Mysteriously majestic and magically mind-blowing. An album so full of charm and panache that it fills you with utter wonder at the range of orchestral movements, rhythmic hooks and melodic phrasing. The jam-packed combination of different sounds is quite overwhelming combining a mixture of electronic proliferations and a whole host of more standard instrumentation cleverly arranged and engineered to perfection with an amazing plethora of complex time signatures’ to amaze and delight you.
There are just so many musical concepts incorporated throughout the nine tracks such that individually and at every track junction you are moved into pastures new with a fresh set of ideas to digest and yet you can never lose sight of the fact that is a solid conceptual piece of work you are immersing yourself within. There are an array of delightful piano sequences emerging frequently throughout the album connecting together the individual music sections which add further interest to the mix.
Maybe it is a compositional trick but rich counter melodies of deeply resonant cello, violin, and synth pop up with extreme frequency and which too are embellished with beautiful vocal harmonies of human voice and electronic origin that leave you totally submerged in a glorious and total wash of musical heaven.
Jon Ivar Kollbotn’s deeply accentuated gravel like vocals really shouldn’t work at all, in any progressive setting, not least for an entire album. But they certainly do, in fact they are wonderfully explicit full of harmony and they add great depth, texture, dimension and a delightful vitality to the musical arrangements. Some of the songs actually veer towards that of musical theatre generating a feeling of excitement and the temptation to join in and I would imagine that during a live performance that is exactly what happens a massive impact of audience participation. On four of the tracks Linn Frøkedal (Misty Coast, Low Frequency in Stereo) with her haunting vocal style adds some wonderful contributions.
Summary: Wonderful Art Rock with well-considered Electronic Interventions.
Artwork: Basic and not terribly informative.
Jon Ivar Kollbotn
Lars C Bjørknes
From the internet : Black box is the fourth studio album by the Norwegian cult prong rock outfit Major Parkinson. The seven members of the band have spent the better part of two years creating this album, partly in the legendary Duper Studio, and partly in their own dungeon - Degaton Studio.