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Magma - Theusz Hamtaahk - Trilogie CD (album) cover





4.58 | 88 ratings

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5 stars This is a fantastic and ambitious live project, containing more or less the equivalent of three symphonies of music performed over two nights. And Magma pulled it off brilliantly.

This was my introduction to Theusz Hamtaahk (Time of Hatred), which is a fantastic piece of work that stands up quite well to Mkank Dstruktw Kmmandh--in fact, with its marching beat and slow, relentless pace, the music would almost seem to tell the MDK story even better than MDK itself does! My favorite moment in the piece is track 3, "Dmb wlss Dlhn," where the chords suddenly drift off into a strange and alien land, with sensitively-sung triadic and quartal vocal harmonies floating above, like lost fragments of a hymn. (I know I'm not the only one who likes this part, as, if you listen carefully, you can hear a member of the audience exclaim in full digging-it mode.) Then, sit back and watch it build, as with Magma it always does. The conclusion of Theusz Hamtaahk, which starts with "Slibenli Dh Theusz" (track 8) is deliciously climactic, where a simple B - C - D triadic movement is quickly built to a resounding and immensely satisfying chorus. I should note that Theusz Hamtaahk is probably the most quotable Magma piece, if you want (or dare!) to show off your Magma cred--try peppering your conversations with an occasionally spat-out growl of "Theusz Hamtaahk!" or a sudden rousing cry of "Slass!!" and watch peoples' heads turn.

I'm also a big fan of the performance of MDK on Disc 3--in fact, it is my favorite rendition of it in my collection. Several parts of it have been reworked since it was originally committed to vinyl in the 70s, and the ending is perhaps not as crunchingly apocalyptic as the original album (lack of brass will do that to you), but overall I think the changes make it a more cohesive and accessible work. And hearing the crowd enthusiastically whoop along with the band in the conclusion is also very satisfying to a die-hard progger like me.

Fortunately, this handsome box set conveniently comes with full lyrics so you can embarrass yourself by singing along in public--translations and pronunciation guide, however, you'll have to come up with yourself.

Three CDs of Magma's most uncompromising work may be a challenge to some (i.e. to those who Mike Oldfield might refer to as "cloth-eared nincompoops"), but if you enjoy Magma's music, this is absolutely an album to own and cherish.

ods94065 | 5/5 |


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