Magic Pie - Motions Of Desire

Year of Release: 2005
Label: Progress Records
Catalog Number: PRCD015
Format: CD
Total Time: 74:58:00

Contrary to a lot of current prog bands these guys do NOT come from Sweden. However they are Scandinavian neighbours from Norway. Contrary also to a lot of bands in the prog genre, they not only cater to their respective instruments, but they put a lot of effort into the vocal department, as the band boasts no fewer than three different lead singers. Needless to say, fans of splendid vocal harmonies will be treated to the fullest whilst from a musical perspective you can expect a more rocking cross between Flower Kings and Karmakanic with some Beatles and Deep Purple magic thrown in for good measure. The band also signs for long tracks and what better way to display their many skills than by opening this album with the longest epic on board. Opening with the sound of crickets and birds, as its name implies "Change" does indeed "change" atmospheres frequently, which is what prog is all about. Throughout this lengthy track though, the same strong melody pops up at the right time whilst unexpected twists and turns even introduce bossa nova!

With the fluent Motions Of Desire, Magic Pie fuses a pleasant rock rhythm with pure Wakemanesque synths and sublime guitar interventions. Maybe an edited version could work well on radio? The band even sneaks some reggae into the otherwise AOR flavoured "Full Circle Poetry," which is a rather unusual move in prog circles. As the song continues, the vocals take up a major part of this composition whilst Journey and Survivor atmospheres sneak in before some splendid acoustic guitar ends it all. "Without Knowing Why" is a song that could have been lifted from Ryo Okomoto's solo album Coming Through, as it lets the keyboards play a very important role within the rock driven structure. Throughout the band's music the organ often combines with the guitar resulting in a pleasant sound. The track "Illusion & Reality" is made out of three separate parts, which strangely enough do not include part two! Maybe Magic Pie is working alongside the same ideas as Saga when they started out so maybe we'll have to expect part two on the next album, who knows? In part one you can marvel at some great interaction between organ and drums resulting in one of the highlights on the album (for me that is!). It also contains a slight haze of folk, whilst the third part is pure vintage Deep Purple era all over. With part four you get a reprise of the main melodies delivered in a slow way, once again highlighting both guitar and keys.

The album closes with "Dream Vision," which hits your eardrums a little harder due to heavy riffs which at times might remind you of Symphony X. Again the technical prowess is ace with still that urge to introduce the classical seventies sound by means of a contemporary approach. Although each of the musicians no doubt has his favourite prog artist they are by no means copying their heroes, resulting in a much more original sound. As a debut album for sure Motions Of Desire counts as a very important release indeed, yet for the next album I most definitely like to find a couple of shorter songs with very strong melodies and catchy hooks, as for my liking these are still missing and would do the band a world of good.

Change (20:04) / Motions Of Desire (6:34) / Full Circle Poetry (14:13) / Without Knowing Why (7:55) / Illusions And Reality (Part 1) (10:14) / Illusions And Reality (Part 3) - Final Breath (4:46) / Illusions And Reality (Part 4) - Reprise (3:09) / Dream Vision (7:47)

Kim Stenberg - guitars
Gilbert Marshall - keyboards, lead vocals
Eirik Hanssen - lead vocals
Lars Petter Holstad - bass
Jan T. Johannessen - drums
Allan Olsen - lead vocals

Motions Of Desire (2005)
Circus Of Life (2007)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin NO

Added: September 19th 2005
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website:
Hits: 916
Language: english


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