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Offering - A Fh CD (album) cover

A FH

Offering

Zeuhl


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4 stars The last Offering album to this date!

This album is not that consise as the other albums by Offering, but that doesnt mean its bad, not at all, this is actually a very satisfying album in all ways, it is very varied and starts of with a Kobaian Hymn, with only a big organ and nothing else (I Swear i have heard this melody in magma, but i cant put my fingers to it...) Then comes "Cosmos" which is a interlude for the Title track, both songs are stunning and i think these songs shows the evolution of the band and i feel the link to Magma is very evident on these two tracks, A Fiieh was played live already in 1987, and i wonder why Vander took so long to finish up this album (as all 80/90/00 records by him and his bands)

then comes "La Marche Cleste" which i really have not many words for, a decent tune with a very minimalistic theme, lots of harmony vocals in the background...next tune is a strange song called "Magnifi" which deals with (i think) the varoius obstacles mankind must pass through, the lady vocals just repeats the words magnifi, purifi, magnifi, and the next song up is "purificatem" which is a very wild song, and very jazzy, this song took me about 10-15 listens to just get into, again the words fails me to explain any serious details about this, another one you just have to hear, to make up your own opinion.

This album is worth getting non the less, but you should try Offering I & II before you start to get into this record

A solid 4!

Report this review (#113905)
Posted Thursday, March 1, 2007 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars This is the third and final OFFERING album. It's quite different from the first two, and it's the only one not dedicated to John Coltrane. And that might be the key because the first two records are so full of joy, it's like they are celebrating John Coltrane for all the great music he has created that has so inspired Christian Vander. Both are like offerings to Christian's musical hero. This one is darker and more serious. A much larger band participates as well with more vocalists and percussionists etc.

"Hymne Kobaien" is basically Christian playing an orchestral-like keyboard solo. Not a big fan of this one. "Cosmos" is a different story though. It opens with a dark atmosphere before piano takes over playing slowly. Soft vocal melodies join in. It builds as cymbals clash. Cool song. "A Fiieh" opens with piano as cymbals and vocal melodies join in. Dual female vocals here. Christian comes in vocally before a minute. Great sound here. Strong vocals before 4 1/2 minutes. Intense. It settles back like earlier but with male and female vocals as piano and cymbals continue. Great track. "La March Celeste" features these deep male vocals with piano. Female vocals join in and the vocals get more passionate. It settles after 4 minutes.

"Magnifi" is a minimilistic track with spoken words and piano. "Purificatem (Accord Des Instruments)" is a jazzy tune with lazy sax melodies as piano and synths join in. Drums after 2 minutes as the sax gets more passionate. "Purificatem" is the 26 1/2 minute closer. This is the most difficult track to digest at times. A lot of dissonance and crazy vocals too. It seems to meander a lot. It opens with piano as drums join in then sax. Christian arrives vocally before a minute. Check out Christian after 4 1/2 minutes with his odd vocal expressions. More of this with tambourine after 10 minutes. The sax then becomes prominant when the vocals stop. Piano joins in. Dissonant 13 minutes in. Vocals join the chaos. Christian is screaming 16 minutes in. It calms down 17 1/2 minutes in but the dissonace returns as these are contrasted the rest of the way. What a song !

Easily 4 stars. For the adventerous and especially MAGMA fans.

Report this review (#253361)
Posted Saturday, November 28, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars The third and final Offering album, with Christian Vander again exploring life outside Zeuhl and Kobaia (mostly). Not as Coltrane-heavy as the previous two albums but still a decent part of Vander's wider discography.

It starts on a bum note though, with the first track taking the title literally, a cathedral organ solo. Meh.

Cosmos starts with dark piano chords before becoming more ethereal thanks to the dual female vocalisations. Its not a dynamic track on its own but is a pre-cursor to title track Affieh which starts with similar vocals but a faster paced piano and cymbals. Interplay between these vocals and Christian Vander's early Zeuhl style 'lyrics' is excellent, with the track building in intensity with a range of percussion too. Some lyrics also in English ('Just for you'). After the intensity of percussion and piano peaks after 6 minutes it settles back down to the original cymbal roll and light piano chords, building again with even more dynamic vocal interplay. Probably the best track on the album (and the 2nd longest at over 10 minutes).

The next section begins with deep male vocals from Vander and a handful of guests, with the women joining in for a full choir after a minute and a half. As the title would suggest, the accompanying piano is very march-like, but unlike peak Magma this isn't quite the dystopian military march and is a lot more upbeat.

Magnifi is a mysterious sounding monologue accompanied by alternating piano chords and string effects, a strange interlude. The prelude to Purificatem is the most jazzy track, mainly due to the freeplay saxophone and piano, starting slow and lazy but building quickly into fast tempo free jazz after half the track with the addition of drums.

Vander's piece de resistance is the 26 minute Purificatem, which can be broken down into several phases. It begins like a classic early Magma jazzy Kobaian track, with Vander's vocals alongside jazzy sax, glockenspiel and drums, with just a hint of foreboding thanks to the rolling piano chords. After 4 minutes or so, Vander's smooth vocals become more abstract and scatty, with the instruments following suit, becoming more chaotic as his 'manic' vocalisations build in intensity. This continues to a crescendo and at half way the vocals give way to a 3 minute jazzy instrumental which peaks and troughs between minimal and intense. Vander then returns and the track gets even more intense, with him and the saxophone practically screaming at each other before everything slows to a break on 17 minutes, but it builds quickly up again for a second shouting match. Vocals return periodically for the remainder of the track, with the intensity still shifting up and down, often signified by strong low pitched piano chords (think of cartoons dropping a piano out of a window...). Cracking track.

I'd therefore focus on the two longer tracks - the rest seem a bit like filler really. Hard to compare the three Offerign albums, they're all good in very different ways!

Report this review (#2883009)
Posted Saturday, February 18, 2023 | Review Permalink

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