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Elephant9 Elephant9 with Reine Fiske: Silver Mountain album cover
3.95 | 70 ratings | 2 reviews | 28% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2015

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Occidentali (14:26)
2. You Are the Sunshine of My Life (10:04)
3. Abhartach (9:21)
4. Kungsten (20:05)
5. The Above Ground Sound (22:02)

Total Time 75:58

Line-up / Musicians

- Ståle Storløkken / Fender Rhodes, Hammond, piano, Mellotron, synths (Minimoog, Prophet)
- Nicolai Hængsle Eilertsen / bass, acoustic guitar, percussion
- Torstein Lofthus / drums, percussion

- Reine Fiske / electric & acoustic guitars, percussion

Releases information

Artwork: Kim Hiorthøy

2LP Rune Grammofon ‎- RLP3174 (2015, Norway)

CD Rune Grammofon ‎- RCD2174 (2012, Norway)

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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ELEPHANT9 Elephant9 with Reine Fiske: Silver Mountain ratings distribution

(70 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(28%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(32%)
Good, but non-essential (29%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (6%)

ELEPHANT9 Elephant9 with Reine Fiske: Silver Mountain reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Mellotron Storm
5 stars "Silver Mountain" is the latest offering from ELEPHANT9 and yes guitarist Reine Fiske is back. I was surprised how different this album is when compared to the previous ones. Guldbamsen mentioned a Krautrock vibe which I completely agree with but i'd also mention Miles Davis electric period as having an influence despite there being no horns on this album. Just the way they jam and the way the organ often seems to boil under the surface. I kept waiting for them all to break out but it rarely happens here. This is a trippy album that is often subdued and comes across as being improvised jams. The thing is we get four lights out musicians who have done something really special here in my opinion.

It's hard not to say that keyboardist Stale Storlokken is the star here. His work with SUPERSILENT, MOTORPSYCHO and Terje Rypdal to name a few is incredible to say the least. He plays Fender Rhodes, Hammond Organ, mellotron, synths and a variety of keyboards to perfection and they are often distorted thankfully. Bass player Nicolai Eilertsen who plays with MOSTER! and BIG BANG could be more prominent in the mix but his playing is amazing. Reine Fiske(PAATOS, DUNGEN, LANDBERK) is prominent at times but takes a role not so dissimilar to the one James Mac Gaw from MAGMA has, and he is fantastic as usual. Drummer Torstein Lofthus from SHINING and other bands is a definite leader here as his drumming is very upfront and impressive as it could possibly be.

This is a long one, a double vinyl album clocking in at 76 minutes but much like "Bitches Brew" the time flies by. "Occidentali" has such a trippy sound to it with percussion and mellotron standing out early on. A calm arrives after 3 1/2 minutes and it's quite spacey. It kicks back in at 5 1/2 minutes and they are just killing it here. Check out the drums and keyboards! Nasty stuff. Distorted keyboards after 7 1/2 minutes followed by a calm after 8 minutes. Mellotron follows a minute later. A catchy beat with distorted keys and more kick in around 10 minutes to the end. Nice. "You Are the Sunshine Of My Life" is spacey and experimental to start with not a lot going on. Some pulsating organ joins in. This is so enjoyable, so trippy. Love the intricate guitar lines as well.

"Abhartach" sounds so good with that beat, distortion and mellotron. It's very repetitive until a change arrives after 2 minutes. Keyboards come to the fore and man can he play, so innovative! The mellotron is back before 6 minutes then it all turns more intense. "Kungsten" kicks into gear suddenly around 30 seconds in with drums out front as other sounds come and go. The drumming is outstanding! There's this intensity that makes me think this is about to explode at any second but it all stops before 7 1/2 minutes as relaxed organ runs come in. It kicks back in before 10 minutes with some Canterbury styled distorted keys. Nice. They're jamming and the organ and guitar are destroying it big time 13 minutes in. A change follows as it turns mellow and beautiful until the elephants stampede the soundscape after 18 minutes. My God!

"The Above Ground Sound" has a Krautrock vibe to start as we get this repetitive jam of keys and drums mostly. It's fairly minimalistic really. It's getting more intense 5 1/2 minutes in until it's just plain nasty. A calm follows before 8 minutes with acoustic guitar as a beat and organ join in. It's building 11 minutes in until we get another calm before 12 1/2 minutes then experimental sounds start to come and go as the drums rumble relentlessly. The guitar starts to scream before another calm arrives 18 1/2 minutes in as this beat with a Krautrock vibe takes over with distortion as it trips along.

You can't go wrong with any of the four studio albums this band has released but this one and "Dodovoodoo" are my favourites so far. One of the best from 2015 for sure.

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A while back, 'mellotronstorm' facilitated the discovery of a French band, a Magma-offshoot called One Shot which really blew my mind, offering up a technically dazzling form of jazz I like to call 'heavy-jazz' with oodles of profuse and nervous bass guitar, cataclysmic drumming (spirit of Christian Vander), buzzing echelons of nicely distorted e- piano, synthesizers and organ as well as some diagonal guitar rushes that defy gravity. The same reviewer also passed on his admiration for Elephant 9, a skilled Norwegian band that features the near-mythical guitar slinger Reine Fiske of Landberk fame. His style is a spicy mix of U2's the Edge, Robert Fripp and Phil Manzanera, a style best described as impenetrable and enveloping, at times fiery and rasping. Definitely one of prog music's originators of new horizons. The keyboards are manned by Stale Storlokken (Motorpsycho,Terje Rypdal) whose main weapon of predilection is the much distorted Fender Rhodes, an electric piano that is just as mythical in prog as the mighty mellotron or the powerful Rickenbacker, as well as the said beastly mellotron, a slew of Mini-Moogs synths and Hammond organ. Nasty bassist Nicolai Eirletsen (Moster!) fuzzes the box effectively, fostering a deep buzz that permeates the tracks with a forceful shove, a very obligatory rudder for this kind of oppressive music. The drums are frantic, effective and polyrhythmic in the skilled hands of Shining's Torstein Lofthus. The whole is akin to a controlled hurricane of sound, both devastating and magnificently powerful. The antithesis of wimp or fluff.

The condensed obscurity is quite sullen and abrasive on the 14 minute+ opener "Occidentali" with its trilling guitar work that scours the space between sound and fury, raging bass on the rampage, taking no prisoners. The 4 instrumentalists get to show their talents, displaying both energy and subtlety, each carving out their part of the forest with apparent ease. Everything played here just lunges out and grabs the jugular, like a soundtrack for a demented personality, with a hint of perversion, dysfunctional and totally apathetic to any outcome. The mighty mellotron proves why it's the instrument from hell (the first models were impossible to subdue, hissy little machines), as it storms its way through, unremitting.

To have the sheer courage of tackling a cover of the otherwise slightly wimpy Stevie Wonder classic "You Are the Sunshine of my Love" is jaw-dropping especially in view of the fact that this makeover prefers a way darker extremity, barely a hint of the original, creating a deliberately slow burning groove that is more cosmic than ghetto, full of moody brooding sounds including Hammond organ shuffled angst and a relentless binary beat that hammers the drive home. Fiske slowly develops into a sizzle, displaying pitiless axe pyrotechnics that will maintain your mouth agape. Linear and spooky.

The torment level is maintained with the creepy "Abhartach", a more circular and hypnotic mood, laced tight with some divine mellotron strings, as well as loads of distorted effects. The unforgiving electric guitar rasps, shaves, slices and purees like a blender gone berserk, the keyboards flinging gory notes all over the studio floor, a sweat- drenched and dirt-laden display of sombre power jazz-rock, brutally propelled by a rhythm section gone cray-cray. This is oblique, manic, insane and deranged music.

Surrender yet? No? Elefant 9 will slay the disbeliever by shoving not one but 2 colossal and no-holds barred 20 minute+ epics back to back, right down the gullet and the hell with the consequences. If you can't handle it, buzz off now! "Kungsten" wastes little time reigniting the booster rockets, smoke spewing from every note, as if rage was the main fuel propellant. Lofthus' drumming is outright exceptional, both rapid and fierce, presumably infused by the spirit of Keith Moon, as he just bangs like a lunatic. Inexorably, the reptilian bass crawls through the percussive storm, deliberately coiling in hypnotic sequence, relentlessly crushing and suffocating the arrangement into submission, as one asks how long can Lofthus maintain such an aural tornado? The menacing keys and portentous guitar act as a catalyst of pain and despair, threading harshly the confines of endurance. Suddenly, the calm sets in, unexpected and eerie, as spectral rivulets of effervescent notes color the canvas, confusion slowly settling in. This is just a breathing space, for a echoing Canterbury-like fuzz organ shatters the calm one more time, imagine Hatfield and the North or National Health going hot and heavy for a moment. Fiske and Storlokken trade barbed wire licks that shatter the once peaceful disposition thoroughly. Grit, grime and shudder. Okay, that worked, how about another round? Back we go to pastoral sprinklings of acoustic guitar, shafts of suave bass lines and gentle drum rolls. This is quite mesmerizing in its simplicity and patent gorgeousness. What command of both earth and sky! Dizzying contrasts really give this piece a stunning feel. The obligatory ramping up of the speed is required to finish this sucker off and the pedal is slammed way into the metal. Brute.

The last monster is "The Above Ground Sound", a cataclysmic jam that starts out faint and uncluttered, an austere rumble at first with hypnotic notes and a palpable obscurity that slowly evolves into a gargantuan detonation, almost Crimsonian in spirit, as the percussives percolates and the guitar grinds. Insane, unhinged, screwed to the hilt, the lingering emotions are disconcerting to the point of torture. As per norm, a surprise mid-section of acoustic guitar seizes the day and deflects the pain. Fractal shards of sound, another maddening binary tempo and a rustling organ foray add to the pleasure. The insistent keys and rippling guitars recall the finer moments of the Fripp-Summers masterpiece "I Advance Masked" but here muscled along by a steamroller beat. Ebb and flows, peaks and valleys, elation and depression, it's all available within the tight confines of this epic piece. As the arrangement heads for the checkered flag, Reine Fiske's guitar torches the track with incandescent and phosphorescent runs, making one only wonder what would the "Below Ground Sound" come across like? The glorious dual note finale is beastly stuff that would make anyone smile!

Though not for the faint of heart, and thus not really ideal for background music while doing chores, this is the kind of prog you sit down and let it overcome and overwhelm you. And if you get crushed in the process, well maybe you are a musical masochist after all.

4.5 shiny pinnacles

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