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Magma - Attahk CD (album) cover





3.72 | 425 ratings

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The Quiet One
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Jazz Rock Attahk

Magma's Attahk was my first purchase from Zeuhl foundators and it gave me mixed thoughts of them: some jazz rock, odd language and use of it, dark(generally), catchiness? All of these came to my mind when I listened to this; of course, the ''odd language'' was really about the language they created/invented, very inventive I must say; the way they use that language(Kobaian) is incredible, it's capable to create a lot of melodies which I can barely think of a 'real' language is able to do; dark mainly for the overall mood of most of the songs, created by the language and bass; catchiness, well the use of their language besides making dark moods and avant-gardish style, can also bring a lot of groove, which are fun to follow(despite being difficult to follow, lol).

The album starts with the breath-taker, The Last Seven Minutes, a Zeuhl track which compromises the Jazz Rock aspects the most, with an unbelievable drum/bass rhythm; as well with Avant-Garde here and there created by the vocals harmonies; as well as the catchiness I've been talking about earlier, created by the great vocals of Christian, as well created by the funky rhythm from the bass/drums. Overall, a killer opener, full of great harmonies and musicianship.

Spiritual is what I would call Zeuhl-friendly, an odd gospel/blues song. It contains nothing more than catchiness with a groovy rhythm a la Ray Charles' What I'd Say, to specify: the part in which Ray sings with the women: ''Oh! Uh! Oh!, etc, just that this time it is in Kobaian.

Rinde is a wonderful piano piece sung by Stella Vander, with a dark mood created by the backing vocals and by the way Stella express' her words. Wonderful piece.

Liriik Necronomicus Kanht has the killer bass/drum rhythm of The Last Seven Minutes, though the difference is that that's the only thing this song has besides some great parts created by the vocals, the song is quite repetitive and doesn't develop as The Last Seven Minutes did. Still a quite good song for the already mentioned aspects.

Maahnt another fantastic rhythm based song, with a somber/dark mood in the first 2 minutes, while the rest of the song has some very good synth stuff as well as trumpet/trombone stuff. The vocal delivery this time is decent, nothing special. A worthwhile song for those who like jazzy bass and synth work.

Dondai is a slow gentle piece, like Rinde but more elaborated; with 2 lead vocalists, with a subtle development, speeding up slowly through the vocals. The song also includes some subtle Chamberlin work(which is similar to a mellotron). Overall, one of the best songs of the album, without being bombastic on the vocals nor on the musicianship like in The Last Seven Minutes.

The album finishes, almost as good as it started with Nono. Opening with a catchy bass line, and soon Christian's drums/vocals and Benoit's keys enter. The song is in a quite speed-up rhythm created by Christian's hi-hat. The song evolves subtley, speeding up Guy's bass and with this the vocals, and soon a synth solo to come a la symphonic style. The song finishes as it started, dramatically with the repetitive ''nono, nono''(just think about it: ''no!, no!, no!'', there's something wrong on there in the studio, right?, hehe)

This is not typical Zeuhl, well Zeuhl is not typical, but well, you get it.... It's like to say Drama by Yes, or Trick of the Tail by Genesis, without comparing the potential of each of these albums, they're similar in style, in which each are great by their own rights, yet different from their classic stuff.

Definitely Attahk has its downfalls, and though overall it's not really excellent, this album manages to be a solid and unique album. The standout instrument in this album is definitely that unstoppable jazzy bass by Guy Delacroix, simply stunning all through the album.

3 stars: Recomended tp Jazz Rock fans who want to listen to an original twist of the genre, and its a good album for newbies, unless you're into Zappa and the whole Avant-Garde section, then start with M.D.K.

The Quiet One | 3/5 |


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