Motorpsycho
Behind the Sun


4.2
excellent

Review

by Raul Stanciu STAFF
March 15th, 2014 | 84 replies


Release Date: 03/07/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An early contender for the best heavy psychedelic album of the year.

It seems that with each decade start Motorpsycho successfully reinvent themselves and churn out new career highlights. Their continuous, chameleonic approach to any genre from metal to pop, country and jazz has been immensely rewarding for almost 30 years now. While the '90s brought us the expansive Blissard and Timothy's Monster, the early '00s produced the exquisite jazz/pop-derived Phanerothyme and Let Them Eat Cake. Most recently, these prolific Norwegians have recorded two strong hard rock pieces, Heavy Metal Fruit and Still Life With Eggplant, plus the expansive, orchestral jazz-rock journey, entitled The Death Defying Unicorn. This year, they return with Behind The Sun, another collection of harder edged material that continues their winning streak.

Finding hidden gems where one might think it's least possible, Motorpsycho once again utilize the bulk of leftover ideas that didn't find their way on Unicorn. While its predecessor was a shorter, more immediate affair, Behind The Sun needs a bit more time to get under your skin due to the broader musical scope and longer time span. Even though some songs aren't that hard to digest, others are more attention demanding and complex. The best example is 'Hell, Part 4-6', a progressive piece that starts off with haunting strings, followed by quiet, acoustic guitar strums. These become the foundation for the groovy bass and dueling guitar solos which make up the infectious first half. Somber synthesizers and lush strings mark a shift midway through, unraveling patiently until everything bursts into a brilliant finale. This is hands down one of the best tunes the band has come up with yet. The song is beautifully arranged with every segment being extremely well honed. Meanwhile, the instrumental shred fest, 'Kvaestor' is another undoubted highlight. The heavy riffing and manic drumming are backed by a peculiar, mechanical soundscape which exerts a discordant effect when put together with the rest of the instruments. This gives the song a cartoonish feel as the whole thing sounds like Super Furry Animals hopping on the psychedelic hard rock train.

Since these guys can never resist adding some straightforward rockers (and for the better of it!), there are some really cool cuts like 'The Promise', whose main riff rekindles Monster Magnet's early classic tune, 'Medicine', yet the band put their own touch with the distorted bass, crunchy guitars and some nice mellotron touches in the background. Still, the hardest hitting number is the epic finale, 'Hell, Part 7: Victim Of Rock', where they unleash the fuzz on their twisted leads. There's a lot of improvisation over locked rhythms and the gang vocals used give the track even more power. They are very similar to the first part of the Hell saga found on Still Life With Eggplant, thus linking the two efforts as one large entity and giving a sense of closure.

On each record Motorpsycho usually frame certain musical concepts tight and accurately follow them until the last second. However, since Behind The Sun is simply a collection of standalone tracks, it manages to capture several sides of the band, giving a great glimpse of what they're all about these days. Besides the heavy riffing, there are a couple of lovely, dreamy tunes such as the opener, 'Cloudwalker' or 'Entropy'. The former gets things in motion with sunny guitars and melodic vocals before it grows into a more powerful jam with a shouted chorus, while the latter boasts a mellow tone, resembling the '70s output of Pink Floyd with its folk approach and flashy solos. Also, 'Ghost' leaves the guitars in the background in favor of a deep bass rhythm complete with nostalgic strings and a droning piano lead. Synthesizers add a lot to the atmosphere while Bent's quiet croon gently finds its way through to the listener's ears. These gorgeous cuts help to craft a more tender side of this balanced record.

In the end, each Motorpsycho fan will have something to truly enjoy from this excellent effort. There aren't many bands who can keep their material at such high quality for such a long time. The act's formulas are constantly changing yet the trademark catchiness and grooves are always there. Fusing these qualities has proven to be a really wise choice as there is so much to explore within only an hour of music. Moreover, the presence of a second guitar player, Reine Fiske, gives a welcome boost to the overall sound. The group should consider keeping him as a constant member as he's a perfect fit for them. Behind The Sun is an early contender for the best heavy psychedelic album of the year, and a mandatory listen for any rock fan.




Recent reviews by this author
Motorpsycho The Motorpnakotic FragmentsJakob Skott Taurus Rising
Brant Bjork Black Power FlowerSiena Root Pioneers
The Ting Tings Super CriticalMark Lanegan Phantom Radio
user ratings (44)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
menawati CONTRIBUTOR (4.5)
Fuzzy frolics under a kaleidoscopic sun. The Norwegian psychonauts are back with a rollicking beast ...


Comments:Add a Comment 
insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
March 15th 2014


3504 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

Excellent stuff. Stream it in its entirety here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Jr-8XrIfiA

Also, the official video for 'Hell, Part 7: Victim Of Rock' - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5k0kfA-U4z8

Digging: Motorpsycho - The Motorpnakotic Fragments

Mad.
March 15th 2014


4202 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Awesome work man, really described the whole style of the album well. Didn't realise that second guitar player was new, he certainly adds a lot in the Hell suites. I'm torn between getting this or The Death Defying Unicorn on CD first...

Gyromania
March 15th 2014


16089 Comments


cloudwalker is really good. nice review

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
March 15th 2014


16133 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Can't stop playing it. Great review. 'Hell 4-6' is amazing.

Mad.
March 15th 2014


4202 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Only thing that sucks about this band is their artworks. Still Life's is OK, Heavy Metal Fruit's and Little Lucid Moments' are pretty cool but that's about it

Have you heard LLM Mena? The Suite in that one is pure gold

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
March 15th 2014


16133 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I haven't heard it all mad, need to try heavy metal fruit again too. Yes lots of their album art is
naff (blissard lol)

scissorlocked
March 15th 2014


3511 Comments


band is and was always awesome

Digging: Low Roar - Low Roar

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
March 15th 2014


6344 Comments


Jammed some songs from this album, great stuff.

Digging: Aspherium - The Fall of Therenia

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
March 15th 2014


16133 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

if ever a band had a name that sums up a lot of their music it's these guys

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
March 15th 2014


3504 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

Thanks guys.

@menawati - all Hell parts are great, but 4-6 is some of their strongest stuff yet.

@Mad - yeah, Reine Fiske adds a lot to the overall sound. if i were you, i'd take this one, it's better than Unicorn IMO.


menawati
Contributing Reviewer
March 15th 2014


16133 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

what do you think of their older stuff insomniac ?

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
March 15th 2014


3504 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

Timothy's Monster is great, especially the second disc. I have yet to hear Blissard, which I heard is another classic. Phanerothyme is one of my favorites so far, besides Behind The Sun and Still Life. I have yet to listen to some of their early and late 90s.
Which are your favorites?

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
March 15th 2014


16133 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

havent heard them all either but Trust Us is probably my favourite, yeh timothy is really good

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
March 15th 2014


3504 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

Blissard and Trust Us are the next I'll check out. I'm really curious what direction they follow.

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
March 15th 2014


16133 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

'Trust Us' has some killer tracks on it, Ozone is amazing

TheSpaceMan
March 15th 2014


2759 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Bands awesome, gotta check this. great review insomniac

BMDrummer
March 15th 2014


9997 Comments


Sounds like something I would like. Gonna check this out.

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
March 17th 2014


21610 Comments


Need to check this.

Digging: Foxes in Fiction - Ontario Gothic

Mad.
March 17th 2014


4202 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Everyone needs to check this

TheSpaceMan
March 17th 2014


2759 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah I'm really liking this, its a lot more cohesive then they're other stuff but I think I still prefer Heavy Metal Fruit and Trust Us a tad more... maybe it'll grow



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy