Album Remarks & Appraisals:
All About Jazz - John Kelman
Capturing the raw power of a live performance in the studio is no small challenge. When Norway's Motorpsycho - a group that, across the past two-plus decades and over 25 recordings, has gone from metal-tinged indie rock and psychedelic space rock to flat-out progressive rock and everything in between - collaborated with Supersilent/Elephant9 keyboardist Stsle Storl°kken at the 2010 Molde Jazz Festival, the result was an electrifying 100 minute show that, beyond being one of the year's best, revealed even more about the musicians who made it. Taking music that Motorpsycho bassist/lead singer Bent Sµther self-deprecatingly dismissed as having lain around without ever being fully developed, along with some jazz solo-ready vamps, Storl°kken shaped it into a stunning suite for eight horn players from the larger Trondheim Jazz Orchestra collective, the eight string players of Trondheimsolistene, and guest violinist Ola Kvernberg, whose Liarbird (Jazzland, 2011) was one of the year's best releases. But could Motorpsycho and Storl°kken go into the studio and document it with the same energy, the same commitment?
The answer: a resounding yes. An epic journey that tells the story of a thief who is caught and given two choices, hanging or cabin boy on a ship leaving to explore uncharted territory, The Death Defying Unicorn, subtitled "A Fanciful and Fairly Far-Out Musical Fable," is a sweeping progressive rock epic that spans two discs and 82 minutes. ... read more...
Mojo (Publisher) (p.93) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "From volcanic guitarmageddon to moments of grand ambition, this is as bold and as progressive as rock gets."
Uncut (magazine) (p.79) - "[T]his epic trip confirms Motorpsycho as Norway's own Grateful Dead."
Lyricist: Bent Saether.
Personnel: Ola Kvernberg (violin); Kåre Christoffer Vestrheim (Mellotron, percussion).
Recording information: Ora Studio, Trondheim (2011); Propeller Music Division, Oslo (2011).
Illustrator: Thore Hansen.
Arrangers: Hans Magnus "Snah" Ryan; Kenneth Kapstad; Bent Saether; Ståle Storlokken.