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Magma - Magma [Aka: Kobaļa] CD (album) cover





4.05 | 413 ratings

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4 stars My God in heaven... I have wanted to review this album for some time now. Having been inspired by Raffaella to get on with it.. so I will. We all have albums that touch us in that special way. That in a way become a part of us. This album is one of those. An album that touches my soul the way few albums do. Full of such incredible dynamics. Full of sound and fury one moment. .then unleashing the most beautiful of musical moments that your lips quiver and brings tears to the edge of your eyes. That my friends and colleagues.. is what music is supposed to do.

The album as many know is not considered pure 'Zeuhl'. That wouldn't come until the landmark M.D.K. album. However the elements that made Magma....well.. Magma are here. Vander's powerful yet subtle drumming. The crazy Kobaian language. The heavily bass driven sound that makes this group a natural attraction for the bassists among us. However the album itself is heavily jazz influenced where as later jazz would be but one of the elements thrown into the soup that made Zeuhl...Zeuhl. This album was a PA's special for me. I latched on to this album after hearing the sample here.. the title track which I believe is still available as a sample. Back then you could download them.. which I did.. put it on a CD-R..and played it till I knew every note of that song in my head. I had to get the album. I knew it wasn't considered the classic from the group.. or even representative of the group's later albums. Personally I didn't give a [&*!#]. I was hooked. The album itself.. took what grabbed me with the title track... and has now become one of my top 10 favorite prog albums and will I suspect forever hold that lofty distinction. To say I love this album.. simply doesn't do it justice. So I quit gushing and will talk a bit about the album.

The opening track.. the aforementioned title track Kobaia. Grabs you by the balls from the opening bass lines and just won't let go. What got me.. listen to those drum fills by Vander.. simply incredible. 10 shear minutes of musical bliss in the form of crazy wailing saxophones and a GORGEOUS piano interlude that is of such majesty ..of such dynamic contrast to the frenetic pace of the song.. it just knocks you sideways and backwards. Wow. wow.. and wow. In top 10 prog song of all time. I love it. Two others here grabbed me immediately on getting the album. Stoah.. oh lordy.. what to say about Stoah. For one who was raised on relatively .... normal music.. this track was a kick in the musical ass. Those vocals at the start.. hahhaha. whoa. Being the open-minded progger that I am... it soon became one of those songs you naturally put on when cruising around town with the top down and with the volume WAY up. You are certain to get a look or two.... or depending on what side of town you are.. maybe a bullet or two thrown in your direction. An incredible piece of music.. with the martial symphonic 'stoah' vocal section. If I was a good reviewer I might be able to do this song justice. I am not though.. it is enough for me to say. This one knocked me sideways and backwards again. This song is available via some You-tube clips to see them perform live. Check them out.. you might see what I am talking about. The closing track.. Müh. Oh my God. The shear BEAUTY of that opening. I will hit replay again and again just to hear it. After 4 or 5 times. I am then ready to move on into the meat of the song. LIke the rest of the album..and I kid you not. Full of great musical sections that vary between sound and fury and section of such beauty. Like the New Orleans sounding sax and piano section smack dap in the middle of Müh. Wow... simply incredible.

The rest of the album is simply without a track I skip. Not bad for a double album.. and rare as well. We have been blessed with some great debut prog albums. This was has to be near the top for shear qualit AND execution. There is only one that I would place above this. ELP's debut. For me personally.. obviously 5 stars. An essential album to me. and one I simply adore. For the site.. I am tempted to give it 5 stars but it is simply not groundbreaking enough and is reserved for latter Magma reviews if I get around to them. However.. I have in the forums.. and will here. STRONGLY recommend this album as the gateway into the world of Magma. Much like I say of The Yes Album for Yes ..and other albums for other groups. This is not the defining album for the group.. but an essential one for the group.. and if you don't like this album.. you most likely will not like the defining ones. And if you like this and go to the defining albums and don't like them.. .you still have this one. For the site ... 4 stars.

Michael (aka Micky)

micky | 4/5 |


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