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Motorpsycho Black Hole / Blank Canvas album cover
3.68 | 86 ratings | 4 reviews | 20% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2006

Songs / Tracks Listing

CD1: (42:07)
1. No Evil (6:06)
2. In Our Tree (3:39)
3. Coalmine Pony (3:17)
4. Kill Devil Hills (7:18)
5. Critical Mass (5:21)
6. The 29th Bulletin (5:48)
7. Devil Dog (4:24)
8. Triggerman (6:14)

CD2: (42:46)
9. Hyena (4:01)
10. Sancho Says (3:33)
11. Sail On (4:17)
12. The Ace (3:46)
13. L.T.E.C. (Deja-Vulture Blues) (6:19)
14. You Lose (5:32)
15. Before the Flood (8:58)
16. Fury on Earth (2:49)
17. With Trixeene Through the Mirror, I Dream With Open Eyes (3:31)

Total Time: 84:53

Line-up / Musicians

- Bent Sæther / vocals, bass, guitars, keyboards, drums, arrangements & production
- Hans Magnus "Snah" Ryan / guitars, vocals, keyboards, arrangements & production

- Jacco van Rooij / drums (14)

Note: The actual instrumentation could not be fully confirmed at this moment

Releases information

Artwork: Kim Hiorthøy

2CD Stickman Records PSYCHOBABBLE 053 (2006 Germany)
2CD P-Vine Records PVCP-9665/6 (2006 Japan)
2CD Columbia 82876791772 (2006 Europe)
2CD Stickman Records PSYCHOBABBLE053 (2006 Germany)
2LP Stickman Records PSYCHOBABBLE 053 (2006 Germany)
3CD Stickman Records PSYCHOBABBLE 053 (2006 Germany)

Thanks to windhawk for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy MOTORPSYCHO Black Hole / Blank Canvas Music

MOTORPSYCHO Black Hole / Blank Canvas ratings distribution

(86 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(20%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(45%)
Good, but non-essential (28%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

MOTORPSYCHO Black Hole / Blank Canvas reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Add heavy melody, little bit of alternative rock and some Bigelf flavours and even with that, you won't get the sound of Motorpsycho, because it's frankly undefinable. But this description is likely to explain it to you. Do you believe that speed kills ? Because in this case, this album is real killer. You'll not have rest for while it'll last. Most prominent here is probably its very special, dense atmosphere, that can, however, leave some people breathless (good side), or choking from it (bad side). Except also that this music will get into your head quite easily, as expected, because it's not some gentle kind of music, it's rock. I think that there is enough Prog elements (like atmosphere, guitar solos, whole theme behind this) to raise the flag little bit higher. But there's really not much more to be said, the rest is for you to decide, to explore and to enjoy.

4(+), my smile is getting more wider than tighter, while listening this more and more.

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars "Black Hole/Blank Canvass" is the first Motorpsycho album without their long-time drummer, so they were now down to 2 regular members. This double album, released in 2006, shows Motorpsycho continuing to expand and experiment with styles. It is also their 11th full length album.

We start out with 3 tracks that are somewhat straightforward stoner style rock, though the first one is the most appealing track, but other than being good rockers with a slight unfinished edge to them, there isn't much else interesting here. But from "Kill Devil Falls" on, the music suddenly takes on a very psychedelic feel with some experimentation going on, which makes the music more unique and keeps you interested, but it can take some time for it to grow on you.

This album is an interesting beast, because has got a lot of great and interesting tracks on it, but it also seems somewhat unpolished, which both works for and against it. There are passages that seem to go by without a lot of development, then all of a sudden, there is something added that turns the track from mediocre to quite amazing, one specific case is "Critical Mass" where we have a psychedelic feel through the first half of the song which feels really flat and uninteresting, then there is a sudden almost orchestral addition to the song that suddenly brings it to life, and everything just makes total sense. Expect this to happen throughout this album.

Then there is the matter of the vocals on this album. They sound slightly hesitant and unsure, and this works well at times, but many times it tends to bring the overall quality down a bit. The unpolished sound works well for the psychedelic aspect of the album however. The album has sort of a structured/spontaneous feel, if that makes any sense. There is definite direction that the band wants to go with each track, but when it gets there, it almost seems like it was by accident. Its like they stumble on to a certain riff or sound and then they flip everything on its end and turn it into something amazing.

"Devil Dog" is a definite highlight on the first album, with a unique sound that stays mostly subdued, but then suddenly explodes into a nice complex heavy section in the middle. Then there is "Triggerman" which has an awful lyrical section, but the instrumental section is just plain killer! Other highlights are "Sail On", the space rock inspired "L.T.E.C. (Deja-Vulture Blues)", and the jazz fusion track "Before the Flood". Low points are when they try to go alternative and don't do so well as on "The Ace", "In Our Tree", "Hyena", "Coalmine Pony".

It's hard for me to decide. The band didn't quite perfect their sound on this one as if they weren't sure what do to without their third member, but then sometimes they suddenly turn things around making their insecurities into strengths that end up making the strong sections even more powerful. I guess I could say I love about half of the album and the other half I feel is lacking. The problem is, it can have both traits in one track. That makes the album seem somewhat disjointed, but there are some very awesome passages here that still make this a worthwhile album.

In summary, I guess that means that this is not the best album to enter into the world of Motorpsycho with, I would probably start with "Behind the Sun" especially for Progressive lovers. However, this is not an album to completely ignore either, so I would come back to it later, when you are more familiar with just how great this band can be. Those that love psychedelic and/or stoner rock would probably love this album though.

Review by Dapper~Blueberries
4 stars After the impressive jazz and country efforts of In The Fishtank 10 and The International Tussler Society, Motorpsycho would have an unsuspected turn of events as the band's longtime drummer, Håkon Gebhardt, left the band. The rest of the group, Hans and Bent decided to continue on as a duo. Not only that but the two decided to try something new, still continuing the psychedelic rock sounds, but with more of an edge that could be found on their earliest releases of Lobotimizer and Demon Box. The duo wanted to go for a more hard psych approach combining elements of shoegaze, alternative rock, post-punk, and garage rock to create one of their more ambitious efforts, that being Black Hole / Blank Canvas.

Even as a duo, the passion for their sound remains unmatched, as this album gives way to some of the group's best numbers in my opinion. Kill Devil Hills, Devil Dog, Sail On, L.T.E.C., and Hyena to name a few are some of the band's most enjoyable songs they've released, having this very energetic motion that is carried every second along the way. The album's heavy nature really lets these songs reach the same heights that Timothy's Monster and Demon Box gave me with their giant, really gravid songs.

I think Hans' guitar work on this album is really nicely done, just giving out this huge bassy sound that I find myself really loving to sink my teeth into. Not only that, but Bent finally showcasing more punchy jams into these songs is a fantastic need for any classic Motorpsycho fan, and for me who really likes the more heavy psych nature this album exudes. This is the best heavy sound the band has attempted in a long while, and they still manage to make it sound super fresh by combining more garage and prog infused efforts into it.

Guest starring on this record is Jacco van Rooij on drums and Øyvind Brandtsegg on the vibraphone. I think these two do a great job in creating more of an atmosphere and tension within the album, especially Jacco on the drums. While I think Håkon managed to really set the score and dynamic that previous albums exude, Jacco does a fine job in replicating it for this effort, and I think he does a really great job at it. It gets the job done, and what came of it was some really stellar percussion.

Now, I will say though that while these songs are good, I find this to be one of the only "bloated" Motorpsycho records, much in the same vein as Trust Us was. I am fine with hour-long albums, but I think 17 songs is a bit much, especially for this caliber of music. It comes to a point where I feel like, after 13 songs, I kinda want it to wrap up. Not to discredit the band's hard work, but I just never enjoyed the album completely, and it is a real shame since these are some really good songs. I think if the band split the two discs into two separate albums then I think this project would be more beloved for me, but as it stands, it can become a fairly overly ambitious onus to get through.

Another really good effort from Motorpsycho, as expected. This is, what I think, would be the turning point for the band, as 2 years later they'd go skinny dipping into the prog trenches more than they have before, but that is a story for another day. As it stands, while it is a bit zealous to get through, this is another really solid display of musical workings that Motorpsycho delivered in the 21st century.

Latest members reviews

3 stars And then there were two. And these two (plus some friendly help) turned out a 2CD set of high-energy, straight-forward classic rock (check the epic classicist riff of No Evil and the sinister Americana blues of Devil Dog) and college rock tunes - relatively simple, but melodic. This is not one of ... (read more)

Report this review (#1395020) | Posted by Progrussia | Tuesday, April 7, 2015 | Review Permanlink

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