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Motorpsycho Angels And Daemons At Play album cover
3.61 | 74 ratings | 5 reviews | 24% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1997

Songs / Tracks Listing

CD version:
0. Ohm's Concerto for Alto and Soprano Saw (1:28)
1. Sideway Spiral (2:33)
2. Walking on the Water (4:19)
3. Heartattack Mac (7:41)
4. Pills, Powders + Passion Plays (3:24)
5. In the Family (5:24)
6. Un Chien d'Espace (13:40)
7. Sideway Spiral II (3:21)
8. Like Always (3:39)
9. Stalemate (4:55)
10. Starmelt / Lovelight (3:30)
11. Timothy's Monster (4:16)

Total Time: 58:10

LP version:
A1 Sideway Spiral (2:33)
A2 Walking on the Water (4:19)
A3 Heartattack Mac (7:41)
A4 Pills, Powders + Passion Plays (3:24)
B1 In the Family (5:24)
B2 Un Chien d'Espace (13:40)
C1 Back to Source (6:34)
C2 Have Spacesuit, Will Travel (13:51)
C3 Ohm's Concerto for Alto and Soprano Saw (1:38)
D1 Sideway Spiral II (3:21)
D2 Like Always (3:39)
D3 Stalemate (4:55)
D4 Starmelt / Lovelight (3:30)
D5 Timothy's Monster (4:16)

Total Time: 78:45

Line-up / Musicians

- Bent Sæther / lead & backing vocals, bass, acoustic & electric guitars, piano, Mellotron, Rhodes, Moog Taurus, percussion
- Hans Magnus "Snah" Ryan / lead & backing vocals, acoustic & electric guitars, bass, double bass, piano, organ, Rhodes, vibes, Moog Taurus, Fx
- Håkon Gebhardt / drums, percussion, backing vocals

- Ole Henrik "Ohm" Moe / alto & soprano saw, piano, violin
- Helge "Deathprod" Sten / oscillators, Echoplex, reverbators, ring modulators, co-producer
- Morten Fagervik / guitar (on "Atlantis Swing")

Releases information

The album was originally released as a 3-EP's Box: Babyscooter, Have Spacesuit Will Travel and Lovelight (Columbia ‎ COL 487301 9)

Artwork: Kim Hiorthøy

CD Stickman Records PSYCHOBABBLE 007 (1997 Germany)
2CD Shock GB 008 (1997 Australia)
2LP Stickman Records PSYCHOBABBLE 007 (1997 Germany)
2LP Columbia col 487 301 1 (1997 Norway)
CD Columbia COL 487301 2 (1997 Norway)
CD Stickman Records PSYCHOBABBLE 007 (1997 Germany)
2LP Stickman Records PSYCHOBABBLE 007 (2011 Germany)

Thanks to windhawk for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy MOTORPSYCHO Angels And Daemons At Play Music

MOTORPSYCHO Angels And Daemons At Play ratings distribution

(74 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(24%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(43%)
Good, but non-essential (29%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

MOTORPSYCHO Angels And Daemons At Play reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The music on this album can't possibly be confused with Sun Ra's album of the same title. Motorpsycho would develop a flair for jazz in their next decade, but Angels and Daemons at Play is still a rock album. A very good, diverse and solid one again, but pure rock at heart, closer to the Stones, Zeppelin, Monster Magnet and Sonic Youth then to anything Prog..

The album displays the two strengths of Motorpsycho again. The first is their knack for good songwriting, the second is their open-mindedness and eclecticism which allowed them to move forward with every album and which makes all of their albums an adventurous listen.

The highlights on this one are heavy rock anthems such as Heartattack Mac and Timothy's Monster. As usual there's a longer track, this time the 14 minute dreamy psych-rock of Un Chien D'Espace, which vaguely reminds me of Zep's No Quarter. It's not bad but of course it's not a fair match against that monolith. Also the trace of math-rock in Sideway Spiral II is fun for a change. Other songs of note are the 60s inspired psych-pop of Sideway Spiral I and Pills, Powders and Passionplays. Unfortunately, the pop inflections and formulaic indie approach of some of the remaining tracks pleases me less and make the album unnecessarily long.

A near excellent album with a couple of tracks that suit me less. The following album would fully deliver on the promise.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Angels and Daemons at Play" is the 5th full-length studio album by Norwegian hard rock/psychadelic rock act Motorpsycho. The album was released through Stickman Records (Europe) in January 1997 and through Sony Music (Norway) in February 1997. As itīs costum with most Motorpsycho releases the tracklists for the CD and vinyl versions of the album are different. In this case the vinyl version features 3 bonus tracks not included on the CD version and the track order is also slightly different on the two versions.

Stylistically "Angels and Daemons at Play" more or less continues the alternative/hard rock/psychadelic rock style of "Blissard (1996)", but maybe with a slightly more organic tone to the proceedings. If you are familiar with later releases by the band, the more organic sound isnīt a surprise though. The musicianship are on a high level although the vocals as usual are the weak link. They are rather thin and tend to sound strained. The vocal melodies arenīt always that great either and of course that doesnīt help a vocalist that already sounds a bit uncomfortable. Itīs not all bad though and there are definitely moments on the album where the vocals suit the music fine.

It is however the instrumental part of the music that is the most interesting part of the album. The influences from 60s/70s hard/psychadelic rock work really well for Motorpsycho and itīs mostly when they turn alternative that my attention wanders. When they play longer jam packed instrumental sections, like they do on the hard edged "Heartattack Mac" and the more atmospheric "Un Chien d'espace", thatīs when they really shine. Most tracks on the album (actually all tracks besides the two before mentioned tracks, which are both longer tracks) are not that long and therefore donīt have enough minutes to spend on extented instrumental sections, but they are still well written, well produced and well played compositions.

Soundwise and stylistically "Angels and Daemons at Play" is the natural successor to "Blissard (1996)" and while it isnīt a major step up from itīs predecessor, itīs certainly on par in quality and a 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

Review by Dapper~Blueberries
4 stars After their strange venture to more concrete songwriting prowess on Blissard, Motorpsycho would go back to more jammy songs for their next studio album. Unlike previous sonic experiments, the band decided to experiment with releases. Instead of just releasing their next studio workings, the band would instead release three EPs, all with various feels of music, and release them one by one with limited copies, and then combine those EPs together to create their 6th studio work. These three EPs, Babyscooter, Have Spacesuit Will Travel, and Lovelight all contribute to various feelings of this 50 minute extension of music in the Motorpsycho lineage.

If I had to describe Angels and Daemons At Play with one word, it'd be dense. This is a very densely packed album, with each EP contributing to the album's general sonicscape in various ways.

The Baby Scooter EP is the introduction to the album, having the familiar, winding, and verbose sound of their more Psychedelic Alternative Rock efforts from Timothy's Monster or their Manmower EP. What I like about this part of the album is that it holds no punches and just gets right to the chase immediately. It knows what you want, and it knows how to give it. A really solid foot forward within the band's usual sound, while also doing some different things like emphasizing slower songs and more textural experiences, which I think absolutely helps with the feel for the album as a whole.

The real gemstone of the album for me and probably for other Progheads out there is the Have Spacesuit Will Travel parts of the album. On vinyl releases the band does add in the full EP into the workings, which end up making the album an hour and more long, but since I am stuck with the streaming version, the only song off that EP is Un Chien D'espace, but that'll just have to do. Despite its singular song status, this is absolutely my favorite part of the album. This thirteen minute journey through more raw, heavy, and acidic feelings of music without it feeling overly drawn out or way too forced in the album's general atmosphere makes this an extremely great song. Furthermore, this is their first TRUE progressive effort. I know I said in the Timothy's Monster review that Timothy's Monster was the band's first progressive rock album, but in terms of sonically, Angels and Daemons At Play with the Have Spacesuit Will Travel parts really takes that cake.

Lastly is the Lovelight parts of the album, and this is probably the weakest EP of the album sadly. After the psychedelic wonderscape of Baby Scooter and the progressive rock beauty of Have Spacesuit Will Travel, this EP doesn't deliver on a sound as well. It has an effort in a more pop punkish and general alt rock sound that bands like Green Day and The Offspring would bathe in, though Motorpsycho does try some newer things to keep that style of music on this EP to feel a little more adventurous than some efforts from those bands I have mentioned (Though Green Day did make some long songs on American Idiot a few years later.). What this EP lacks in is the eccentric energy previous EPs have, and even when there is energy, I never felt like the band was honing in on the music to make it truly special, but rather just playing for the sake of playing. I never found this part of the album to be entirely special, and I cannot help but find it really lacking in huge material that I'd be excited to hear again from the band's efforts moving forward. Sad that this otherwise great album ended with a whimper rather than a bang.

Even despite the last EP, this is still another great effort from the band's discography. It is kind of like a more streamlined, polished, and less heavy Demon Box with each part of the album contributing to improving and learning more of the band's sounds. The vinyl edition is definitely the best way to experience the album, but the streaming and cd editions are also perfectly fine too. Another great effort from Norway's best band.

Latest members reviews

3 stars Angels and Daemons are from what some people call Motorpsycho's indie rock period (also including such albums as 1996's Blissard, 2008's Little Lucid Moments and 2006's Black Hole Black Canvas), perhaps because for their de-metallization of sound and affinity for bittersweet power pop, minimalis ... (read more)

Report this review (#1400769) | Posted by Progrussia | Sunday, April 19, 2015 | Review Permanlink

4 stars (Note: I'm reviewing the vinyl version which has 3 extra songs, compared to the standard CD version.) Yet another solid album from these non-compromising Norwegians. During one week they recorded 16 tracks of which 14 comprises this album (!!!) This album is probably one of the best exampl ... (read more)

Report this review (#278709) | Posted by tired_feet | Tuesday, April 20, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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