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Jannick Top - Infernal Machina CD (album) cover

INFERNAL MACHINA

Jannick Top

 

Zeuhl

4.07 | 132 ratings

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BrufordFreak
5 stars Consistently one heck of a powerful journey. IMHO, MDK is the only Zeuhl album to do it better.

Part I (10/10) is majestic, mysterious, melodic, beautiful. Cave raindrops! Bowed bass!

Part II (8/10) introduces the vocal which reminds me of the diotonic stylings of the female folk singers of Les Voix Mystères de Bulgarie

Part III (10/10) starts with distorted electric guitar rhythm chords, bowed bass, and intense 'Bulgarian' chanting (and screaming?is that you, Stella?). Shifts at 2:20 to deep metal-like electric power chords from the rhythm section accompanied by female voices. A brief but oh-so effective pause at the 3:00 minute mark opens the door for the full-band unified pulse of ecstatic marching. Amazing!

Part IV (7/10) introduces (with an electronic crash) a slower, more methodic, plodding pace with a now-male chorus (among whom is the unmistakable voice of MAGMA's KLAUS BLASQUIS)

Part V (10/10) is amazing for its pulsing bass, slow and steady drums, and electric guitar chords. The low male breath-chants, a few 'Bulgarian' voice chants, and a Math Rock section of guitar chords usher in a change in tempo?and with it a real sense of immediacy, even urgency. Like, "Oh my God! It's happening!"

Part VI (10/10) sees an insidious increase in tempo?and urgency?as Persian horns carry a religious melody into the sacred ritual. WOW!! This is AMAZING! 2:50: Piano. 3:20 searing guitar solo with amazing bass & rhythm chord progression in background. Cycling back to 'Persian' horns, male breath chants, female 'Bulgarian' chant, all weaving together with frenetic drumming and electric guitar soloing like Sir ROBERT of FRIPP at his stool-offing best.

Part VII (8/10) is like a cooling waterfall flowing down over the hot coals?piano and cymbol play doing most of the cleansing. 1:45 shift in rhythm section to syncopated pulses of bass and low male voice grunts. The piano and cymbols continue their flood of erosive notes. 3:20 and 3:50 see first true nods to CHRISTIAN VANDER/MAGMA sound & style.

PART VIII (9/10) returns to the very same piano single note pounding of Part VII with the now VANDER-crazed drumming going crazy behind and some MAGMA-like choral work dispersed here and there. This is really the drummer's song. Awesome ascent of scale by TOP's bass chords.

Part IX (7/10) sees an inversion and minoring of the musical/piano chords while the same frenzy of drums and other rhythms go on all around it and the repetition of a monotonic pattern of staccato choral notes.

Part X (8/10) continues the frenzy party of Part IX with little or no difference (more cymbol crashes, increased vocal volume, variation in vowel sound used for staccato vocal notes, guitar chords become patternized, circular).

Part XI (8/10) sees a transition to rhythm guitar rock chords, deep throbbing bass line, more 'controlled' drumming, a return and interweaving of previous vocal lines, along with the introduction and intertwining of a new vocal line?which ascends to take us to the culmination point.

Resolution (8/10) seems to be a kind of driving disco-version of Part VI and VII with the Persian horns and male vocal grunt pattern. At 1:50 the electric rhythm guitar chords and female 'Bulgarian' voices take a turn before giving way to the 'Persian' horns and male grunt section for fifteen seconds. Back and forth the female and male chanting trade again and again into the final minute of the song when we are reunited with the 'cave raindrop' music of the opening song to close.

This is definitely a masterpiece of amazing music?Zeuhl or not. Definitely one of the two or three best albums from 2008.

BrufordFreak | 5/5 |

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