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MHNTHTT-R

Magma

Zeuhl


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Magma mhnthtt-R album cover
4.18 | 345 ratings | 37 reviews | 43% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


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Studio Album, released in 2009

Songs / Tracks Listing


1. mhnthtt-R I (6:53)
2. mhnthtt-R II (22:25)
3. mhnthtt-R III (13:06)
4. mhnthtt-R IV (3:54)
5. Funhrarum Kanht (4:19)
6. Sh (0:27)

Total time: 51:04


Lyrics

Search MAGMA mhnthtt-R lyrics

Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Christian Vander / drums, voices, piano, Fender Rhodes, clavinet, percussions
- Stella Vander / voices, percussions
- Isabelle Feuillebois / voices
- Herv Aknin / voices
- Benot Alziary / vibraphone
- James Mac Gaw / guitar
- Bruno Ruder / Fender Rhodes
- Philippe Bussonnet / bass

With:
- Emmanuel Borghi / piano
- Himiko Paganotti, Antoine Paganotti, Claude Lamamy, Marcus Linon and Pierre-- Michel Sivadier / voices



Releases information

Released as a CD + DVD package by Seven Records in 2009.
Catalogue Number SEVEN A XXXV

Thanks to EduMusic for the addition
and to progkidjoel for the last updates
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Mythes & Legendes 3Mythes & Legendes 3
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Studio ZndStudio Znd
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MAGMA mhnthtt-R ratings distribution


4.18
(345 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(43%)
43%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(31%)
31%
Good, but non-essential (16%)
16%
Collectors/fans only (6%)
6%
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)
3%

MAGMA mhnthtt-R reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover and E&O Teams
5 stars Finally, I was able to review this. My third venture into Zeuhl territory. And also my not only first Zeuhl, but also first album listened together with my girlfriend. I'm glad she's stunned (pleasantly) by this, this ... masterpiece, same as I am. Still am

Something that can fit only to vast and faraway universe of Kobaa. It literally got my attention, held me for these roughly 50 minutes and let me go after it ended. Few minutes after it ended. Very interesting album, even I feel that some elements starting to be well known and repeats itself. But that's OK, I just though that this magical wonderful (shiny happy, you know) world will be full of surprises endlessly. Nevermind, let's sober a little bit. OK, it's not possible, 'cause I'm still listening.

Christian Vander's voice is, well, still good, even he's XX years old. Not lost anything from his energy and potential, it's even better. First I didn't understand all these hyped ratings (9 ratings, 2 reviews, all 5-stars), but now I'm doing the same thing. It will decrease after some time I suppose, maybe even I will change my mind, but for now, it stands for

5(+) with only mistake, it can be little bit boring after some time. I felt this during first listen, but then, after repeated ones, it disappeared little bit. The problematic part is towards the end of II and for some time in III. But there's also positive thing about it, every new listen brings something new. Not patterns (piano, drums, chanting, it's very similar), but new sounds, little differences, some of them which are very important.

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Send comments to Marty McFly (BETA) | Report this review (#250151) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, November 12, 2009

Review by poslednijat_colobar
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars The best album of the year

Wow... What a music!? I think we have finally found the best album of the year and probably one of the best albums of the decade, if not the best! My touch with zeuhl is very poor to date, but I have to change this. mhnthtt-R is just unthinkable music. It's like a jewel - rare and prime. It personifies the word art - and explains some other words: perfection, unique, profound and made with wish. I think that's enough for the portrait of the album.

Now it's time to talk about the essence of mhnthtt-R. This is an album with perfect musicianship and extremely extraordinary songwriting. There aren't peak moments and culmination, because the whole album is a culmination. All around the album the themes are connected logically and precise. Probably there are the culminations - at the end of mhnthtt-R II and at the end of mhnthtt-R III, but as I said everything else is like a culmination, too.

Kobaan language is again rulling over the album. The constructed (by Christian Vander) language sounds very ancient-like and helps the album being some more impressive. All the instruments are just divine. Drum, bass, piano and guitar are all incredible. I would like to mention two names: Philippe Bussonnet (bass player) and, of course, Christian Vander - who doesn't need introduction. They both play remarkable all around the album. The combination of all the instruments is highly impressive. It reveals the balance and synchronize of mhnthtt-R. I won't forget to talk about the vocals. The specific choir vocals brings more volumed and dinamic sound plus darkened suspense. Lead vocals made by Christian Vander and Stella Vander remind me opera singing and contribute to more classic sound of the album.

As a conclusion: one of the most undoubtful 5 stars rating for me!

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Send comments to poslednijat_colobar (BETA) | Report this review (#251495) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Review by silvertree
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars If this isn't a masterpiece then what is ? Okay, this album is not ground-breaking, but Magma by itself is ground-breaking ! They've created a genre on their own ! Now this album is a dream come true. Magma maybe one of the last dinosaurs of progressive rock that has been faithful to its sounds and concepts and has never given in to the commercial aspect of music. Their latest album has all the typical Magma elements inside : fantastic choirs, some singing by Vander himself, awesome bass and drumming... ; epic crescendo music that gives you the goose bumps. This is nirvana ! Let's talk about Vander's voice. All the famous singers that have turned over 50 can't seem to sing as high as they use to. Well, Vander can ! The only aspect you won't find in this new album is the high-pitched growling that one can find in some of their albums produced in the 70s. The music is typical zeuhl and has tends to have more choir singing than other albums. Now for the sound : at last, Magma produces an album with top quality recording, something that their classic albums lack. I wish they would remaster them. Anyway, I'm going to recommend this album very strongly because I believe it has all the ingredients (creativity and musicianship) to become a true masterpiece. Only time will tell of course but you must get this one with your eyes closed and your ears wide open.

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Send comments to silvertree (BETA) | Report this review (#252040) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, November 21, 2009

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars This is without question the best MAGMA record I have heard since "Kohntarkosz". I can't believe i'm saying this after all those great albums of the seventies, and the big comeback record ("KA") of several years ago. This is darker and more intense than "KA" which suits my tastes better, in fact I really think Jannick Top's "Infernal Machina" had an influence on this album. Most of those playing on "Emehntehtt-Re" played on Top's masterpiece of last year, and I have no doubt that Christian Vander (who played drums on it) was impressed with it's power and intensity. He's certainly created a powerful album here. The title track is divided into 4 parts but it all blends together making it an over 46 minute track.

"Emehntehitt-Re I" opens with outbursts of sound. Inbetween these outbursts we first get Christian's spoken words then the female vocal melodies which eventually take over with the drums and male vocal melodies. It settles 3 minutes in with female vocals and piano dominating. It blends into "Emehntehitt-Re II" where we get a fuller sound with Christian singing. Female vocal melodies join in. Nice bass from Bussonnet before 2 minutes.The tempo picks up after 3 minutes with some cool drum work. It settles some as Christian starts to sing again. This sounds amazing when Christian stops singing and starts to focus on his drumming. Female vocal melodies 9 1/2 minutes in. It's so uplifting before 12 minutes. It settes some as Christian's vocals with bass come to the fore. Guitar before 15 minutes as the sound changes with female vocal melodies and bass. Drums then kick in. Holy hell ! The bass is digging deep. This is fantastic ! Male vocal melodies 19 minutes in then the girls join in. This is intense. Killer bass and drums after 21 minutes.

It blends into "Emehntehtt-Re III" and check out the female vocal melodies and heavy sound ! It settles quickly. It's dark. It starts to pick up before 2 minutes. Stella comes in then it settles again as the tempo continues to shift. The bass and drums are outstanding. Amazing sound 12 minutes in when the tempo picks back up. It settles a minute later and blends into "Emehntehtt-Re IV". Female vocals and piano take over as drums join in. It settles back with female vocals, piano and bass. "Funehrarium Kanht" is darker and heavier with vocal melodies.This is quite haunting. It settles before 4 minutes as we get male vocal expressions to end it. "Sehe" is the short conclusion filled with dark atmosphere and Christian's spoken words.

There's a lot of people who prefer "KA" to this one, it's all a matter of taste I suppose but for me it's not close. I do miss Top and Blasquiz but then again they're both on the incredible "Infernal Machina". Life is good.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#254213) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, December 03, 2009

Review by Logan
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Forum Moderator
5 stars He's got to love that knee.

Same old, same old, pretty much, but what a wondrous same old it is. In some ways I wish that Vander wasn't repeating himself, and struggle with the rating since I generally value progressiveness from an artist, but I find this so enjoyable that I really want to give it a five (if I cared for exact ratings, then a 4.5). Truth be told, I'd like to give quite a few Magma albums a five, which makes me something of a fanboy, and even "Merci" is essential to my collection. Magma was for some years my favourite band and remains one of my favourites. As a fanboy, perhaps I should be extra prudent and a little more conservative with my rating.

It's a very easily digestible album (not challenging ) for those that know Magma reasonably well (and it has an Offering feel as well in part). It's hardly ground-breaking, but it is an excellent listening experience despite my familiarity with themes (as of course, expected). There are some nice twists on old material. I found it to be one of their most easy-listening albums -- "got it" on first spin, but it still entrances me. I really like it, but don't find it, as some state, terribly complex. For pure enjoyment, I'd rate it a five, but that would drop if I compared it to others and took into account "innovation". It is one that I'd recommend to a Magma newbie (of course the repetition would be too much for some and even for me it goes on too long in parts, but what pay-offs there are!). And so beautiful in parts, joyous, and "mysterious" in others. Quite a bit of it makes me want to bop my head, wag my shoulders, wiggle my hips, and shake my li'l booties (actually, rather large galoshes) -- especially when Vander is singing in his "Hhai" idiom, and when he sings lyrics that sound to me like "He's got to love that knee ... Oh that knee ... Oh wee that knee, oh wee...". Mishearing Magma lyrics is one of my preferred pastimes, and the "fun" element has long been important to me with Magma..Very danceable in parts, as with a lot of funkin' groovy Magma music for me. Actually, it has wonderful contrast and, though not that complex, is very nuanced. It has the qualities that made me fall in love with progressive rock and Magma. I can "feel" this music, and feel attuned with the performance and mind behind the compositions. And I must say, aside from Stella's Vander's lovely vocals which are really special this time round, Christian Vander's vocals can just fill me with so much joy. The album, as I find common with Magma, can be truly sublime and fill me with exuberance.

However, I wouldn't call it Magma's uber-hundin work. It's one of many wonderful albums by the band (of the studio albums, the first two have tended to get the most play from me). I do feel that the mixing could be a little better to bring certain instruments to the fore and more varied instrumentation would elevate this higher still, but the piano goes a long way. I really dig vibraphone, but I feel that it was not used as well as it could be for both rhythmic and harmonic purposes. More complex harmonies would elevate this higher still, and I would have layered the music more in some parts -- though the simplicity in some parts really is beautiful. One thing that pleases me is that it doesn't have the excess of dull keyboard one-handed runs that are in "K.A. III".

I've spun this so many times now and still love it. For enjoyment I'd give it a five, and it is one that I'd recommend to a Magma newbie for accessibility as well as an oldbie who is already familiar with the kind of music on display (mind you, I still think this nice twists on the expected for one who know Magma very well), but I'm giving it a four, I think, because of the lack of innovation (it is conventional Magma) and because.I still think it could be improved somewhat through the use of different harmonic types. In some ways, too, I'd like to see Magma move farther from rock into more intellectual, and esoteric, jazz/ academic music fusion. The final two tracks strike me as pretentious if one takes them seriously.

This is not an album that one must be initiated in the flaming Magma to enjoy. While both those new to Magma and old to Magma may find much to love, I think some may find this too accessible and even poppy for their liking. Those looking for truly avant garde music, look elsewhere. I love French pop. Those who want much complexity in music may also find this very lacking, but I still think this is at a much higher standard than the great majority of music deemed Prog at PA, and there is wonderful contrast, good texturing, and nuanced music to hear. The musicianship is all very fine, and Vander's drumming remains creative and his music generally heartfelt and sincere, even if I suspect him rather tongue in cheek at times.

5 stars for personal enjoyment. 4 plus for PA purposes (not that ratings matter anyway). An essential 2009 release for any reasonably well-rounder progger, and a damned fine album. I could easily rate it up there wish the classics, and in some ways I think it's an improvement on the "Khntarksz" days.

Ah heck, I'm changing it from a four to a five for now since I really consider this an excellent rockiverse album, and when taken on its own (the quality of the music itself and not different considerations), I think it really deserves that five. While I hardly think this music will have the longevity of, say, Beethoven's glorious 9th, or music by influences on Vander such as Coltrane and Orff, compared to the vast majority of others in the rock universe, this is stellar stuff. And I'm glad that Magma has been faithful to the early vision, and haven't opted to release a bland pop album for the billboard charts even if I find it rather poppish Magma- comparatively (but it's no "Ooh, Ooh Baby").

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Send comments to Logan (BETA) | Report this review (#255023) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Oh well - then I've had my first immersion on one of Magma's creations. Without ending up as a dedicated hardcore fan nor a dedicated loather of the band - but rather somewhere in the middle. Which seems to be a curious position to take on this act.

The main part of this album is made up by the 45 or so minutes long epic mhnthtt-R, divided into four parts. Musically I'd describe this as a highly repetitive venture, where themes are repeated over and over by vocalists as well as instrumentalists, with one element changing art the time for the most part. The bass guitar provides much of the energy and momentum, while the drums provide minor alterations constantly to add a subtle element of variation to the strictly controlled performance. In style basically a form of jazzrock/fusion, with a few deep nods in the direction of Wagner - especially in terms of vocal performance - with some seasoning from avantgarde.

At best this is pretty intriguing. The musicians and vocalists are top notch, and on the third part of the title track they manage to perfect theis craft - the dark, brooding atmosphere, the repeated themes and melodramatic vocals matching up perfectly for an almost hypnotic experience. And the sheer skill makes most of the other parts interesting at best too.

Standalone number Funhrarum Kahnt is on the other side of the scale though. Too repetitive and lacking in subtle aspects as well as sophistication, this number was just plain boring despite the highly oppdressive, dark mood - elements I'm usually intrigued to encounter. And while final piece Sh is an interesting experience, the brief visit of this atmospheric piece makes it pretty hard to rate it as a standalone venture.

What I'm left with is an album that works despite the repetitive elements and the, to be frank, totally stupid choice of language. Sheer musical and compositional skill makes the best parts of this album an experience worth having, and can also be safely recommended to followers of fusion with a tendency to like avantgarde stuff as well. Especially if they enjoy speaking Klingon, finds the thoughts of living after Tolkien's Elvish time reckoning interesting rather than silly and in general enjoy fantasy escapes and escapades most people elsewhere have a tendency to ridicule.

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Send comments to Windhawk (BETA) | Report this review (#255550) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, December 10, 2009

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Prog Specialist
4 stars The magic never ends

They say you can't teach new tricks to an old dog, but from my personal experience I can say this well known aphorism is not always truth. For more than three decades I've been a Symphonic Prog hardcore fan, it's true that I also loved some albums from other genres, but always some limits, normally I loved a Fusion or Avant album from a determined band, but the rest of their discography hardly caught attention, so even when I love several releases from diverse genres, very unlikely loved almost all the discography of a non Symphonic band.

But things changed, about 5 months ago when I re-discovered MAGMA through a Facebook K.A. video, bought that album and became an instant fan, since then I managed to grab all their releases and never found one less than satisfying, "mhnthtt-R" is not the exception.

Some friends which who I join very frequently to watch DVD'S ad listen music of Prog artists, don't share my addiction for MAGMA, most of them think the band is too repetitive, but I believe that this variations over the same theme are the central and most impressive achievement of "mhnthtt-R", the capacity of the band to slowly move from one passage to another through continuous repetitions with subtle deviations. Instead of radical changes, they opted for some form of progressive metamorphosis that can be enjoyed step by step if we try not to loose an instant of music.

Surely it's not as magnificent as K.A. (Well, very few albums are remotely in that level), but MAGMA'S latest release is not too far from it's predecessor. Again the epic sound that seems a Progressive Rock soundtrack for an epic movie, makes me feel some weird emotion I didn't felt since I heard "The Musical Box" for the first time, simply impressive.

This time "Emmanuel Borghi's" piano is better than ever, mixes the strength of keyboard wizards such as "Rick Wakeman" or "Keith Emerson" with the sober classical sound of "Par Lindh" a delightful touch of Jazz and a lot of masters like "Wagner" or "Karl Orff"

The choirs are as always impressive from start to end, as usual "Stella Vander" and "Isabelle Feuillebois" are impeccable and the fantastic contrast with "Hervé Aknin" is something almost mystical, this singers of the few that are able to take me from a combative mood to tears of emotion, their skills are beyond any doubt.

Last but not least "Christian Vander" who's frenetic vocals and peculiar drumming are always the center of attention for most of the fans.

I won't even dare to make a song by song review, because it would take me several pages just to describe the six minutes of "mhnthtt-R", but I must say that if I have to choose one song I would go with the versatile "mhnthtt-R II", a 22:25 minutes epic where I feel they show the magnitude of their skills and the flexibility of their sound. But in general terms, the whole album is outstanding.

As in K.A. I have no problem with my "mhnthtt-R" rating, even when I accept it's not as impressive as the previous release, it's almost a masterpiece that deserves a special place in any musical collection, so 4 stars it is (Should be 4.5).

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Send comments to Ivan_Melgar_M (BETA) | Report this review (#255805) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, December 12, 2009

Review by Zitro
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars How a 70s band that broke up in the 80s can make such an album today impresses me. MHNTHTT-R (E-Re) is not only the album of the year for me, but one of the strongest musical works of the decade.

For anyone not aware of the band, Magma is an unusual band that is an acquired taste. They mix jazz fusion, progressive rock, 20th century classical music, John Coltrane-style avant-garde jazz, and opera sang in a made up language. The lineup in the two reunion albums (K.A. and E-Re) is very impressive. Mastermind and classically trained drummer Christian Vander shines once again, possibly better than ever. All vocals, including Vander's, are impeccable. The bass guitar is always imaginative and virtuosic; some of the complex bass riffs during the dark sections really bring the evil enemies of the story to life. All other musicians are great at their respective instruments, the piano being an important element in the music.

They had a positive, semi-electric, and quirky sound on their previous album, the excellent K.A. On the other hand, the sound of E-Re is quite different and more to my taste. It is darker, cinematic, mostly acoustic (drums, bass, xylophone, piano, and a multitude of vocals) with the exception of Rhodes electric piano and one electric guitar riff in pt2. All these elements combine into an album of epic proportion that was overwhelming during my first listens: I simply was exhausted after each listen. The album clicked when I got used to the busy drumming and noticed the album's perfect coherence and arrangements.

Based on a couple album reviews, I learned a deeper appreciation by having a general feeling of what the music is about. While the way I interpret the story may not coincide with the band's interpretation, it helps me follow the music:

Part 1 - The song begins with the introduction of the king, being worshipped by the masses (and possibly feared). The swirling choir work brings that image perfectly. However, during the second half of part 1, there is a clear sadness emanating from him, something that drives him to the 'Land of the Dead' in search of something. I've read from Magma fans that it involves secrets of immortality, so I assume that his sadness involves a personal loss and he wants to bring that person to life. The music seems to have a loose yet carefully structured arrangement of piano, drums and operatic female vocals.

Part 2 - has a more positive mood as the protagonist gets excited at the idea of going to the Land of the Dead and the first 15 minutes is a buildup of his determination. The 20+ minute part 2 includes a section referred to as "Hhai" during the middle, which I was aware of due to a fantastic live performance available online. I thought it was one of the most spectacular jazz-fusion performances I have ever heard. This made it hard to get used to the studio version as the mesmerizing 4-note riff driving the piece is now played with a grand piano and the synthesizer and guitar solos are gone. I believe this is for the better as this acoustic interpretation not only fits the tone of the album better, but has a stronger emotional impact. The part that has the biggest emotional impact to me is when the music gets quieter and the choirs sing the English phrase "To Believe in God." The transition to the frantic "Zombies" piece ending part 2 is a stroke of genius and these last minutes I believe are about the protagonist encountering evil beings and facing them in battle. The rhythm section manages to be both darkness and danceable funkiness at the same time. There is one particular haunting motif that is played at minutes 16 and 18 that is hard to explain but the interaction of the bass guitar and the vocals show the superior songwriting skills of Magma.

Part 3 - The way I interpret this part is as a duel against the most fearsome foe. You hear the monster showing itself in the first brooding minutes and instilling fear on the protagonist. The battle is luckily not an excuse for synthesizer/guitar dueling. This song is full of twists and turns, showing that the battle is evenly matched with each adversary having some moments when they have the upper hand. This is probably the hardest part of the album to get used to but it rewards your patience. I am impressed how evil and twisted the music can be without bordering in cheesiness. The song ends with the hero being victorious, or is he?

Part 4 - A short, restrained piece with beautiful piano playing. The king seems like he won the battle but little does he know that something (possibly the foe he defeated) deals a death blow to his surprise and then another one, killing him instantly.

The album ends with a mournful funeral procession.

The DVD is pretty informative, showing Christian Vander as a perfectionist, being very careful of how everything is played. I feel they should have explained the album history in this DVD and also shown the recording process for drums and vocals, which were oddly omitted.

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Send comments to Zitro (BETA) | Report this review (#255840) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, December 13, 2009

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
5 stars "It means what it is" - quote from 'The Prisoner' (1960).

How do you pronounce it? I MEANT IT RAY? Don't try to understand it, experience it and it will understand you.

New Magma! What else needs to be said? Incredible album that absolutely floored me and took me by surprise, as I am a newcomer to the group, only having heard online tracks and owning the one live album. I was totally spellbound by the ingenious music which at times sounds like the soundtrack to your worst nightmare, and at other times like a beautiful princess waking from an enchanted sleep. Nothing comes close to this. Magma have outdone themselves, if that were possible. In any sense of the word, masterpiece is the only way to rate this awesome epic album. So much to recommend it but the main thing that can be said is that the album mesmirises you from the moment those haunting strains begin, to the funeral procession at the end. I won't pretend that I understand any of the concept, but it is thought provoking and quite ethereal to immerse yourself in the Magmaverse, that is otherworldy and sinister, perhaps bordering on the macabre. The battle between good and evil is prevalent and heavy handed but it works as a monstrous thematic device to encase this compelling high strangeness.

Christian's vocals are spellbinding but his drumming is the main drawcard and they are off the scale, metronome shaking metrical patterns that I have never heard. The deathly dark choral voices are chilling and yet beautiful, and it is impossible to forget some of those relentless chants that build and build until they explode into nothingness, there are silent moments that are maddening and one must have infinite patience to withstand the high impact time signatures, and let us not forget those off kilter lyrics. I love the way Magma simply defy logic and break every rule in the book, whilst still maintaining some semblance of order. That is Zeuhl of course, that has become integral to the band and in fact encompasses what they stand for, after all they invented the genre. As soon as the album ends I had to listen again and then I completely found myself reliving the music but hearing it differently. It feels Wagnerian or even Brahms but so tender and guaranteed to haunt the listener.

On each listen something new is gained. Incredible! Listen to that vocal intonation on track 2! It is mind blowing. The dark bass passages absolutely pummel the senses. Am I exaggerating? No, there it is again, that throbbing pulse that just drones like nothing else. Oh, those heavenly female vocals. What is she saying? It has entered the conscious and now it doesn't matter anymore, it is enchanting and hypnotic, causing tears to fill my eyes. How could music like this exist? I leave this review to immerse myself back in the music.

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Send comments to AtomicCrimsonRush (BETA) | Report this review (#265016) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, February 08, 2010

Review by CCVP
PROG REVIEWER
1 stars A flop, to say the very least.

Magma has always been a mystified band for several reasons: first and foremost, the band's music style or musical direction is (or was, when it came by in the early 70's) one of the most unique in contemporary music, due to the unlikely mix of free jazz, late 19th century (Wagnerian) opera / early 20th century (Carl Orff-like) choir, rock and huge amounts of great ideas put together. Secondly, the band's own and original language (called Kobaan), which was used to give the genre's name (Zeuhl, which means celestial) and was (and is still being) specially crafted to sound as good as possible when sung, giving the vocals a celestial sounding. Finally, and definitly not least, the storyline developed throughout the band's history about the history of the Earth, Kobaa and both planets inhabitants .

All that resulted in an innovative (at the time it appeared) and very interesting genre of avant- garde rock music called Zehul, which unfortunately is still unknown by most, except the band's rabid fans, who seem to never get enough things or know enough about them.

What some still don't know is that Magma (and in fact the whole Zehul genre) is still alive and kickin'! Fortunately, I am not one of those people and neither is my uncle, an avid avant-garde rock, jazz and progressive rock fanatic. When the both of us knew about the release of mhnthtt-R, the newest Magma album and the supposed conclusion of the Kohntarkosz trilogy, we were both quite excited. I guess that was a natural feeling, because K.A. was a killer album (and was the second part in the Kohntarkosz trilogy) and progressive rock, in general, is living a great moment, or a resurgence, as some may say.

Little time after the release, by the end of the year, my uncle already had the album and I naturally borrowed it from him to put it on my IPod. Wile listening it, I could notice that something was wrong. The style was the same, the musical playing was also similar to some other albums, as were the vocals, but the magic was somewhet gone. The album sounded strangely repetitive, familiar and similar to something I have already listened before. It was just somehing I couldn't put my finger on, so I decided to rest the album for a wile in order to better absorb the music. It was in vain. Two weeks ago, when I gave the album yet another spin, the feeling was the same. Almost six months had passed passed since the album's release and still the album fails to inspire me. Even now, when I am listeling the album wile writing this review, there are very few interesting parts throughout the 51 minutes of music.

This week I made an interesting discovery about the album's main theme (mhnthtt-R) and that may partially explain my lack of excitement towards the 2009 Magma release: a considerable part of the song mhnthtt-R (parts I and II) are actually reworked parts of already released songs by the band during their late 70's period (which aren't their brightest).

However, that is not only it. The rest of the album, in spite of its supposed originality, fails to reach the same level of quality the first two parts of the title songs. The amount repetition through the whole album is disturbing, even by Zeuhl standards, and the lack of interesting ideas makes it even worse. The album is developed in a rather boring and surprisingly predictable way after the first 15 minutes. You can know beforehand exactly when the choir will sing, when the band or the music will make that supposedly unexcpected and surprising "twist". Things seem mechanical and predictable, at least regarding the songwriting.

The instrumental and the vocal works couldn't be nearer from perfection, but the lack substance, meaning that the songs that they play perfectly are simply not good enough to make their effort really significant in this album.

Grade and final thoughts

In fine, I must say that starting my Zeuhl reviewing with an 1 star review is rather unconfortable for me, becouse I really like this genre, specially Magma, which I consider to be one of the best and most innovative progressive rock bands ever, and I rarely dislike a progressive rock album, but what can I say?

The truth is the truth, the only thing you can do is live with it. . . . And the truth is that this album is not even a good album, let alone a masterpiece of progressive rock.

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Posted Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Review by EatThatPhonebook
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars This was and is my first approach to Zeuhl music. I honestly had no idea it sounded like this, so innovating and bizzarre (I thought it was an electronic kind of genre). I remember the first time I listened to ER, I didn't like it so much and I was hesitant in defining it a masterpiece. After my fourth listen, I realized how wrong I was.

The first part of the album is entirely dedicated to the epic 45 minute suite "Emehntehtt Re", which is divided into four parts. This song is probably one of the best realizations of the year, because of it's huge, fantastic, dark, and ancient sounding tunes. We can easily and briefly say that it's a mix between classical music (the structure of the songs, other than the vocals, mainly influenced by lyrical music) and jazz rhythms. Many times the music reaches an Apocalyptic and cryptic feeling, creating an unrepeatable atmosphere, especially in " Emehntehtt Re II", the longest song of the album.

"Funehrarium Kahnt" is very different from the epic Suite: mainly it's four minutes of suspended vocals, accompanied by a pondering gong that keeps the "rhythm". This song, despite it sounding very boring, it is very interesting.

The final track, "Sehe" is twenty five seconds long and it seems to be a excerpt of an ancient egyptian funeral, with as a sorround a creepy sounding theme played with keyboards.

Most definitely one of the best albums of the year, other than being an unbelievable and timeless masterpiece, essential for any progressive rock fan. Enjoy!!

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Posted Friday, April 23, 2010

Review by friso
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Magma - mhnthtt-R (2009)

This saterday I saw the live version of the mhnthtt-R suite in my very hometown! I had been waiting for the event for two weeks! The live version of this amazing new piece was even better then the album version, albeit the live-amplification of the festival wasn't that good. The way Magma plays is absurd: seeing music this technical and sophisticated played live like it's child's play is amazing. Drummer and vocalist Christian Vander was simply amazing, the best drums I've ever seen live.

Now back to the album. After the success of K.A. (2004) Magma continued this musical direction with part three of the Kontherkosz trilogy. Though Magma's seventies catalog was finished with directional changes on Udu Wudu, Attahk and Merci in the second part of the seventies, they returned to their mid-seventies sound of MDK and Wurdah Itah in 21th century. Fans seem to have preferred the heavy rhythmical magical gothic sound of the band and I partly agree. I like the heavy and concentrated Udu Wudu and I can enjoy Attahk, but I also think the albums that came earlier were better with more innovation and ideas.

mhnthtt-R is one of the most accessible Magma albums. It has even become the highest rated PA album of 2009 and it lured a lot of new people to the band of Christian Vander. And all this is for a good reason: Magma sounds more energetic then ever! After the breathtaking compositions of mhnthtt-R I with great female vocals and atmospheric piano we get into a thirty minute up-tempo frenzy of adventurous music. The drums are jazzy throughout and I must say Vander's drums are even more amazing then on earlier Magma albums. The bass is distorted and almost impossible to play for most bass-players (I'm partly one myself). The technical achievement of this rhythmical session has not been matched by any other progressive rock band. During the up-tempo parts we get to listen to some great choir vocals and a great vocal solo by Christian Vander (you should have seen him sing it live... it was unbelievable!). Halve of part II & III (they sound as if it were one composition) is very positive and has a courageous ambiance. The other halve has a dark and dangerous feel. The only fault on this album is the duration of this second halve, I think it's a bit too long. Funhrarum Kanht is an almost atonal composition that has a good title which needs no further description.

Though it can be perceived as a new Magma album, a lot of the compositions are reworks of earlier compositions. mhnthtt-R I has a new version the Rinde of Attahk (1978), mhnthtt-R II has an expanded and re-arranged version of Hhai from Live '75 and mhnthtt-R III uses the Zombies (Ghost Dance) track from Udu Wudu (1977) as a basis for further exploration.

Conclusion. Yet another well recorded and played Magma album with amazing Zeuhl music . It is the best place to start for newbies and an essential purchase for fans of the genre and band. The only reasons I'm not giving this five stars are the lengthy mhnthtt-R III and the fact they used so many older compositions. Four stars for this amazing album and a recommendation for every-one on this community.

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Posted Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
3 stars For the second time in a row, Magma have enlightened us with a solid late-career album. Emehnteht-Re forms the end of a trilogy of which the bulk of the music was written around 1974. The magnificent Khntarksz is the most accomplished release in this series but also the 2004 released KA did not disappoint. I'm having some reservations about this E-Re though.

As a Magma veteran, I've actually had a hard time rating this album. I'm torn between mixed emotions such as being very pleased that this album exists at all, being very glad that it attracted many new listeners to Magma, being very satisfied that it turned out to be both so authentic and fresh and relevant; but also I find myself disappointed that it contains so little new music and that the performance doesn't match the intensity of old.

I originally wanted to list all the previously released bits and pieces that this album was compiled from, but plenty of others have gone that way already. Only the two 4 minute songs at the end (Part IV and Funhrarum Kanht) are really new material. The rest is rearranged and slightly extended old material. Luckily, the two new songs are a very intriguing and engaging listen.

It suffices to say that the performance of the old material is good, smartly re-arranged to flow as one continuous piece of music. But except from the opening Part I, I prefer all original recordings, and that is what makes E-Re into a 3 star album for me. Good, but I could have done without, and it has turned out to be the only Magma album where I am actually bored at certain sections, mainly during Part III.

As a dedicated Kobaian, I'm very happy to see that by maintaining their artistic integrity, this ancient band generated a renewed interest in their dense and intricate type of music. It's slightly more accessible then some older material so I can sure recommend this as a starting point for the Magma novice.

Good but not on the level of any of the works that Magma created and performed in that unseen bliss of creative energy back in 1973-1974.

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Posted Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Review by TheGazzardian
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars This album is very difficult to describe for one who is as new to Zeuhl as I am. Listening to it, one can tell that every note has been carefully thought out; that every progression of notes has been chosen with great care, and that the recording has been done with a great amount of precision to ensure that it comes across exactly as the band intended. This music has existed, for the most part, for over 30 years before it was finally committed to disc and released to the public, so the band has had a lot of time to perfect it, to play it live and learn the music inside and out, and you can tell that while listening to it. (If you watch the DVD included, watching Christian Vander in the studio will verify the above statements). This leads to an album that is very well thought out, and technically superb.

The driving aspects of the music seem to be the vocals of Christian himself, as well as those of Stella Vander and a group of voices that presumably sing backup. But the singing is hardly standard - as anyone who has heard anything by this band knows, Magma sings in their own made up language and has a very operatic approach to their vocals. This combined with the excellent drumming of Christian Vander and the jazzy undertones creates the backbone of the genre Magma created, so this album won't surprise any longtime Zeuhl fans.

46 of the 51 minutes in this album are dedicated to the title track. It is a journey that slowly twists and weaves through a labyrinth of musical ideas, oft repeating a theme many times and developing it slowly over various repetitions. The problem is that some of the musical ideas, to me, lack punch or drama. These parts really break the flow of enjoyment when they occur, because I end up waiting for the next thing interesting (to me) to happen while I'm beat over the head with the same idea. None of them are terrible, but they remove enough energy from the album to drag it down a couple of notches.

That is, to a degree, nitpicking as this album is full of good ideas and intriguing musical ideas, of which the third part of the title track is my favorite by a small margin. The music is highly dramatic and, as mentioned above, tightly disciplined. Enough so that, although this is far from a perfect experience, it has intrigued me to continue investigating this obscure off- shoot of progressive rock (both the band and the genre).

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Posted Friday, September 10, 2010

Review by Negoba
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Review by Andy Webb
FORUM & SITE ADMIN GROUP Admin / Heavy Prog Team / Math Rock Team
3 stars Zss Zeuhl

A new Magma album is surely to attract some hype. With the massive success (critically) of the band's 10th studio release Kohntarkosz Anteria in 2004, the band's 11th studio album mhnthtt-R was sure to be a massive, incredible album. The album is more of a compilation, with the massive suite that conquers the vast majority of the album actually being bits and pieces of a three decade-long concept being patched together. Vander took compositions from nearly every studio album and even live albums to construct this massive 45+ minute epic. The album is the completing album in the "Kohntarkosz" trilogy that began in 1974 with the album of the same name, continued in 2004 with K.A. , and is completed here. This album tells the story of the album's namesake, and seeing as I have no idea what the lyrics mean, I can't really explain its intricacies. The album musically is a continuation of the trilogy and much of the band's former material as well, with celestial (hence the genre title Zeuhl) sounding choral vocals (Carl Orff style), jazzy instrumentation, and complex rhythmic elements. There is a heavy presence of bass, Rhodes, and piano, giving Magma and Zeuhl in general its unique sound. At this point I have immersed myself in the Magma sound, beginning with K.A., moving to M.D.K., sampling <1001 Degrees Centigrade and Attahk, and then moving to this massive album. Sadly, I can't say I hear anything new. The album has fantastic production and a modern feel, but the album is in general more of the same. The music is spectacular, but very similar to all the music the band has already released. The album is in every way straight to the infectious Magma style, and is a very good introductory Zeuhl album, but it isn't the incredible experimental incredibleness that we all love about Magma.

The album's bulk is the 45 minute long title track, which has been broken into four parts. Die hard Magma fans would most likely find something very familiar about this music, mostly because it is familiar music. Across Magma's history there have occasionally been tracks titled the same as this album, such as the track of the band's first live album, a track off Udu Wudu, and other excerpts and movements scattered around their discography. This album is Vander's compilation of all these smaller songs into one massive one. He took bits and pieces of these compositions and combined them and rerecorded them for a single release, and here we have mhnthtt-R. The music is in the familiar Magma style, with angelic choral vocals, heavily complex rhythmic work, and heavy bass and keyboard work. It may be nothing new, but it certainly isn't bad. The music segues in and out of moods, feelings, and movements with ease, expressing emotion, passion, and drive all throughout the composition. The instrumentation is at its jazzy, Zeuhly best, and the vocals are top notch. But it's just not new.

There isn't much more to say. In the end, the album is still one of classic Magma merit and style, and is sure to rank up there with their classic albums. The hype that was expected was duly matched, with countless five star ratings when it was released and the album reaching the number one spot on the collaborator's list of top 2009 albums. But, as the hype cooled down, it might be good for reviewers look retrospectively at the album. Although I try to not compare albums to previous albums a band has done, I can't help but say this album really isn't anything special purely because it's all been done before in an even more grand and luxurious style. In conclusion, although this album is a very good Zeuhl album by the true masters of the genre, it is no masterpiece or essential album, although huge Magma fans would do no harm in acquiring this album. 3+ stars.

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Posted Thursday, July 28, 2011

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars With the release of mhnthtt-R, the other great three-album concept trilogy of Magma is finally complete, at least in terms of studio renditions. Once again we have an album-length composition in the tradition of the classic period Magma albums, and even though I don't like it as much as K.A., it's still a very fine example of the style the band are famous for. With this release, the big question becomes "what will Magma do next?" Dare we hope for original material from the crew in the future, or perhaps an epic live performance of the Kohntarkosz saga like we got for the Theusz Hamtaahk trilogy? We can only hope.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#744182) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Latest members reviews

4 stars I think "apocalyptic musical" would be a fair way of describing this album (and most of the Magma albums). Talk about drama, this album opens with a bang! After a short second of silence a dead serious voice speaks to you in a languish you don't understand. Then comes another bang! Typical for a Mag ... (read more)

Report this review (#1161415) | Posted by BatBacon | Tuesday, April 15, 2014 | Review Permanlink

5 stars First released on: riversofreverb.blogspot.dk This was the first Magma album I ever listened to, and it was a magical experience to listen to something as unique and mystic as this. Christian Vander, the mastermind behind Magma, is in top form here, being responsible not only of the outstandi ... (read more)

Report this review (#1112826) | Posted by Roundabot | Sunday, January 12, 2014 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Finally, after years playing Hhai (Emehnteht-Re with another name and shorter than this final version), they decided to record it at the studio. As i said to one person, this is the darkest and the most ethereal album by Magma. All the time there's a feeling of sadness, doubt and death! The Emeh ... (read more)

Report this review (#807050) | Posted by mau | Saturday, August 18, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars When a band that has been around as long as Magma releases a new album, one tends to temper expectations. I find there are, in general, three phases for a dinosaur musical act such as this; the initial creative period, the failed attempt at adapting to a changing musical landscape, and, finall ... (read more)

Report this review (#445570) | Posted by Dr. A | Wednesday, May 11, 2011 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Emehntehtt-Re ? 2009 (2.6/5) 10 ? Best Song: Part III? I think we can once and for all retire after this one, says Christian Vander, or at least that's what we think he said. This is Chuck Mangy-Boney from Hit Parader, and we're here to introduce you to the man behind Zeuhl, Kobaia, and thi ... (read more)

Report this review (#443281) | Posted by Alitare | Thursday, May 05, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Magma has been writing music since the seventies and they're getting better. This epic album along with K.A. are masterpieces of their genre. How many bands out there are this old, still creating adventurous and thought provoking music? King Crimson is a good example of a band that is still ... (read more)

Report this review (#364746) | Posted by themortician | Sunday, December 26, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Welcome to my first track-by-track review. Fortunately, there are not many tracks on this album. mhnthtt-R, Magma's most recent studio offering, is, in my opinion, a fantastic album. The bulk of it can be found in some form or another on several other Magma albums. 1. mhnthtt-R I - The ... (read more)

Report this review (#335573) | Posted by The Blue Ghost | Friday, November 26, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars It has only been one year since my initiation into the world of Kobaia and Zeuhl. Christian Vander's world astounds me. His attention to detail and heart-felt all-out effort is nothing short of amazing. Some of the words that come to mind when trying to convey the spell of MAGMA's music include "oth ... (read more)

Report this review (#286722) | Posted by BrufordFreak | Wednesday, June 16, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Every Magma work is a different journey for me, the Kohntarkosz trilogy is no exception. Starting on 2004's masterpiece K.A., with celestial voices announcing the arrival of a kind of prophetic figure, that is a archeologist that discovers the tomb of mhnthtt-R. From that part Kohntarkosz(1 ... (read more)

Report this review (#284923) | Posted by Klogg | Friday, June 04, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is the most mature piece of music Magma wrote. Though I am a prog fanatic for the last twenty years, if a piece of work has to stand above many other masterpieces, I will pick this one, for its grandeur, majesty, brillance of interpretation, and a fine balance between very accessible mel ... (read more)

Report this review (#284823) | Posted by arnaud | Friday, June 04, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Magma. Today. Life is good. Some people consider this arguably THE best Magma's album boring and not only repetitive, but also Vander's repetition of himself. My best guess is that the people somehow get tired of Magma's unique type of music. The pre-penultimate album was Merci, a total excess ... (read more)

Report this review (#277860) | Posted by Psychedelist | Wednesday, April 14, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I've held off for two months before reviewing this, making sure that the five stars I've awarded it is accurate. I've now heard mhnthtt-R about five or six times and each time I listen to it, it just gets better. A lot of Magma can be quite oppressive and difficult to take in one sitting. Th ... (read more)

Report this review (#263151) | Posted by Dobermensch | Thursday, January 28, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I'm a casual Magma fan, I own most of their studio albums in mp3, legally downloaded from itunes. Recently I found Udu Wudu and Attahk lingering in a second hand record store in Wellington and I bought MDK in a dark, underground, spooky store in Tokyo 2 years ago. I'm not aware of all the detai ... (read more)

Report this review (#255551) | Posted by Harkonnen | Thursday, December 10, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I've been listening to this album since the first week of its release, but I was waiting until the CD+DVD package arrives, in order to have a full "taste" of it. And the package actually contains a leaflet with the album's lyrics in Kobaian! Anyway, I think that no one can blame those who find mh ... (read more)

Report this review (#255197) | Posted by Astryos | Wednesday, December 09, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The album of the year for me. Agreed, there is nothing new here. However, the performance is flawless. I don't have much to add to what my prog-brethren have already mentioned except to say that one of the most incredible things about the last two Magma productions (this and KA) is that they ha ... (read more)

Report this review (#254204) | Posted by raelreels | Thursday, December 03, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars There are two sorts of people in the world, those that love Magma and those that load Magma. The sounds explored by Christian and Stella Vander throughout these past 40 years will hardly leave anyone passive, such is its power and fracturing stance. This can be observed in the disparity of ratin ... (read more)

Report this review (#254069) | Posted by Lus de Sousa | Thursday, December 03, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is the first Magma album I've listened to, but considering how much I enjoyed it, it is unlikely to be the last. This is a truly stand-out recording, and represents a strong candidate for album of the year. Although I'm unable to place it within the context of the rest of Magma's discography ... (read more)

Report this review (#254066) | Posted by La fraisne | Thursday, December 03, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is a MASTERPIECE. I HAD to review this album as a magma fan and as a MUSIC LOVER: THIS IS THE ALBUM OF THE YEAR, and here are the reasons why... 1) Christian vander`s drums are .... THERE ARE NO WORDS TO DESCRIBE THE WAY HE PLAYS..... just listen to the second track on this album and you ... (read more)

Report this review (#250248) | Posted by 12212112 | Thursday, November 12, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Yet another triumph for Magma! I've been looking forward to this album for a couple of years now, and all the fantastic performances of the piece have been wetting my appetite and made me itch for this new masterpiece. One of the most spiritual pieces they have done in my opinion. Not much to say ... (read more)

Report this review (#250066) | Posted by phleshy | Wednesday, November 11, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars A Musical Monument 35 Years in the Making Indisputably the most ambitious and complex creative project of the rock era, the French group Magma, over the course of its 40 year history, has related in bits and pieces an alternative spiritual history of the human race from the point of view of a ... (read more)

Report this review (#248297) | Posted by Surra Tendiwa | Thursday, November 05, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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