Don’t get me wrong. I like classic ’70s psyche-prog as much as the next geek. But I like it a little better when it rocks out every now and then. These Norwegian nerds apparently feel the same way. So, on their seventh album Madness and Magic, during all the eight-minute Floydian epics fulla slowly drifting progressions and noodly guitars and percolating organ runs and crazy vocals about death and technology, there are some bits that nod in the direction of Black Sabbath or Deep Purple. Plus they have two drummers. So bonus points for that. Granted, it ain’t exactly madness or magical. But it’s a nice change of pace all the same.
THE PRESS RELEASE: “Hailing from Trondheim in Norway, Arabs in Aspic have been mid-Norway’s flagship of ’70s-inspired progressive rock and proto-hardrock for the past 15 years. They’ve been described as a sweet mixture of loud, heavy guitars and drums, 12 string acoustics, funky bass and percussion, screaming Hammond organs, soft Rhodes, Mellotrons and ’70s synths, topped with plentiful vocal harmonies — and this is also what they give us on their seventh album. Madness and Magic builds on where they left on Syndenes Magi, showcasing the acoustic side of the band more without losing any of their heaviness. This is evident in the fact that Madness and Magic is their first album written and recorded with two unique drummers. About the lyrical themes, the band says: “The lyrics of Madness and Magic reflect on how easily both children and adults are affected in the digital age, but also how helpless we are when we have to put our lives in the hands of specialists. Many ideas came up after a brief meeting with Doctor Death. The message of Madness and Magic is up to the listener to decide. Because you are capable of thinking for yourself, right?” The new album from Arabs in Aspic takes the listener for a journey through life’s Madness and Magic, both musically and lyrically, and what an awesome journey it is!