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Motorpsycho Ancient Astronauts album cover
4.02 | 124 ratings | 6 reviews | 29% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2022

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Ladder (6:41)
2. The Flowers of Awareness (2:14)
3. Mona Lisa / Azrael (12:15)
4. Chariots of the Sun - To Phaeton on the Occasion of the Sunrise (theme from an imagined movie) (22:22)

Total Time 43:32

Line-up / Musicians

- Bent Sæther / lead vocals, bass, guitar, keyboards, drums
- Hans Magnus Ryan / lead guitar, vocals, keyboards, mandolin, violin, bass
- Tomas Järmyr / drums, vocals

Releases information

Label: Rune Grammofon, Stickman Records
Format: Vinyl, CD, Digital
August 19, 2022

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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MOTORPSYCHO Ancient Astronauts ratings distribution

(124 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(29%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(42%)
Good, but non-essential (21%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

MOTORPSYCHO Ancient Astronauts reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Heavy Prog & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
5 stars The Norwegian rockers are back with their 25th studio album release--this time stripped down to their original trio.

1. "The Ladder" (6:41) recognizable MOTORPSYCHO sound with lots of cinematic synthesizer inputs. Bent's voice (and effects on his voice) have sounded better. (8.5/10)

2. "The Flowers of Awareness" (2:14) electronic noises/sounds like something out of a film score or Tangerine Dream album. Cool! (4.5/5)

3. "Mona Lisa / Azrael" (12:15) opens very much like KING CRIMSON's "Epitaph"--even the lyrics have a content and mood similar to KC's early mystique (even if Bent Sæther's voice comes nowhere near to the power and presence of Greg Lake). Heavy use of Mellotron and tuned percussives is nice, but this is no Court of the Crimson King. Halfway through the bass signals a transition to a more CREAM/WHO-like section of high energy and high tension over which Hans Magnus Ryan's multiply-effected lead guitar spits and squeals. It's wonderful how the bass, drums (two drummers?!), and even keys build the volume and tension beneath. Now THIS is great prog! A sudden lull occurs before the band reignites the ignition for a more melodic instrumental push toward the finish. A difficult song to rate because the second, "Azrael" section, which I ADORE, is so much better than the opening "Mona Lisa" half. (22/25)

4. "Chariots of the Sun - To Phaeton on the Occasion of the Sunrise (theme from an imagined movie)" (22:22) opens with a slow, contemplative progression of synth- and synth-wash supported guitar chords strummed at a steady pace toward increasing strength and volume. The sudden and unexpected change to a minor key at 3:27 is the first "misstep" for me. Thereafter, the slow addition of other instruments proceeds: acoustic steel-string guitar, cymbals, bass, and voices doing wordless vocalese. Still nice, but not as great as the opening section. At the six-minute mark the Motorpsycho guitar-based heavy prog sound kicks in as a Kosmische Musik/Krautrock-sounding theme is established and plays out for the next four minutes--two guitars interplaying within the weave--before keyboard chords initiate a searing lead guitar barrage (that reminds me so much of PINK FAIRIES and KINGSTON WALL lead guitarists, Larry Wallis and Petri Walli, respectively). Nice section if not quite living up to the expectations for peak and crescendo that I'd imagined. At 13:37 we verge onto a different lane of the same highway as roadsigns and turnoffs are considered, but then, at 14:57, we do pull off into a peaceful country road to enjoy the golden oat, rye, and wheat fields waving as we motor by. Nice. Dreamy. At 17:30 as repetitive treated electric piano chords are joined by vocalese, I find myself thinking of The Flaming Lips and even The Beach Boys! This latter impression grows even stronger as we enter the bucolic psychedelia of the happy-go-lucky chord progression of the 20th minute (a reiteration of the opening guitar play only with more effects treating the guitar sound). Awesome! This to the end. A wonderful journey. Thank you Bent, Hans, and Tomas! One of my favorite epics of 2022! (44/45)

Total Time 43:32

I certainly have to hand it to these guys: their inspiration seems to have no bounds; they are always able to come up with wonderfully creative and inventive music, year after year, album after album. Always adventurous and experimental, these musicians seem fearless! I love that about them!

A/five stars; thanks to the wonderful masterpiece that is "Chariots of the Sun", this is a veritable masterpiece of progressive rock music.

Review by Dapper~Blueberries
4 stars At the point in 2022 of this album's release, the year had some very great albums so far, like Ashenspire's Hostile Architecture, and Klaus Schulze's Deus Arrakis. So, in the middle three months of the year, specifically August, it was high time for our enigmatic and highly profound friends over in Norway to release a new album, and what they put on the table that month was quite interesting.

Unlike the more hard rock focused Kingdom Of Oblivion, Ancient Astronauts finds Motorpsycho expressing a different kind of heaviness that I don't think I have heard before in any of their catalogs. Here, they truly go for this ever enigmatic stoner rock sound, one that is quite powerful in the grand scheme in my opinion.

What I really like about this album is how unique it is. You can very much tell this is a Motorpsycho album, but there are a lot of different moving parts that are new to this machine. It feels like the band is grabbing a handful of different genres to merge with this more heavy sound, but instead of having it feel disjointed, they manage to truly create a sublime experience by having these moments in time that cross between the frantic and chaotic jams, to the more symphonic and beautiful pieces of music. I think it truly makes for one hell of an experience in a way that I haven't seen any really big prog band pull.

I also really like the longer tracks of Mona Liza/Azrael and Chariot Of The Sun, but that brings me to what I don't like about this record and that is the fact the album is very bottom heavy, with the best tracks being the last two. I really like The Ladder, don't get me wrong, but it's companion piece of The Flower Of Awareness just isn't good in my opinion, and plus, compared to some of the moments later on, like the extremely fun jam session on Mona Liza/Azrael and the beautiful but haunting ending of Chariot Of The Sun, I feel like the first half doesn't quite hold up, though this is my only critique for this album since it is still really good, despite the odd track listing.

I feel like this unique sound Motorpsycho crafts on here can spark a new era for the band, one just as good as what they crafted from 2008 to 2016. It is a unique and very poignant album. Not a masterpiece, but still one I suggest looking into if you like a more stoner rock sound infused with various brands of prog rock and, just, rock in general.

Latest members reviews

3 stars Norwegian prog-rockers Motorpsycho are an unstoppable force, churning out nearly one album per year throughout their entire career. Not even the worldwide shutdown of 2020/2021 halted their creative drive, although it did channel it on a slightly different course than anticipated. Unable to tour and ... (read more)

Report this review (#2875166) | Posted by lukretio | Saturday, January 14, 2023 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Ancient Astronauts is yet another great album that saw the light of day this year. The Ladder - Great opener. It immediately sets the stage. Love the violin parts. 9/10 The Flower of Awareness - A moody short piece that is setting the stage for the next track. 7/10 Mona Liza/Azrael - It's c ... (read more)

Report this review (#2819893) | Posted by WJA-K | Tuesday, September 13, 2022 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The Norwegian band are already veterans in progressive rock. Since their first release in the early 90's they have already released a handful of albums, some of which I believe are a reference in today's progressive rock. Possessors of an original eclecticism where progressive developments are m ... (read more)

Report this review (#2787243) | Posted by DiversionConVinilos | Tuesday, August 30, 2022 | Review Permanlink

4 stars MOTORPSYCHO is the Norwegian group starting their musical misdeeds at the beginning of the 90's with a stoner, pop, fruity and crazy sound; prog rock, art rock in fact with scents pushed to the extreme to hit, make psychedelic hard rock reminiscent of HAWKWIND and MONSTER MAGNET. The desire for ... (read more)

Report this review (#2785217) | Posted by alainPP | Wednesday, August 17, 2022 | Review Permanlink

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