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Motorpsycho - The Crucible CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

4.03 | 141 ratings

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4 stars 'Motorpsycho' just keeps putting out great albums, especially recently, with their music being more progressive than ever. All throughout their years of releasing many studio albums, EPs and singles, the main two individuals who formed the band have been there; Bent Saether on vocals, bass and etc., and Hans Magnus Ryan also on vocals and guitars. There have been a few different drummers with the band, 5 to be exact, with the latest drummer having been added to the band on their previous album 'The Tower'. Tomas Jarmyr remains in place on this album also. The album is only comprised of 3 tracks, but they are all epic which the last one being over 20 minutes long. The overall sound is an exciting blend of classic progressive with some stoner rock mixed in.

'Psychotzar' starts with a heavy riff similar to early 'Black Sabbath'. The sound is dark and heavy and during the chorus, you can also hear mellotron in there. After two verses, there is that trademark fuzz guitar solo that we know and love from Motorpsycho already. The vocals are then processed a bit to give that psychedelic sound as it enters a different theme. Excellent guitar solos split the verses up before it goes into a longer instrumental break which shows off their progressive yet stoner edge. Things calm down at around the 5:30 mark and become more mysterious sounding and vocals return on yet a 3rd theme. It soon intensifies and the theme is repeated at a higher volume with more guitar support and a progressive riff is built upon until the end.

'Lux Aeterna' begins with acoustic guitar and harmonized vocals with the melody being a bit more complex than you might expect. This track builds a bit with more of a progressive sound with a slight folk feel. Its hard to believe all of this music, which is somewhat sympohonic is made by 3 guys, but there you have it. There is some brass in there which definitely isn't hidden, more keyboards are also prevalent in this track. The track has a more early King Crimson vibe to it, but of course without really copying anything, that comparison is just there to give you an idea. Very nice. Before the 5 minute mark, there is a heavier sound as the theme changes and this section becomes a lot more complex and chaotic, still keeping that early KC vibe, and doing it quite well I might add. Brass and guitar fight and argue together as the mellotron anchors it all together. Before 7 minutes, everything evens out to a slower tempo as the guitar improvises and churns up a bit more intensity in a soaring solo. After 8 minutes, it all calms down again returning to the soft feel at the beginning with harmonized vocals again. A minute later, you think the track is over, but it bursts into quite a cinematic ending with everything playing around the theme.

'The Crucible' continues with the epic feel of the tracks on this album with this 20+ minute monster. After a quick build, the guitar, aided by some keyboards, build upon a theme while drums work to build intensity. After a while, this resolves and then builds upon another theme, this one more in the line of space rock. Once things reach a plateau, the guitar improvises around the theme again. The bass is definitely more noticeable in this track also. Things calm again and everything works around a new theme. Vocals don't come in until around 5:30. The lyrics are more important on this track and the verses are quite long, are more progressive and have much more depth. Just before the 10 minute mark, a loud and psychedelic guitar solo and dissonant drone breaks loose. Heaviness ensues and it sounds excellent! The solo guitar wails against the wall of noise surrounding it like a banshee trying to break loose of it's chains. Suddenly, after the 13 minute mark, things level out as vocals start again backed up by the band and keyboards, then that suddenly drops off to almost ambience as things get pianissimo for a minute. There is then a sudden outburst as a new section is quickly introduced and the guitar gets another grand solo. At 17 minutes, everything culminates to the original theme backed with the band and more mellotron. Things eventually return to calmness but intensity quickly builds and the band gets one more last finale before the end as everything resolves around a major chord and a bright ending.

This is really a good album by Motorpsycho, and they still retain their progressive edge while they mix in that more stoner feel from their earlier days, but it still sounds amazing. I was never one to complain about the length of Motorpsycho's albums when they are at their best, like the album 'Behind the Sun' because I can listen to that style of music all day. But this album is definitely too short and I feel it might have been a bit rushed. I still feel it is one of the best albums so far this year, just not quite as good as it could have been. The band has raised the bar so much in the past, it's hard not to rate their albums against their best, which is usually what happens when reviewing a band like this. Anyway, it is definitely worth your while to hear this album. Great music, excellent album, but not quite their best.

TCat | 4/5 |


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