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Motorpsycho Demon Box album cover
3.85 | 90 ratings | 6 reviews | 26% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1993

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Waiting For The One (2:50)
2. Nothing To Say (5:18)
3. Feedtime (5:15)
4. Gutwrench (4:45) *
5. Sunchild (4:05)
6. Mountain (11:12) *
7. Tuesday Morning (4:22)
8. All Is Loneliness (5:08)
9. Come On In (2:40)
10. Step Inside Again (3:39)
11. Demon Box (17:06)
12. Babylon (2:30)
13 Mr. Who (1:46) *
14. Junior (4:34)
15. Plan #1 (7:39)
16. Sheer Profoundity (3:37)
17. The One Who Went Away (3:13)

Total time 89:39

* Absent from single-CD editions

Line-up / Musicians

- Bent Sæther / vocals, bass, organ bass, bass pedals, synth bass, percussion, cymbal, acoustic guitar (1,5,7-9,14), guitar fills, toy piano
- Hans Magnus "Snah" Ryan / acoustic (7,10) & electric guitars, mandolin, violin, Coral electric sitar, recorder, bass pedals, vocals, tappin' and yellin', screams, drums (13)
- Håkon Gebhardt / drums, percussion, electric (13) & acoustic (1,10) guitars, ARP synth (7,11), vocal

- Helge "Deathprod" Sten / noises & Fx, synth bass (10), bass pedals (11), producer
- Lars Lien / backing vocals, piano & Hammond organ (6), Mellotron (15)
- Vegar Moen / Coral electric sitar (8)
- Winifried and Arvid Ryan / piano and violin on a recording from 1966 (11)
- Matt Burt / narration (15)

Releases information

Artwork: Wizz Art

2xLP Voices Of Wonder Records ‎- VOW030 (1993, Norway)
2xLP Rune Grammofon ‎- RALP312 (2014, Norway)

CD Voices Of Wonder Records ‎- VOW030C (1993, Norway) Omits 3 tracks (# 4,6,& 13) from LPs

Thanks to windhawk for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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MOTORPSYCHO Demon Box ratings distribution

(90 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(26%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(42%)
Good, but non-essential (20%)
Collectors/fans only (11%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

MOTORPSYCHO Demon Box reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Two years after the energizing debut, Motorpsycho returned with an even better follow up that continued the harsh grunge sound of the debut but that offered more variation in terms of songwriting and sounds.

While having no prog at all, it is sure an eclectic album, opening with a folksy tune featuring some tasty violin and lots of good vibes. From Nothing To Say onwards we're off for a great rocking ride through typical early 90s alternative rock. It's very harsh, direct and heartfelt, and has absolutely nothing to do with prog or even with kraut or space rock. It's just plain good rock music.

The main point of attraction is the 16 minute title track, a monster featuring a doom riff so monolithic that Tony Iommi will forever regret not having found it first. It's a slow plodding beast, almost sludge, but very catchy and really recommended for fans of the Melvins. A 5star marvel in this type of music.

The album is mostly very good but a bit too long really. And unfortunately it nowhere matches the outstanding level of its title track. So, an excellent release for grunge fans and a very good rock album in its own right. 3.5 for sure.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Demon Box" is the 2nd full-length studio album by Norwegian hard/psychadelic rock act Motorpsycho. The album was released through Voices of Wonder in February 1993. "Demon Box" was released in a single CD format and double vinyl format. The vinyl edition features three additional tracks not found on the CD version and a longer version of the track "Babylon". This was due to the time limit of the CD format.

While the music on the album is still heavily influenced by late eighties Soundgarden and at times pretty heavy (like in "Feedtime" or the harsh title track) quite a bit has happened since the debut album. More mellow psychadelic influences have crept into the sound (listen to tracks like "Tuesday Morning" "All Is Loneliness" for an example of that) as well as other musical styles like folk rock. Just for a brief moment during the opening track "Waiting For The One" I´m actually reminded of Fairport Convention. "Step Inside Again" represents the most experimental part of the band´s sound as does the 5 noisy minutes in the middle of the title track.

The musicianship is strong although lead vocalist Bent Saether sometimes sound slightly out of key during the more mellow tracks. His raw screaming vocals are really impressive though. It´s no wonder Motorpsycho are often compared to Soundgarden, with a vocalist like that in the band. Although his performance is a bit shaky at times, he should be complimented for how varied his vocal performance is on the album. It´s a great asset to the diversity factor of the album.

The band are generally very well playing and the sound production is powerful and organic sounding. A great change from the more rough sounding productions on the early releases by the band. Overall "Demon Box" is a good quality album and while there are a couple of more unremarkable tracks on the album, the most memorable tracks are really strong. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars The duo of Bent Saether and Hans Magnus Ryan have been the consistent force behind Motorpsycho from 1990, when they formed, to present day. By the time they released their 3rd album "Demon Box" in 1993, they had already established their foothold in Norwegian stoner rock, and long-timer Hakon Gabhardt had already become a staple in the band and would be until 2005. However, this trio would stretch out Motorpsycho's usual stoner sound to include some interesting folkish elements and even the occasional foray into progressive sounds even as early as this.

Many of Motorpsycho's early albums were kind of hit or miss, and their desire to try out several different styles of music led to some great albums and some more average sounding albums. "Demon Box" was one of their stronger early albums, and still sounds great, even with their penchant to wander to new territory, but they still mixed in their stoner and heavy sound, even adding that touch of psychedelia to the sound.

"Demon Box" can be found in the CD version that omits 3 tracks that were on the vinyl version in order to fit it all on one disc. In 2014, the album was reissued on both vinyl and CD with a lot more additional tracks and surprises. This review is for the orginal CD version. The extra tracks that can be found on the original vinyl version can also be found on various EPs that the band has released.

Right from the beginning, you see them trying something new by starting the album out with a more traditional sounding "Waiting for the One", then moving on to what would seem like a mellow track "Nothing to Say", but infusing it with heavy and solid guitar riffs that punch through, and Saether's gruff vocals returning at various times through the track. But, it isn't until the 3rd track that the heavy stoner sound comes back full force on "Feedtime". This one packs the solid and heavy punch that the fans of the time were familiar with. The next track mixes in heavy doses of psychedelic sound with the heavy, guitar-laden rock with a more progressive leaning. Then "Tuesday Morning" takes us back to a softer, more acoustic heavy sound. Psychedelic effects whirl around between the speakers in the background messing around with your head. It's a very nice and trippy track best experienced with headphones.

"All is Loneliness" stays with the acoustic sound, but plays with various vocal layers layered out in a "round" format, while a drone plays in the background and light psychedelic guitar wails behind it all. The use of one chord throughout the track gives the perfect sound of a space rock bliss out, but then loud, thumping drums come in along with the twang of a sitar. This is the only track not written by the band, as such, it is written by Moondog. "Come On In" is a more subdued track which only consists of vocals and acoustic guitar. "Step Inside Again" goes for a spooky whispered vocal, starts with a bassy synth, but that drops out to a simple plucking guitar playing a repeated pattern. It's all quite eerie.

All of the tracks up to this point have moved around in different styles giving the album a lot of variety, but staying cohesive with Motorpsycho's attitude. The tracks have been staying at just over 5 minutes or less. The next track finally exceeds the 17 minute mark, the title track "Demon Box". Thick, heavy and dark guitars bass and drums come riding in on a slow and grungy riff that will make your speakers and floorboards shake. Those familiar gruff vocals return and you know you have entered back into a stoner rock meltdown. Some dirty vocals are involved here also. You'll ride on these waves of riffage for a while before the music breaks down and goes into a noisy collage of synth effects, rolling bass and screeching and wailing of tortured guitars and other effects. There is no rhythm during this nightmarish section as you get swallowed up in this until suddenly after the 11 minute mark when out of nowhere, everything just starts crashing along on the solid and slow riffs again with vocals eventually returning and the last few minutes burn away with a drone and effects and subdued violin music. Most bands would just let it go at that, but Motorpsycho still wasn't finished.

"Babylon" speeds up the stoner rock sound with a much faster track, but staying with a heavy dirty sound. This heaviness continues with "Junior", but with a sound that isn't quite as thick, somewhere between heavy metal and pop almost, very alternative sounding, like Matthew Sweet or Dinosaur Jr. "Plan #1" begins with pensive guitar layers and spoken word from field recordings. This soon gets buried in thick guitar and bass and slow, solid drums. Even with all of this, you can still hear a bright, tonal percussion tapping along. It all mellows out when the vocals start, remaining dark and bass heavy, and then adding the thick sound back in later. There is an unsettling layering of clean and dirty vocals before it enters into a very rousing cyclone of loud and solid guitar crunchiness. The music follows that pattern again when the spoken vocals return and the music rebuilds. Excellent track! "Sheer Profundity" is a heavy rocking riff machine, mostly instrumental except for some screaming and spoken lyrics. "The One Who Went Away" is still heavy, but smoother and more traditionally rock oriented, at least until the end when things get a bit maniacal.

I love this album that on the first half is mostly softer and acoustic, but not completely, while the 2nd half will melt your ears. This is one that my wife or the neighbors don't like, so I have to wear headphones, but that's okay because you can hear and taste it all so much better that way anyway. The ragged edges are just perfect on this album and is also what helps make it so awesome, but that is the best way to have your stoner rock. But this is so much more than that. Even this early on, you hear some forays into the progressive spectrum, probably even enough to make all progheads happy. Fair warning though, if you don't like your music loud and heavy, then you should stay away. If that doesn't bother you, then by all means, get this album. No, it's not perfect, but I love it anyway. This album helped establish Motorpsycho as one of the most important bands to come from Norway. If you have heard the more progressive albums that the band has put out to date, then you still owe it to yourself to hear this to see what else the band can do. It's only 4 stars because it isn't as progressive as some of their more recent albums. But it is still excellent.

Review by Dapper~Blueberries
4 stars After two years after their debut release, Motorpsycho started to explore more sounds and styles. While not fully progressive rock yet, their 1993 release of Demon Box would mark a shift in the band's musical stylings, not bordering themselves up with grunge but instead trying new recipes into the mix in their hour-long breakthrough album.

To see how they changed, the first song, Waiting For The One, does a great job of showing that the band is trying a bit more genres than just grunge and stoner rock. It is a purely folk tune, with acoustic guitars and all. What I like about this song is that even though it is very different, you can still feel that early Motorpsycho edge in some shape or form. It is just the vibes this song radiates, it both feels good yet also very grimly as well. It makes for a good opener to this sophomore album.

Continuing with trying new things, Nothing To Say while still being very grunge has a lot of nods and winks towards the indie/alt-rock sound that bands like Foo Fighters and Pixies were doing in the 90s. I do dig that riff they keep up at the start of the song. It is really heavy yet extremely melodic all at once, creating a sound that is very much their own without sounding too gritty. I also really love how Bent Sæther can go from very calm and collected vocals to very in-throat yelling that makes you think he is in pain. He has a natural soft vocal range so his yelling makes his singing feel very intense. It all makes for a great song that, while still very much grunge, has some more interesting elements to make it not JUST your typical grunge song.

We get even heavier with Feedtime, and they are embracing a bit more of their stoner metal music from Lobotomizer, but this time picking up the pace, creating this very energetic take on their sound prior, and revolutionizing it to where each turn just knocks you over. This is also when the band starts to use sampling in their works, where in the middle of the song you hear someone tell an audience that a choir will play a song that many people have heard before. I know it feels a little weird to add that into a song with no rhyme or reason, but I just think it is a neat inclusion. It just adds more flavor to the music I think, and really with such an already tasty lineup of songs, adding something new is Motorpsycho's specialty, even at this point. It is such a good track that adds more to this dish than anything else.

Now while Nothing To Say had some indie/alt-rock elements, Sunchild on the other hand is practically an indie rock song. It has that fun, rockabilly-type rock music that is very fast moving, and quick to the pace. While not my favorite expression of music, I do admit this fun portrayal of their harder sound makes this cake they are baking have even more layers than anticipated, not only making music that is fun as all hell, but yet very expressive in their energy.

The band probably knew the album was getting a bit too heavy, so they decided to make the next track, Tuesday Morning, an acoustic song. No drums, for the most part, just the acoustic guitar, and some wacky sound effects sprinkled in, plus the beautiful singing of Bent Sæther. It does grow on you at this point that these guys are making music they want to create, not abiding by any genre they put themselves under other than the ones they want to utilize, and that is why I love them so much. They are kinda like Rush in a way, not caring about what others think and proceeding to create the music they want to make.

Continuing with those acoustic stylings, but changing things from a more folk song to a bit more of a gothic country song, we have All Is Loneliness. I do think that country twang works very well with this song since it kinda has this already dark and foreboding sound already, but the country music added onto it makes it even spooky. I think Motorpsycho is at its peak when they get a little spooky. They are like the Count Chocula of progressive rock bands, they are a great autumn band that can do very well when given the chance.

Now I am gonna be honest, I do not care for the production quality of my music. One of my favorite bands is Magma, and some of their live albums have extremely bad sound quality. However, those albums are still very good. However, again, I will say the low quality of Come on In absolute works. It sounds like an old home recording of some teenager's song he made after coming home from school and recording something he thought of while he did his math homework. The low quality gives it charm, and I like a charm in my music. I think the quality is important, but even the lack of quality can also be important as well. This is a great song, and I am a sucker for it.

Now we get into the most bizarre song off this album, which is Step Inside Again. This to me is very much on that same weird Avant Garde monster that Careful With That Axe Eugene is like. The songs are very similar. Very mellow, very scary. Not only that but both have a very sharp scream that works surprisingly well. It is not the best song off here, but in the mood of the album, it works, and sometimes you just need a song that works.

Now we get into the band's first epic, the 17-minute title track of Demon Box. For a first-timer, this one does things very nicely. It is loud, abrasive, and haunting, and does a lot of things that work well. I love how it has a shift in tone and volume, where the first few minutes, it is very loud, gritty, and intense, to this very quiet drone melody, and then back to the heavy and intense music without any warning. I do like this structure because it does some interesting things in the core structure of the music, plus it's gnarly, to say the least. My main issue is the quieter bits in the middle. Now I am fine with the band reducing the heaviness in their sound, but what I love about Motorpsycho's epics is that they are consistent in their focus. Each movement sounds similar to the last one, but there is always something new whether it is a new riff, a new instrument, or making things a bit more streamlined from before. This has a hard shift in tone and sound rather than a natural one, and in some retrospect, I kinda wish that the drone bit was removed entirely or that this song was split into three separate tracks, like say have the first movement, the heavy and intense part be a track called Demon Box Part 1, than have the drone bit be its separate track in between, and then go into the next louder part of Demon Box Part 2. For an epic, this is solid and I do like it a lot, but the track suffers a tiny bit from how hard the shifts from the intensely powerful music to the quiet drones can be.

Now I will say that this album is not bad at all, in fact so far it is amazing, but I will say that Babylon isn't my favorite. I think they did way better in this more indie rock style on Sunchild than they have done here. Not to say this song is bad, but it feels less like they tried to make some kind of indie rock or punk rock song and more like them just messing around and trying to make something work within the context of the album.

Now what does work well within the indie rock sound is Junior. Man, I love this song, it is incredibly rhythmic, and incredibly powerful, but not too rehashy of ideas as Babylon did when it came to comparison with Sunchild. It tries to be its own thing, and I do like that. It is a very fun song just to turn your brain off and just jam. This is a key moment on the album for sure.

Now I would never say Motorpsycho is a post-rock band, but Plan #1 is a very post-rock song, at least in the first minute or so. Those first minutes do remind me of a Godspeed You! Black Emperor intro with the talks of god and Christianity and such, which is kinda how the epic of Static started up with the rantings of a priest to his church. I'd say for the intro alone, it is a very interesting song for Motorpsycho to tackle, and I do love how it does go back to that intro after the music settles down, and then they combine the intro back with the music making for a very high crescendo. It is a very nice melody that I am surprised isn't talked about much in the Motorpsycho community.

Now my favorite song off this album, and one that I can never get out of my head, is Sheer Profoundity. Man, I love this song with my heart, just that bassy riff from the guitar and how it just consistently pounds away as Sæther asks if his sir needs anything that needs to be done. That one line of "Anything I can do for you, sir?" always gets stuck in my head, and I do not know why. It is surprisingly catchy even though it probably wasn't meant to be catchy. It is just so good in its details and its playing. It is one of the band's first, truly amazing songs they created in their early career.

The last song is a bit more of a punk song, and that is The One Who Went Away. While I am not a fan of punk music, aside from post-punk and art punk like Cardiacs or Unwound, I do think this does pay off well. This album is a very eclectic piece already, and while not progressive rock they do show a variety of genres under their belt that they can pull out of their pockets at any point in time. This song ends the trend off on a high note, with something the band hasn't done yet and doing it surprisingly well. Through an album of twists and turns, the last turn will surely always be a good ending.

A high improvement from Lobotomizer, Demon Box not only continues the band's sounds but introduces new ones as well. No wonder many Motorpsycho fans say this is one of their favorite records because it not only broke the mold for the band but made new molds for them to break in future releases. If you liked Lobotomizer but wanted something more in sounds and scope, Demon Box is your key my friend, and even if you haven't listened to Lobotomizer then I still suggest listening to Demon Box. It is great, and one that needs a lot of love.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Well, this is where the Motorpsycho adventure really started. While the two first albums (Lobotomizer and 8 Soothing Songs For Rut) showed promise and potential, they were still merely lightweight and straightforward compared to what Demon Box would bring. As always, the vinyl version has 3 mo ... (read more)

Report this review (#283890) | Posted by tired_feet | Friday, May 28, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Eclectic prog? Sure. But you can,t really put a label on this album. It`s a pot-pourri of light straight forward guitar based pop, garage grunge, scary psycedelia, tender timid tunes and some led-heavy moments driven by a razor sharp bass guitar. But no matter. It`s all exiting and rewarding t ... (read more)

Report this review (#271494) | Posted by RedSails | Saturday, March 13, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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