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MOTORPSYCHO

Eclectic Prog • Norway


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Motorpsycho biography
Founded in Trondheim, Norway, in 1989 - Still active as of 2019

MOTORPSYCHO was formed initially of Bent SÆTHER (bass), Hans Magnus "Snah" RYAN (guitars) and Kjell Runar "Killer" JENSSEN (drums). The demo EP "Maiden Voyage" from 1990 was their first release, followed by the full length production "Lobotomizer" in 1991. On these first two ventures their stylistic expression were heavily influenced by punk and grunge, the latter a style of music highly popular at the time.

Shortly after the release of their first album drummer JENSSEN left the band, and was replaced by Håkon GEBHARDT (drums, vocals, banjo). This second edition of the band would prove to be pretty stable, as this threesome would make up the core unit of the band for the next 14 years.

The first efforts of the new line-up were the single "3 Songs for Rut", followed by the EP "Soothe". Both of these productions were issued in limited editions in 1992, and was assembled and released as the compilation album "8 Soothings Songs for Rut" later the same year. While still pursuing a tyle of music most closely related to alternative metal on these efforts, influences from progressive rock started manifesting themselves at this point, first and foremost in the close to 10 minutes long effort "Lighthouse Girl".

And influences from progressive rock, psychedelic music and indie rock would all become steadily more prevalent in the musical exploits of MOTORPSYCHO in the coming years, a steadily evolving process that can be traced in a flurry of releases throughout the 90's. Many feel they emerged as a purebred progressive outfit already in 1993, when they released the double album "Demon Box". A single CD version of this effort was released as well, and the tracks omitted from this version due due time constraints was soon after made available on "Mountain EP".

One reason for the evolvement in stylistic expressions on this particular album was the addition of Helge STEN (keyboards, theremin) to their ranks. He would remain a permanent member of MOTORPSYCHO until 1995, and something of a cross between an associated member and frquently used guest musician and contributor for the following years. STEN might be more well know to music fans by his creative moniker DEATHPROD, and he has a score of releases to his own name exploring dark ambient, droning sonic landscapes.

In 1994 MOTORPSYCHO was signed by major label EMI Records for their Norwegian releases, while the ba...
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MOTORPSYCHO discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

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

3.00 | 42 ratings
Lobotomizer
1991
3.78 | 64 ratings
Demon Box
1993
3.81 | 91 ratings
Timothy's Monster
1994
3.06 | 24 ratings
The Tussler
1994
3.26 | 52 ratings
Blissard
1996
3.48 | 61 ratings
Angels And Daemons At Play
1997
4.07 | 96 ratings
Trust Us
1998
3.89 | 72 ratings
Let Them Eat Cake
2000
4.04 | 114 ratings
Phanerothyme
2001
3.76 | 53 ratings
It's A Love Cult
2002
4.09 | 88 ratings
Motorpsycho & Jaga Jazzist Horns: In The Fishtank
2002
3.81 | 23 ratings
Motorpsycho Presents The International Tussler Society
2004
3.59 | 69 ratings
Black Hole / Blank Canvas
2006
3.87 | 104 ratings
Little Lucid Moments
2008
3.54 | 53 ratings
Child Of The Future
2009
3.81 | 218 ratings
Heavy Metal Fruit
2010
4.18 | 467 ratings
Motorpsycho & Ståle Storløkken: The Death Defying Unicorn
2012
3.93 | 189 ratings
Still Life With Eggplant
2013
3.99 | 324 ratings
Behind The Sun
2014
3.85 | 125 ratings
Here Be Monsters
2016
3.69 | 13 ratings
Begynnelser
2017
4.00 | 219 ratings
The Tower
2017
3.79 | 86 ratings
The Crucible
2019

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

4.44 | 9 ratings
Roadwork Vol. 1 - Heavy Metall Iz A Poze, Hardt Rock Iz A Laifschteil - Live In Europe 1998
1999
4.20 | 5 ratings
Roadwork Vol. 2 - The MotorSourceMassacre - Motorpsycho, The Source & Deathprod Live At Kongsberg Jazzfestival 1995
2000
4.13 | 14 ratings
Roadwork Vol. 4 - Intrepid Skronk
2011
3.67 | 6 ratings
Strings Of Stroop - Live At Effenaar
2011
4.50 | 12 ratings
Motorpsycho and Ståle Storløkken: En Konsert For Folk Flest
2015
4.00 | 1 ratings
A Boxful Of Demons
2018
5.00 | 1 ratings
Roadwork Vol. 3 - The Four Norsemen Of The Apocalypse - Live At The Paradiso, Amsterdam, November 23, 2002
2018
5.00 | 1 ratings
Roadwork Vol. 5 - Field Notes - The Fantastic Expedition Of Järmyr, Ryan, Sæther & Lo - Live In Europe 2017
2018

MOTORPSYCHO Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

5.00 | 2 ratings
This Is Motorpsycho
1995
4.00 | 2 ratings
Hair Cuts - Motorpsycho On Film
2008

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

3.23 | 11 ratings
8 Soothing Songs For Rut
1992
5.00 | 1 ratings
Angels And Daemons At Play
1997
4.00 | 3 ratings
Timothy's Monster - Deluxe Edition
2010
3.67 | 3 ratings
Blissard - Deluxe Edition
2012
4.50 | 6 ratings
Demon Box - Deluxe Edition
2014
4.67 | 6 ratings
Supersonic Scientists - A Young Person's Guide To Motorpsycho
2015
3.50 | 2 ratings
Angels And Daemons At Play - Deluxe Edition
2016

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

2.05 | 2 ratings
Maiden Voyage
1990
3.00 | 2 ratings
Soothe
1992
3.00 | 2 ratings
3 Songs For Rut
1992
0.00 | 0 ratings
Motorpsycho
1992
0.00 | 0 ratings
Motorpsycho / Hedge Hog: Into The Sun / Surprise
1993
3.86 | 7 ratings
Mountain EP
1993
4.00 | 5 ratings
Another Ugly EP
1994
0.00 | 0 ratings
Leave It Like That
1994
3.00 | 3 ratings
Wearing Yr Smell
1994
3.67 | 6 ratings
The Nerve Tattoo
1995
3.67 | 3 ratings
Manmower
1996
0.00 | 0 ratings
Motorpsycho / Alice Cooper: Mad Sun / Nobody Likes Me
1996
0.00 | 0 ratings
Motorpsycho & Tre Små Kinesere: Mot Riving
1997
3.04 | 4 ratings
Baby Scooter
1997
4.50 | 2 ratings
Have Spacesuit Will Travel
1997
3.00 | 1 ratings
Lovelight
1997
0.00 | 0 ratings
Sinful, Wind-Borne
1997
3.96 | 7 ratings
Starmelt EP
1997
4.25 | 4 ratings
Ozone
1998
3.25 | 4 ratings
Hey, Jane
1998
3.67 | 3 ratings
The Other Fool EP
2000
1.38 | 5 ratings
Walkin' With J EP
2000
3.10 | 12 ratings
Barracuda
2001
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Slow Phaseout
2001
0.00 | 0 ratings
Go To California
2001
0.00 | 0 ratings
Motorpsycho / The Soundtrack Of Our Lives: Go To California / Black To Comm / Broken Imaginary Time / Galaxy Gramophone
2002
0.00 | 0 ratings
Serpentine
2002
3.57 | 7 ratings
Serpentine EP
2002
0.00 | 0 ratings
Motor Home: Country Chris / Life Is A Little Lie
2003
0.00 | 0 ratings
Motorpsycho Presents The International Tussler Society - Satan's Favourite Son
2004
0.00 | 0 ratings
Motorpsycho Presents The International Tussler Society - Laila Lou
2004
0.00 | 0 ratings
Hyena / Bonny Lee
2006
0.00 | 0 ratings
X-3 (Knuckleheads In Space)
2010
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Visitant
2010
0.00 | 0 ratings
Motorpsycho / Sugarfoot: Stay Young / These Are Days
2014
2.00 | 1 ratings
The Ninth Fragment - Toys
2014
3.00 | 5 ratings
The Motorpnakotic Manuscripts
2014
0.00 | 0 ratings
Psychonaut / Toys
2015
0.00 | 0 ratings
Spin, Spin, Spin
2016
4.75 | 4 ratings
Here Be Monsters Vol. 2
2016
3.00 | 1 ratings
The California EP
2017
0.00 | 0 ratings
Terje Brekkstads Kosmiske Reise (pts 1 & 2)
2019

MOTORPSYCHO Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Demon Box by MOTORPSYCHO album cover Studio Album, 1993
3.78 | 64 ratings

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Demon Box
Motorpsycho Eclectic Prog

Review by TCat
Special Collaborator Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

4 stars The duo of Bent Saether and Hans Magnus Ryan have been the consistent force behind Motorpsycho from 1990, when they formed, to present day. By the time they released their 3rd album "Demon Box" in 1993, they had already established their foothold in Norwegian stoner rock, and long-timer Hakon Gabhardt had already become a staple in the band and would be until 2005. However, this trio would stretch out Motorpsycho's usual stoner sound to include some interesting folkish elements and even the occasional foray into progressive sounds even as early as this.

Many of Motorpsycho's early albums were kind of hit or miss, and their desire to try out several different styles of music led to some great albums and some more average sounding albums. "Demon Box" was one of their stronger early albums, and still sounds great, even with their penchant to wander to new territory, but they still mixed in their stoner and heavy sound, even adding that touch of psychedelia to the sound.

"Demon Box" can be found in the CD version that omits 3 tracks that were on the vinyl version in order to fit it all on one disc. In 2014, the album was reissued on both vinyl and CD with a lot more additional tracks and surprises. This review is for the orginal CD version. The extra tracks that can be found on the original vinyl version can also be found on various EPs that the band has released.

Right from the beginning, you see them trying something new by starting the album out with a more traditional sounding "Waiting for the One", then moving on to what would seem like a mellow track "Nothing to Say", but infusing it with heavy and solid guitar riffs that punch through, and Saether's gruff vocals returning at various times through the track. But, it isn't until the 3rd track that the heavy stoner sound comes back full force on "Feedtime". This one packs the solid and heavy punch that the fans of the time were familiar with. The next track mixes in heavy doses of psychedelic sound with the heavy, guitar-laden rock with a more progressive leaning. Then "Tuesday Morning" takes us back to a softer, more acoustic heavy sound. Psychedelic effects whirl around between the speakers in the background messing around with your head. It's a very nice and trippy track best experienced with headphones.

"All is Loneliness" stays with the acoustic sound, but plays with various vocal layers layered out in a "round" format, while a drone plays in the background and light psychedelic guitar wails behind it all. The use of one chord throughout the track gives the perfect sound of a space rock bliss out, but then loud, thumping drums come in along with the twang of a sitar. This is the only track not written by the band, as such, it is written by Moondog. "Come On In" is a more subdued track which only consists of vocals and acoustic guitar. "Step Inside Again" goes for a spooky whispered vocal, starts with a bassy synth, but that drops out to a simple plucking guitar playing a repeated pattern. It's all quite eerie.

All of the tracks up to this point have moved around in different styles giving the album a lot of variety, but staying cohesive with Motorpsycho's attitude. The tracks have been staying at just over 5 minutes or less. The next track finally exceeds the 17 minute mark, the title track "Demon Box". Thick, heavy and dark guitars bass and drums come riding in on a slow and grungy riff that will make your speakers and floorboards shake. Those familiar gruff vocals return and you know you have entered back into a stoner rock meltdown. Some dirty vocals are involved here also. You'll ride on these waves of riffage for a while before the music breaks down and goes into a noisy collage of synth effects, rolling bass and screeching and wailing of tortured guitars and other effects. There is no rhythm during this nightmarish section as you get swallowed up in this until suddenly after the 11 minute mark when out of nowhere, everything just starts crashing along on the solid and slow riffs again with vocals eventually returning and the last few minutes burn away with a drone and effects and subdued violin music. Most bands would just let it go at that, but Motorpsycho still wasn't finished.

"Babylon" speeds up the stoner rock sound with a much faster track, but staying with a heavy dirty sound. This heaviness continues with "Junior", but with a sound that isn't quite as thick, somewhere between heavy metal and pop almost, very alternative sounding, like Matthew Sweet or Dinosaur Jr. "Plan #1" begins with pensive guitar layers and spoken word from field recordings. This soon gets buried in thick guitar and bass and slow, solid drums. Even with all of this, you can still hear a bright, tonal percussion tapping along. It all mellows out when the vocals start, remaining dark and bass heavy, and then adding the thick sound back in later. There is an unsettling layering of clean and dirty vocals before it enters into a very rousing cyclone of loud and solid guitar crunchiness. The music follows that pattern again when the spoken vocals return and the music rebuilds. Excellent track! "Sheer Profundity" is a heavy rocking riff machine, mostly instrumental except for some screaming and spoken lyrics. "The One Who Went Away" is still heavy, but smoother and more traditionally rock oriented, at least until the end when things get a bit maniacal.

I love this album that on the first half is mostly softer and acoustic, but not completely, while the 2nd half will melt your ears. This is one that my wife or the neighbors don't like, so I have to wear headphones, but that's okay because you can hear and taste it all so much better that way anyway. The ragged edges are just perfect on this album and is also what helps make it so awesome, but that is the best way to have your stoner rock. But this is so much more than that. Even this early on, you hear some forays into the progressive spectrum, probably even enough to make all progheads happy. Fair warning though, if you don't like your music loud and heavy, then you should stay away. If that doesn't bother you, then by all means, get this album. No, it's not perfect, but I love it anyway. This album helped establish Motorpsycho as one of the most important bands to come from Norway. If you have heard the more progressive albums that the band has put out to date, then you still owe it to yourself to hear this to see what else the band can do. It's only 4 stars because it isn't as progressive as some of their more recent albums. But it is still excellent.

 Motorpsycho & Ståle Storløkken: The Death Defying Unicorn by MOTORPSYCHO album cover Studio Album, 2012
4.18 | 467 ratings

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Motorpsycho & Ståle Storløkken: The Death Defying Unicorn
Motorpsycho Eclectic Prog

Review by TCat
Special Collaborator Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

5 stars If you only hear one Motorpsycho album in your life, let it be this one. There is a huge chance that you'll decide that it won't be the last one you'll ever hear.

Motorpsycho had gone through the years proving time and again that they were a team of musicians that could make an impression of some kind in different styles of rock. Starting with stoner rock and moving through various sub-genres like country rock, alternative, fusion and now finally making their mark with progressive rock. And with the 2 CD album "The Death Defying Unicorn: A Fanciful and Fairly Far-out Musical Fable", they did it in a big way. So big, in fact, that they created a masterpiece. For anyone that doubted they could do it, they proved them wrong.

"The Death Defying Unicorn" is a progressive rock lovers dream come true with a fascinating story and a musical score that pretty much defied anything else that came out that year. On this album, Motorpsycho teamed with Stale Storlokken, the Trondheim Jazz Orchestra and the small string orchestra Trondheimsolistene to create a bombastic, yet top-notch album full of heavy rock instruments meshed with orchestra and jazz instruments, and left the critics, fans and the public with their jaws hanging open in awe.

Originally, this music was a long-forgotten by Motorpsycho as an idea they had toyed around with and then shelved without further development. After it was brought back out into the light, it ended up being commissioned by Molde International Jazzfestival to be performed on their main stage for their 50th anniversary in 2010. The music afterwards was re-arranged, fine tuned and recorded from the beginning with Stale Storlokken, one of Norway's top keyboardists, doing the arrangements for the ensemble work. What we ended up with is an amazing multi-movement work with a lot of power and amazing musicianship.

The first CD contains the first 7 movements of the album, starting out with the overture "Out of the Woods" which features mostly strings playing the first main theme and developing it, preparing for the next part "The Hollow Lands" which continues the developed motif with the sudden inclusion of Motorpsycho and an explosion of guitars, keys and drums playing right along, and what an opening and what an impression they make right off the bat. As you find yourself enveloped in this amazing music, you eventually come to the lyrics, dynamics being utilized to emphasize the first part of the story, and the addition of the jazz orchestra. But it all really comes together in the epic "Through the Veil" which sees all of the musicians come together in a miasma of sound and awesomeness. Here is a 16 minute track that combines the craziness of jazz/rock fusion classic "20th Century Schizoid Man" of which it has been compared to. At this point, the listener knows that they have entered a world of amazingness and that this album is to be remembered and be recognized as a rock masterwork. The music has to be experienced, it is that awesome. Everything to this point represents the main character being brought onto an ill-fated ship and the ensuing storm that rips the boat to shreds, leaving it floating aimlessly in the aftermath. Things cool down after those first three tracks, but the music isn't any less interesting, in fact, it proves that this is not just a one-trick pony, but that it can be dynamic also. "Doldrums" gives you a cooling off period before another long epic track "Into the Gyre" which ranges from lighter fare to spurts of guitar and rock magic, all 3 styles of progressive rock, jazz and classical music working together wonderfully. "Flotsam" ends the first disc with a more reflective number, atmospheric and still quite intriguing, the music representing sailors lost at sea.

Disc Two begins with "Oh Proteus, A Prayer" and continues with the story of the sailors lost at sea and mysterious and atmospheric music with harmonized layered vocals and heavy strings. The melody is loose and listless, wandering around like the ship. After 3 minutes in, it increases in volume, a dark undertone is brought about by churning guitars (waves) as the wandering vocals continue. The darkness continues to drone on after the vocals end as the layers of instruments meld together. "Sculls in Limbo" utilizes effects to make eerie and unreal effects, staying mostly minimal in sound. "La Lethe" fades in slowly with the jazz orchestra building the music slowly, but with a soft beat and rhythm that gives a surreal feeling, almost as dreams of past memories. The music builds and a sense of danger and unease come with the build. Again, a drone-like sound creates the dark undertow of the water, while the hazy jazz orchestra continues to play, but in a more experimental way, contributing to the mental fog surrounding the ship's crew, what is real and what is not. Wordless vocals are harmonized, but mixed deeply, and somehow a melodic sax solo emerges from the dark nightmarish instrument haze, and even that seems unsure of itself as the music builds, then suddenly lets go and softens, then suddenly increases in a dramatic orchestral passage. This section ends with a short reprise of "Oh Proteus" subtitled as "A Lament" this time. This brings back decipherable vocals, but now the crew seems to be losing their sanity.

The last three tracks deal with the crew slipping into insanity starting with "Sharks". The title might suggest the meat-eating fish, but in reality deals with the sharks of the mind. Soft, slightly unhinged singing and minimal music that sounds like something from Roger Waters mind begins the track. Soft pizzicato strings underlie a bowed violin playing a loose melody. After a while, the brass comes in very quietly, then more vocals, a little more upfront this time. Dissonant chords from the strings bring in more unease, then things increase in intensity and drama as the music crescendos. A male chorus sings and the darkness becomes more evident. It's an excellent payoff for the patient listener as the drama builds and flows into the excellent "Mutiny". Now we go into full progressive rock mode as a frantic feeling takes over with excellent vocals and complex musicianship follows. A wild instrumental break led by guitar and bass take it up to another level and the music sounds inspired by the introduction to Yes' "Changes", but with a layered and hazy feel with heavy guitars. It's all quite awesome. When it reaches the climax, it all seems to come crashing down, then suddenly recovers bringing back vocals, mellotron and more guitars. But it's all so well-layered that it still sounds like a full orchestra. Finally, it all calms for a softer vocal ending, and this segue's into the finale "Into the Mystic", which is not the Van Morrison song by the way. This one takes right off into heavy, dark guitars and a screaming violin solo over the top of it all. This ending is one of the best endings to a concept story-based albums I have heard. Talk about a rousing and climactic ending.

This album is so amazingly well done that it deserves to be up there with the masterpieces of prog, and if it had been made in the 70's, we would be singing its praises just like we do for the other masterpieces of that time like "Close to the Edge", "Pawn Hearts", "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway", and "Dark Side of the Moon", it is that good. Like I said at the beginning, if you only hear one Motorpsycho album, let it be this one, and I'm sure you'll be soon wishing you could hear some of their other albums. This is a genius masterpiece, an essential album that will make those that believe there is no good progressive rock after the 70s back into believing that it is still alive and well. This is it folks, one of the best progressive rock albums from the 2010s. Simply amazing and inspiring, it should be considered one of the all-time greats of progressive music that is meant to be heard from start to finish, not one track at a time. It's one of my rare 6-star albums.

 Starmelt EP by MOTORPSYCHO album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1997
3.96 | 7 ratings

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Starmelt EP
Motorpsycho Eclectic Prog

Review by TCat
Special Collaborator Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

4 stars Motorpsycho's "Starmelt" EP was released in 1997 as a companion EP to the full length album "Angels and Daemons at Play". The first track, "Starmelt / Lovelight", was also available on that album, but the other four tracks on the EP were only available on this EP. This track is a good, upbeat track from the band, quite representative of the quirky, stoner rock with an alternative flair, that was their main output of the time, rough around the edges, which gave the band their charm in those earlier days of their existence. "Up Our Sleeves" is much heavier with gravelly vocals, nothing much alternative on this track, just straight ahead, unadulterated heavy rock. It was this kind of music that got the public's attention in those years, the music that reminds one of the rough 70s rock from the band "Mountain". "Wishing Well" is almost the exact opposite of that, with acoustic strumming, ticking percussion and simple, slightly off-key singing. Yet even with that odd singing, there is something endearing about the music. Stick a little banjo in there on the first instrumental break there, Slim, then add in some piano and etc.

The 2nd side of the LP has the longer track "Flick of the Wrist", exceeding 8 minutes. It has a more progressive feel to the track, which Motorpsycho, even back then, would do on occasion. This shows the bands desire to do more than just stoner music and to stretch their imaginations a bit more. Heavy guitars get a chance to jam around against a solid beat. In the early days, guitar work was their strongest suit. It all ends with "Instamatic", which is a goofy instrumental. Not the strongest way to end a great EP, but the rest of the music is worth the price of admission anyway.

 Still Life With Eggplant by MOTORPSYCHO album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.93 | 189 ratings

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Still Life With Eggplant
Motorpsycho Eclectic Prog

Review by TCat
Special Collaborator Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

4 stars Motorpsycho is one of those bands that I can't get enough of, even on their weaker albums, because their music is so interesting and mesmerizing. They have always experimented with different types of music, but overall, seem to be somewhere between psychedelic stoner rock and heavy prog, landing them comfortable in the Eclectic Prog subgenre. Their 2013 release "Still Life with Eggplant" lands right in the middle of one of their most creative periods when their music was also some of their best. This album comes after their amazing rock opera "The Death Defying Unicorn" and it sees them moving somewhat back to their psychedelic and stoner rock roots, but allowing for progressive changes throughout.

The line up at this time was pretty solid. You had the original duo of Bent Sæther on vocals, bass, guitars, keyboards and Hans Magnus "Snah" Ryan on guitars vocals and keyboards. Long-time drummer (by this time anyway) Kenneth Kapstad returns for this album. Reine Fiske joins the line up as a guest, but has quite a presence as he is involved in 4 out of the 5 tracks on the album providing electric and acoustic guitars plus mellotron on track 5. Thomas Henriksen also guests on keyboards on the 3rd track.

The album starts off with "Hell, Part 1-3" (9:47). The music starts off with the full band churning out a moderately slow, blues- based riff that definitely calls on their stoner rock days. Psychedelic keys lay the music on quite heavily also, and this solid intro continues until almost the 2 minute mark, then a new riff begins and the whole thing starts to follow a more moderate rhythm. Vocals with that psychedelic edge start and the whole thing comes together in a nice retro sound, but without sounding dated. This shows they can easily hold their own with their contemporary peers, like Queens of the Stone Age, yet Motorpsycho are not afraid to experiment with that sound, and totally go off into a completely different direction on a moment's notice. At 5 minutes, the music features a great double guitar attack that rocks with the best of them. Plus, Motorpsycho have a way to make everything sound different from anyone else. After 7 minutes, the track goes into it's 3rd part, which has a more minimal sound with ticking percussion tapping out a more spacey rhythm with wandering guitars.

"August" (4:52) begins with a progressive sound with tricky and dramatic drums and electric and acoustic guitars. When the vocals come in, it takes on a retro and sunshiney style while the riffs separating the verses are heavier and progressive. That weird contrast somehow all works out quite well, and it ends with a rousing and fuzzy guitar solo. "Barleycorn (Let it Come, Let it Be)" (7:18) starts with soft guitars playing together and mellow with some nice vocalizations. The tune quickly changes attitude as it nears anthem status, then calms again. That pattern repeats again, yet it is so unique that it doesn't sound like anything else, just great music. With many of Motorpscho's albums, I feel like they would have fit in so well with the great artists of the 70s. Yet, it doesn't copy them, they would have fit in as one of the originals that future bands would cite as an inspiration.

Next comes the epic "Ratcatcher" (17:10). The minimal echoing of psychedelic guitars instantly lets you know that this one is going to end up as an otherworldly space jam of the best kind. It soon takes off in that direction when the wild drums start and the guitar riffs kick in. Hazy sounding vocals come in to match the sound, with everyone singing along in a foggy but heavy melody with layers of cool effects. After one verse, the music quickly slips into the psychedelic meandering that you are hoping for as guitars weave around a solid bass and soft percussion. Foggy shades of jazz and spacey psychedelia take you on a blessed-out trip. Soon, it all gets somewhat chaotic as it continues, ebbing and flowing as it grows from softness to crazy, trippy and noisy styles, then all melding together into a structured riff and then wandering away from it again and then pulling together again to end up in the 2nd verse of the lyrics, but this time with a noisier background. What sounds like a nice progressive ending finally sort of falls apart and then meanders around for a while with soft improvising guitars.

"The Afterglow" (5:58) combines soft acoustic and electric guitars playing a swirling background as soft and pensive vocals create a nice melody. Drums finally come in halfway through giving it a good forward rhythm and this takes it all into a nice guitar-led sound where the rhythm takes on a more driving feeling and the music continues to intensify, yet remain quite melodic at the same time. This finishes things off with more emotion in the last verse, culminating on a definite high.

Motorpsycho continues to amaze during this phase of their history, a band that has come into their own, and doing it while most of the world refuses to pay attention. Yes they have their fans all over the world, but they should be considered one of the best bands out there as their music is always inventive and well written, even the improvised sections are done so well and masterfully. It does come close to being one of their masterpieces, but just stays a bit under the bar that they have established for themselves, yet it is still one of their best albums.

 Child Of The Future by MOTORPSYCHO album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.54 | 53 ratings

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Child Of The Future
Motorpsycho Eclectic Prog

Review by TCat
Special Collaborator Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

4 stars Child of the Future is Motorpsycho's 13 full length studio album. It is also one of their shorter albums at just over 37 minutes. It was released as a celebration of the bands 20th anniversary and was only released on vinyl. It has a somewhat rough edge to the production almost giving it a live feeling. The mixing is done so as to not let anything stand out above anything else and this works to the album's benefit in some aspects, but works against it in others.

Some of the tracks have a definite psychedelic and space rock style which is helped along by the fuzzy production and flat mixing sound like in the tracks "Riding the Tiger" and the multi-tempo track "Whole Lotta Diana", which actually makes the track very 70s like (as the layered vocals of Jefferson Airplane or the instrumental jamming of Hawkwind). In this manner, these songs sound more loyal to the old space rock and krautrock styles. In other places, you get that cleaner hard rock sound as in "The Ozzylot (Hidden in a Girl)", the vulnerability of the more mellow and psych-acoustic "The Waiting Game" or the complexity of "Mr. Victim".

Another standout is "Cornucopia ( . . . Or Satan, Uh . . . Something)" which leans toward a complex progressive piece along the lines of a Heavy Prog track with some really awesome bass, piano and vocal stylings. You would almost swear you were listening to some early pre-"Joker" Steve Miller Band with the "rough around the edges" feel.

I'm not really sure why this album has only received a few reviews that gave it only an average rating. It may have something to do with the album's availability. I find the album unique and interesting, the songs are much more interesting than on some of their more alternative sounding albums. I especially love the rough sound of this album, almost like it was recorded more off- the-cuff than some of their slicker recordings. It gives the album that authentic space rock and psychedelic feel overall. I understand that this rough sound isn't for everyone, but I think any pure psych/space rock aficionado would love the sound of this album. No, it's not the band's best, but it is definitely better than average, so I give it 4 stars and consider it another one of Motorpsycho's successes.

 Timothy's Monster by MOTORPSYCHO album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.81 | 91 ratings

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Timothy's Monster
Motorpsycho Eclectic Prog

Review by TCat
Special Collaborator Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

4 stars 'Timothy's Monster' is the 3rd official full length album from that band that you just can't seem to put your finger on, Motorpsycho. Some would call them alternative, some would say psychedelic / stoner rock, some say progressive, they have even tried doing their version of country. With everything they have done, I think Eclectic is a pretty good name for their music. A lot of their albums are really good, and some are lacking. This album is one of the really good ones, but is also one of the hardest to exactly pinpoint because there is a lot of everything on this double album, but, in my opinion, it is all pretty good. If you were going to compare it with anyone, it would probably be The Flaming Lips, original music that is just a bit off kilter and a good amount of variety.

The first CD is mostly alternative, I suppose, but there is also a lot of progressive and psychedelic aspects to it. The band decided to start off the album with a strange pick as 'Feel' is one of the most mellow tracks on here, but it is quite psychedelic. 'Trapdoor' is more alternative as it turns things up a notch, but it is still fairly complex. Then there is the sudden onslaught of the dynamic 'Leave it Like That', which has a more stoner style to it, but again, it's nothing typical. 'A Shrug and a Fistful' goes for a more progressive / alternative sound. Then you move on to a few slightly longer tracks.

'Kill Some Day' and 'On My Pillow' goes straight for the more complex sound, but still add in the psychedelic and heavy sound, also both lasting around 7 minutes each. The vocals are a bit weak, but the guitar, especially in the latter track, is really good with a psychedelic edge to the track. We go back to some more shorter tracks with 'Beautiful Sister' which continues with the unique psych-alternative style. 'Wearing Yr Smell' is a bit heavier with a great riff and bass line. 'Now It's Time to Skate' is a softer sound with an acoustic vibe in the guitar and keys.

Suddenly, a 10+ minute track called 'Giftland' comes along. The track starts as a slow burn with the guitar and drums churning up excitement slowly as vocals help push the track along. After the 2nd verse, flutes and mellotrons amp things up more as tension builds. At 5:30, everything cuts loose as the music suddenly becomes dramatic. Things mellow out a minute later as guitars float around the background music. Drums start building excitement again as the music crescendos to a climactic section. This track just clinches the fact that this band is amazing. Even after this, there is one more track on the first CD called 'Watersound'. This is another acoustic and psychedelic style track with subdued, airy vocals. The sudden explosion of warbling sound is a nice surprise half way through as the sound breaks through.

The 2nd CD only consists of 4 tracks, but two of them are quite long. It starts off with a 16+ minute track called 'The Wheel'. It takes its sweet time building off of a guitar riff with a moderate rhythm, bubbling synths that remain subdued and a passive vocal. It constantly builds until the guitars become more intense pushing the song forward. By 5 minutes, we're at full volume with the drums becoming fuller until they drop out and we're left with a deep fuzzy guitar churning along. The stoner / space rock sound continues to churn forward with continuous vocals, continuing its subtle and psychedelic vocal synth improvisations based around one single chord. Just before 13 minutes, all of the intensity suddenly leaves and we're left with a more ambient psychedelia for a minute, before it all comes back at once.

'Sungravy' is another acoustic track with vocals that later gets joined by strings. The vocals are actually stronger on this track even though it is more of a ballad style. Very nice. 'Grindstone' is instantly heavy and loud with layers of guitars and vocals that are completely full of hormonal, almost growling singing. Stoner's will love this one. After a few minutes, there is a heavy bass melody against a fuzzy drone, and things build back up with feedback and lots more fuzz. Vocals become more frantic again as this electronic feedback / guitar fuzz loop continues to the end. It all gets very chaotic and loud by the end.

Finally, 'The Golden Core' closes out the album with a 13 minute track. After the last extremely noisy track, this one returns to the more subdued feel. The song is not like the last epic track as this one is not as simple as the space jam that was 'The Wheel'. Sounding more like a Eclectic Prog sound with an alternative flair, the music utilizes dynamics in a more complicated way as the music is complex, but also floating along with a nice mellotron sound and a thumping bass line. After the vocal section, there is a long instrumental break that builds off of a long chord progression. Once it reaches one plateau, it actually sounds like post rock even before post rock was a thing as guitars chime around a wall of sound. Vocals actually return during the climatic section making for a surprisingly passionate ending.

This is a great album that showcases Motorpsycho's styles and talent. They have this amazing ability to push their boundaries so that when you hear them, you know who they are, but they can incorporated so many styles to sound so different everytime you hear them. This often works well for them, but there are times across their discography and sometimes within albums, where it doesn't. Overall, however, this is a great recording that for the most part, shows them at their best. It is a strong psychedelic album, but pushes boundaries to the point that you might think twice about that label. Yes it is heavy into alternative sounds at times, but again, they are incorporating their sound into new areas. The album has a lot of versatility throughout though, and it makes it hard for the band to wear out their welcome, even in a long album like this one.

 The Crucible by MOTORPSYCHO album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.79 | 86 ratings

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The Crucible
Motorpsycho Eclectic Prog

Review by TCat
Special Collaborator Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

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.

 The Tussler by MOTORPSYCHO album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.06 | 24 ratings

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The Tussler
Motorpsycho Eclectic Prog

Review by TCat
Special Collaborator Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

3 stars Through their career, Motorpsycho has released a lot of albums and EPs, and they have explored a lot of different genres, including excellent progressive rock. Sometimes they are a little questionable, but sometimes doing quite well. In their early years, they played some decent stoner rock, and it was during this time that they went completely out of their element and did a country rock soundtrack to an imaginary western movie. The trio added several other musicians and put out this album, and later this incarnation of the band became known as 'The International Tussler Society'. The put out this album, rejoined a few times to do some live shows, and in 2004 released a 2nd album. These albums are shown together with the rest of Motorpsycho's discography.

So, this is far from progressive rock, at least on this, their 4th album, as it is straight out alternative country rock. As far as that style goes, they do a pretty believable job of it, even for being from Norway. They play a lot of covers and originals. The album doesn't really sound much like a soundtrack as it does a bunch of country songs with an alternative flair. The 'theme' is an instrumental bluegrass song, but the others are all alt-country. They have a slightly garage sound to their style of alt-country, so it doesn't have that 'perfect' sound that popular country has, thank goodness.

I can at least give this a 3 star rating since it is a lot of fun and a decent enough album for the style of music it is. They released 2 reissues through the year, one in 1996, where they added 4 more tracks, and then again in 2003, where they added even another 6 bonus tracks to that, so if you find this latest reissue, you get a total of 21 tracks and that's not too bad for the price. Anyway, if you like your alt-country in the style of 'Widespread Panic' or 'Leftover Salmon' then this will appeal to you. But, for a progressive rock site, it really doesn't have anything to offer except for a fun time.

 Blissard by MOTORPSYCHO album cover Studio Album, 1996
3.26 | 52 ratings

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Blissard
Motorpsycho Eclectic Prog

Review by TCat
Special Collaborator Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

4 stars 'Blissard' is the fifth full studio album from Motorpsycho, and it has a more structured feel than the previous albums. The band decided to try bringing finished songs into the studio, for the most part, instead of bringing half finished songs and experimenting and messing around with them until they get the sound they want, as they did on precious albums. At first glance, the art work doesn't look like anything except a blured picture of a teddy bear, but looking closer, you will see that it is actually Mickey Mouse.

This one starts out with 'Sinful, Wind-Bourne', which starts out sounding psychedelic and then suddenly exploding into a jangly riff of twin guitars and a sort of funky feel with quickly strummed guitars. The song has a carefree feel, sort of a California style rock with a slight stoner edge. Not completely straightforward, you hear the band experiment with progressive traits towards the middle, but it stays in a more alternative rock vein with some dissonance thrown in for good measure.

'Drug Thing' is a bit darker with a tricky riff and gruffer vocals. The carefree feeling is still there, but you can tell the songs follow a more definite structure. For first time listeners, this might be hard to imagine, but those familiar will note the difference. As is typical of Motorpsycho, even though the tracks are upbeat, they are not in a hurry to get through instrumental sections as they let their songs develop. This one features some great guitar sections.

'Greener' has a more chugging feel with a heavy, mid-tempo beat and throbbing stoner guitars which drop off for the verses, which have a subdued, mysterious feel. As it nears the chorus, things intensify. The pattern repeats for the 2nd verse. The instrumental break continues the intensity generated by the chorus, then drops off to a softer sound which builds on itself again before blasting into heavenly solid guitars.

' 'S Numbness' comes next, and almost immediately explodes into a punk sounding riff which as it progresses becomes more rock centered but with some cool vocal textures added in and a synth melody added later.

'The Nerve Tattoo' starts with a more alternative/heavy sound but has a cool synth riff in the chorus, almost sounding like a rocked-out 'Super Furry Animals' sound. Great addition of violin in the 2nd verse which continues to create a nice effect in the instrumental break.

'True Middle' calms things down a bit with a bass, plucked strings, atmospheric effects and a processed vocal which is more spoken than sung. This song takes you into the more experimental part of the album. After a while, a dark riff comes in, and then calms to the mysterious psychedelic feel again. The pattern repeats, but this time builds on the riff to a chaotic crescendo before releasing the tension.

'S.T.G.' continues with the experimental feel with an almost 10 minute track. It starts with soft guitars, still in a dark mood. There is a build after a while, then a churning guitar riff comes in with vocals to follow. There are a few verses, the music builds in intensity, then goes absolutely crazy with dissonance and noise, then it drops off at the 6:30 mark to where we began with a softer guitar section with psychedelic leanings and nice effects which finishes off the track.

'Manmower' begins with an alternative flair with a mid-tempo rhythm and slightly subdued vocals with odd harmonies later giving an almost shoegaze feel, but not quite. Some great mellotron added in the last half turns everything to a psychedelic feel.

'Fools Gold' is more acoustic with processed vocals giving it the psychedelic feel. The sound uses unique chord changes to keep it from sounding like your typical unplugged sound. What almost sounds like a banjo being plucked is added later.

The last track is 'Nathan Daniel's Tune From Hawaii'. This one starts out quite ambient with some interesting sounds and textures.

Even though the music follows more of a structured songwriting process, it still has that rough edge to it that makes you think that it is improvised, which is one of the band's strengths. Many considered this album to be more accessible, and it might be on the first half of the album, but the 2nd half is much more experimental and psychedelic. It has good variety among the tracks, and even features some progressive elements, but is still a ways away from the progressive masterpieces that would be released some years later. But, since Motorpsycho is considered Eclectic Prog, it only makes sense that they have tried many different styles, sometimes hitting the target dead on and other times almost missing it completely. At least they are daring and always try new things, so their sound never gets tiring. As for this album, it's not perfect, but it is still excellent, better than some, but not as good as some of their best.

 Black Hole / Blank Canvas by MOTORPSYCHO album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.59 | 69 ratings

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Black Hole / Blank Canvas
Motorpsycho Eclectic Prog

Review by TCat
Special Collaborator Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

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.

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

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