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Universal Totem Orchestra - The Magus CD (album) cover


Universal Totem Orchestra



4.14 | 118 ratings

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5 stars Zeuhl was genial Magma's invention in its time, and genre's influence is really important in prog history. I really like some early Magma's albums, but very soon formula's potential was exploited till borderlines, and all later trying to dig deeper doesn't sound so attractive for me. I can really enjoy zeuhl with jazz fusion elements, some playful moments, experimental sound and rhythm,interesting composition structures.

Unhappily from some point Magma and big part of their followers/related projects became more "thing inside itself". Dark, totalitarian chamber music with repeating formula very soon missed its attraction (for me). Then, it's really great that there exists some different zeuhl streams around. Some years ago I discovered really original and interesting (at that time) Japanese brutal noisy zeuhl ( which possibly mostly burned its potential till now as well).

Another interesting discovery is Universal Total Orchestra. Side-project of more boring and less interesting Italian zeuhl band Runaway Totem, UTO is real breath of fresh air!

Second band's album (released 9 years after their debut) is great confirmation zeuhl isn't term for museums. Their chamber music is heavily scented with jazz fusion and that unique Italian elegant beauty you can find on best RPI classic albums. Ana Torres Fraile's operatic vocals is that rare case when such element sounds absolutely organic in rock music. Keyboards sound doesn't press you as Teutonic boot, but remind more prog rock great legacy (ELP or Yes, but without bombastic). Rhythm section is pure fusion, and it gives to all music lightness, dynamics and even groove. Guitar is pure rock, and it sounds powerful and controlled at the same time.Compositions are very professional and never boring.

Great zeuhl album for XXI century! My rating is 5! Excellent!

snobb | 5/5 |


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