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Motorpsycho The Tower album cover
4.03 | 268 ratings | 4 reviews | 29% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2017

Songs / Tracks Listing

CD 1 (43:25)
1. The Tower (8:42)
2. Bartok of the Universe (6:07)
3. A.S.F.E. (6:53)
4. Intrepid Explorer (9:50)
5. Stardust (3:34)
6. In Every Dream Home (There's a Dream of Something Else) (8:19)

CD 2 (41:20)
7. The Maypole (3:39)
8. A Pacific Sonata (15:39)
9. The Cuckoo (7:20)
10. Ship of Fools (14:42)

Total Time 84:45

Line-up / Musicians

- Bent Sæther / bass, guitars, keyboards, vocals, producer
- Hans Magnus "Snah" Ryan / guitars, vocals, keyboards
- Tomas Järmyr / drums & percussion, vocals

- Alain Johannes / vocals (3), guitar (4,7), flute (6)

Releases information

Artwork: Håkon Gullvåg

2CD Rune Grammofon ‎- MPCD 101 (2017, Norway)

2LP Rune Grammofon ‎- MPLP 301 (2017, Norway)

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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MOTORPSYCHO The Tower ratings distribution

(268 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(29%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(44%)
Good, but non-essential (20%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

MOTORPSYCHO The Tower reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars I think this is MOTORPSYCHO's first concept record since "The Death Defying Unicorn", but I could be wrong. A double cd but thankfully they are old school at 42 and 43 minutes in length respectively. I gotta say I gave up on this band at one point, they just weren't my thing and then all these glowing reviews for "The Death Defying Unicorn" and I bit and I'm so glad I did. They changed again after that one to what I call psychedelic sunshine styled music with those high pitched vocals and uplifting sound. Thankfully they haven't given up on adding some heaviness at times. So from 2012 to 2017 this band has hit my sweet spot. Albums like "Still Life With Eggplant", "Behind The Sun", "Here Be Monsters" and this one "The Tower" are all top notch in my books. I was surprised to hear the drummer Kenneth Kapstad left after "Here Be Monsters". He has his side projects for sure like MOSTER! and SPIDERGAWD" and other stuff keeps this talented drummer busy. A trio here with a guest who adds vocals to one track, guitar to two tracks and flute to another. Some very cool pictures in the liner notes. They divide the story into four sections with tracks 1-3 being the opening section followed by tracks 4-6 then 7, 8 before the closing section of songs 9 and 10.

So much good music on here and the opener is one of my favourite tunes on here called "The Tower". A quiet start but it does turn heavy before a minute. So good! Vocals follow. An interesting change at 3 1/2 minutes as we get this urgent rhythm section with guitar over top and no vocals. Check out those keyboards too. Just ripping it up until around 6 1/2 minutes when a calm arrives. "Intrepid Explorer" is another highlight. This one is different as it opens dark yet mellow. Reserved vocals just before a minute. It's getting fuller at 2 1/2 minutes then it settles back with bass only as guitar and drums join in. So good as it builds. This is intense like ELEPHANT9. Big fan of "In Every Dream Home(There's A Dream Of something Else)" especially the lyrics but this one has some heaviness that I like as well. Disc two isn't as strong in my opinion. I like the mellotron-like sounds early on "The Cuckoo" then the heaviness arrives. Vocals just before a minute. Nice guitar solo follows as vocals step aside. Killer section from after 5 minutes to after 11 minutes on the closer "Ship Of Fools".

4 stars seems perfect for me. This is a keeper along with the others by them that I have mentioned.

Review by Dapper~Blueberries
5 stars While it is not all that uncommon to see a trilogy of conceptual albums to be made in prog rock, it is quite uncommon for all three of those albums to be downright masterpieces in my eyes. However, it is not the first time Motorpsycho has crafted a bunch of amazing albums in a row before.

The Tower is the start of the band's Gullvåg trilogy, which is aptly named after Norwegian artist Håkon Gullvåg, who created the album covers for this trilogy. Right off the bat, the first praise I'll give to this album is the album cover and how it sets the mood for the entire thing. It is very weird with a lot of disorienting perspectives and odd figures that give the album as a whole a very creepy vibe, and I honestly am all for it. It works very well for the music of Motorpsycho.

On the musical side, Motorpsycho has gone to a similar route they've found themselves on with Heavy Metal Fruit, going for a more harder stoner rock sound combined with their psych and prog compositions. Though, for The Tower I can also taste little hints of the more avant garde sounds of The Death Defying Unicorn, especially on tracks like Intrepid Explorer and Ship of Fools. I feel like this is the band combining a ton of different sounds from their past and most notable works, and combining them to create The Tower, and what it delivers really works for me. The interesting jams the band creates mixed with the very proggy side of this album and a heavier sound just really adds to this album's already amazing songs, and I think only solidifies how truly immaculate this band's brand of prog really is.

For the concept of this record, I believe the band did not want to go for a full on story like Death Defying Unicorn, but instead similar to something like The Raven That Refused to Sing by Steven Wilson, where it is a bunch of different mini stories that all revolve around a shared theme, as this theme being the tower. I have a theory that this concept was sprouted through the Bible myth of the Tower of Babel, where a group of people who speak on a shared language decides to build a tower to the heavens, however the deity of Yahweh confounded their language and scattered its elements across different lands, causing the birth of many different languages in human history. It could also be represented by The Tower Tarot card, which its upright meaning details sudden change, chaos, and some form of awakening, while its reversed meaning details personal growth, or a more conservative mindset, which could line-up with the band's sudden changes with their drummer leaving the band, but also the use of more older sounds to create something new. I think, perhaps, The Tower and its stories are not meant to be fictitious tales, but rather tales surrounding the band, their legacy, their image, and who truly are. It is quite interesting to think about and just makes The Tower an even more awesome album.

The Tower showcases not only a conceptual piece of music that desires questions and thoughts, but also showcases a band that is still golden in their long 20+ years. Truly another album for the ages.

Latest members reviews

3 stars In 2017 Motorpsycho released The Tower, a double-album that was to become the first instalment in their so called "Gullvåg Trilogy" of albums inspired by the art of painter Hakon Gullvåg, whose work graces the cover of The Tower as well as the subsequent two albums (2019's The Crucible and 2020's Th ... (read more)

Report this review (#2494671) | Posted by lukretio | Saturday, January 16, 2021 | Review Permanlink

5 stars When drummer Kenneth Kapstad jumped ship in May 2016, after a brilliant nine year tenure, which revitalized the duo of Bent Sæther and Hans Magnus 'Snah' Ryan, there were doubts as to whom would be able to replace him in the drumstool. After spending the remains of '16 writing and performing mus ... (read more)

Report this review (#1937653) | Posted by chelloveck | Thursday, June 7, 2018 | Review Permanlink

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