Camp Motorpsycho » General

The Crucible (Feb 15, 2019)

(232 posts)
  • Started 6 months ago by Tomcat
  • Latest reply from karmadrome

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  1. Punj Lizard
    Member

    @ boomer - If the stars align, hope to see you again too.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  2. Sleepynaut
    Member

    It's everything i hoped for. Absolutely love it already. The songs sound familiar and i found this album didn't take as much getting into as previous ones for some reason

    Posted 3 months ago #
  3. shakti
    Member

    Here's a "best" type of title I can affix to The Crucible:

    Best single Motorpsycho album!

    For the record, I count Blissard and Little Lucid Moments as double, or more precisely one and a half, even though they are both single CDs (although the Crucible beats LLM in any case).

    I think this album is the most succesful they've ever done of distilling things and keeping it a short and focused album.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  4. Bartok
    Member

    Oh man, I was about to write a bit harsher review, talking about the feeling of being spoilt, of how getting the coolest baddest thing every year somehow devalues everything. The need for chapters. That I wish for some air in space, something not so in heavy riff epic maestro RETRO rock band land(!) but I realize you guys are correct, like always, and that it’s just not possible: as space is a vacuum, and as MP is by now a genre unto themselves. Which I LOVE. But I do sometimes wish they’d hunt and KILL some dinosaurs again, instead of always just petting and playing with them. Begynnelser was IMO contemporary, an album I can live and breathe within, it has air, but, and that’s important: Begynnelser is not an official release, and it’s a beautiful freaky little outgrown EP, and it’s definitely not in space, but in the heavy forests of Nord-Trøndelag, where there’s plenty of moist air and soil to make stuff grow. So it’s an anomaly. I guess I’m looking forward to the next anomaly! Because when they leave the starship enterprise they make a mesmerizing emotional mess, which I love.

    But until then! (Had to get it off my chest!)

    I DO love the Crucible! Psychotzar is everything I want from MP going to Sabbaths old hangout. Best song IMO. Lux is not my cup of tea, but I do like it, though it somehow has too much intention and self-awareness and “importance” to really fly. For me. Lacuna (same vein?) flew. But it’s of course great by any standards, but now I’m talking about MP-standards. The Crucible song has still not opened itself, but I’m sure it will. All in all a really really great album, great playing (Thomas!), well-crafted, everything you’d expect.

    Man we’re spoilt.

    But best single album? Wow. Perhaps?! That’s a nice observation. I don’t agree, because I do consider Blissard a single album, and I do LOVE AADAP (or was that a single album, or a triple EP, or double LP?;) but apart from those *masterpieces* I guess I agree!

    Can’t wait to hear this material live, and can’t believe I missed UFFA, oh well. In another 50 years!

    Posted 3 months ago #
  5. Punj Lizard
    Member

    Given that the average MP album is 57 minutes in length (based on how I personally prefer to relate to the releases [YMMV]) I can begin to see why some might say The Crucible feels like an EP, though for someone like me who lived out their teenage years prior to the advent of the CD, there's no question that it's an album. But this points up another of the speacial things about this band: the variety. Not only in music, in setlists, in performances of each song, in styles and genres, but in album formats and lengths too. Yeah I know we all already know this, but I never get tired of talking about stuff (like this) that really singles out MP's extraordinariness. We are indeed, as Bartok and so many others here have said, spoilt.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  6. Bartok
    Member

    Slightly off topic, but, Punj, I *really* appreciate your devotion, and I have a question I’ve been wondering a lot: How do someone who discovers MP in 2017/19 navigate in their massive backlog of albums? This level of quality is almost unprecedented IMO. Where do you start? I think I’ve asked this as an open question before without any answers(?) so I’m asking you specifically since you’re the only new guy on this forum as far as I know, and as you’re so eloquent about everything. I think I would just about give up by reading their Wikipedia. Or feel intimidated. As you say, 57 min pr record, that’s about more than a whole day of songs(?)! Where did you start? When did you go back to the 90s? I remember you writing about finding it hard to make Blissard open itself. What about TM? Or TU? Or DB? The records we oldtimers consider their canon. Or their “pop-period” LTEC–IALC? I guess the Kenneth albums must have hooked you. What do you consider their “best period”? Which ones stand out? I’m asking cause I so often find myself disappointed about the direction of their records since 2008, and I get so tired of myself comparing them to the 90s. Maybe I’m fading out as a fan. But that’s OK, and natural. But yes, as a “newbie” how do you relate to this whole thing? How do you read the latest MP decade compared to the two previous? Just post a link if you’ve answered this before✌️

    Posted 3 months ago #
  7. Punj Lizard
    Member

    @ Bartok - Thanks for your comments and your questions. I'll respond in a new thread so as not to bother this one.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  8. tkm
    Member

    Feedback/iTromsø

    No høyrer eg atter slik larm og vrede
    Det korteste, sinteste og svarteste Motorpsycho-albumet på aldri så lenge.
    Skrevet av Morten Ståle Nilsen

    5/6

    La oss hoppe over «hvordan kan det ha seg at de fremdeles er så bra?!»-gledesbestyrtelsen som har akkompagnert enhver Motorpsycho-anmeldelse de siste 20 årene, av totalt 30, og i stedet snakke litt om format.
    40 minutter er ikke stort mer enn det en Motorpsycho-EP pleide å inneholde i gamle dager. Bortskjemt som vi er med dobbeltalbum, trippelalbum og 5 CD-er store jubileumsbokser, kan sikkert dét se ut som smålåtne greier.
    Men det er det ikke. Folk som sverger til Yngwie Malmsteen-credoet om at kun «more» kan være «more», får ha meg unnskyldt: Det gjør faktisk en forskjell hva det er man blir servert.
    Der de nevnte EP-ene gjerne besto av rusk, rask og sure gamle soveromsdemoer, lanserer «The Crucible» seg selv som Et Verk fra første stund, fra det strålende omslaget (maleriet «Egypts hær drukner» av Håkon Gullvåg) og inn.
    Som sådan er dessuten «The Crucible» mer håndgripelig enn mer omfattende utgivelser som «The Death Defying Unicorn» (2012), «Behind The Sun» (2014) og «The Tower» (2017). Jeg minnes alle de der som imponerende plater, men jeg har problemer med å huske enkeltstående låter fra dem. Fra «The Crucible» vil jeg kunne gjenkjenne absolutt alle. Absolutt alle, eh, tre.
    Ikke minst: Helge «Deathprod» Steen er med igjen, før første gang på lenge (på plate). Dersom du ikke blir litt øm av å lese dét, da kan ikke du og jeg snakke sammen. Går det en rød tråd gjennom dette førti minutter lange/korte verket da? Jeg innbiller meg det. Nærmere bestemt folkeforførere, død og krig. «The Crucible» er en grim og helhetlig Motorpsycho-plate.
    Nå er ikke jeg en sånn som noen gang har hengt meg opp i tekstene deres. De kan, om sant skal sies, være ganske gymnasiale. Men de sier som regel noe om fargen på musikken. Som denne gangen ikke er en farge i det hele tatt, men svart.

    Motorpsychos «Demon Box» er virkelig et av tidenes mest kanoniserte og hyllede album i Norge. Når det nå kommer ut i en svært påkostet og eksklusiv boks, måtte Feedback ta en lang og grundig prat med frontfigur Bent Sæther om bandets 25-årige barn fra nittitallet.

    «Psychotzar» har det bøseste Black Sabbath-riffet på denne siden av «Sabotage» (1975; som har en låt ved navn «Supertzar»), subsidiært bandets egen «W.B.A.T.» (2010). Sangen har noe av den samme stormannsgale auraen som de kokainsniffende britene lekte seg med på akkurat det albumet, og trommeslager Tomas Järmyr, som generelt skikker seg utmerket, får endog slå hardt på både kubjelle og – takk! – gong.
    Gitarist Ryan er hissig som en veps både i soloen(e) og riffingen, og låten unner seg en kort balsamsekvens før det avsluttende crescendoet.
    «Lux Aeterna» (10:55) kan, dersom man anser den 08:44 lange «Psycotzar» som for snau, utmerket godt anses som «del to» av den samme komposisjonen. Den tar til som en ballade om døden, men skal ende et helt annet sted, etter å ha vært gjennom et par bedragersk vakre «refrenger» og, dernest, en sekvens som er utslettsfremkallende intens, med løpsk basspill og mye annet fint bråk.
    Kombinasjonen av mellotron og treblåsere som preger deler av den, gjør det vanskelig å ikke tenke på King Crimson av det tidlige slaget. Susanna Wallumrød bidrar på sang, uten at jeg kan si at jeg la merke til henne. På generelt grunnlag kan det sies at Motorpsycho, i mangel på en god vokalist, fremdeles videreutvikler kunsten å bygge massive korharmonier.
    Tittelkuttet er hovedretten (20:51). Den slekter på alle de svære mastodontlåtene deres fra og med «Little Lucid Moments» (2008): «Gullible’s Travails (Pt. I-I)» (20:42), «Big Black Dog» (17:43) og «Ship Of Fools» (fattige 14:41), for eksempel.
    Vi skal gjennom mange partier i en lang sang som likevel ikke føles lang nok. Progøret trenger ikke være spesielt spisset for å assosiere til The Whos «Quadrophenia» (1973) i begynnelsen, og midtperiode King Crimson ved 16:40–17:11.
    Dette er ikke plagsomt. Miksen er liksom for lengst blitt Motorpychos egen, og riffene og temaene er så inderlig velspilte og – tja – fengende, at lån er lov, og vel så det.

    Deathprod – gamle, gode Deathprod! – slippes løs på spetakkelknottene rundt midtveis, og effekten er like harvende blytung som noe på «Demon Box» (1993), «Mountain» og tittelkuttet inkludert. Det er gruvekkende minutter i malstrømmen, et slags musikalsk svar på Picassos «Guernica» (1937).
    Tempoet dobles forut for en galopperende solo ved Snah (kaller noen ham det lenger, eller er han blitt for voksen for kjælenavn?), det nevnte «Starless And Bible Black»-gitarpartiet og det avsluttende verset. Bent Sæther synger det med sin patenterte «ø»-lyd. Han synger ikke «sigh», han synger «søøøie», han synger ikke «sound», han synger «søøønd», han synger ikke «die», han synger «døøøie».
    Så er sangen over, og albumet med den. Litt vel abrupt også. Jeg kunne fint tatt et kvarter og et par klimakser til på denne musikalske dødsmarken.
    Sånn avslutningsvis: Hvordan kan det ha seg at de fremdeles er så bra?!

    Posted 2 months ago #
  9. kjellepelle
    Member

    Album review: Norway's finest rockers add to their legacy on 'The Crucible'

    When it was announced that the latest platter from one of the world's best rock bands — Norway's 30-year-old space-rock veterans Motorpsycho — would contain only three tracks, it was an intriguing bit of news, but it wasn't as shocking as it would've been if any other group had revealed that info. After all, the trio once put out a double-album (the incredible "Little Lucid Moments") with only four tracks on it, and they not too long ago released a five-track, full-length ("Still Life With Eggplant").

    Still, though, letting your entire creative statement be contained within three tracks is a risky move. If one of them doesn't work, that's three-quarters of your album that's a failure. Luckily, we're talking about Motorpsycho, a band that rarely, if ever, makes a misstep. They never bottom out like so many bands and release sub-par or embarrassing material. If anything, everything they do is varying degrees of excellent. Their batting average is higher than just about every rock band in history, and hardly anyone knows about them. So it goes, as somebody once said.

    In any event, "The Crucible" is a wonder. It's Motorpsycho in full-tilt prog mode, and it sounds like the group is pushing themselves into areas they've hinted at on past records, yet it still sounds like the next step forward from their last album, "The Tower," which was a much more varied double-record that boasted heavy-metal jammers alongside Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young soundalikes. Here, the band is folding all their influences and abilities into each composition, culminating in the 20-minute title track, which is a song that basically is about as close as any rock band can get to performing full-on bombastic orchestral music. For real: Motorpsycho is making music that would sound incredible if a symphony played it.

    Opener "Psychotzar" finds the band in heavy-lidded rock mode and offering subtle commentary on the state of world politics. "It's not paranoia / we all choose what to believe," vocalist/bassist Bent Saether sings in harmony with vocalist/guitarist Hans Magnus Ryan. "If you don't understand it / you're easy to deceive." As always, the two are in perfect sync as singers and players. As the song unfolds, Ryan lets loose guitar solo after guitar solo, each one ratcheting up the tension, each one played in a slightly different style. Sometimes, Ryan goes for ragged Jimmy Page drama, sometimes for John McLaughlin fluidity, sometimes for Carlos Santana intensity. Other times, he just goes crazy making wild Thurston Moore noises for minutes at a time.

    The band's influences are always there, but they have a way of not lingering on any one for too long. In the 11-minute "Lux Aeterna," Pink Floyd is there, as are CSNY, but so is Hawkwind and Yes. So is Van der Graff Generator. In the middle of the song, after a stunning melodic bit packed with yearning, the song abruptly shifts gears into King Crimson territory, the guitars suddenly sound like choking saxophones, and drummer Tomas Jarmyr goes off on a jazz odyssey. And then, somehow, it all winds back around, and the band is once again singing about the impermanence of life and love while Mellotrons and horns weep in the background. The title track is the biggie, though. Vocals don't appear until five minutes in, long after the band has been going off in seven-eighths time like The Who in algebra class and stacking ascending harmonized guitar lines with abandon. For a while, the band hangs in a kind of Flaming Lips hippie-pop mode, and then all hell breaks loose, and they're noise-jamming over a crushing riff for three minutes straight. Later, they sound for all the world like Led Zeppelin doing "Achilles' Last Stand" during one triumphant section.

    Thing is, Motorpsycho is as good or better than all their influences, and they manage to never sound like anyone but themselves, at the end of the day. "The Crucible" is another astounding, Herculean effort of mind-boggling creativity and musical mastery from a band that, in a perfect world, would be rocking arenas across North America. Being that this world is decidedly not perfect, another amazing Motorpsycho record is about to fly under the radar. Shame on all of us.

    Artist: Motorpsycho

    Album: "The Crucible"

    Produced by: Andrew Schoeps and Deathprod

    Website: http://www.motorpsycho.no

    Personnel: Bent Saether (vocals, bass, guitar, Mellotron), Hans Magnus Ryan (vocals, guitar, piano), Tomas Jarmyr (drums, vocals, Mellotron)

    Duluth New tribune

    Posted 2 months ago #
  10. kjesso
    Member

    Slightly off topic: Halfway through the review from itromsø/Feedback there comes a paragraph that refers to a long and thorough interview from 2018, where Bent discusses Demon Box and more. It may have been linked to earlier, but it's certainly worth a read.

    https://www.itromso.no/feedback/intervju/2018/02/02/%C2%ABDet-var-jo-egentlig-bare-lek-og-forskning-vi-drev-p%C3%A5-med%C2%BB-16010842.ece

    Posted 2 months ago #
  11. shakti
    Member

    I have to say that Snah's solos on this album are absolutely spot-on. His best playing yet? He can get noodley, but every one of his numerous solos here pack drama, tension and build-up. They are very "Snah", yet he seems to introduce some new elements I haven't heard yet - that biting, sinewy approach on the first solos on Psychotzar for instance, the atonal stuff in the middle of Lux Aeterna (reminds me of Alice Coltrane's Wurlitzer organ wig-outs), and the already-mentioned searching and dsperate playing in the solo leading up to the chorus again at 7-8 mins. Bravo!

    Posted 2 months ago #
  12. TraktorBass
    Member

    After having some time to digest the new album, I feel like I should redact my previous statement about being unimpressed. The Crucible, especially the title track, is a good piece of work embracing Yes, King Crimson and Camel. Good stuff.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  13. Krist Rampage
    Member

    The first few times i listened i was quite unimpressed. To my surprise as i usually don't have that with Motorpsycho records. With the Tower the click was there immediately. What an amazing album. I still love it as much as i did when i first played it, or perhaps more after seeing some of the songs played live a few times.

    But then, the Crucible. I went on holiday at the Belgian Ardennes for a week on release day so to my regret i didn't have the lp before that. My pre-order was later than i hoped. The first time i played the record was with my daughters headphones since i forgot to bring mine to Belgium. Ands it sounded bad. Terrible cheap headphones, awful sound. I was not impressed. But then, whith good headphones, walking through the beautiful forrest whith no one in sight but my dog. I think it was with the third or fourth time listening this way when it suddenly hit me: this is once again an amazing record. There is a lot happening, a lot to digest but how rewarding it eventually is!

    I don't know that my favorite song it. I think the title song. Briliant. I did not expect an album as good as The Tower but it is, perhaps even better.

    Someone said that this could be the MP album with the best drumming and i agree. Wow.

    (BTW i can recommend listening to the song the Crubible in a beautiful yet somewhat eerie forrest. Very special listening experience)

    Long story short: the did it again.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  14. fiatlux
    Member

    Bad vinyl?
    @kak mentioned earlier his black vinyl pressing having a bad hiss. Has anybody else experienced this too? My black vinyl has a really disturbing hiss/noice, noticable in the quieter part of Lux Aeterna (left channel mostly). I tried to contact runegrammofon about this, but no reply so far.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  15. the conscience
    Member

    Me too (Stickmann) I think that is a Problem of the whole black editon. First they write months before of the great production and then destroy all with this messy pressing. The silver edition is okay but also a little quiet.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  16. fiatlux
    Member

    Really? Then the whole black edition should be replaced.

    Has anyone other than me contacted runegrammofon or Stickman records about this issue?

    Posted 2 months ago #
  17. Krist Rampage
    Member

    Sorry to hear the black vinyl pressing is not ok.

    Anyone else noticed the MAKE LOUD NOT WAR on the runout groove? Does the black vinyl have this too?

    Posted 2 months ago #
  18. fiatlux
    Member

    Yes, MAKE LOUD on side A, NOT WAR on B.
    I contacted RuneGrammofon, and Rune immediately offered me a new record. He said I was the first to contact him on this issue, his black vinyl sounds perfectly fine.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  19. Vegard B. Havdal
    Member

    It Shouldn’t have to be like that.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  20. airguitarhero
    Member

    Getting into the album, my CD jumps quite a bit but my Roksan could need a service. Peace to all from Lancashire UK.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  21. DandelionPowderman
    Member

    My black Rune-copy has hiss, too. Same song, same channel...

    Posted 2 months ago #
  22. karmadrome
    Member

    The title track to me represents the pinnacle of Motorpsycho. This song is so incredibly amazing. All the complex and beautiful melodies, the unity of lyrics and music, the perfect transitions between parts (especially the transitions at 2:21 and how it comes back to the verse at around 17:12 give me shivers all the time), that wonderful, diverse and ever-changing intro, the incredible drums, the vocal melodies, the riffs, the solos, the build up, the heavy and dark middle part representing the horrors of war, how it all comes back together in the end - this song simply has everything that makes MP so incredible.

    Posted 2 months ago #

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