Norway's Motorpsycho have very quietly been around for close to 30 years and released a ton of recorded material, but their ever changing style and lack of exposure outside of their native country limited the amount of success they had until the mid 2000s with the release of Black Hole/Black Canvas and then more recently with The Tower. These two epic albums saw the band moving towards a more psychedelic rock/progressive rock/jazz/stoner hybrid that peaked the interest of many fans around the globe, and their latest release The Crucible is sure to take things one step further.
While The Tower was quite possibly one of the bands most mature records to date, the much shorter (if you call a 40 minute album short) The Crucible plays off the epic nature of that record and releases even more dramatic prog-rock elements into their sound. The three lengthy tracks featured on the CD are ripe with vintage prog textures, including the mighty Mellotron which makes a frequent appearance, as well as some various reeds on "Lux Aeternus", giving many of these arrangements a warm, early King Crimson tone (think In the Court of the Crimson King, Lizard, and Islands era) to blend in with some of the bands penchant for lumbering, heavy guitar riffing. Though just a trio, Motorpsycho can crank out a huge wall of sound, complemented here by a few guest musicians to flesh out some of the parts. The closing title track clocks in at over 20-minutes, images of Pink Floyd, Genesis, and King Crimson fluttering about, highlighted by flute, waves of Mellotron, pulsating bass, sinewy & explosive guitar lines, and lush vocals. Wow.
While I loved The Tower, the more compact nature of The Crucible is instantly appealing, and any album featuring a huge amount of Mellotron, heavy riffs, and jazzy flute & sax makes for a winning combination. If you are a prog-rock fan and have yet to discover Motorpsycho, run out and check into this one immediately!
1) Psychotzar (8:43)
2) Lux Aeterna (10:55)
3) The Crucible (20:51)