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Magma - Attahk CD (album) cover





3.72 | 419 ratings

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2 stars Poor Klaus Blasquiz. On Attahk, Vander - having already lost the definitive zeuhl bass-player - manages to minimize the role of one of his most effective musicians, and thus the quality of the whole record. Now, Christian Vander is still a striking singer, drummer, pianist, acrobat, master craftsman, rocket scientist and composer and I cherish his vision of Kobaia, but to me, this is where he starts to misjudge the band's correct balance. There's no indication whether this album has any mythology or back story at all - already marking the disc as somewhat less than essential.

The album certainly begins strongly, with the prophetic "Last Seven Minutes" of truly propulsive zeuhl - it starts most suddenly and pressures the listener in the traditionally epic way. Also well-realised is the "RindaŽ / LiriÔk Necronomicus Kanht" mini-epic, which starts sensitively with a rare Stella Vander lead piece, and blossoms into some great zeuhl funk - not as insistent as "The Last Seven Minutes", but still very sly - four or five bite-size "story" pieces like this would make a great album. The opener of side two, "Maahnt" is Blasquiz's (perhaps too earlily curtailed) moment in the sun, as he intones and gibbers his way through a great piece of futuristic avant-fusion (think of Area's best moments.)

Sadly the other half of the album is poor. "Spiritual" is mercifully brief, being a gospel-blues style song with a total lack of tension. Everything else on side two is absolutely swamped with Vander's voice - while that's great for the commanding, histrionic moments earlier in Magma's canon, he seems woefully out of place on these more celebratory songs. I understand that an album needs light and shade, and that a band's priorities can change, but I was deeply disappointed in Attahk.

laplace | 2/5 |


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