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Elephant9 Elephant9 with Reine Fiske: Atlantis album cover
3.89 | 24 ratings | 4 reviews | 12% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2012

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Black Hole (9:05)
2. The Riddler (6:13)
3. Atlantis (12:56)
4. A Foot in Both (6:11)
5. Psychedelic Backfire (10:33)
6. A Place in Neither (2:01)
7. Freedom's Children (13:38)

Total Time: 60:37


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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Ståle Storløkken / Fender Rhodes, Hammond organ, Minimoog, grand piano
- Nicolai Hængsle Eilertsen / electric bass, 12-string acoustic guitars (4), percussion (7)
- Torstein Lofthus / drums, percussion (7)
- Reine Fiske / electric guitar (3, 5 & 7), nylon string guitar (4)

Releases information

CD Rune Grammofon RCD 2134 (2012 Norway)
2LP Rune Grammofon RLP 3134, RLP3134 (2012 Norway)
2LP Rune Grammofon RLP 3134 (2012 Norway) (white vinyl)

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ELEPHANT9 Elephant9 with Reine Fiske: Atlantis ratings distribution

(24 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(12%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(54%)
Good, but non-essential (17%)
Collectors/fans only (12%)
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)

ELEPHANT9 Elephant9 with Reine Fiske: Atlantis reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
4 stars Third album (if you don't count a vinyl-only live album) from this Norwegian keyboard-lead trio, but this time with the addition of a famous Swedish guitarist called Reine Fiske (Landberk, Paatos & Dungen) for over half the seven tracks. Basically, you're dealing with the usual Elephant9 album (even down to the boring-as-usual Rune-Grammofon label artwork) but with the notable input from one of Scandinavia's most exciting and "out-there" (as in psych) guitarist, which adds a considerable element that can answer Storlokken's wide array of keyboards that include a Rhodes, a Hammond, a Minimoog and piano. Oh yeah, bassist Ellertsen plays also some acoustic 12- strings as well.

Even the opening Black Hole sounds like the chaotic quagmire announced in its title, but the power and interplay between the three compadres is simply irresistible: you'll have the sound up to 11 in no time. A Foot In Both is a much quieter and pensive affair, where Ellertsen's 12-strings guitar takes the lead role above the moog and organ layers. The title track opens on smooth keyboard layers, but gradually Fiske's guitar draws the controlled chaos with its feedback

The long anxiogenic thunder rolls of Psychedellic Backfire suggest that we're in the last throes of the lost mythological Atlantis civilization, where the tsunami waves attack regularly the cliffs of what were once a continent and now only a chaplet of reef. Once the waves have done their destruction, the booming bass and sinister Hammond drones are describing explosion of pockets of molten magma flowing from your speakers and coming in contact with whatever's left of Atlantis' trade goods storage buildings.

Elsewhere, the dominating element in the short A Place In Neither is the demented Ellertsen bass riff. Hendrixian feedback guitar is dominating the first part of the 13-mins+ Freedom's Children, which sports its name quite well. The middle sections speeds up and goes bonkers gradually and starts saturating until its chaotic and explosive end.

Well, despite the addition of Fike, Atlantis is certainly well in the artistic line of E9's discography, while adding a little "je-ne-sais-quoi" (guitars of course) as icing on the cake; and I take the bet that it's probably going to be the apex of the band, unless they add more musicians


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Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars 4.5 stars. Norway's own ELEPHANT9 are back trampling everything and everyone in their path. This time they've brought along Swedish guitar legend (in my world he is) Reine Fiske to add his psychedelic and fuzzed out guitar to the mix. I guess this was just in case we weren't all freaked out enough by their first two studio albums. Yes i'm holding up my white flag, please take me prisoner !

We get two songs before Reine arrives so lets look at them first. "Black Hole" is a 9 minute ride into chaos as the drums pound with relentless precision as the bass digs deep and the organ just flat out spreads it's nastiness all over God's green earth. Not for the faint of heart people. It's even haunting towards the end just in case your hair wasn't yet standing up straight. "The Riddler" is more about atmosphere until it kicks in hard before 1 1/2 minutes. My God ! It does settle back and yet this is far from being anything close to calm as they continue to storm the soundscape. Man the drumming is so impressive and the organ is simply nasty and anything but normal. "Atlantis" is calm to open with floating organ-like atmosphere and more. Things start to build 2 minutes in it would appear but then it settles back. Beautiful stuff here as Reine's guitar cries out. A change before 5 minutes as a steady beat takes over as the organ and guitar continue. The guitar is almost screaming 7 minutes in as Reine starts to rip it up. This continues to the end.

"A Foot In Both" has Reine on nylon- string guitar while the bass player strums a 12 string acoustic on this one.Guitar and keyboards lead early. Cool stuff and fairly laid back too. Drums after 3 1/2 minutes help out. Good song. "Psychedelic Backfire" is slow to build but there's something evil about to burst forth you just know it. Dark is the word after 2 minutes. It's like waves of dark psychedelia coming down on us again and again until a change 5 minutes in. Growly organ, a beat, bass and guitar then start to lead but there's still no light. Great ending too in this amazing track. "A Place In Neither" is brighter and more alive as drums and electric piano standout in this short 2 minute tune. "Freedom's Children" opens with some excellent guitar and organ as the drums pound. So good. It settles back after 2 1/2 minutes then kicks in again quickly. Great sound ! Check out Reine after 5 1/2 minutes. Nice. This is intense the rest of the way like a runaway train.

Man i'd love to see these guys in concert with Reine on stage with them. My kind of music !


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Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars Norwegian trio Elephant 9 offer their most dense, complex and varied work to date with their third studio album `Atlantis'. Joined by quietly renowned guitarist Reine Fiske of Dungen, Landberk and the defining Paatos release with their debut `Timeloss', this instrumental album is endlessly delirious, aggressive and deeply immersive. The comparisons in the past to Emerson, Lake and Palmer are mostly vanquished, instead the band offer something far more deranged and messy, very heavily psychedelic and, if anything, some evocative and subtle ambient passages and wilder sonic outbursts share more in common with Krautrock, a factor only deliciously highlighted by the stripped back and occasionally murky production.

With an ominous foghorn-like beckoning and a rattle of intent, opener `Black Hole' tears the album to life, a battery of ferocious unceasing pummelling drums, blitzkrieg Hammond, Fender Rhodes and piano runs and bass so thick it's virtually a slab of concrete, all lurching in and out of the dirtiest of unexpected grooves. `The Riddler' opens crystalline and dream-like before racing through a propulsive heavy groaning blast of Hammond fury, with a tasty spiralling Rhodes melody weaving around. Fiske now enters the album for the twelve minute title track, a gradually unfolding kraut/heavy psych improvisation of droning guitar and Hammond organ atmospheres that initially reminds of little traces of the spiritual era Santana band albums and early Pink Floyd, before taking a darker turn with a building drum-beat, stalking bass, unhinged electric piano and distorted guitar grinding bristling with danger.

The gentle acoustic guitars and shimmering electronics of `A Foot in Both' call to mind both the early Agitation Free and Popul Vuh albums, and the aptly named ten minute `Psychedelic Backfire' is an infernal march of harsh electronic drones and crushing plodding electric guitar doom before settling into slinking bass and Hammond grooves. `A Place in Neither' is an almost funky and brisk fusion interlude, and the album closes on a near-fourteen minute jam `Freedom's Children', a frantic, fun and relentless crash of acid rock fuzzy wailing guitar fire, thrashing driving beats, swirling keyboard violations and grumbling pulsing bass all swept up into a vacuum of noise.

`Atlantis' demands endless replays to truly appreciate, an Initially quite intimidating work that takes it's time to reveal so many subtle layers in amongst all the noise and bluster. It's sure to be a more divisive work for followers of the band, and probably those interested in the E.L.P-like qualities often associated with the group will be in for a bit of an abrupt shock, and very likely may want to put their heads through the wall! But the album is an absolute triumph of exploratory heavy prog, and is Elephant 9's defining statement to date.

Four stars.


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Latest members reviews

4 stars Elephant9 are back with their distinctive power trio sound. The Organ-Bass-Drums combination (still sounding like an angry Medeski Martin & Wood on a combination of steroids and speed) is there but this time augmented on several tracks by Reine Fiske - a guitar player I confess I know nothing ... (read more)

Report this review (#832067) | Posted by JonnyM79 | Tuesday, October 02, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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