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Major Parkinson

Eclectic Prog

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Major Parkinson Twilight Cinema album cover
4.01 | 224 ratings | 10 reviews | 28% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2014

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Skeleton Sangria (2:49)
2. Impermanence (4:25)
3. Black River (5:08)
4. The Wheelbarrow (7:52)
5. A Cabin in the Sky (3:46)
6. Heart Machine (5:54)
7. Beaks of Benevola (4:27)
8. Twilight Cinema (5:44)

Total Time 40:05

Line-up / Musicians

- Jon Ivar Kollbotn / vocals, acoustic guitar, sanza
- André Lund / guitars, mandolin
- Steinar Hjelmbrekke / guitar, backing vocals
- Lars Christian Bjørknes / piano, keyboards, programming, percussion
- Eivind Gammersvik / bass, mandolin
- Jens Erik Aasmundseth / drums, percussion

- Tatiana Pereira / vocals (2)
- Annette Kathinka Servan / vocals (3,7)
- Ella Helèn Bukkøy / violin
- Morten Andreas Nome / cello

Releases information

Artwork: Martin Kvamme

CD Degaton Records ‎- DRCD2022 (2014, Norway)

LP Degaton Records ‎- DRLP2022 (2014, Norway)

Digital album

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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Buy MAJOR PARKINSON Twilight Cinema Music

MAJOR PARKINSON Twilight Cinema ratings distribution

(224 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(28%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(39%)
Good, but non-essential (23%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

MAJOR PARKINSON Twilight Cinema reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by TheGazzardian
4 stars I would like to preface this review by stating that I can easily be deemed a Major Parkinson 'fanboy'. I have spun their first two albums countless times, memorising every lyrics, every melody, every nuance.

I have been fanatically devoted to enough bands enough now that when a band I love as much Major Parkinson release a new album, I anticipate it both with excitement and trepidation. I know, from experience, that there are no perfect bands - that every artist eventually stumbles, or loses sight of their vision, or simply changes in a way that doesn't gel with me. So each time a favorite releases a new disc, I hope it will be the next stunner but fear that it will be the first stinker.

I was especially nervous about this new Major Parkinson album, as Alfe Borge, one of two guitarists, had left the band before it was recorded. The guitar sound had always been one of the defining elements that made Major Parkinson so amazing to me, with these crazy staccato- plucked melodies in this playful tone that (especially in the first album) provided a lot of the textural and melodic base for the album. Major Parkinson had two guitarists on their first two albums, so I am not certain which guitarist was responsible. Still, it was a nice feeling when I listened to the first single, "Impermanence", and I heard those distinctive guitars again. I am not certain if that means Alfe was not responsible for them, or if Andre Lund was imitating the style for the sake of stylistic consistency. Either way, it works.

Twilight Cinema is only eight tracks, considerably shorter than the bands first two albums, but each of the eight tracks has by now slayed me. Major Parkinson has not lost their touch, and there is not a dud in the album. Like in their previous albums, the songs range in terms of accessibility, such that on first listen tracks like Heart Machine, Beaks of Benevola, and Twilight Cinema quickly won me over, while the melodies of more subtle tracks (relatively speaking) like Black River and The Wheelbarrow grew on me over repeated listens. Major Parkinson has always been an incredibly tight band, playing multi-layered hyper rock that changes gears with perfect flow, but in this album they have expanded their palette even further away from the primarily guitar-driven sound of their first album, and it is quite impressive how they continue to add new 'tricks' to their sound without losing any of their focus. They continue to borrow from other genres as well, for example the odd polka-like rhythms in Black River.

This band, as the album cover demonstrates, is quite a bit darker than their prior albums. It also features perhaps the most brutal track they have composed to date: Heart Machine (sound wise; the bonus track 'Sleeping In A Box' from their debut lyrically takes this cake). In Heart Machine, they give their guitars a clipped, distorted, brutal tone near the end that caused me to jump a bit the first time I heard it. It is a neat production trick as well, as the guitars come across unclear, as if they are yelling right into your ear; yet the other musical details underneath are as clear as a bell. It really works to bring the song to an exciting conclusion.

Jon Ivar Kollbotn could probably sing about watching paint dry and I would listen to it; everything he says sounds fantastic and interesting, and his voice has an effortless power that has been compared to Tom Waits, although I think the comparison only applies as far as the deepness of their voice goes (he does not have Waits' gravelly raspiness). An album of Jon Ivar singing about paint drying and grass growing, played over a simple strung acoustic guitar, would probably be worth hearing. But Major Parkinson, with it's insane songs and unfaltering vision of darkness and nostalgia, gives him a chance to really work his vocal chords, from the gentle and emotional (Skeleton Sangria) to the angry (Twilight Cinema) to the playful (...)

I had a sense, after giving this album a few listens, that although there was not a dud track, it was not connecting with me as much as the bands prior two albums. And it was that last point that finally drove home what a loss Alf Borge's loss really was to the band. Jon Ivar's deep, powerful vocals had always been countered by the high-pitched, more playful backing vocals Alf provided. Tracks like I Am Erica, Domestic Violets, and Dance With the Cookieman had this strange, playful approach between the two vocal approaches that changed the music from dark to deranged. It was as if Jon Ivar was the devil in a suit, showing you your next temptation; and Alf was the imp on your shoulder egging you on to do it. It was dark, in an almost Tim Burton way. Now it is just dark.

You can almost hear the gaps in the album, where if it had hit the 13 tracks the prior 2 did, the other five might have been the doses of impish humour and playfulness that balanced the darkness of the album and made it so poignant. There are no Dance With the Cookie Man's here. This is the absence Alf Borge's leaving the band has left. And while I love the band no less, I cannot help but miss this vital ingredient of the bands sound.

Which should not be taken as a sign that this is a bad album; as I think I have made clear, it is a rather excellent one, and I certainly can't imagine it not making near the top of my year end list this year. It should only be taken as a sign that, if you find yourself loving this one, you might find there is even more to love looking back.

One final note: I feel that the band is starting to more openly acknowledge their prog following. The track Twilight Cinema in particular strikes me as an homage to the days of old; the way that Jon Ivar utters the word 'crazy' reminds me quite heavily of the usage of the word in 'The Trial' off of Pink Floyd's the wall, and the keyboards that close the track have a certain 'Tony Banks' quality to them. I could be reading to much into it, but they seem like subtle nods to me.

Review by Second Life Syndrome
5 stars Every once in a while, you hear something completely new. I believe that Major Parkinson's new album "Twilight Cinema" is just that. This is my first experience with this band, though I'd often hear their name. This album, whether it be a good or bad example of their style, sounds so different and so bizarre that I can't help but feel the fresh breeze it creates.

I call this album "bizarre" with the utmost respect and the best intentions. "Twilight Cinema" is creepy, eerie, surreal, playful, dark, and somehow oddly happy, too. The album is markedly diverse from track to track, with everything from carnival music to electronic to neo- prog. In fact, this album has a subtle carnival tone throughout, if I'm being honest. It certainly adds to the strange ambiance and the madness found therein. Leading the craziness is Jon Ivar Kollbotn on vocals. He, joined by a couple female guests on a few tracks, is the perfect complement to this music, as he sings with a low, almost devious tone. It's almost as if he's hiding something from us---with a smile, of course.

The music itself is delightful. The bass guitar is active and dark, guitars are creative and varied, and the drums are clever and well-played. Most of all, though, I enjoyed the keys. The synth is often upbeat, and, thus, contrasted against the dark soundscapes. There are a plethora of sounds created by the keys, though; and this makes the album extremely varied. This album almost feels like it belongs in a Tim Burton movie, or, more praiseworthy, a Lewis Carroll story.

From the weirdly uplifting "Skeleton Sangria" to the dark "Black River" to the creepy "A Cabin in the Sky", this album is full of memorable and truly interesting songs. "Beaks of Benevola" and the title track are also stand-outs, and range from forcefully surreal to truly strange. The title track in particular is brilliantly composed, and also completely macabre. I can't express how much I love this delightfully disturbing album, stitched together with peculiar melodies and a ghastly story.

Frightening and artfully crafty, "Twilight Cinema" is a fantastic album that I expect to fall more in love with as the year progresses. It has a charm and a depth that will bring me back continually, and that will easily become nostalgic for me. It's gothic, but humorous: spectral, yet organically folksy. It's truly original music that deserves to be heard.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This music would probably be very entertaining to see live--kind of like a Sweeny Todd barrel house Broadway musical--but I'm not sure how progressive this is. I guess it's not unlike the work of Humble Grumble or Nemo or even UneXpect, but, I'm unconvinced. More like DeVotchka (which is a great band but not a prog band), or THE CURE in their early years, with a kind of LEONARD COHEN/LON CHANEY as its lead singer (And DIDO for its female counterpart). While there are certainly rock and even prog elements and influences to make this creation what it is, the result, to my ears, is still little more than the recording of a Broadway play. Or the next Rocky Horror Picture Show (which, again, is not considered a prog album.) Interesting how this kind of Euro-creep soundtrack music is creeping more and more into modern progressive rock. Atomic Ape, Utopianisti, Pingvorinkestern, Knifeworld, and Major Parkinson are five that I've discovered so far. All very talented, very tight, very entertaining. No epics or smooth, slow developing songs. All staccato, stop and start, avant-garde and theatric. Humble Grumble, UneXpect, even Univers Zero. It's as if today's bands are trying to pack nine minutes of music, story, and emotion into four minute songs. Is this the new prog?

Favorite songs: "Beaks of Benevola" (4:27) (10/10), "Impermanence" (4:25) (9/10), and the title song (5:44) (8/10).

Cool stuff, lively and entertaining, but not anything I'll come back to--nor deserving, IMO, of a place here on PA.

Review by kev rowland
5 stars This is the third of four studio albums released by this Norwegian band, and was released in 2014. I have only just come across this group, so this was all totally new to me, and having played it and then started working out what on earth I could try and say about it! They have been listed on PA as a progressive rock group, in the eclectic sub-genre, and I can understand why that is as these guys are truly trying to move music into new areas and are progressing the sound, as opposed to attempting to regress to something that was popular 40 or 50 years ago. Firstly, the music is incredibly theatrical, timeless and also dark, yet with levity and life coming through at different stages. So let's think Clive Nolan, but also throw in Alabama 3, some Nick Cave and possibly Tom Waits, while Johnny Cash would be stirring the pot. Then let's add some accordion-driven pirate metal just for the hell of it, and see what the punters make of it. Clive would be the only one that I've mentioned that people would generally think of as prog, but all of those named have been key players in their own musical fields and have never been afraid of stretching out into different areas.

If I was going to think of just one prog band, then the approach does remind me in some strange way of classic Twelfth Night, but of course they sound nothing like them at all! This really is an album where the more attention that is paid to it, the more rewards can be obtained as the music is incredibly dense, multi-layered and faceted, and the more I listen to it the more I find within it to enjoy it. There is a darkness thrown in, as if instead of performing on a stage, the guys are on a becalmed sailing galleon at night, with lanterns providing the only lighting. There is so much happening in each song, with switches in tempo and musical approach taking place so frequently that one often loses track as to what is going on, but who cares? It is a staccato abrupt journey both into the absurd and the unknown, and I am all the richer for having heard it. Miss this at your peril.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Major Parkinson is a Norwegian progressive rock band which has made three album since 2008. I have just heard their last from 2014 "Twilight cinema" because I am exploring this year's new releases and I am very impressed. I can absolutely understand how people consider this a five star record ... (read more)

Report this review (#1238869) | Posted by DrömmarenAdrian | Friday, August 8, 2014 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Purchased this album on a whim based on some positive reviews here, as I had never heard of this band previously. What a pleasant, quirky surprise - dark, intense, and even light-hearted at the same time, with great musical performances, especially on keys. Evokes in me a feeling like a trip th ... (read more)

Report this review (#1156871) | Posted by BigRed1 | Wednesday, April 2, 2014 | Review Permanlink

5 stars A splinter in the spine! How refreshing... dark cabaret meets prog! This will tickle the ears of a wider demographic for sure. This is excitingly fresh and expertly crafted! A diabolic release that is darkly captivating and never dull, Twilight Cinema is dementedly gleeful, making you want to d ... (read more)

Report this review (#1155869) | Posted by buddyblueyes | Sunday, March 30, 2014 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is so bizarre and so unique. The vocals took me a bit to get used to, but they fit so well with the music, that I am glad I made the effort. And the music! Like a carnival freak show. Very diverse with subtle acoustic sounds coupled with weird atmospheric keys, and everything in between. Non ... (read more)

Report this review (#1130291) | Posted by Tull Tales | Tuesday, February 11, 2014 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Madness Incarnate I've known Major Parkinson for a long while, but I honestly can't say that I've enjoyed their music that much in the past. I've had their debut self-titled record in my iTunes library for about 2 years now, never really giving it more than a few listens, and every time sayin ... (read more)

Report this review (#1128484) | Posted by Gallifrey | Friday, February 7, 2014 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Let me just say I haven't been this taken away in years. Chills I tell you. I had heard their previous album, Songs From a Solitary Home, before I heard Twilight Cinema, so I had some expectations, but this surpassed them. That album has Showtune-like melodies that come across as odd but highly e ... (read more)

Report this review (#1128441) | Posted by stegor | Friday, February 7, 2014 | Review Permanlink

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