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Universal Totem Orchestra - The Magus CD (album) cover


Universal Totem Orchestra



4.14 | 119 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars A surprisingly refreshing take on the Zeuhl genre, Universal Totem Orchestra is end-result of cross-contaminating Zeuhl with prog metal and RPI in a blistering 80 minute package. And we're offered no less than four double-digit epic pieces to quench that prog thirst. Unfortunately, that's one of the big faults of THE MAGUS; there's just so much music that it becomes so hard to digest.

I often have trouble following along with the segues and changes the pieces go through even if the amount of themes tossed in is not overkill. It's as if the band had four to five themes written out, wanted to throw them in one epic but couldn't overcome flowing amongst them smoothly. The opening ''De Astrologia'' is an example; the first couple of themes (the electronic one and the Zeuhl-metal one) are fantastic, but them devolves into a random gibberish section that's absolutely lost on me.

That length is pretty nasty to the point where I find the last two tracks tiring; compare that to Magma or Koenjihyakkei (both of whom can entertain me across a whole album's length), it's not too great. Throw in a heaping of substandard vocals (particularly the ''Kobaia'' cop-out in ''Coerenza Della Percentuali'') and THE MAGUS is an album that scores on the fantasy of (at least) three prog styles meshing beautifully, but loses on the practice just not coming up to par.

Sinusoid | 3/5 |


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