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Mahavishnu Orchestra - The Inner Mounting Flame CD (album) cover


Mahavishnu Orchestra


Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.27 | 979 ratings

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3 stars This album sits right behind Magma in my cd-cabinet and the first 40 seconds could easily fool me into thinking I picked up one of the Magma albums by mistake. It's a dark and heavy start, with virtuoso drums, screaming guitars and textured jazz chords, almost zeuhl. But after 40 seconds it clears up, a gentle vintage McLaughlin guitar picking hypnotizes us into a 7 minute journey of swirling guitar solos. This is pure oral pleasure for all guitar lovers.

And the trip goes on, sometimes slightly more laidback as on Dawn, sometimes slightly less inspired as on The Noonward Race. On A Lotus On Irish Streams, McLaughlin's influences from Indian music come to the fore a first time, it is another trademark piece that they would revisit multiple times.

On Vital Transformation my attention wavers a bit. It's sure an overwhelming piece again but the musical backbone isn't as solid and inspired as it would become on later albums. The Dance Of Maya is a lot better. Actually I think it must have been Robert Fripp doing the opening picking here. Easy to see what he was listening to in 1971. The complex time signature and chromatic chords would become a King Crimson staple in the ensuing years.

You Know You Know continues on the main chord progression of The Dance Of Maya. The piece brings a welcome rest point, leaving a bit of room for the other musicians. Not really a trademark McLaughnin approach I'd say...

Based on the quality alone I have to rate this debut with 3 stars, but due to the pioneering influence an extra star might be considered.

Bonnek | 3/5 |


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