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Magma - mhnthtt-R CD (album) cover





4.21 | 514 ratings

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4 stars 4.5 stars. mhnthtt-R, the third part of the Kohntarkosz trilogy, was released in 2009. This completed a series that was started in the mid 1970's and didn't see completion until decades later. This album features songs that appeared on d Wd, Attahk, and Live/Hhai. I don't have a problem with this. If an artist thinks they can improve an old song with new recording technology, they are free to do as they please. It helps that the songs that were recycled are good.

Track 1 is mhnthtt-R I. This, along with the next 3 songs, make up the bulk of the album. Christian gives narration in a vaguely Egyptian sounding language, then the vocal choir sings an ominous melody. Voices are panned left, right, and centre, while drums and piano make the instrumental. Stella gives an emotional solo, and this leads into "Rinde" from Attahk.

Part II starts with Christian singing, and this is where the album picks up the pace. A bonus track from d Wd is reused, and a great vocal harmony brings us to the next song. "Hhai" was always a live staple since it was first used in 1975. Over time, it has grown to be one of Magma's best songs. This studio version is a worthy addition to the song's legacy. Christian's voice is as good as ever. An impactful ending segues into "Zombies", a track from d Wd. This time, the song is much faster and more intense.

Part III has a dramatic intro and falls into a more reserved instrumental. Stella and Herv Aknin sing a duet, with other vocalists fading in and out of the mix. This song keeps building until it is very dense with vocals and instruments. It keeps ramping up intensity, and a well deserved crescendo is reached.

Part IV is a more calm and jazzy piece. Stella sings alone once again. This allows the listener to relax and reflect on the trip this album has taken them on. That is, until a moody ending suddenly happens.

Parts I to IV of the mhnthtt-R suite are the main portion of the album. I can't say what comes after is essential though. "Funhrarum Kanht" sounds more like vocal practice for the band, than a real song. This drones on for 4 minutes with sustained voices and repetitive percussion. Not bad, but not great. "Sh" is not much to write about. It's just 30 seconds worth of ambience with Christian repeating the opening narration.

Despite an underwhelming ending, this record is still fantastic. As a whole, mhnthtt-R is a more dark and brooding album than K.A. Sometimes, I love this album as much as K.A. You can't go wrong with either one. If you like progressive music, I encourage you to listen to mhnthtt-R.

thebig_E | 4/5 |


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