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Magma Concert 1976, Opéra De Reims album cover
4.13 | 52 ratings | 5 reviews | 42% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Live, released in 1996

Songs / Tracks Listing

Zünd 1:
1. De Futura (24:32)
2. Sons et Chorus de Batterie (26:38)
Zünd 2:
1. Köhntarkösz (33:31)
2. Theusz Hamtaahk (33:34)
Zünd 3:
1. Mëkanďk Dëstruktďẁ Kömmandöh (42:29)

Total Time: 160:34

Line-up / Musicians

- Klaus Blasquiz / vocals, percussion
- Stella Vander / vocals
- Didier Lockwood / violin
- Gabriel Federow guitar
- Patrick Gauthier / keyboards
- Benoît Widemann / keyboards
- Benard Paganotti / bass
- Christian Vander / drums, vocals

Releases information

Seventh AKT9

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to James for the last updates
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MAGMA Concert 1976, Opéra De Reims ratings distribution

(52 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(42%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(40%)
Good, but non-essential (10%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

MAGMA Concert 1976, Opéra De Reims reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Man With Hat
COLLABORATOR Jazz-Rock/Fusion/Canterbury Team
5 stars The easiest five star review I've written yet.

What a show this must have been to attend. Magma, just slightly after their prime (speaking in studio album terms), playing almost every epic they could choose to play, and with a stellar lineup (plus a Vander drum solo for the fun of it). The moment I saw the track list I knew I wanted to purchase this album. And there are no regrets at all. Even though this album is more than two and a half hours long it still seems to short and honestly time just melts away when this baby is transporting you to the wonderful land of Kobaia. I wish I was alive (and in Reims...) in 1976.

The show begins with Top's magnum opus De Futura. An eerie keyboard drone kicks off the disc, perhaps while the band makes their way to the stage (you can hear intermittent clapping at a couple of points during the opening). But before long that famous bass riff kicks in and De Futura is off and running. Perhaps running isn't the right word. This version is generally slower but more intense than its studio counterpart. No complaints though still an excellent version of the song with some excellent keyboard parts (of all things!) Next up is Sons Et Chorus De Batterie. This song begins with some fairly avant/free jamming before the stage empties (I assume) for Vander's drum solo. Quite a lengthy solo where Vander focuses on each part of the set (cymbals, toms, snare) and ends the piece by singing along to his ferocious poundings. For most I assume this would be the low point of the set, but Vander is a master of his instrument, and even though its a bit self indulgent its a fun listen. This is followed by disc two and a stunning version of Köhntarkösz. Blasphemous as this may seem, Köhntarkösz is easily my least favorite studio album by Magma. But this version is much better. Its energetic, exciting, and most importantly captivating. Vander's drums sound amazing on this recording and his playing is really brought to the forefront, which is one reason I think this version stand out. Not a dull moment to be found. Theusz Hamtaahk follows. This version seems a bit more upbeat (and perhaps faster) than the version on Retrospektiw I-II but is more captivating and hypotic (not to take anything away from the other version of course). This is perhaps my favorite track on the disc and I can't help but joining the chanting of Theusz Hamtaahk when that part comes up in the song. Magic! Finally, disc three concludes the set with the core of Zeuhl music, Mëkanďk Dëstruktďẁ Kömmandöh. This is a spirited rendition with an extended bass solo section that approaches the experimental aspects found in the beginning of Sons Et Chorus De Batterie. For me, its very intriguing to see this side of Magma, who are usually very strictly composed. Unfortunately, this song is where my biggest complaint of the album arises. This is what is printed in the liner notes, "Final coupe, non existant sur la bande.". Now I don't speak French, but it would seem to be saying the last five minutes of the song aren't available (for some reason). Perhaps this was to accommodate vinyl or the tape ran out or something. Now the song ends well, with a quick keyboard "interlude", however the explosive ending is absent. A shame for sure, but the song still feels very accomplished (even without the expected climax). But that is easily the biggest complaint I have with this set. The sound quality is as good as can be expected for this time period, and on par with the better sounded studio discs of the time (read: non Udu Wudu works). There are a couple instances where the mixing is slightly off and the guitar or keyboard is significantly louder than anything else, but this is quickly resolved and really doesn't detract from the overall experience.

All and all, this 3 CD set is a real winner. For Magma fans this is an obvious buy. The quality of the recordings certainly justifies the slightly high price tag. Even for the casual fan, Opera De Reims stands as a beacon in the large ocean of Magma live recordings. Perhaps only second to the wonderful Retrospektiw I-II in terms of live albums by Magma, this is an album I will be spinning til I break the discs. 5 stars. Highly recommended.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars This is a triple live album recorded in France in 1976. We get the same lineup as was on the "Live / Hhai" live album except that Patrick Gauthier is here instead of Jean-Paul Asseline on keyboards. Great lineup though with Benoit Widemann also on keys, Didier Lockwood on violin and Bernard Paganotti on bass besides the usual suspects.Three discs but only five tracks on this recording.

All these songs are Vander compositions except for the opening "De Futura" which is a Jannick Top creation. Paganotti is killer on this one in place of Top. It opens with slowly beaten drums and tension.You can hear the crowd in the background cheering. A change at 3 minutes as the guitar and growly bass takes over. Violin and vocals follow. It's fuller 5 1/2 minutes in. Stella joins in.The guitar and bass are so good before 7 minutes.The tension is rising then we get that familiar rhythm with chants. A calm 9 1/2 minutes in then that rhythm returns as these contrasts continue. I like when it sppeds up and the electric piano joins in after 14 1/2 minutes. Great tune.

"Sons Et Chorus de Batterie" opens with feedback and different sounds coming and going including drums and electric piano.The drums start to be prominant around 8 minutes as we get a drum solo from here to the end on this 26 1/2 minute song. Not a fan of this one. A lot of sparse drumming here and noodling by Vander.

"Kohntarkosz" kicks in after a minute then it settles into that familiar groove with vocals after 3 1/2 minutes. Female vocals and violin a minute later. Guitar 6 minutes in and check out the drumming ! Blasquis after 12 minutes as the piano, drums and bass support. It all stops before 15 minutes then it slowly builds.The song continues to be played out until it's 33 1/2 minutes are over.

"Theusz Hamtaahk" opens with outbursts of drums, bass and vocals followed by a calm.The music kicks in after 6 1/2 minutes.This is incredible ! Check it out after 19 minutes. A change 22 minutes in as the vocals stop and guitar,bass and drums lead.Vocals are back and we get some killer drumming before 25 minutes. A calm a minute later then these trance-like vocals come in before it kicks back in with chants. Amazing tune.

"Mekanik Destruktiw Kommandoh" is much better than the studio version in my opinion.This is such a trip. It kicks in at a minute and check out the drumming and bass ! Vocals join in and the tempo will continue to shift. Nice guitar before 11 minutes. It turns frenzied as the male and female vocals continue to lead. Check out the bass after 20 1/2 minutes.The electric piano comes and goes. Insanity 26 1/2 minutes in as the guitar? gets experimental. Atmosphere 29 1/2 minutes in then the bass and guitar create havoc once again. I can picture the audience at this point with their mouths hanging open.Violin to the fore 34 1/2 minutes in.The tension is building as everything gets more powerful.The tension is released before 42 1/2 minutes as the piano and violin continue.

If they had left out the drum solo track and kept the rest giving us a double album i'd seriously be considering 5 stars. Still a solid 4 stars and a recording that is a must for MAGMA fans.

Review by Warthur
3 stars Although there's no question that this is a great value set, to the point where I really can't give it less than three stars, I don't think this is necessarily the best Magma live album, and certainly doesn't present the best live versions of MDK., Theusz Hamtaahk or Kohntarkosz. The versions presented here sound a little sparse, presumably due to the lack of full choir, and I also have to take issue with Vander's half hour drum solo track - a tedious piece in which Vander indulges in every tiresome excess known to the 1970s classic rock drum soloist.

If you like Magma enough that the idea of a half hour Vander drum solo has you excited, this one's a no-brainer for you. For everyone else, I'd suggest that there are better starting points for exploring the Magma live experience.

Latest members reviews

5 stars Three discs. 5 tracks. My God. In this box-set, which contains a live show Magma made in the Opéra, Reims (France), in 1976, you've got everything but great content. The entirety (more or less) of the album Mekanik Destruktiw Kommandöh (42 minutes, the sole track on the last CD), is absolutely ... (read more)

Report this review (#162865) | Posted by Zardoz | Thursday, February 28, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Magma live is always a special treat for me, because they always re-arranged their songs. It contains a 25 minute drum solo by vander, where he first sings the fills, then plays it. The MDK version is better than the orginal, too bad it cuts of the last 5 minutes.... ... (read more)

Report this review (#22409) | Posted by zebehnn | Friday, February 6, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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