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Magma - Theusz Hamtaahk - Trilogie CD (album) cover

THEUSZ HAMTAAHK - TRILOGIE

Magma

Zeuhl


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tomas@proman-
5 stars Being a collector with special interest in progressive rock, and after having listened to more than 100 albums of progressive rock through the last 20 years, I find that Magma and Theusz Hamtaakh is one of the most important contributions to progressive rock as a musical style.

Any fan of progressive rock, and even anybody with an interest in musical history, should get a copy of Theusz Hamtaakh, especially the 1974 BBC London recording of the first movement is fabulous.

This is really 70's music, and the spirit of the 70's is all around in this magnificent example of how progressive rock masters were thinking back then.

It is also a frontrunner example of falsetto vocals used in hard rock, extremely heavy drums and bass, the repetition as a musical building block, and many other features that had its full blossom in releases by other and more widely acclaimed groups and concepts that came later on.

One of the most impressing facts about this music is that it has inspired musicians of so many different styles, from 80's heavy rock to 90's techno, nobody remained uninfluenced by Magma. Since Magma is utterly ecclectic music, it has also inspired composers in combining styles and crossing over traditional boundarys between the cirkus, the concert hall and the rock/jazz club stage. I bet Mike Patton had listened to the track "Aina" from the 1970 release "Magma" before he made the first Mr. Bungle album!

No words can describe - just go and get a copy of this one!

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#44192)
Posted Thursday, August 25, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars All I can say is : please, have a listen to this triple live album, it's really magnificent ! The entirety of the Theusz Hamtaahk trilogy (Theusz Hamtaahk, Wurdah Itah, Mekanik Destruktiw Kommandh), 132 minutes of pure zeuhl. If you're not familiarized with this kind of music, this live collection would be the perfect album to begin with. A masterpiece, even if I still prefer the live albums Hhai Live and Opra De Reims 1976. But this one, recorded 30 years after Magma's creation (so, in 2000) is perfect.

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Send comments to Zardoz (BETA) | Report this review (#164043)
Posted Sunday, March 16, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is a fantastic and ambitious live project, containing more or less the equivalent of three symphonies of music performed over two nights. And Magma pulled it off brilliantly.

This was my introduction to Theusz Hamtaahk (Time of Hatred), which is a fantastic piece of work that stands up quite well to Mkank Dstruktw Kmmandh--in fact, with its marching beat and slow, relentless pace, the music would almost seem to tell the MDK story even better than MDK itself does! My favorite moment in the piece is track 3, "Dmb wlss Dlhn," where the chords suddenly drift off into a strange and alien land, with sensitively-sung triadic and quartal vocal harmonies floating above, like lost fragments of a hymn. (I know I'm not the only one who likes this part, as, if you listen carefully, you can hear a member of the audience exclaim in full digging-it mode.) Then, sit back and watch it build, as with Magma it always does. The conclusion of Theusz Hamtaahk, which starts with "Slibenli Dh Theusz" (track 8) is deliciously climactic, where a simple B - C - D triadic movement is quickly built to a resounding and immensely satisfying chorus. I should note that Theusz Hamtaahk is probably the most quotable Magma piece, if you want (or dare!) to show off your Magma cred--try peppering your conversations with an occasionally spat-out growl of "Theusz Hamtaahk!" or a sudden rousing cry of "Slass!!" and watch peoples' heads turn.

I'm also a big fan of the performance of MDK on Disc 3--in fact, it is my favorite rendition of it in my collection. Several parts of it have been reworked since it was originally committed to vinyl in the 70s, and the ending is perhaps not as crunchingly apocalyptic as the original album (lack of brass will do that to you), but overall I think the changes make it a more cohesive and accessible work. And hearing the crowd enthusiastically whoop along with the band in the conclusion is also very satisfying to a die-hard progger like me.

Fortunately, this handsome box set conveniently comes with full lyrics so you can embarrass yourself by singing along in public--translations and pronunciation guide, however, you'll have to come up with yourself.

Three CDs of Magma's most uncompromising work may be a challenge to some (i.e. to those who Mike Oldfield might refer to as "cloth-eared nincompoops"), but if you enjoy Magma's music, this is absolutely an album to own and cherish.

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Send comments to ods94065 (BETA) | Report this review (#226617)
Posted Tuesday, July 14, 2009 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars This is the first complete "Theusz Hamtaahk" trilogy to be released in one package. In this case a 3 cd box set.This was recorded live in 2000 during their 30th anniversary concerts. It's basically the same lineup that would record "K.A." the following year.This is very highly rated by the fans. RYM site has it tied for first with "Retrospektiw I-II" as the highest rated MAGMA album while the Gnosis site has it in second after "Live / Hhai". For me it's an excellent live recording but i'd rate a few other live MAGMA albums above it. I think fans of "K.A." though will fall over themselves at how good this is.

Disc One is the "Theusz Hamtaahk" suite that was composed by Christian Vander between 1970 and 1973.This is the most stripped down lineup (8) that did these three compositions. Pretty much all of these tracks blend into one another.The chanting is certainly the prominant feature of this lineup much like that 1973 lineup that did "MDK". And it is pretty amazing to listen to the five singers (on this disc) work it up into a frenzy at times. Drums, piano and bass standout the most after the vocals.

Disc Two features a 10 member lineup and again the songs blend into one another making this come across as one long suite.This is the "Wurdah Itah" suite composed by Christian Vander in 1971.

Disc Three is the "MDK" suite and it boasts the largest lineup of 14 people and it's the only one with horns (trumpets & trombones).This suite was originally composed by Christian Vander in 1972 and is no doubt the most well known of the three.The "Nebeha Gudahtt" track is my favourite part of this compilation. It opens with a Bussonet bass solo and the crowd cheers wildly after 1 1/2 minutes but he keeps going then it all picks up after 2 minutes. Nice.The drums join in then Mac Gaw on the guitar. It's building. So good ! Electric piano from Borghi joins in as the guitar rips it up.Vocals after 6 minutes. How good is this ! It blends into "Mekanik Kommandoh" my second favourite piece on here.

For those of you who rate "K.A." as your favourite MAGMA studio album I would hunt this down at all costs. If your like me and don't have "K.A." in your top five of favourite MAGMA studio albums then it may not be worth the expense.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#503221)
Posted Sunday, August 14, 2011 | Review Permalink
Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars After a long hiatus, Magma return with their most ambitious live album yet, compiled from a series of live performances of the classic Theusz Hamtaahk trilogy - which includes the classic-era Magma pieces Wurdah Itah and Mekanik Destruktiw Kommandoh. Whilst many Magma fans will already have decent live versions of all three movements in this sequence, this live set is unique in that it presents a single lineup of Magma performing the entire trilogy as part of a cohesive concert experience.

Thus, whilst the individual renditions of the three movements may or may not be the absolute best available (and they're certainly in the running), over the three-disc set they come together to form a cohesive whole far more readily than any cobbled-together compilation of performances of the movements from different points in time by differing Magma lineups would. Now to hope that the band give the Kohntarkosz trilogy the same treatment...

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#639528)
Posted Thursday, February 23, 2012 | Review Permalink

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