the rough dirty guitar and through it that makes you feel good for the strange psychedelic heavy set sequel. Here you clearly experience through the funky, jazz and fusion influences to which Motorpsycho owes her quirky name. This technically strongly played changes of styles is so characteristic for their sound. As if nothing has happened in the meantime, they continue with the rock sound that dominated the seventies just as easily. After great guitar solos they finish in peace with the supporting backing vocals again. Maybe the packaging is just over the top, but it graces the band of daring and daring.

                            After minimal noise on the cymbals a lot of freaking and jamming is done on The Crucible. Like standing in the middle of a crossroads during rush hour of some metropolis. So many sounds pass in review. This is necessary to evoke the intoxication with which a passage is sought to the more exciting guitar playing, which gets a big thump at its back from the drummer. How the bass can hold its own seems an impossible task. It's wonderful that there is room again for the progressive intermediate piece with beautiful almost hippie-like vocals. Rhythmically it then takes more shape through the role of Järmyr, and then it is hit hard with devilish guitars that are brought to a calm like demons circling around in an exorcistic fight by the bass that is not to be dismissed. So repeatingly it keeps interfering. In the last piece it goes the classical direction with a small moment of guitar experience, to give the emission of electric violence the upper hand for the last time in a strong part to rocking hard rock and then the theatrical end.

                            Another band would probably divide this over a lot more songs, but Motorpsycho has a minimum of three songs enough to convince for the umpteenth time.

                            Translated with


                            Great King Rat
                              "Motorpsycho whistle again on predictable song structures" :lol:

                              Yeah, that one is brilliant! "Auf etwas pfeifen" literally translates as "whistle on sth.", while a proper translation would be sth. like "don't give a damn about sth." A good example for the limits of translation programs: idoms.

                              Great King Rat

                                Agreed, DeepL seems to produce better results in English than Google. Or is that due to Dutch being closer to English and thus easier translatable?


                                  Deepl doesn't understand "auf etwas pfeiffen" either. But I had much better results with this one than Google. Of course this will change when Google buys Deepl.

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