PreHistoric Animals (Sweden) - The Magical Mystery Machine (Chapter 2) - Reviewed By 195metalcds ! check it out here at this link: https://www.195metalcds.com/2022/07/06/prehistoric-animals-the-magical-mystery-machine-chapter-2-2022/
As Swedish prog/alt/pop rock sensation PreHistoric Animals press release says, what happens when you love classic progressive rock, alternative rock and brilliant pop music? You make it very hard for yourself. And yet they make it sound so effortless.
As the title suggests, The Magical Mystery Machine (Chapter 2) is the second part of their quirky sci-fi concept that merges politics, feminism, environmental issues and love. A quick recap on the action so far:
“Cora is given the mission to collect humanity’s good and bad sides. Perfection and imperfection. Fear, happiness, greed and so on. She is given a box with a mysterious device inside where all the information will be stored. She gets informed that the world is dying and she is the only one on earth who knows except for her sidekick, Jareth who isn’t even half as brave as her. All information inside the device will be used to recreate earth somewhere else in the universe and they are promised to go there if their mission get’s accomplished.”
Press release for The Magical Mystery Machine (Chapter 1) (2019)
In chapter two Cora and Jareth “realise that they are part of a universal plot. Almost like a Truman show on planetary level. Jareth gets imprisoned by the ‘Protectors of the Universe’ organization when he is forced to let Cora go on with the quest on her own. She begins to like being ‘The chosen one’ and the end of the world is coming closer…”
Putting the concept aside for a moment, this is a phenomenal album! What is it about Scandinavians that enables them to write both the heaviest and darkest of music (Opeth, Entombed, Morgul, Emperor, etc) as well as the catchiest, poppiest, most melodic music (Abba, Europe, Freak Kitchen)? PreHistoric Animals finds themselves somewhere between, but leaning more towards the melodic… in a twisted, progressive style.
The album opens with “An empty space” (track 1), a vocal-effect lyric over what sounds like the soundtrack to a 1980s 8-bit game that is over almost as soon as it starts.
The 8-bit vibe continues into the start of “We harvest the souls of the brave” (track 2) before a pumping rhythm propels to the song towards a bouncing melody. It’s a beautiful song that belies its complexity as it flits between pop and rock.
From the off, “I am the chosen one” (and I like it)” (track 3) drives like a train with time to make up. The melody is rousing and catchy. This is melodic rock at its best.
“Ghostfires” (track 4)—the first PreHistoric Animals track that I heard, check out the video below—simply oozes luxurious rhythms and complex instrumental layers. They weave together into the perfect song. It all sounds so effortless—how do they do it?!
At first, I didn’t feel that “Coras new secret” (track 5) was quite as strong as the previous songs, but within the context of the story it feels necessary. Context is everything, right? The glorious guitar solo more than makes up for it, and the song grows into this triumphant statement towards the end as Altzar bellows “Alleluia!”
“The protectors of the universe” (track 6) starts with a dark and ominous keyboard pad, like rainclouds forming overhead. This is somewhere between musical and opera. The song is heartwarming and … well, just beautifully human. The guitar solo is wistful and passionate. The vocals climb. This is just extraordinary.
The introductory few seconds of “2100” (New year’s eve)” (track 7) sounds like the soundtrack for an early eighties TV science programme. But this soon passes and settles into a cheerfully bouncy riff that morphs and grows as it meanders and explores new musical territory, pushing the tale of Cora and Jareth forward.
“Pull me in” (track 8) has a much more reflective, laid back feel and is probably my second favourite track on the album after “Ghostfires”.
But the album doesn’t end like that. Like the finalé of a stage show, the band comes out firing on all cylinders on the final track, “It’s a start, not the end” (track 9). What an ending. It is glorious, jubilant, exultant, victorious.
From the first moment I heard “Ghostfires” I was hooked on this album. I really can’t award it anything other than full marks.
There is such humanity captured in this album, at times it literally moved me to tears—that’s maybe not a very ‘metal’ thing to say but that’s what I love most about rock music, heavy music, metal music: it is unashamedly human—it captures the depth and width of what it means to be human, the lightness, the darkness, the pain, the sorrow, the joy, the anger and laughter. This album feels like the soundtrack to the life that I want to live.
(I now need to check out their back-catalogue, that’s for sure.)
Review score: 100% - 195metalcds
Release Date: March 24th, 2022
FFO: Porcupine Tree, Muse, Leprous
What happens when you love classic progressive rock, alternative rock and brilliant pop music? You make it very hard for yourself..... but despite that, PreHistoric Animals have gained huge success in all these areas. When they released their second album, The Magical Mystery Machine (chapter 1), they were praised by both the audience and the reviewers. Samuel Granath and Stefan Altzar created the first album - Consider it a work of art in 2018 and when it was time for touring, Noah Magnusson and Daniel Magdic (Ex. Pain of salvation) joined the band. They made their first shows during 2019, for example Prog Power Europe where they got great response (even the food truck closed – just to see PreHistoric animals). As soon as they started to rehearse, they felt that there was a special kind of chemistry in the room, and they instantly started writing new material. The first Magical Mystery Machine tracks were written in 2019 and the album was released on September 30th 2020. Unfortunately, the pandemic has prevented them from going on tour with the album. So instead, they used their energy and creativity during the pandemy to write and record new material and TMMM (Chapter 2) was finished in july 2021. The new album – The magical mystery machine, chapter 2 – is the follow up on the story about Cora and Jareth collecting the essence of humanity. The story is sci-fi fiction but deals with current issues in our society. Once again the album is written and produced by PreHistoric Animals. Mixed and mastered by Erik Berglund, while Richard Dearing has done some amazing cover art. During the time they also signed up with Glassville records and the album was released in March 2022.
Check out this video!
Check it out on Spotify and add to your playlists!
Support on Bandcamp!
Follow the band at these links: