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Motorpsycho- Kingdom Of Oblivion (2021 Stickman Records)

The cover of the new Motorpsycho record depicts mankind dead, covered in mushrooms, ready to be absorbed by nature and forgotten. We had our chance, we fucked up, we created this kingdom and will now slowly decay into oblivion. A harsh image, perhaps harsher then you might expect from these Norwegian progressive rock travellers, but then again, the planet is warming up, there is a pandemic going on, and it’s not like they haven’t warned us before…

Keep my sky blue//I know I need to//keep my hopes alive

And yet there is hope. Motorpsycho have once again summoned all their powers to tell us we can still change. They have spent the last four years completing their amazing trilogy The Tower, The Crucible, and The All Is One, and still they have found the creative energy to create another sonic warning sign. Personally I was a bit sceptic at first, because with a band this prolific surely there would be a moment when they have said everything they needed to say and they would start repeating themselves, but no.

Make your choices, choose wise choose well…

Kingdom Of Oblivion sounds very like the modern Motorpsycho you have come to know these past five/six years, and yet it doesn’t repeat anything. The songwriting is more on point than the looser jams of the trilogy, more riff based too. There are some really heavy 70s fueled guitar bangers like the title track and the USA critical The United Debased and perhaps the biggest and heaviest track they ever wrote both in title and in length: The Transmutation Of Cosmoctopus Lurker. As we know Motorpsycho, the influences are all over the place, ranging from early King Crimson tentacular prog to heavy Black Sabbath stomping, to subtler indie songwriting, and a lot in between. Perhaps the biggest reason why it is such a treat to listen to everything they do is the sheer joy they put in it, the craftsmanship on display, and yet the effortlessness of the performance. Taking all into account it is quite unbelievable Motorpsycho is able to produce so much quality music in so little time, but they do.

Give me my liberty or give me dead//give me my coke and my crystal meth//along with my booze until my last breath

Halfway through the album there’s a Floydian The Wall-like intermezzo with a creepy voice contemplating and warning: this is the end now, this is the end now, this is the end now…the album goes on though, and while song titles like Dreamkiller and At Empire’s End echo this prophecy of doom, you can’t help thinking Motorpsycho still see some light at the end of the tunnel. They found the fuel to warn us once more, more formidable and powerful than ever, so maybe now we’ll listen. If we don’t, then mankind will definitely have its Kingdom Of Oblivion.

The point of no return has finally passed, pushed over the edge…

Motorpsycho at least spoke out, had their say. It might not be too late for us. But if it is, and some future civilization will dig out this record they will hear a perfect echo of what this age of man was about: what great powers of creation we possess, and what great powers of destruction at the same time. Kingdom Of Oblivion feels like a band building a legacy, and I can’t find a more urgent and incredible album to listen to at this moment in time.

Credits: Kostymer: Teateratelier v Leo Thörn og Berit Haltvik With Masker lånt av Sjiraffen Kultusenter Assistenter: Øyvind Gregersen og Kristin Nordsæter Foto: Terje Visnes

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