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Magma - Köhntarkösz CD (album) cover





4.15 | 490 ratings

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5 stars Dear Lord...

Zeuhl. A world and a word that had obsessively intrigued me during the beginning of the year. I had already liked progressive rock for a long time: Bands like Gentle Giant and King Crimson. Bands that have slapped me in the face with their complexity and inward darkness, even though you can't really recognize it that fast. Before listening to prog I was a Metal fan, and so darkness and mysteriousness have always intrigued me. My first thoughts on Magma would be that it had to be a really heavy band. And boy was I right.

When I got Kohntarkosz, I was eager to listen to every inch of it, because it was my first Zeuhl album.

I had put it on my computer, and then pressed play.

From the first notes, I was swept away, this is huge my friends! The bass, the organ and the drums, it's all so immense, like a huge slap in the face, and a big breath of fresh air. The theme of the song starts and you here Blasquiz's voice (I actually guessed it was him, because I had imagined him singing with that voice). The whole whirlwind of music takes you to some kind of trance! And you can't let go! The theme starts to slow down a notch. But the trance is still there. This is awkward, he's repeating the same phrase over and over again. But I'm captured in this wave of music. But it gets heavier and louder, you enter in the cave/crypt of Ëmëhntëht-Rê that Kohntarkosz travels (read Shakespeare's review to know the story of the album). As the music goes on, the light of the tomb is getting darker and darker. The music is actually decomposing and recomposing itself throughout the first song. Might I also point out the voices, that follow you throughout the song.. like a sort of obsession, because it keeps going on and on and it's stuck in your head. At the end of K.. part 1, the them dims and a solo of vocals appears and on to the second song.

Kohntarkosz part 2 is my favorite song (maybe my favorite song ever). It's as if Kohntarkosz has entered through impenetrable darkness. With a beautiful tune of Michel Grailler's clavinet and Gérard Bikialo's organ. The soon, the beauty kind of fades and turns into a scary atmosphere. The drumming, yet very simple is still extremely obsessive, it all stays in your head. Brace yourselves Zeuhl newbies, your going for a wild ride. But the time the vocals appear, the music starts to get really freaky! The music is insane! It's mind bobbling! It goes through different kinds of directions! Especially the dark riff that introduces the guitar solo, it takes you to another world. The guitar solo is amazing as well, it really clear, trust me you didn't see this coming. You can't expect such music from something that came out in 1974, this is so far beyond its time. By the tenth minute the guitar solo ends perfectly. Now there's the best part, Vander's monologue! This where shit breaks loose and everything goes shitbat crazy! It's just amazing music, Vander is insane. The suite ends with a scary and disturbing end.

Speaking of disturbing, here's the next song: Ork Alarm. This song reminds me of music from the vein of Art Zoyd or Univers Zero. It's my least favorite of the album. But still a great song, a very disturbing and awesome arrangement, it takes you away. Finishing with a great guitar solo. Metal fans would really like this. Next up is the last song: Coltrane Sundia, a beautiful piece written by Vander as a tribute to his idol John Coltrane. A very calm and peaceful song, with a trio of clavinet, guitar and piano. Like every song off this album, Coltrane Sundia, takes away in a climate you've never experienced.

All in all, this album is a jewel a prog masterpiece. Nobody can touch the brilliance of Vander's music. As some people here stated, Zeuhl comes in many shapes and sizes. If you're looking for Zeuhl that looks like Kohntarkosz, check out the band Eskaton (its the only band that comes close to Kohntarkosz's Zeuhl aspect).


Grimfurg | 5/5 |


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