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MAJOR PARKINSON

Eclectic Prog • Norway


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Major Parkinson picture
Major Parkinson biography
Founded in Bergen, Norway in 2003

Major Parkinson soon started playing at small venues, but build a strong fundament with a growing local following, soon they started to play a larger venues and festivals, namely Eggstokk festival (rock festival in Bergen).

The members - Jon Ivar Kollbotn (Lead Vocals), AndrÚ Lund (Electric Guitars), Alf Borge (Electric & Acoustic Guitars/Background Vocals), Eivind Gammersvik (Bass), Lars Christian Bj°rknes (Synth/Percission/Guitars), and Cato Olaisen (Drums) released their self-titled debut in 2008; their producer was Sylvia Massy who had been working world-renowned names such are Tool and Johnny Cash.

The album got positive reviews in national media newspapers, which further led to some national and international tour dates, culminating in the Hove-Festival where they shared stage with Faith No More and Disturbed.

Jens Erik Aasmundseth replaced Olaisen on drums in 2009.
Their second album, 'Songs From A Solitary Home' was released in 2010.

Their music is mixture of pop sensibility with various forms of rock - from hardcore to progressive rock. While listening to their music, one can hear influences from Tom Waits, Procol Harum, Jethro Tull, Kansas, System of a Down, Kaizers Orchestra, among others.

Thanks to Christoffer Rekstad (Aginor) for the biography information.

Photo by Jarle H. Moe

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BlackboxBlackbox
Karisma 2017
$12.39
$8.36 (used)
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Waggle-Daggle Records 2010
$57.67 (used)
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MAJOR PARKINSON discography


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

3.70 | 53 ratings
Major Parkinson
2008
4.07 | 86 ratings
Songs From A Solitary Home
2010
3.99 | 191 ratings
Twilight Cinema
2014
3.99 | 124 ratings
Blackbox
2017

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

4.46 | 13 ratings
Live At Ricks
2015

MAJOR PARKINSON Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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

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

4.13 | 8 ratings
Euthanasia Roller Coaster
2013
4.00 | 4 ratings
Madeleine Crumbles
2016
2.40 | 5 ratings
Pretty Eyes, Pretty Eyes!
2016
4.00 | 3 ratings
Blackbox
2017
4.00 | 4 ratings
Munchausen by Proxy
2018

MAJOR PARKINSON Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Twilight Cinema by MAJOR PARKINSON album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.99 | 191 ratings

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Twilight Cinema
Major Parkinson Eclectic Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Prog Team

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.

 Blackbox by MAJOR PARKINSON album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.99 | 124 ratings

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Blackbox
Major Parkinson Eclectic Prog

Review by DragonX32

5 stars My music listening has fallen off in recent years, but then I noticed Major Parkinson had an upcoming album. Twilight Cinema is, in my mind, one of the better albums I've had the pleasure to experience. Not only do I still listen to Twilight Cinema on a regular basis, many of my friends that have little interest in music (much less prog) love this album. In short, I hold TC in high regard and I was especially excited for the new material.

So how does Blackbox measure up? Very well! While it's a pretty low threshold to cross these days, I feel pretty good saying that Blackbox will be my 2017 album of the year. Blackbox is consistent all the way through and I don't feel there are any "duds" on the album. The album streams seamlessly from dark, to poppy, to melodic, to circusy. The sounds (instruments, mood, tempo, style, etc) change very rapidly throughout the album, not dwelling on any sound or instrument for too long, and keeping you engaged throughout the entire experience. For one example of catchy tunes and interesting instrumentation, near the end of the track "Isabel - A Report to an Academy" the climax includes a catchy melody that involves the rhythm of a type-writer. Every time I hear that part, my mind is blown how well it brings together the other layers in the track to bring the song to a close. The band has countless examples like this in their catalog that demonstrate how unique their sound is.

Blackbox has excellent tracks throughout including Isabel, Madeline Crumbles, and Baseball. Compared to previous works, it did take me a while to fall in love with this album, as there is more of a focus on building up to a climax throughout the major tracks and throughout the album. While Blackbox is perhaps not as immediately accessible as their previous works, Blackbox may be Major Parkinson's best work yet.

If you are wanting to listen to something that is unique, engaging, eclectic, circusy, dark, and yet catchy with a broad array of instrumentation, then by all means check this one out, you won't regret it!

 Blackbox by MAJOR PARKINSON album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.99 | 124 ratings

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Blackbox
Major Parkinson Eclectic Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars Norwegian band MAJOR PARKINSON was formed back in 2003, and have steadily built themselves a reputation as a quality act in the experimental rock music scene, at some point crossing over to gain increased interest also from fans of progressive rock. They have four studio albums to their name so far. "Blackbox" is the most recent of these, and was released through Norwegian label Karisma Records in the late fall of 2017.

While I am one of many swayed by the charms and music of Major Parkinson, I'm still a bit unsure about just how broad a reach a band like this have. They are creative, make challenging compositions that are still easy to enjoy and listen to, managing to be challenging without being overly demanding, but they also create material that is very much their own and a few left turns away from most other bands out there. Eclectic progressive rock with synth pop tendencies and a bit of classic Gary Numan style sounds at that, flavored with cabaret tendencies and a dark circus atmosphere. If that description sounds enticing, Major Parkinson might well be the band you never knew about that you always hoped to discover.

 Blackbox by MAJOR PARKINSON album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.99 | 124 ratings

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Blackbox
Major Parkinson Eclectic Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Despite displaying very little instrumental flash, nuance, or virtuosity, Major Parkinson continues putting out interesting poppy prog goth noir--this one their fourth.

1. "Lover, Lower Me Down!" (4:47) drums and, of course, vocals/lyrics on display here despite it being 70% instrumental. (8.5/10)

2. "Night Hitcher" (5:46) the synth/keyboard work is my favorite thing about this song. The chorus is so out of a 1980s film soundtrack! Something by John Hughes or Pump Up the Volume. Again, the percussion/rhythm work is remarkable and there is a rather wonderful buildup and synth chord sequence as it approaches its end but, otherwise, there is nothing so extraordinary about this song--nothing that draws me back to listen to it repeatedly. (9/10)

3. "Before the Helmets" (1:25) melodic piano with incongruous singing voice. (3/5)

4. "Isabel - A Report to an Academy" (9:41) (8.5/10)

5. "Scenes from Edison's Black Maria" (1:46) minimalism!? (4.5/5)

6. "Madeleine Crumbles" (5:06) upbeat pop noir! with nice performance from female singer Linn Fr°kedal. A modern, goth noir take on The Psychedelic Furs' "Love My Way." (9/10)

7. "Baseball" (10:20) prog cabaret! entertaining! All we need are the Cirque du Soleil acrobats.(8.5/10)

8. "Strawberry Suicide" (2:57) classical/Kurt Weill/Leonard Cohen! (8/10)

9. "Blackbox" (5:48) 80s underground synth pop! I do like it better when the band alternates a female vocalist with that of the melodramatic atonal voice of Jon Ivar. (9/10)

A little too simple and repetitive, musically, and, being deaf to lyrics, the lyrical messages are lost to me, this is just not what I'm looking for in progressive rock music. But I can see how some might like it.

Four stars; an excellent addition to any adventurous prog rock music collector.

 Blackbox by MAJOR PARKINSON album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.99 | 124 ratings

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Blackbox
Major Parkinson Eclectic Prog

Review by rdtprog
Special Collaborator Metal / Heavy / RPI / Symph Prog Team

5 stars From Norway, the band has released his 4th album all of them received good reviews. What strikes us right away is the whispering voice that set the tone for the album just like when you want to create a monster talking in a movie. You know that he has a big voice, but you don't want to scare away the children. So the first part of the album as a cinematic atmosphere that reminds me of the project of Black Codex. It's interesting to hear the clear female voice and chanting melodies contrasting with that special male voice. There's a lot of instrumentation like saxophone, xylophone, cello, etc. that gives a lot of sophistication to the music. There is some addictive chorus throughout and beautiful keyboards melodies. If the general mood could be haunting, the second part of the album brings some light pop melodies. Don't look for some guitar solos here, every instrument is like a little orchestra in support of the melody. In conclusion, I didn't get bored a minute on this album.
 Songs From A Solitary Home by MAJOR PARKINSON album cover Studio Album, 2010
4.07 | 86 ratings

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Songs From A Solitary Home
Major Parkinson Eclectic Prog

Review by javajeff

5 stars I just picked up all their music, and I am blown away by everything that I have heard. I am a fan of eclectic stuff, so they fit nicely into my collection. If I had to choose a favorite album, it would have to be this one. I think the pure craziness of Songs From A Solitary Home give it a slight edge, but by all means, get them all. Heart of Hickory is such an amazing song to anchor this album. I consider the musicianship to be excellent, and a higher level of creativity to create something unlike anything else out there. The closest music to this is more likely in the Alternative rock genre with groups like The The, but the progressive elements are infused into this masterpiece. I am enjoying their entire collection, and look forward to each listen with excitement and anticipation. Songs From A Solitary Home is highly recommended.
 Twilight Cinema by MAJOR PARKINSON album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.99 | 191 ratings

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Twilight Cinema
Major Parkinson Eclectic Prog

Review by Dr÷mmarenAdrian

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 and I want to praise it honestly. This is modern and very sophisticated prog rock.

The record's cover is dark and melancholic. We see a cold forest with a raven in the centre, who is sitting on a stone. Even if the sound mostly is quite dark is it so full of intriguing ingredients and funny sound effects so you'll be happy to hear it anyway. The melodies are also quite sweet. The dark and deep vocals come from Jon Ivar Kollbotn and the guitarist of the band is AndrÚ Lund. Eivind Gammersvik plays bass, Lars Christian Bj÷rknes plays synth and Steinar Hjelmbrekke plays guitar. Jens Erik Aasmundseth is the drummer of the band. On this record the presence of a girl: Annette Kathinka Servan is also important. She sings on at least two songs.

This colourful music could be used as soundtrack to an experimental movie. The band has made a record with very well produced and rich sounding music. It is a great flow in it too, the songs follow each other very smoothly. Often we hear sounds from a circus and the record is both exciting and harmonic. I think i like "The Wheelbarrow" most, a really powerfull song(9/10) but "Twilight Cinema", the ending chorus of the album(8/10) and "Impermanence" are energic tracks(8/10). The sweet "Beaks of Benevola"(8/10) and the darker "Black River" are also worth hearing. Actuelly this record surprises me. It doesn't sound like other prog rock, it touches other modern genres but mostly it is just unique.

An honest and intriguing record filled with enigmatic tunes will I give four stars!

 Twilight Cinema by MAJOR PARKINSON album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.99 | 191 ratings

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Twilight Cinema
Major Parkinson Eclectic Prog

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.

 Twilight Cinema by MAJOR PARKINSON album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.99 | 191 ratings

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Twilight Cinema
Major Parkinson Eclectic Prog

Review by BigRed1

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 through a magical, haunted, Norwegian forest, (I keep thinking of that Norway ride at EPCOT). My top track, which other reviewers haven't mentioned, is "The Wheelbarrow" - reminds me of a modern, darker, even-more-madcap "Battle of Epping Forrest" with the peculiar, spoken-word/story telling style of the song. The title track is the other highlight on this album, with a bunch of interesting genress thrown together (even some surf-rock styling). If you are looking for something really good but a little different in the prog world, check this out, highly recommended!
 Twilight Cinema by MAJOR PARKINSON album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.99 | 191 ratings

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Twilight Cinema
Major Parkinson Eclectic Prog

Review by buddyblueyes

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 dance the jig with your closest post-apocalyptic zombie friends. The song, Beaks of Benevola, is a gem of a tune. It's one of the more fascinatingly unique and brow-raising delectable songs. The stark contrast between the male and female vocalists work spendiferously well together. The title track is blend of twists and turns and features an excellent inclusion of synths and some prog-like tendencies, but never deviating too far from the story of the song as a whole. Actually, all the tracks are perfectly consistent. This is a band whose sound will be immediately identifiable!

The sound recording is magnificent. It is top shelf production. The album was produced (for all you engineers and producers out there) by Sylvia Massy, whose credits include System Of A Down, Tool, Johnny Cash, Tom Petty, Sevendust, and The Red Hot Chili Peppers. A Norwegian rock band, this group has been finely honed like a sharpened, pick-axe-to-the-back- of-your-undead-head and is poised for world recognition. The vocalists are unabashedly confident in delivery, and the achilles heel of prog -- uninteresting lyrics delivered by mediocre, dime-a-dozen sounding singers -- is devoid here. Though the singer does have a limited range, his voice is absolutely unique (though he will draw comparison to Tom Waits, which is absolutely fine by me) and is powerful, even at a whisper. The lyrics are two-lines-down-the-middle solid, and they will suck you in like a maleficent cyclone. Bye-bye, Alice, off to wonderland you go! This proves that musical talent, molded in the right hands of professional producers and sound engineers, can provide us with a product which begs for a premium status among audiophiles of all genres, one that transcends the everyday thousands of passable releases that just seem to miss that certain "magic" quality to them. One of the best and wholly original releases this year!

Thanks to clarke2001 for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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