Fragments of the 5th Element

Anmeldt av Jens Nepper
(Karisma Records, 2019)

Karakter: 5/6

Magic Pie album cover.jpgThe talented prog rockers known as Magic Pie are an interesting outfit and these guys have gradually grown into one of the more respected and musically rewarding acts to come out of Norway. Their dynamic mixture of eclectic 70s-inspired prog (think ELP) and classic heavy rock (ala Deep Purple and Uriah Heep) as well as prog bands with a slightly more modern sheen to them such as Spocks Beards and to a lesser extent Dream Theater is utterly compelling at times.

"Fragments of the 5th Element" is their fifth record it is therefore appropriate that it contains five tracks with the album closer being an epic 23-minute long suite that will blow your mind. I love the fact that there is a sense of musical playfulness and a bit quirkiness with respect to the lyrics present on the disc, which is probably why I cannot help think of ELP, Genesis, Camel, and Yes whenever I immerse myself in Magic Pie's upcoming opus, but at the same time, it has got plenty of depth and emotional punch to it. Perhaps the most splendid and varied (not to mention touching) cut is "Table for Two" – I just love the way in which it moves and flows from gentle, almost soothing parts and further on to hard and heavy outbursts with heaps of power and bombast coursing through them. Another highlight is the aforementioned 23-minute piece that is "The Hedonist", which is groovy and melodically delicious, but it goes without saying that this is one of those things that you had better experience for yourself when you are on your own and totally focused.

The musicianship is superb and the entire record is to be enjoyed and listened to in one sitting. I would have preferred a slightly warmer or a livelier and more vibrant production, but that changes nothing with respect to the quality of its five compositions, and what we have here is essentially the most accomplished and potent Magic Pie offering to date.


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