2019 marks 30 years since Motorpsycho's humble beginnings in Trondheim. Teenage metal heads Bent Sæther and Hans Magnus Ryan had met at high school a couple of years earlier, agreeing that Rainbow Rising was the finest album ever, but it was only after a record hunting trip to London that Motorpsycho was born.
Wilfully autonomous and as artistically searching as ever, while loving the ambitions and masterpieces of both the prog genre and other related esoteric musical styles, and indeed in their own way joyously stretching the rock format as out of whack as they can, Motorpsycho neither can nor will align themselves fully to any scene or genre.
Too gnarly for prog nerds and too musically unwieldy for punks, they never called themselves a grunge band back in the early 90's, a post rock band a decade later, or a stoner rock band a decade ago. Still proudly falling between all the cracks, stools or chairs one might think of putting in their way, they will never want to be a member of any club who would want them as a member and are as ever travelling their own path in their own tempo, whatever anyone calls it or them at the moment.
It might take longer to get anywhere, but that is just fine when it's the journey itself that is the point.
Both visually and musically, The Crucible starts where The Tower ended, but it soon takes on its own hue, and it is clear that it cannot be called a sequel' as such: this is very much a step further out than anywhere the band ventured on The Tower. While it is broader lyrically speaking, it is even sharper focused musically and, if possible, even more idiosyncratic and insular than ever: unarguably a Motorpsycho album.
There aren't many traditional song structures or pop format platitudes on display, and there is indeed hardly any respect paid to any trad rock song conventions on the whole album, but that's not really what one listens to Motorpsycho for anyway, is it?
From the most Neanderthal of rock riffs to the most rhythmically oblique polytonal solo sections they've ever recorded, this album musically seems to sum up the extremes of the band's current interests and concerns.
The Crucible was recorded at Monnow Valley Studios in Wales in August 2018 by Hans Magnus Ryan (guitars, vocals), Bent Sæther (bass, vocals, sundry) and Tomas JÃ¤rmyr (drums), with co-producers Andrew Scheps and Deathprod.
Scheps mixed the band's last two live recordings (A Boxful of Demons and Roadwork vol. 5), and in that process made himself a logical choice to record the next studio album.
1. Psychotzar (8:43)
2. Lux Aeterna (10:56)
3. The Crucible (20:51)