Motorpsycho & Staale Storloekken / Death Defying Unicorn, The
Album: Death Defying Unicorn, The   Collection:General
Artist:Motorpsycho & Staale Storloekken   Added:Nov 2012
Label:Rune Grammofon  

A-File Activity
Add Date: 2013-01-19 Pull Date: 2013-03-24
Week Ending: Mar 24 Feb 24 Feb 10 Feb 3 Jan 27
Airplays: 1 1 2 1 4

Recent Airplay
1. Mar 21, 2013: orangeasm (pt1)
Through The Veil
4. Feb 06, 2013: Minding The Gap
The Hollow Lands
2. Feb 23, 2013: Slanford and Sponge
Sculls In Limbo
5. Jan 30, 2013: minimum entropy
La Lethe
3. Feb 09, 2013: Everything
Into The Gyre
6. Jan 26, 2013: Music Casserole
The Hollow Lands

Album Review
Grumpy Sean
Reviewed 2013-01-17
Norwegian rockers Motorpsycho call on a variety of friends and collaborators for this concept album based around a mythical sailor's tale. Prog, jazz, modern classical, stoner metal -- all find their moments in this work. The term "epic" is thrown around pretty liberally, but this truly is epic in sound and structure, including "in medias res" narrative pacing (if you can listen to the whole thing in one sitting).

Along with Motorpsycho and keyboardist/composer/arranger Storlokken, performers here include the Trondheim Jazz Orchestra, violinist Ola Kvernberg, and mellotronist / percussionist Kare Vestrheim. Read the booklet, take notes on the "further reading" instructions on the packaging (and add "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" to the list), and submerge yourself without having to wear an albatross around your neck. NO FCCs.

Disc 1

1. Out of the Woods (2:41) - dn/varies, string-based instrumental scene-setter, builds (with no break) into...
2. * The Hollow Lands (7:37) - med/varies, proggy jazz epic recitative that tells the basic outline of the tale to come
3. * Through the Veil (16:02) - med(-)/varies, veers between Soft Machine and Iron Maiden, a classic merger of styles that surpasses any notion of a "mash-up" as the ship passes between worlds, fades/elides into ...
4. Doldrums (3:07) - dn/free, tasteful string/horn instrumental interlude to take stock of the tumult of the previous songs and grok what's just happened
5. Into The Gyre (10:23) - dn -> med -> up -> dn, mellow sing-songy opening of drifting at sea / rocking while anchored, with staccato strings about 4 minutes transitioning into a maelstrom sequence of pitches and rolls and then a mournful string piece. Feels like it's ending about 2 minutes early, but has a slight return and then fades out entirely
6. Flotsam (1:33) - dn, instrumental string bit marking the end of Act I

Disc 2

1. Oh Proteus - A Prayer (7:36) - dn, plea to the "old man of the sea" to help the shipwrecked crew, opens mellow but builds a little and then mostly fades out 30 seconds early
2. * Sculls in Limbo (2:21) - free, no vox, warped synth / theremin noodling, no real break into...
3. La Lethe (7:54) - dn/free, brooding but not going anywhere, as befits the river of forgetfulness, building in dynamics but not tempo, no break into...
4. Oh Proteus - A Lament (1:05) - dn, reprise of 2:1
5. Sharks (7:57) - dn, starts ~15 sec. into track and very quietly, starts to pick up a little around 3 minutes in but still subdued until about 6 minutes when it builds darkly with NO BREAK into
6. * Mutiny! (8:34) - med+, heavy prog rock for first time on Disc 2 with typical tosses and turns, fading out on a reprise of 2:1 and then tight into...
7. * Into the Mystic (7:05) - med(+) /varies, more heavy prog to close out the tale and bring you back to the present/future.

Track Listing
1. Out Of The Woods   7. Oh, Proteus - A Prayer
2. The Hollow Lands   8. Sculls In Limbo
3. Through The Veil   9. La Lethe
4. Doldrums   10. Oh, Proteus - A Lament
5. Into The Gyre   11. Sharks
6. Flotsam   12. Mutiny!
  13. Into The Mystic