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Magma - mhnthtt-R CD (album) cover





4.19 | 467 ratings

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4 stars Classic Sound with A Bit of Modern Polish

Though I have yet to obtain Magma's first return to the scene with KA, I have thoroughly enjoyed their 2009 follow up E-Re. After so many years, it's hard to imagine that there's much more to add to the long legacy of Zeuhl. But far from coming out with a limpid imitation of their classics, Magma has put together a record that stands up well even if it doesn't forge into any new territory. All the classic elements are here, the chanting semi-classical vocals, the throbbing bass lines, the repetitive phrasing, the fusion flavored drumming, and of course the Kobaian language.

The biggest advantage of the new record is the cleaned up production that the decades have provided. The separation and clarity are better than any previous records I own, without making the mix sterile. Similarly, some of the vocals have a more precise sense of melody. Everything seems a little more sober, for the good and maybe a little to the detriment. The focus and clarity are good, but I must admit there is just a tiny down tick in the intensity of the emotion. Of course all of the players being 30 years older might contribute a little too. Jannick Top's bass is certainly at the forefront, pulling in the more upbeat, funky feel of Udu Wudu with the epicness of Kohntarkosz. The Karl Orff-isms of MDK continue to be pretty understated.

Though this is a concept album, the storyline is pointless because no one speaks native Kobaian. The music does move from section to section naturally, combining into one continuous work. Unlike some earlier works, the climactic sections aren't quite as noisy, don't feel like the world is about to fall apart. Tastes will vary on the implications of that change.

Overall, this is a very solid record that certainly is worth obtaining for Magma fans. It may not be one of their masterpieces, but it certainly is a welcome addition to the discography.

Negoba | 4/5 |


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