Major Parkinson

1. Lover, Lower Me Down!
2. Night Hitcher
3. Before the Helmets
4. Isabel - A Report to an Academy
5. Scenes from Edison's Black Maria
6. Madeleine Crumbles
7. Baseball
8. Strawberry Suicide
9. Blackbox

Jon Ivar Kollbotn: lead vox, piano
Eivind Gammersvik: bass, backing vox
Lars Christian Bjørknes: piano, synth, organs, programming, notation, backing vox
Sondre Sagstad Veland: drums, perc, typewriter, backing vox
Sondre Rafoss Skollevoll: guitars, backing vox, microKORG (track 4)
Øystein Bech-Eriksen: guitars
Claudia Cox: violin, backing vox

Major Parkinson (2009)
Songs From A Solitary Home (2010)
Twilight Cinema (2014)

Linn Frøkedal – lead vox
Carmen Boveda – cello
Jonas Flemsæter Hamre – saxophone
Joar Lemme – trombone
Gunleik Gisletveit – tuba
Logan Arndt – french horn
Andreas Hesselberg Hatzikiriakidis – trumpet
Nataniel Hjønnevåg – xylophone
Thomas Rolland aka Lip Shaw – whistling
Megan Kovacs – backing vox
Female choir by Volve Vokal:
Thea Meidell Sjule
Idunn Strøm Myklebust
Frida Ekerhovd
Kaja Linder Henriksen
Ann Christin Jenssen
Kristine Norebø
Signe Wiger
Kine Granum
Malene Moen Sætre
Solveig Foldnes Dybsland

Written, arranged and produced by Major Parkinson
Recorded at Duper Studio & Degaton Studios
Mix: Yngve Leidulv Sætre, Eivind Gammersvik (track 5)
Engineering: Iver Sandøy, Eivind Gammersvik
Digital editing: Eivind Gammersvik, Lars Christian Bjørknes
Mastering: Morten Lund
Cover design: Martin Kvamme
Additional engineering: André Lund, Lars Christian Bjørknes, Simen Hallset
Pianos recorded at Bergen offentlige bibliotek, Solslottet, Griegakademiet, UiB

Released 2017-10-27
Reviewed 2018-03-29


karisma records

We open up the black box and in there we find this Norwegian progressive rock band called Major Parkinson. It is a band that can show a discography of three albums before Blackbox that is their fourth album, and this new album certainly looks interesting and just recently it was released in a limited gold coloured vinyl edition – that I just have ordered. They are described as a cult progressive rock band and this new album is described as an unparalleled journey through cinematic progressive soundscapes and otherworldly melodies. I would describe it as a very exciting album on many accounts.

The album has been forged in stainless dark matter and is filled to the brim with musical excess. It is a treasure chest pulled patiently from the ocean floor, through shoals of curious starfish. It is also a night ride through a snowy and moonlit mountain pass, under the pale flicker of oddly shaped constellations. I think that is the best way to describe this album that can also be described as cinematic progressive rock music with originality and creativity. Whispered male vocals and haunting female vocals are creating a dynamic soundscape and an album with lots of variation through the nine tracks that makes it. The production is excellent and the sound is outstanding in every regard, great vocals and quite an original sounds – it is like they have everything.

I find this to be a great album, the songs are quite strong and the music is original and clever. I really like the female vocals by guest vocalist Linn Frøkedal, she has a haunting way of delivering her vocals lines, and she is really great. The album opens really well but that is only the beginning because it is when we meet Isabel things get really interesting. My favourite is track six Madeleine Crumbles that has a bit of everything and it is just a wonderful track, one that I think challenges for the title of best track of the year. Another challenger for that favourite song of the year has to be the ending title track that is another excellent track of this album, an album where I was certainly thinking of a rating of six for quite a while before deciding to go with a slightly lower rating.

The reason for the album falling just short of one of the highest ratings is the track Baseball that is a long and rather dreary song in the middle of the album – a song that certainly doesn’t heighten my appreciation of what I hear. But with mainly amazing songs it is still an album that probably will be a candidate for a top ten spot of this year’s releases. Really impressive stuff any which way you decide to look at it and an album I certainly will return to even now when I have written this review, but it might not be an album for everyone and it certainly one that requires both time and attention. It grows every time you hear it and it is really impressive and it is a standout album in regards to both creativity and quality. I think that it certainly is well worth looking into this black box and be amazed by some really impressive music.







Label: Karisma Records
Three similar bands: Defenders of the Small Yard/Tom Waits/Kaizers Orchestra
Rating: HHHHHHH (5/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

läs på svenska