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MOTORPSYCHO

Eclectic Prog • Norway


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Motorpsycho biography
Norwegian outfit MOTORPSYCHO was formed in Trondheim in 1989, initially consisting of Bent Saether (bass), Hans Magnus «Snah» Ryan (guitars) and Kjell Runar Killer Jenssen (drums). The demo EP Maiden Voyage from 1990 was their first release, followed by the full length production Lobotomizer in 1991. On these first two ventures their stylistic expression were heavily influenced by punk and grunge, the latter a style of music highly popular at the time.

Shortly after the release of their first album drummer Jenssen left the band, and was replaced by Haakon Gebhardt (drums, vocals, banjo). This second edition of the band would prove to be pretty stable, as this threesome would make up the core unit of the band for the next 14 years.

The first efforts of the new line-up were the single 3 Songs for Rut, followed by the EP Soothe. Both of these productions were issued in limited editions in 1992, and was assembled and released as the compilation album 8 Soothings Songs for Rut later the same year. While still pursuing a tyle of music most closely related to alternative metal on these efforts, influences from progressive rock started manifesting themselves at this point, first and foremost in the close to 10 minutes long effort Lighthouse Girl.

And influences from progressive rock, psychedelic music and indie rock would all become steadily more prevalent in the musical exploits of Motorpsycho in the coming years, a steadily evolving process that can be traced in a flurry of releases throughout the 90's. Many feel they emerged as a purebred progressive outfit already in 1993, when they released the double album Demon Box. A single CD version of this effort was released as well, and the tracks omitted from this version due due time constraints was soon after made available on the EP Mountain.

One reason for the evolvement in stylistic expressions on this particular album was the addition of Helge Sten (keyboards, theremin) to their ranks. He would remain a permanent member of Motorpsycho until 1995, and something of a cross between an associated member and frquently used guest musician and contributor for the following years. Sten might be more well know by music fans by his creative moniker Deathprod, and he has a score of releases to his own name exploring dark ambient, droning sonic landscapes.

In 1994 Motorpsycho was signed by major label EMI Records for their Norwegian releases, while the band set up t...
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Motorpsycho official website

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MOTORPSYCHO Videos (YouTube and more)


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Buy MOTORPSYCHO Music


Still Life With EggplantStill Life With Eggplant
Rune Grammofon 2013
Audio CD$12.93
$14.73 (used)
Roadwork 4: Intrepid SkronkRoadwork 4: Intrepid Skronk
Rune Grammofon 2011
Audio CD$17.43
$15.28 (used)
It's a Love CultIt's a Love Cult
Import
Stickman 2003
Audio CD$8.95
$0.37 (used)
Motorpsycho PresentsMotorpsycho Presents
Import
Stickman 2004
Audio CD$22.15
$13.97 (used)
Trust UsTrust Us
Import
Stickman 2003
Audio CD$23.44
$10.95 (used)
Little Lucid MomentsLittle Lucid Moments
Stickman 2008
Audio CD$13.59
$11.85 (used)
BlissardBlissard
Box set
Rune Grammofon 2012
Audio CD$25.65
$31.29 (used)
Black Hole / Blank CanvasBlack Hole / Blank Canvas
Import
Stickman 2006
Audio CD$264.99
$15.98 (used)
demon boxdemon box
Phd Music
Audio CD$12.62
$11.79 (used)
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Motorpsycho presents The International Tussler Society (Norway C US $39.75 Buy It Now 2 days
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MOTORPSYCHO Thunderhead RARE 1992 DJCD PROMO CD US $7.98 Buy It Now 4 days
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More places to buy MOTORPSYCHO music online Buy MOTORPSYCHO & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
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MOTORPSYCHO shows & tickets


  • Motorpsycho at Schlachthof, Bremen on 21 May 2014
  • Motorpsycho + Grandloom at Postbahnhof, Berlin on 22 May 2014
  • Motorpsycho + Kadavar at Forum, Bielefeld on 23 May 2014
  • Kristonfest 2014 on 24 May 2014
  • Motorpsycho at Patronaat, Haarlem on 26 May 2014
  • Motorpsycho at Doornroosje, Nijmegen on 27 May 2014
  • Motorpsycho at Jazz Cafe, London on 28 May 2014
  • Motorpsycho at VK, Brussels on 29 May 2014
  • Freak Valley Festival 2014 on 29 May 2014
  • Motorpsycho + Dead Hippies at La Flèche d'Or, Paris on 30 May 2014
  • Motorpsycho at Live Club, Trezzo sull'Adda, Milan on 2 Jun 2014
  • Motorpsycho at Orion, Ciampino on 3 Jun 2014
  • Motorpsycho at Hiroshima Mon Amour, Torino on 4 Jun 2014
  • Motorpsycho at Vidia International Rock Club, Cesena on 5 Jun 2014
  • Motorpsycho at Rote Fabrik, Zürich on 6 Jun 2014
  • Motorpsycho + Kadavar at Halle 02, Heidelberg on 8 Jun 2014
  • Motorpsycho at zakk, Düsseldorf on 9 Jun 2014
  • Motorpsycho + Grandloom at Conne Island, Leipzig on 10 Jun 2014
  • Motorpsycho at Pumpehuset, København V on 11 Jun 2014

MOTORPSYCHO discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

MOTORPSYCHO top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.89 | 19 ratings
Lobotomizer
1991
3.92 | 29 ratings
Demon Box
1993
4.14 | 48 ratings
Timothy's Monster
1994
3.00 | 6 ratings
The Tussler: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
1994
3.32 | 22 ratings
Blissard
1996
3.61 | 29 ratings
Angels And Daemons At Play
1997
4.08 | 49 ratings
Trust Us
1998
3.86 | 38 ratings
Let Them Eat Cake
2000
4.23 | 56 ratings
Phanerothyme
2001
3.71 | 24 ratings
It's A Love Cult
2002
4.22 | 46 ratings
In The Fishtank (with Jaga Jazzist Horns)
2003
3.71 | 7 ratings
Motorpsycho Presents: The International Tussler Society
2004
3.91 | 39 ratings
Black Hole / Blank Canvas
2006
4.09 | 56 ratings
Little Lucid Moments
2008
3.43 | 27 ratings
Child Of The Future
2009
3.76 | 159 ratings
Heavy Metal Fruit
2010
4.22 | 324 ratings
The Death Defying Unicorn (with Ståle Storløkken)
2012
4.01 | 121 ratings
Still Life With Eggplant
2013
3.96 | 57 ratings
Behind The Sun
2014

MOTORPSYCHO Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.67 | 3 ratings
Roadwork Vol.1: Heavy Metall Iz a Poze
1999
3.00 | 1 ratings
Roadwork Vol.2: The MotorSourceMassacre
2000
4.00 | 7 ratings
Roadwork Vol.4: Intrepid Skronk
2011
2.50 | 2 ratings
Strings of Stroop: Live at Effenaar
2011

MOTORPSYCHO Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

MOTORPSYCHO Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.57 | 7 ratings
8 Soothing Songs for Rut
1992

MOTORPSYCHO Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 1 ratings
Maiden Voyage
1990
3.00 | 1 ratings
Soothe
1992
3.00 | 1 ratings
3 Songs for Rut
1992
4.25 | 4 ratings
Mountain EP
1993
4.00 | 4 ratings
Another Ugly EP
1994
4.00 | 1 ratings
Wearing Yr Smell
1994
4.25 | 4 ratings
The Nerve Tattoo
1996
4.00 | 2 ratings
Manmower
1996
0.00 | 0 ratings
Baby Scooter
1997
4.00 | 1 ratings
Have Spacesuit Will Travel
1997
0.00 | 0 ratings
Lovelight
1997
4.33 | 3 ratings
Starmelt
1997
5.00 | 1 ratings
Ozone
1998
3.50 | 2 ratings
Hey, Jane
1998
3.50 | 2 ratings
Walkin' With J
1999
4.00 | 1 ratings
The Other Fool
2000
4.50 | 2 ratings
Barracuda
2001
3.50 | 6 ratings
Serpentine
2002

MOTORPSYCHO Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Behind The Sun by MOTORPSYCHO album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.96 | 57 ratings

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Behind The Sun
Motorpsycho Eclectic Prog

Review by ingmin68

4 stars Never listened before to Motorpyscho: a total surprise for me, suggested by a streaming media (ehm...) and got hooked to this record immediately. Such a variety, from ballads (like "Ghost", in a Wilco-flavor style; or the really-superbe "Entropy") to rockers like "On a plate" and "The Promise", to more progressive numbers (all the other ones!?). 1 hour of music that's flying away in a whisper, with great ideas. Highly enthralling are "Cloudwalker" that reminds a little of Yes in the choruses,"The "Kvaestor" is astoundingly magnetic,with some craziness developed on a underlying loop, but also with great riffs. The minisuite "Hell 4-6" is also remarkable, and build similarly on accumulation to the end part, where up to 3/4 theres a variety of subtle and gentle nice guitars, flute and mellotron. "The magic & the Wonder" is more eclectic, though short in duration. The final "Hell" erupts with rock & fusion (?) in a free-form, improvised like - a closure that you couldn't expect from the previous pieces. As said in the beginning, a great album, no filler - all good and great. Most likely one of the top-3 2014 release (I'm curious to see which one could be at least at the same level...). Rating: 9/10

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 Behind The Sun by MOTORPSYCHO album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.96 | 57 ratings

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Behind The Sun
Motorpsycho Eclectic Prog

Review by tired_feet

4 stars 11 months since the last album, and Motorpsycho have no intention of resting on their laurels.

Behind The Sun can be described as a continuation of Still Life With Eggplant, only with a bigger focus on songwriting and arrangements. Behind The Sun contains 9 songs in 60 mins, and has a lot of stylistic diversity (maybe a little too much, actually)

The record starts off in awesome fashion with Cloudwalker and Ghost. The former having a really great lead riff accompanied by subtle mellotron. There's also an awesome bridge in there and a nice instrumental buildup to the last chorus. Ghost is a very mellow pastoral thingy, where a mellotron/string arrangement carry the song along with a shivery vocal delivery from Bent Sæther.

Individually, On A Plate is a good track. But its straightforward cock-rockish sound doesn't really fit this album, IMO. The Promise is an uptempo rocker, but it's way more catchy, complex and with a purpose. Great guitar-solo too. Kvæstor (incl. Where Greyhounds Dare) is an instrumental jam. It reminds me a bit of Whip That Ghost from Let Them Eat Cake (2000), but this one's way heavier and more complex (even the subtle Iron Maiden reference makes sense). The robotic strings in this one adds a nice touch.

Hell, Part 4-6 is the longest one (12 mins) on this album. Starts off with Part 4: Traitor which is kinda mellow and sets the main theme for this track. Part 5: The Tapestry is extremely atmospheric and consists of a mellotron/acoustic guitar fog. Then a beautiful melody rises from the fog before we return to the Traitor part briefly. Then Part 6: Swiss Cheese Mountain starts with a heavy, slightly Eastern-sounding jam that culminates in Prog Heaven. Great track!

Then another ballad, Entropy. This one is simply stunning! Hans Magnus Ryan takes lead vocals on this one (blistering guitar-solo as well), and Fiske really makes his presence felt here with some great guitar lines near the end. Beautiful melody, beautiful arrangement, and my personal favorite on here!

The Magic & The Wonder (A Love Theme) is a bit similar to The Promise in being an uptempo rocker. But this one has some great melodic guitar themes in it as well. Unfortunately for me, the album ends in chaotic fashion with Hell, Part 7: Victim Of Rock. This one is quite over the top, coupling the Hallucifuge-riff from Little Lucid Moments with the Hell, part 1-3 from the Eggplant. Then it turns really psychedelic as some kind of flanger- effect is thrown on, and everything/everyone sounds as if they're playing in a snowstorm. It has potential to grow (it's already started!), but I think of it as a subpar way to end this album.

So I give this one 4 stars, but it's actually closer to approx. 4,4 or something. I did give 4 stars to the previous one as well, but that one's closer to like 3,7 or 3,8. A couple minor misfires robs the top rating, but this is still a fantastic album with lots of progressive elements that could satisfy a lot of people on here. Recommended listening!

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 Behind The Sun by MOTORPSYCHO album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.96 | 57 ratings

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Behind The Sun
Motorpsycho Eclectic Prog

Review by Vellevold

5 stars Fantastic!

This exceptional trio have done it again, and for the second time in a row they have been joined by the Swedish psych-rock God Reine Fiske on guitars and mellotron. They are also joined by Ole Henrik Moe(saw and viola) and Kari Rønnekleiv(violin) on some of the tracks.

As expected, the music on this disc is really varied. They do in one way carry on with the track they have been on since the arrival of Kenneth Kapstad, but this time around the focus on songs seems to have been stronger than on the last couple of albums. The highlights for me are the opening track Cloudwalker, the instrumental Kvæstor (incl. Where Greyhounds Dare) and the epic Hell, part 4-6.

Cloudwalker has an amazingly cool main riff, and carries an overall good feeling. Kvæstor is a killer instrumental with a folk influenced main riff. The drive of this track is breathtaking. The robotic strings in the background also helps lift the song to new heights. Included in this track is also a homage to the Iron Maiden track, Where Eagles Dare, and it fits really nice into the context of the song.

The main highlight for me is without a doubt the epic Hell, part 4-6. The middle part with its acoustic guitars and mellotron is really beautiful, and the composition as a whole is flawless. You will get everything you want from an epic, and the finale of the song, with its guitar solo, will probably raise goosebumps on your arm.

In my ears, this album is a masterpiece. I can't find anything to complain about. You will get rockers, pop songs, jazz influences and pastoral acoustic songs. This is probably the most mellotron laden album they have made so far, and the production is perfect. I know there have been a very overstated use of adjectives in this review, but I will absolutely encourage all of you to check out this album.

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 Still Life With Eggplant by MOTORPSYCHO album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.01 | 121 ratings

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Still Life With Eggplant
Motorpsycho Eclectic Prog

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

4 stars Motorpsycho are an amazing band that have the power to mesmirise and inspire with their brand of heavy prog. The album that blew virtually everyone away is "The Death Defying Unicorn", a masterpiece that became a cult in the prog community, and one of the albums of the year for 2012. I remember how the music lifted me into another plane of existence as it simply nailed me to the couch with its inexorable power. The music blew the doors off any boundaries that may have been set in place for music convention and it was wrapped in a concept package. This time around with "Still Life With Eggplant" the band discard the concept and go for a bunch of diverse tracks that are boundary pushing but nowhere near as innovative as the previous album. They set the bar so high that it was almost impossible to reach those heights again I would suggest. In any case the album is still packed with some powerful tracks and wonderful musicianship.

It opens in a blaze of glory with 'Hell Parts 1-3' that has that deep resonating stoner guitar riff and psychedelic style of vocals. The riff jams along locking into place as the band launch into a jam and then it ends with a totally different melody outside of the previous form. It feels like a coda tacked on but it works well enough.

There are some grandiose spacey lead guitar breaks such as the lengthy break on 'Barleycorn (Let It Come/Let It Be)'. The intro has the same feel and melody as the Traffic song 'John Barleycorn Must Die' and this is intentional as it pays homage to the Traffic style. It sounds like a 70s song lifted from a Cream album or Traffic in all respects.

There is a mammoth epic on the album that clocks into 17 minutes, 'Ratcatcher' and this may wear its welcome out after so many minutes of free form jamming. The intro itself is ultra spacey and I love the way the bass builds into the soundscape. The glissando tremolo guitar reverberations are akin to the type of guitar on a Hawkwind album, and the style is totally removed from other material on the album. It suddenly launches into a freakout of pulsing bass, pounding drums and duel guitar licks. The vocals finally enter multilayered and psychedelic, "Save me, is this heaven or hell, ratcatcher!" I was reminded of another modern psych prog band The Ovals, or Diagonal, such as their 'Semi Permeable Men- Brain'. The recent Nik Turner album "Space Gypsy" captured this vintage sound too and it is a great retro throwback to the psychedelic 60s. Hawkwind's 70s music such as 'Orgone Accumulator' also rests on one riff and launches into a freakout lead break in the same style as this Motorpsycho track. The main component of the lengthy 'Ratcatcher' is an extended psych jam that is primarily spacey guitar played improv style over a grinding rhythm and bass section. The drums crash and cymbals splash as the tempo quickens and the lead guitar picking is more intense. There is a lot of sustain and high powered string bends with pedal effects and it begins to hypnotise after a few minutes. It felt as though it were a live concert played to a bunch of stoned followers, in the style of early Pink Floyd concert performances. The vocals return with a grand finale and then it leads into a quieter free form jazz coda till it is all over; one to really ponder over and a very bold track for the band.

The album certainly is a surprise as it is perhaps a simpler approach to the music then the previous release that was totally conceptual focussing on a ship lost at sea and how the crew fight for survival against incredible odds. There are only 5 tracks and none really jump out and measure up to the mind blowing stuff on TDDU. The band even opt for an acoustic ballad with 'The Afterglow' and go for a Cream guitar sound on the cover by Love 'August' that is more like the 1969 song from "Four Sail" than I would have expected for a song recorded in 2013. Motorpsycho are great at capturing the vintage sounds of days gone by when rock gods were born such as Hendrix, Clapton and Garcia. I liked the album a lot but to be honest was expecting something awesome, and it does not deliver in the same way as their previous album; playing it safer and thus draining dry most of the creativity that made them such a powerful prog force on "The Death Defying Unicorn".

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 Still Life With Eggplant by MOTORPSYCHO album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.01 | 121 ratings

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Still Life With Eggplant
Motorpsycho Eclectic Prog

Review by BrufordFreak

4 stars I've never quite fallen under the spell of Motorpsycho but after last year's sophisticated rock opera, The Death Defying Unicorn, and hearing that Reine Fiske had been lured on board for this one, I couldn't resist.

1. "Hell Parts 1-3" (9:47). The first "part" of this song--which contains a multi-layered harmonized vocal--reminds me very much of an amped up CROSBY, STILLS, NASH & YOUNG circa 1970. Around the 4:50 mark an instrumental section begins which reminds me very much of the work of EDGAR WINTER GROUP and around 1973. The third part, beginning at the 7:15 mark, is a stripped down, funky instrumental section set up to support a kind of HENDRIX-like solo guitar display by Reine Fiske. Okay song with nothing particularly ground-breaking or earth-shatteringly engaging. (8/10)

2. "August" (4:53) opens with a CREAM-like intro before settling into a kind of Southern Rock groove. The bridges between the first two vocal-supporting A Sections are interesting and unusual--kind of Zappa-like. The guitar solo section is also entertaining though it's nothing better than anything the Allman Brothers did. (8/10)

3. "Barleycorn (Let It Come/Let I t Be)" (7:19) begins auspiciously like the TRAFFIC song of its namesake. The vocals enter with a whispery approach and are then amplified and multiplied as the singers wind up for the "Let it come, Let it be" chorus section. The second A Section is quite magical with the play of the slide guitar, more animated drums, and heavier sound. By far the best sound of the album so far. Nice guitar solo against this same storm- like musical background until the 5:00 mark when things back off and quite down for a bit. But then, instead of the expected reappearance of vocals the guitar solo continues and the band starts building toward a crescendo and then the vocals rejoin! Awesome song with some great spacey sounds working their way in and out throughout and some really nice multi-layered vocal work. (9/10)

4. "Ratcatcher" (17:10) begins with about 90 seconds of some spacey-echoed guitar pickings and arpeggios before the bass, keys, and guitars kind of go off each in their own "tuning" directions. Then suddenly with a burst at the 2:15 mark, the band bursts forth in full song unison (somewhat reminiscent of the sound and style of the final two songs on The Death Defying Unicorn). A vocal section begins before the song wanders off into a prolonged "solo" in which two guitars explore their psychedelic freedom over some awesome jazzy support from the drums and bass. Both guitars are quite interesting to follow but I find myself drawn more to the drumming and bass playing each time I listen to this section. At 8:40 the song begins to sound like everybody is coming back together but instead a more Neil Young-styled guitar solo ensues in the left channel while the right channel's guitarist plays a more chord-oriented support role. At 10:55 Fiske signals his return to the fold and soon the vocals rejoin?all this going on over the awesome play of the rhythm section. At 12:15 the shout of "Ratcatcher!" signals the end of that section. Everything slows and winds down like a dying watch until the 13:35 mark where first a single guitar picks out a little melody, then the second guitar joins in and the more subdued drums and bass rejoin, this time in support of the right channel guitarist's extended though quite mellow solo. Again, I can't help but tune into and enjoy the subtle playfulness of the bass and drums during this section. The song's final 90 seconds are left to the heavily effected psychedelic soundings of the two guitarists. Cool song kind of in the vein of country-mates MY BROTHER THE WIND, except with a bit more structure and, of course, vocals. (9/10)

5. "The Afterglow" (5:57) is a fairly gentle rock song sounding incredibly similar to some of the acoustic guitar-based vocal sections of Toby Driver from the 2001 MAUDLIN OF THE WELL albums Bath and Leaving Your Body Map. Even the chord sequences from the second section in which the whole band has come together are SO moTW! (though there is a little RADIOHEAD-like guitar play going on with it.) At 3:20 the rhythm and sounds take on a much more 70s CREAM-like feel before falling back into a kind of CSN& Y/ YOUNGBLOODS/ALLMAN BORTHERS music style and sound (including some cowbell!). Nice guitar solos beginning around the 3:30 mark. The vocals from the 4:45 mark on are screamy in a BECK Odelay-kind of way. I like this song very much. (9/10)

Though there are no songs that really knock my socks off on this album, it is a solid, creative, melodic, and enjoyable listen--especially as one gets past the more mundane first two songs.

Four stars: Recommended to all music lovers.

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 Still Life With Eggplant by MOTORPSYCHO album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.01 | 121 ratings

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Still Life With Eggplant
Motorpsycho Eclectic Prog

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars "Still Life With Eggplant" is the 15th full-length studio album by Norwegian psychadelic rock/hard rock act Motorpsycho. The album was released through Stickman Records/Rune Grammofon in April 2013.

After releasing what is arguably their most progressive effort to date in "The Death Defying Unicorn (2012)", we´re back in more familiar psychadelic rock/hard rock territories with "Still Life With Eggplant". The music is playful, jamming and laid back. Fuzzy guitars/bass, organic drumming and dreamy mellow vocals (at times the vocals remind me of mid-70s Wishbone Ash). The tracks alternative between structured sections with vocals and more loose jamming sections. Typically with guitar solos and organic rythmic playing not completely unlike artists like Jimi Hendrix and Cream. The jamming drags on slightly too long in the 17:10 minutes long "Ratcatcher" but otherwise I think the material on the 5 track, 45:07 minutes long album, are pretty well balanced. The sound production is detailed, warm and organic, which suits the music perfectly.

The band are exceptionally well playing. A confident, tight and organic sounding unit. Paired with the warm and organic sounding production this is pure bliss to my ears.

"Still Life With Eggplant" is not nearly as adventurous as it´s predecessor, but if you ask me, Motorpsycho are best when they rock out and in that respect "Still Life With Eggplant" is a more interesting album than "The Death Defying Unicorn (2012)" (which is more interesting than "Still Life With Eggplant" in some other areas). Their diversity is one of their strengths though and I wouldn´t have it any other way and enjoy most of their output however "different" some of it are. "Still Life With Eggplant" might be one of their more "safe" efforts but but it´s still a very strong release and a 4 - 4.5 star (85%) rating is deserved.

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 Phanerothyme by MOTORPSYCHO album cover Studio Album, 2001
4.23 | 56 ratings

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Phanerothyme
Motorpsycho Eclectic Prog

Review by sinslice

4 stars Progressive Psychedelic Folk

Mainly from this work, Motorpsycho musical swerved in his career, risky and ambitious. Welcome and smart on my part. Obviously for many of his fans was musical heresy.

Acoustic, melodic, structured, with a good dose of rock and electric guitars. With good participation of well-integrated orchestra in music and compositions. In the spirit of the sixties, sometimes. Definitely Motorpsycho firm stepped forward with phanerothyme-what would later be entrenched with the even more ambitious The Death Defying Unicorn. Here the music is tight and beautifully conveyed in 43 minutes.

I can not recommend it as a masterpiece, by the influences that are perceived, but with the personal touch of the band, and does not disappoint when listening intently.

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 The Death Defying Unicorn (with Ståle Storløkken) by MOTORPSYCHO album cover Studio Album, 2012
4.22 | 324 ratings

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The Death Defying Unicorn (with Ståle Storløkken)
Motorpsycho Eclectic Prog

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars "The Death Defying Unicorn" is the 14th full-length studio album by Norwegian rock act Motorpsycho. The album was released through Stickman Records/Rune Grammofon in February 2012. It´s a collaborative release between Motorpsycho and Ståle Storløkken. The latter plays keyboards on the album and has arranged the tracks along with the group. He is also responsible for arranging the parts of the album played by Trondheimsolistene and the Trondheim Jazz Orchestra. "The Death Defying Unicorn" was released on double CD and double 12" vinyl.

The music on the album is quite the eclectic mix of psychadelic, stoner/hard and progressive rock spiced up with some avant garde type jazz/chamber orchestra moments (and some more symphonic ones too). At times the avant garde element reminds me of The Mothers of Invention. There is also a cinematic/theatrical element to the music, which is probably due to this being a concept album, and to build a dramatic atmosphere to go along with the lyrics (which are a fairytale at sea of sorts), the band have opted to include that element too. The band themselves are as always well playing and their jamming type rock, which owes a big depth to both 60s psychadelic rock and 70s hard rock, and on this particular album also to 70s progressive rock (vintage keyboards and flutes are some of the elements), works like a charm. A heavy bass, fuzzy guitars and (mostly) laid back mellow vocals are the foundation of the music. All the other elements are layered on top of that. Sometimes, like in some parts of the 16:01 minutes long "Through The Veil", in a multi-layered chaotic fashion.

A track like "Into the Gyre", with it´s mellow first couple of minutes and heavier and busier last couple of minutes, is an obvious highlight to my ears, but there are brilliant moments popping up throughout the album. Tracks like "The Hollow Lands", the above mentioned "Through The Veil", the energetic "Mutiny!" and the closing "Into the Mystic" are standout tracks too. I could have done without some of the most ambient and slow building tracks, but that´s probably an aquired taste.

The sound production is warm, organic and detailed, suiting the music perfectly. Overall "The Death Defying Unicorn" is a very adventurous album by Motorpsycho. It´s admirable how an act that have been around for about 25 years are still branching out and trying new things. This is by far their most progressive release yet and while there are several nods toward 70s prog and other vintage rock styles, this doesn´t sound like a clone of anything. Motorpsycho are unique. At 83:44 minutes, "The Death Defying Unicorn" is a pretty long album and if the band had left out some of the more atmosphere enhancing ambient tracks like "Doldrums", "Flotsam", "Sculls in Limbo" and "La Lethe" I feel the album would still have been a long but much stronger one disc album. In it´s current for there are though still enough quality material to warrant a 4 star (80%) rating.

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 Still Life With Eggplant by MOTORPSYCHO album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.01 | 121 ratings

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Still Life With Eggplant
Motorpsycho Eclectic Prog

Review by tired_feet

4 stars Another year, another Motorpsycho album. Still Life With Eggplant is considered a "leftover" album, consisting of songs written for Heavy Metal Fruit and The Death Defying Unicorn, but not making either of those albums for various reasons. So don't expect a unifying concept on this album.

The album starts off with a blast in the 10 minute "Hell, Part 1-3". Starting off with a slow tempo to introduce the main theme, it soon speeds up and becomes a heavy psychedelic rocker. Great guitarsolo midways, but after 7 minutes it just slows down completely for a quiet outro totally out of sync with the remainder of the song. Still a great song, though.

"August" is a cover of the Love track from the 1969 album "Four Sail". The original was a very cool freakout, and this version isn't all that different, although it is tighter and with new millennium production values. Textbook cover, but a nice homage to the songwriting of the late Arthur Lee.

Then we mellow out a bit with "Barleycorn (Let It Come/Let It Be)". Acoustic guitars are prevalent on this one, and shows a slight pastoral vibe alà Trespass/Nursery Cryme. Gentle vocals brings Crosby/Stills/Nash to mind, and the song has a nice psychedelic aura.

"Ratcatcher" is by far the longest track on here (17 mins). It's also the one where Reine Fiske makes his presence best felt, having a guitar showoff with Hans Magnus Ryan. 15 minutes of this track is basically improv, and very much reminds of The Grateful Dead's style of jamming, albeit in a high energy musical setting. It is probably the biggest track of controversy on the album; not every one will have this one to their liking. I do like it, even if I find it slightly overlong (the last 3 minutes feel sorta forced) Still impressive, though.

The album finishes on a slightly more conventional note with "The Afterglow". A ballad with some lovely playing (especially the mellotron and the slide guitar is gold) and somewhat nostalgic lyrics. Add to it a heartfelt vocal delivery from Bent Sæther and more nice acoustic guitar-playing, and you have a natural conclusion to this album.

The 5 stars disappeared because of a couple overlong songs. But a solid 4 star rating for this release. And another solid album from this Norwegian cult band.

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 The Death Defying Unicorn (with Ståle Storløkken) by MOTORPSYCHO album cover Studio Album, 2012
4.22 | 324 ratings

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The Death Defying Unicorn (with Ståle Storløkken)
Motorpsycho Eclectic Prog

Review by Argonaught

5 stars I have to admit that there is very little I like about this album; I don't get the album art .. the band name smacks of an imitation and the album title comes across as OTT pretentious.

I don't even like the predominant musical style, but I still recommend this album as an absolute 5-star, shining example of what IMO "prog" should be like in 2012.

To me, "prog" implies progressing, that is venturing from Point A to Point B to Point C, as opposed to carefully trotting around Point B in order not to disappoint the Point B - worshiping crowd. My, The Unicorn is certain a journey, taking us to the Points X, Y and Z that I am not sure I have dreamed of before.

By the way, there is almost "too much" musical content in The Unicorn. Looking at the 2012- early 2013 crop of high-ranking novelties by the great bands, I have to say that you can take the musical substance that went into the creation of Unicorn and make out of it The Raven, Storm Corrosion, a good chunk of Viljans Öga, and there still will be enough material left for a couple of ambient and movie soundtrack albums.

All in all, if you are interested in investing 84 minutes of your time into listening to a very demanding (and equally rewarding) piece of music, The Unicorn may be a good choice.

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