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Elephant9 - Elephant9 with Reine Fiske: Silver Mountain CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.95 | 70 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
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.

Mellotron Storm | 5/5 |


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