If you think jazz rock is a dry or cerebral exercise in self-indulgence then a quick blast of the third album from this Norwegian power trio will disabuse you of any such notions once and for all. This outing is ferociously lapel-grabbing from the very first note to the last. Ståle Storløkken, Nikolai Eilertsen and Torstein Lofthus are joined by guitarist Reine Fiske, whose melodic presence can usually be found in Swedish psychsters Dungen. Musically the compositions are relatively straight-ahead without too many tricksy arrangements. Yet, executed with such force and barely-tamed energies, they evoke and marshal the same kind of colossal, edgy brutality found in early Tony Williams Lifetime and the Mahavishnu Orchestra's debut. On the shimmering title track Fiske´s guitar is wreathed in a delicate glow of feedback that seems always on the verge of breaking out into an anguished howl. Yet he carefully sculpts a beguiling melody that´s mournfully exquisite, deferring the instinct to let go until joined by the gloriously implacable rhythm section, the sense of release palpable. It's a privilege to hear musicians erupt so beatifically.
Scandinavian jazz-rock power trio Elephant9 slowly upped the ante over their two first studio albums, reimagining ´70s Miles Davis or Weather Report for hallucinating hard rock fans and burning down any staid recollections of lumpen fusion noodling. With Atlantis they unleash a full-blast juggernaut of a record, complete with guest spots from Swedish guitarist Fiske (Dungen). Ståle Storløkken's keyboards have never sounded more alien or at the point of self-combustion as here, while Fiske slathers off bolts of electricity akin to a furious John McLaughlin. Drummer Torstein Lofthus´ thunderous pounding dominates the cataclysmic Freedom´s Children, but perhaps the highlight is the gentle, psychedelic pastoral A Foot On Both, on which Fiske duets with bass player Nikolai Eilertsen on acoustic guitars. Highly recommended.
Deep Purple møter Miles og 70-tallet blir friskmeldt nok en gang! Poenget med Elephant9 er at de ikke låter som noen av sine forbilder, men clearly å slurpe seg Fremd til et eget kosmisk felt ... Alle de involverte vet hva et levende riff krever: feeling, muskel og blå teft. The burner hot in "Black Hole" and ulmer fredelig in "Atlantis". 5/6.
På deres fjerde utgivelse har trioen fått med seg the svenske guitarist Reine Fiske - for mange kjent fra rockebandet Dungen. Lydmessig smelter han inn i trioen lik et bortkomment bandmedlem som endelig har funnet veien hjem. Fra sin forsiktige, prøvende tonesmatting på det vakre tittelsporet til full utblåsning på "Psychedelic Backfire", he det som om han i løpet av platen får tid til å bli varm i trøyen ... Albumet he spilt inn i det legendariske Atlantis Studio i Stockholm . Og together with lydingeniørene Christian Engfelt og Janne Hansson har bandettt ends opp med en skitten og røff produksjon som virkelig står i Stil med det de er kjent for å gjøre på scenen. 5/6.
Bergens Tidende (NO)
Elephant9 er ute med den fjerde plata si, og trioen har fått med seg tidlegare Dungengitarist Reine Fiske. Dette har vore eit av favorittbanda mine heals sidan eg høyrde dei første gong på Nattjazz i 2008. Framleis har bandet eit uttrykk som låner impulsar frå 70tals elektrisk jazz og heavy rock, men som let desse impulsane bryna seg på ulike retningar innanfor rock, jazz støy anno 2012. Ut av dette oppstår ei musikalsk legering som står seg til Dovre fell. Plata er spela inn i legendariske Atlantis studio i Stockholm. Bandet har gritt a skapa eit livepreg på plata som er oppsiktsvekkjande. Både lydbilete og samspel has a røff og rå conserved nerve. Every hour has to go to the kloke valet å gje seg sjølve plass.
Dag og Tid (NO)
If elephants break out, then they are unstoppable - just as little as this Norwegian trio, which has strengthened on their fourth album with Reine Fiske, a Swedish guitarist. With violent musical violence, the boys trample back and forth between psychedelic reminiscences, post-drying sound walls, progressive fireworks and jazz-rocking thunderbolts, tripping over delicate acoustic plants without hurting them. They soak it all up and fire it through their proboscis called "Atlantis" to a gigantic tröö, which settles in the far too small ears of their two-legged friends who have long since grown thick in the jungle of mainstream radio to have. Here comes the musical liana, Tarzan throws his “Bitches-Brew” Jane at King Crimson-Tripp while Cheetah conducts his Uh-Uh-Uh-Mahavishnu Orchestra with applause. Elephant9 have mastered the art of creating music that tries to explore every instrumental border without running the risk of spreading even a minute of boredom or smashing all the beautiful music porcelain like an elephant in a china shop! 12/15.
Noisy Neighbors (DE)
There is irony coarse and fine. This grandiose band uses both forms. There is no other way to put a trio with Hammond organ, bass and drums into operation at this height. You know what? Brian Auger, Keith Emerson or John Lord. What they did was not in vain, you dive into blissful times with the Norwegian Ståle Storløkken, and then arrive in the middle of our presence. That jazz rock and psychedelia powerfully together, builds sound walls, especially since the guitarist Reine Fiske is here as a pressure booster. The drums catch up with themselves, the bass is relentless, the organ snorts and hisses. No foot stands still. That blows the dust away from atiquified music. The louder you hear it, the better it gets.
Leipziger Volkszeitung (DE)
That would be them, the perfect band for a freak show festival. Just like Ståle Storløkken and his rhythm section from Nikolai Eilertsen on the electric bass and Torstein Lofthus on the drums, or ELEPHANT9 for short, pull the plug out of the ass of the universe at 'Black Hole' to rush furiously through the open wormhole, so one wakes up the spirits and renews the belief in jazz rock as a musical fusion. The start of Atlantis (RCD2134) is followed by the no less stormy 'The Riddler', rattling drumming and getting from Storløkken that Keith Emerson's wildest days come to mind. For the title piece, which then develops ethereally and mystically, Reine Fiske then makes his first guest appearance by eliciting rypdalesque sounds from his guitar, which are chopped up so metronomically by Lofthus, that soon the whole elephant will get going again, including Fiske, up to an irresistible final sprint. 'A Foot In Both' and then give themselves a break to chill with acoustic guitars and 'flutes' from Storløkken. Involuntarily, the pastoral moments at Pink Floyd come to mind. Then 'Psychedelic Backfire' starts to move, A shape with lion body and the head of a man, A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun, Is moving its slow thighs. 'A Place In Neither' dispels the shadows of angry desert birds and dark visions with short and fast reefed staccatoes, so that 'Freedom's Children' can foam uninhibitedly and groove rapidly and swirl away. Fiske's guitar does not change the embossing power of Storløkken's powerful Hammond and Fender Rhodes game, which can be heard so dynamically in a straight line, not with Supersilent and not with Humcrush, but only here.
Bad Alchemy (DE)
And why don't we celebrate the resurrection of Deep Purple under the collective name Uriah Heep? Or was it the other way around now? Or is it not the case that Emerson, Lake & Katastrophski say yes to Tony Williams' lifetime. It is always good for surprises how the Norwegians conjure up the hackneyedness from this psychedelic cuddle and the cuddle along with it. The expiration date: a mistake. The 9er elephant brings tastes that have long been spoiled to the table in old freshness. And as if this three-headed package had to be strengthened, on “Atlantis” (the title is involuntarily associated with a metropolis that had perished on the one hand and with a glorious jazz rock past on the other hand) the acoustic and electric guitarist Reine Fiske on board the privateer sailing under the Norwegian flag. As usual, Scandinavia's keyboarder numero uno, Stale Storlokken, dominates the hybrid scene, not for nothing he once perfected his craft accompanied by Terje Rypdal, to later do essentials, i.e. essence and mischief, in magic bands such as Supersilent, Humcrush and Motorpsycho. Eilertsen, familiar with the fat as well as the lean strings and responsible for the drive shaft with drummer Lofthus, contributes three more pieces to this wonderful monster, no, chunks.
Elephant 9 are a trio from Oslo dedicated to music that is best described as a mixture of Deep Purple and the mid-seventies Miles Davis. What was fueled by cocaine and too many male hormones back then sounds better and more vital from the amplifiers of this diaspora combo than you know about the power delivery of a red Ferrari, but also about how to reduce it again. It is not megalomania and the cult of genius that rule here, but rather an understanding for one another that has grown over the years, as deep as it is loud, and for this music that today has fallen so strangely out of time: "Atlantis" .
Süddeutsche Zeitung (DE)