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Magnésis - L'Immortel Opéra CD (album) cover





3.06 | 22 ratings

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3 stars The band description tells us that this typical French neo band is a sort of blend of early Genesis, Marillion and Ange. And after having listened to this album a couple of times I think this is not too far from the truth. The live performace resembles Genesis mainly where the theatrical displays are concerned, the lyrics and vocal performances show the likeness of Ange but that´s mainly due to the French language in which they sing. And Marillion is the neo aspect in the comparison story but here I fail to see much resemblance I´m afraid. Because Magnesis is - as the title of this album already reveals - more of a semi-classical opera tending band and there was not much of that in Marillion I feel. The classical work Magnesis is inspired by must have something to do with Mozart because he´s the rock and roll star Magnesis will be singing about (4th and 5th track).

Anyway, the album starts with an overture, confirming my statement above. What strikes immediately is the strange and very mediocre (if not poor) production of this album. If this would have been an album from the eighties or early nineties I would have understood but this is from 2005 so what is going on here ? And it´s a pity because it´s destracting very much from the main thing which is the music itself of course. I´m not very impressed with the music either on this opener. Fortunately the album gets better later on I can reveal right now otherwise we would have a two star contender here I fear. 2,5 * for this overture.

Act 2 is called Le Pacte and starts with vocals and the same sort of heavy guitar play as on the overture. This lasts for about three minutes when acoustic guitar takes over in a lovely display. After this bit the whole orchestra takes its turn obviously one by one with some wind instruments. This is a wonderful passage that is a great example of the increasing level of musicianship and composition I was talking about in previous song. Unfortunately the last part suddenly gets very dark, on the other hand this means we are dealing with a versatile track. Also the semi-classical idea I mentioned is very present here. 3,25 *

The beautiful wind contribution from previous song also plays a part in Act 3 and I believe it´s the most enchanting feature of Magnesis. I see no wind instruments in the line-up though so I believe these parts are done by the synthesizer (?) Also this composition is intriguing and well done by Frederic Przybyl but also here the moderate production quality destracts too much. 3,5*.

Act 4 is the one that´s really about Mozart but with this track Magnesis returns to the rock ´n roll style which was also partly present on Act 1. Some fine guitar here in first minutes later followed by other very nice instrumental parts. Also this is a very fine composition. The guitar in last two minutes is even mindblowing. I fail to see the connection with Mozart though. 3,75*.

Also Act 5 is about Mozart introduced with a short story followed by some nice piano. This is not semi-cassical but 100% classical for 1,5 minutes. Rest of the tracks is about 75% classical with a slightly more modern approach. Is it clarinet I hear after 3,5 minutes or is it the synthesizer ? It´s truly becoming a nagging matter now but alas no conformation to be found anywhere in the booklet. 3,5* for this finale.

All in all a great album by Magnesis and if the production (sorry, but it´s an essential element here) would have been good this album would have deserved four stars. As it is I will have to leave it at three I´m afraid.

progrules | 3/5 |


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