While beginning both visually and musically where The Tower ended, Motorpsycho’s brand new LP isn’t just a sequel: The Crucible ventures further down the dark and experimental passages than on its predecessor, while ending up even more focused and concise. Music writers have never had it easy with Motorpsycho, perhaps less now than ever. Much has been made of the ‘prog rock’ tag in regards to the band’s more recent output, yet they still manage to fall in between the cracks of any definable genres: “too musically unwieldly for the punks, too gnarly for the prog nerds,” as the band puts it. Their latest outing, The Crucible, is their second with drummer Thomas Järmyr, who was put through a trial of fire of sorts joining the band and recording 2017’s The Tower all within two months. While this record proved the band’s capabilities to still raise hell, The Crucible is an even further step forward, showing no signs of timidity in songwriting nor performances. The Crucible was recorded at Monnow Valley Studios in Wales in August 2018 by the band themselves with co-producers Andrew Scheps and Deathprod. This co-production ploy worked out wonderfully and has resulted in a beautifully-crafted record, smaller in size but at least equal in ambition to its celebrated predecessor. Self-contradictory as the band is, The Crucible is somehow both more focused and denser in content, but also compositionally more ambitious than The Tower. Those worried that this might result in a diminished sonic assault can be comforted: the album still packs a wallop like a good rock record should. And - ‘for once’ some waggish tongues would say - does not outstay its welcome.