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Magma - Mythes Et Légendes, Volume II CD (album) cover





4.47 | 72 ratings

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5 stars Volume I of Magma's Mythes Et Légendes DVD series was a satisfying experience. We got to hear several songs that hadn't been performed in ages with competent help from one of the original members, former lead singer Klaus Blasquiz. Now it looks as though all of that will be put to shame, for Volume II features none other than Wahrgenuhr Reugehlemoesteh - also known as Jannick Top - on bass!

This Zeuhl tour de force starts out with a beautiful version of the second movement of the epic Theusz Hamtaahk trilogy. Just as I think Volume I included the definitive version of the first momement, I think Volume II includes the definitive version of the second. Le Triton is truly a great venue for concert documents such as this. The music is preserved in all its might while there is the intimacy that the Trianon DVDs sorely missed. If there is one minus about this amazing piece of music, it is that Top has not yet entered the stage. However, it should be mentioned that Philippe "Bubu" Bussonnet, their current bassist, is a worthy match.

After a short intermission, we're back in gear with Magma's possibly best known and most acclaimed work, Mëkanďk Destruktďw Kommandöh where Bussonnet takes a short break and is replaced by Monsieur Top himself! That's not the only detail that makes this version of M.D.K. one of the most interesting; unlike the Trianon version that featured a full brass section, this is a stripped-down version closer to the one on the CD Mëkanďk Kommandöh. It is a joy to watch Top play here - not only does he look genuinely happy (and so does Vander, I might add), but his playing is sheer clockwork precision. He does power a little bit down during his solo spot, Mekanďk Zain, but still manages to wring out some great Zeuhl bass. The end of M.D.K. features a huge surprise: under thunderous applause from the audience, Klaus Blasquiz enters the stage and sings along! If there are anybody that understand Vander, it is Blasquiz and Top, so it's great to see this trio together again. After the climactic culmination of the Theusz Hamtaahk trilogy, the band leaves the stage to let Top demonstrate his bass skills.

Alas, this is seemingly already the "love it or hate it"-section of the DVD. Top's playing isn't as furious as in the old days, so Suite pour Violoncelle (a classic Bach piece) and Quadrivium aren't as furious as oldies such as Mekanďk Machine or KMX B12. Everyone gets older, but in my opinion, Jannick's playing has aged well: the soloes are still mesmerizing, so I can certainly live with the lack of his trademark distortion. After this short bass intermission, the rest of the band (including Bussonnet on piccolo bass and Blasquiz on vocals) enters the stage again to finish the set off with Top's masterpiece, De Futura.

This is definitely a different version of De Futura - I have never heard a version this slow and restrained before. It is not neccessarily a bad thing, but it does have to grow on you. At any rate, the final part will not disappoint - the band can still turn up the tempo to such a degree that you fear for Vander's heart! After a thunderous finish, this brief reincarnation of 1976's VanderTop leaves the stage while Vander and Top cannot stop exchanging smiles.

They must have enjoyed it as much as I did.

olzen | 5/5 |


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