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Ancient Astronauts - reviews

(23 posts)
  • Started 2 weeks ago by Punj Lizard
  • Latest reply from mikke
  1. Punj Lizard
    Member

    Mojo's David Fricke gives the new album 4 stars.

    Mojo review of Ancient Astronauts

    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  2. Punj Lizard
    Member

    Not so positive from Italian blog site Reverendo Lys:

    A visual and a theatrical project together with the Impure Dance Company. And, in addition to this, the "usual" new album, made, however, without the contribution of Reine Fiske. All this in full pandemic and related restrictions. In short, it certainly cannot be said that the Motorpsycho remained on the sofa waiting for everyone to be free to use up their inexhaustible reserve of energy. Reserve from which they draw for this Ancient Astronauts, full of the usual libations of the Norwegian group, including the slightly moldy Viking gamalost of which their pantry is always full.

    There are four songs in all (one of which, short, of only "ambient noise", if the oxymoron is allowed, NdLYS), with an entire facade occupied by Chariots of the Sun - To Phaeton on the Occasion of Sunrise (Theme from an Imagined Movie), temporarily destined for the scepter of the longest song written by the Norwegian trio. However, it has ceased to amaze for a while, and this must be said without diminishing its HUGE value and the abnormal and volcanic creativity that distinguishes it. However, beyond the merits that I have always recognized for the Motorpsycho, Ancient Astronauts does not offer much more than a regenerating bath in slightly stagnant waters, forcing us to decline that ancient title in its ancient meaning. And after all, their attachment to folk-prog is so tough that we could hardly expect anything prodigious except in terms of the perennial and seasonal flowering of these gems to which our sense of smell has now become a bit addicted while still sensing their aroma.

    We will fill the rooms once again. And the nostrils will enjoy it.

    But the meat, the meat needs more.

    Reverendo Lys review of Ancient Astronauts

    (Translated by Google translate)

    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  3. mefisto
    Member

    @ Punj: Does Mojo give anything else than 4 stars to anyone?

    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  4. Punj Lizard
    Member

    @ mefisto - I have no idea

    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  5. Punj Lizard
    Member

    Review from Dump Magazine (NL)

    The Normans are back. The trio releases an album almost every year. This is number twenty-four. Their sound is so original that it is difficult to put a stamp on it. Their mix of psychedelia, jazz, ambient and at times stoner rock remains adventurous. There are four songs on the record. The disc opens with 'The Ladder' . After some intro sounds, we are immediately treated to a stunning interplay of guitar, bass and drums. There you hear how well the gentlemen are attuned to each other. The clean voice with only some reverb as an effect has a sensitive vibration. Further in the song firm guitar work with a heavy fuzz. 'The Flower of Awareness' are some mysteriously terrifying sounds. Fortunately short-lived. However, they are not an intro to the next song 'Mona Liza Azrael'. A sad song on a very slow rhythm. The synths and bells emphasize the sadness even more. We get four minutes of a rhythm on one string with synths in the background. Then suddenly all brakes are released and there follows a complicated rhythm with a strong solo. The song becomes a psychedelic trip that ends just as it started: with sounds.

    A deer darts through the forest. Sunbeams penetrate the leaves of the trees. The eyes of the deer are blinded in an irregular way. Everything is good and bad. (nice chords on a clean guitar supported by synths and background backing)

    Suddenly dark clouds appear in front of the sun, the wind picks up and makes the animal restless. The deer is being hunted. By what? By who? She slaloms through the trees. It's going to be a race against time. After ten minutes, it stops abruptly. Has the deer been caught? Has the danger passed? Did she make it? The wind dies down, the sun reappears…

    Chariot of the Sun – To Phaeton On The Occasion Of Surrise (Theme of an inmagined movie) is a great song. A twenty-two minute psychedelic trip with a climax in the middle that reverberates for a long time.

    MOTORPSYCHO is and remains special. The musical well from which they get their songs is clearly not empty. These musical geniuses continue to surprise.

    Guido Grymon Prez.

    Dump Magazine review of Ancient Astronauts

    (Translated by Google translate)

    Posted 1 week ago #
  6. suntripper
    Member

    That's whetted the appetite!

    Dump magazine - perfect loo reading!

    Posted 1 week ago #
  7. Punj Lizard
    Member

    Metal Temple gives it a poor 5/10, rating it "mediocre"!

    The album was recorded in Amper Tone studio in Oslo in the summer of 2021. Since COVID was still making international travel very difficult, Stockholm-based Reine Fiske wasn’t in the studio with the three core MOTORPSYCHO members, making this the first album in years that they recorded as a three-piece. Recorded mainly in live takes with only a few overdubs and the vocals added afterwards, this is essentially the band playing live in the studio. The cover consists of stills from the movie project, filmed at dawn in early August at Skottbu in Norway. The title “Ancient Astronauts” remains a bit of a mystery: are they following clues left by earlier travelers or are they perhaps leaving some themselves? The album contains four songs.

    “The Ladder” is the first cut. The rhythm and pacing of this song is as odd as the chord progressions, especially in the vocals. There are periods of disconnect with the instruments, and then periods of reciprocity. The fuzzy guitar solo ushers in a darker sound as the sonority picks up. Like a ladder, it builds as it ascends. “The Flower of Awareness” is much shorter, but no less weird. There is very little sonority, what you would expect the sound of a flower to make…virtually none. “Mona Lisa Azrael” is a 12-minute opus. Gentle, weeping tones marked the beginning, with strings and a slow drum beat. Vocals also roll in slow, and melancholy. At the four-minute mark, it picks up a little, with tense percussion. A jam ensures from there, with thick bass notes in unison with the drums, while eerie leads are played over top, and there is a long fade-out at the end.

    The lengthy, 22-minute “Chariot of the Sun to Phaeton on the Occasion of Sunrise (Theme from an Imagined Movie)” closes the album. There is a very long fade-in with the slow building of layers. It isn’t until the six-minute mark until we get a clear sound. Bass guitar begins to thump away in a groovy rhythm, and gradually more instruments are added, until the 12-minute mark, when the sound gets fairly chaotic. The sound then drops until the 18-minute mark, followed by a brief moment of sonority, and then it drops again through the end. What a strange album. The band are obviously talented, but what are they really going for in these four songs? Perhaps the title of the album is indeed the end result…a mystery in every sense of that word.

    Songwriting: 5
    Musicianship: 7
    Memorability: 3
    Production: 7

    Metal Temple review of Ancient Astronauts

    Posted 1 week ago #
  8. suntripper
    Member

    Don't they give a mark for 'sonority'?

    Posted 1 week ago #
  9. Punj Lizard
    Member

    Don't they give a mark for 'sonority'?

    Posted 1 week ago #
  10. Punj Lizard
    Member

    Classic Rock magazine have given the album 7/10. The review appeared at the Rune Grammofon site.

    Expansive, experimental live-in-the-studio masterwork. Trondheim's Motorpsycho have been making eye-popping music since the 90s, with each album or EP more expressive than the last. It's hard to convey the enormity of their mix of prog and psychedelic rock, although something like 2016's Here Be Monsters is probably as good a place as any to start if you're looking to have your metaphorical lid flipped. Ancient Astronauts is a lockdown album like no other. It was originally devised in part for a piece by the Impure Dance Company, a few songs from which became the springboard for the AA album. The album comprises only four songs, one of which clocks in at 2:14 and another at 22:22, and it's magnificent, from full-blown fuzz-pedal rock monster to drones and shimmering interplay, highs and stupefying lows. As the PR says: "An explorative album without a whole lot of choruses!"

    Reviews at Rune Grammofon

    Posted 1 week ago #
  11. Punj Lizard
    Member

    I have to say, the fact the one reviewer (Metal Temple) is totally flummoxed by the album, while another (Classic Rock) seems to find the same elements cause for celebration, gives me great pleasure and makes me even more excited to hear it. I have a feeling this is somehow going to be yet another unusual outlier within the Motorpsycho oeuvre.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  12. Johnny_Heartfield
    Member

    Heavy metal iz a poze, hardt rock iz a leifschteil - take this, "Metal Temple"!
    While having myself wasted a few years in my youth with "Metal", I now consider most of it limitied, formulaic, epigone "music". No wonder they can't cope with "odd" tunings, chords, chord progressions. And so few choruses to drunkenly shout your lungs out with, my god!

    Insofar I can imagine "Metal Temple" is not too overwhelmed with what promises to be another highlight in my ever growing Motorpsycho collection

    Posted 1 week ago #
  13. Punj Lizard
    Member

    @Johnny - I think it's a little unfair to characterise metal as being unable to cope with "odd" tunings etc. given the explosion of prog metal and that genre's musicians who seem to be obsessed with overly complicated music to the exclusion (at least as far as my personal experience is concerned) of emotion and feeling. Of course, I accept that for thousands of people this kind of music does have emotion, but to me it is the older metal, with its generally more standard formats that feels more able to tap into deeper feelings. Not that I actually listen to much metal and if I do, it's usually Sabbath. \m/

    Posted 1 week ago #
  14. Johnny_Heartfield
    Member

    @ Punj Lizard: Of course it is unfair what I said about Metal in general. While writing I had exactly your arguments in mind, and they are at least partly valid. But If I do shit in somebody's backyard, it is preferably my own - or my metal past, as it were ;-). Btw: Sabbath isn't metal for me or has become so only in its later stages for a while.

    But I do have a problem with some "music" - and Metal, Hip-hop and even Prog-Rock for me have the same problem: In their more extreme, let alone more standardized formes they cross the border from living music to "functional noise" - make your standard moves, show your standard outfit, get off aggression, show your frustration etc. - all not bad in itself but not what I digest in my old days

    Posted 1 week ago #
  15. supernaut
    Member

    Well put, Johnny.

    That metal temple review got me even more excited. Seems to be quite the ride, that new album.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  16. grindove
    Member

    @Johnny: Hehe, this engages me I was born 1974 and got into heavy metal when hearing "The number of the beast" 1983. Fave bands were Iron Maiden, Accept, Twisted Sister, Scorpions, Manowimp etc. By 1989 I was "finished" with the "standard heavy metal" (mentioned bands), because I wanted other stuff (mostly thrash metal, hardcore, crossover and soon death metal and grindcore, but also lots of of other genres).

    Luckily I didn't get rid of my old records, and from around 2000 until this day, I've actually thought albums like "Restless and wild", "The last in line", "Defenders of the faith", "Knights of the new thunder" and "Fire down under" (among others) are even better now than I thought when I as a kid totally loved them! And no, I'm not mixing this up with nostalgia - I've analyzed it

    And yes, it's easy to say that I like heavy metal, but I also really despise most of it. This is simply applicable to all genres - I love less than a tiny little percentage of it, and think the majority is crap. My Sade worship doesn't mean that I accept anything by Simply Red. Liking select albums by AC/DC, Rose Tattoo and Krokus never stops me from yawning my jaw dislocated at Airbourne

    But: my newfound (well, since the turn of the millennium) adoration for those awesome 80s heavy metal albums that I thought I was done and over with is pure rush.

    I'm not going anywhere with this, am I? I'm not even sure I even remotely touch what you wrote, as I intended to.

    Sorry for offtopicism!

    Anyway: looking forward as hell to "Ancient astronauts"! Hurra! I like these reviews threads, but I principally refuse reading the actual texts until after I've familiarized myself with the album

    Posted 1 week ago #
  17. Johnny_Heartfield
    Member

    @ grindove: I can subscribe to almost anything you said above. Perhaps not in detail, but certainly in principle. Especially regarding Sade worship ;-). (Though I hated her at first, being stuck in trite Metal stuff and - luckily - 70s rock). I still regret having sold Metallica's "Ride the Lightning" and Maiden's "Piece of Mind" and even liked the Scorpions' "comeback" gig at Wacken 2006 - well, featuring Uli Jon Roth & Michael Schenker, what can you say?
    Even got in a Michael Schenker frenzy lately - probably due to Motorpsycho digging out "Rock Bottom" once again. Still - there's so much Metal stuff out there that's hardly worth mentioning. In the end most of these 80s bands closely clung to the ground or even digged their own genre wholes, while some of the more glorious 70s bands where the real Ancient Astronauts! Hope I don't waste it for me by exagerated expectations, but I'm ready to take off on the new/old stuff...

    Posted 1 week ago #
  18. Punj Lizard
    Member

    @Johnny - In repsonse to your response to my post ... fair enough. I did something I never used to do, which is describe Sabbath as heavy metal. For years I'd go around saying things like "Metal really started with Motorhead" and "Punk really started with the Pistols" - typically arrogant UK-centric statements. Anyway, it seems the retrospective attribution of genre is all the rage these days, partly, I think, because of the plethora of sub-genres of all types that have arisen since the 70s, and partly because people seem to have a desire to lump all their favourite artists in their favourite genre (at least that appears to be the case in prog circles). Consequently we now hear that Kate Bush is prog, Deep Purple are metal and so on. I stand guilty of having committed this crime here - I am suitably embarrassed. Furthermore, I should admit I never got into 80s metal, and few of the 70s progenitors. You clearly had a deeper relationship with the genre.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  19. Johnny_Heartfield
    Member

    @ Punj Lizard: Metal started with the Beatles of course - Helter Skelter. And Stoner Rock as well - I Want You (She's So Heavy). And Motorhead didn't regard themselves as a Heavy Metal Band - of course they were, at least in their later middle stage. And Kate Bush IS prog - beside a lot of other things, notably among them being Kate Bush ;-). I remember a Motorhead concert in the late 80s where they played "Interstellar Overdrive" (by Pink Floyd of course) at full volume through the massive speakers just before Motorhead got on. That's genre-hopping for you! Lets dump all these boxes anyway...
    Btw.: A friend of mine who had just been to Nick Mason's Saucerful of Secrets mentioned to me he noticed how close to Punk these early Barrett numbers were...

    Posted 1 week ago #
  20. marc
    Member

    I came here for the reviews...what happened?

    Posted 6 days ago #
  21. Johnny_Heartfield
    Member

    We're reviewing rock music in general and especially metal - sorry for the diversion
    Another case of predicting a thread that is still to come (see Bent's 23 favourite metal tracks from 1980)...

    Posted 6 days ago #
  22. Punj Lizard
    Member

    The album has been included in Rollong Stone Italian edition's list of "Discs to listen to in August 2022".

    Rolling Stone Italy - Discs to listen to in August 2022

    Posted 5 days ago #
  23. mikke
    Member

    MP is these days closer to being a jazz band than metal, that metal media don't get this just make sense.

    Posted 3 days ago #

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