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Magic Pie - Motions Of Desire  CD (album) cover

MOTIONS OF DESIRE

Magic Pie

 

Symphonic Prog

3.83 | 201 ratings

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Trotsky
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Yet another powerful contemporary progressive band to emerge from Scandinavia, the Norweigan sextet Magic Pie play a convincing brand of complex hard rock that has just enough commerciality (believe it or not, the 20 minute opener Change has a catchy singalong chorus) to suggest that this group is excellently placed to make a breakthrough (in a Flower Kings sort of way). Indeed to my mind, Magic Pie is distinctly less reflective of the "Scandinavian sound" that the superior bands Anglagard and Wobbler have, and while their 70s arena rock and occasional progressive metal flavours should help sell tickets, it does make the band just a little too slick for my blood. That shouldn't give you the impression that Motions Of Desire isn't enjoyable though, because it is.

Aside from the afore-mentioned chorus, Change also boasts Arabic motives, as well as pleasing slide guitar, warm organ sounds, a fascinating acoustic guitar solo about 12 minutes in from Kim Stenberg, followed by Gilbert Marshall's electric piano. Indeed, the band pull off the trick of mantaining high energy levels for 20 minutes. The title track is another highlight with a very nice synth solo from Marshall and Full Circle Poetry rides on an excellent "fanfare" style riff, some tasterful reggae inflections and ballsy guitar work, although the unmistakable stench of Euro-cheese tinged hair-rock occasionally intrudes.

I'm pretty sure that the switching around of lead vocalists hurts this band, as it deprives Magic Pie of the opportunity to express a little bit more personality. Without Knowing Why, the heaviest track is generally a little bit too much like a Zakk Wylde or Steve Vai track, although thankfully Marshall steps in halfway and saves the song with a nice interlacing melody that leads to a well-paced synth solo. Metallic energy informs the three part Illusion & Reality which is full of thrill-a-minute runs that will set pulses racing (or is "Rush-ing" more appropriate in this case?).

While the running time of 75 minutes certainly does see the band overstay its welcome, I still consider Motions Of Desire to be a very listenable record, and is hopefully the harbinger of more exciting things to come. As I said though, I'd recommend that a newcomer to the scene start with Wobbler's Hinterland or one of the two Anglagard classics (Hybris and Epilog) first. ... 58% on the MPV scale

Trotsky | 3/5 |

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