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KRTHL

Magma

Zeuhl


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Magma Krthl album cover
3.64 | 54 ratings | 4 reviews | 15% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2022

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Hakhn Des (7:12)
2. Do Rn l ss (4:38)
3. Irena Balladina (5:13)
4. Walmhnd m Warre (7:37)
5. W Mlhn T (8:56)
6. Dhnd (6:55)
- Bonus tracks:
7. Hakhn Des (1978 demo) (6:04)
8. Dhnd (1978 demo) (6:18)

Total Time 52:53

Line-up / Musicians

- Christian Vander / drums, lead vocals, tambourine, vocals, piano (7)
- Stella Vander / lead vocals, vocals, chime
- Hervé Aknin / lead vocals, vocals
- Isabelle Feuillebois / vocals
- Sylvie Fisichella / vocals
- Caroline Indjein / vocals
- Laura Guarrato / vocals
- Rudy Blas / guitar
- Thierry Eliez / piano, Fender Rhodes, keyboards
- Simon Goubert / piano, Fender Rhodes, keyboards
- Jimmy Top / bass
- Ren Garber / vocals (7), piano (7,8)

Releases information

Cover: Grald Nimal
Label: Seventh Records
Format: Vinyl, CD, Digital
September 30, 2022 (CD), October 7, 2022 (Vinyl), November 25, 2022 (Digital)

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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MAGMA Krthl ratings distribution


3.64
(54 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(15%)
15%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(44%)
44%
Good, but non-essential (33%)
33%
Collectors/fans only (2%)
2%
Poor. Only for completionists (6%)
6%

MAGMA Krthl reviews


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by siLLy puPPy
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JRF/Canterbury, P Metal, Eclectic
3 stars Its hard to believe that it's been well over a half century since Christian Vander launched his MAGMA project which not only put France on the progressive rock map but also succeeded in forging an entirely new subgenre of prog called zeuhl. Add to that the mythos that has been embedded in each release that reveals the akashic records of the (supposedly) fictional planet called Kobaia. It's fair to say that MAGMA is more of a collective project of Christian Vander with dozens of talented musicians and vocalists coming and going throughout the decades but one thing is for sure and that is that MAGMA is a living legend with no signs of packing up and calling it quits anytime soon.

KRTHL is the latest release out by this unique musical collaborative following the rather interesting developments of 2019's "Zess" which solicited the symphonic majesty of the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. "Zess" was an interesting experiment indeed but not the kind many of the fans were hoping to be repeated. Luckily that is the case with KRTHL and MAGMA picks up its true and tried musicality which more or less has taken form albeit with myriad improvisations since the early 1970s. On board are the usual suspects of Christian and Stella Vander as well as the longtime vocalist Isabelle Feuillebois and on again / off again keyboardist Simon Goubert but for the most part this is a new cast of talented musicians and vocalists delivering a new era of what the MAGMA experience is all about.

While MAGMA's discography varies greatly in how each album is presented, generally speaking the formula is pretty much the same. Stentorian choral sections heralding a new chapter of Kobaian history in undecipherable linguistic performances accompanied by circular grooves, thundering bass lines and subtle hypnotic underpinnings. Well in that regard nothing has really changed in camp MAGMA with all of the suspected musical accoutrements well established long ago firmly in place to make this like many before, a bonafide MAGMA experience however this particular album takes things a bit more into the accessible areas of jazz-funk and soul jazz which basically means that the usual alienating effects of the MAGMA universe have been tamed for a lighter even happier approach.

Basically KRTHL features six new tracks and two bonus tracks mined from the 1978 recording sessions which would put the timeline firmly in the era of "Attahk" which is about the time Vander eschewed the hardcore Kobaian alienation for a somewhat more accessible sound that incorporated an easy on the ears funk groove, an idea that was carried to full fruition with 1985's nadir of the band's career "Merci." The two final bonus tracks "Hakhn Des" and "Dhnd" may be represented as mere demos but after multiple spins it's more apparent that they serve as the primary inspiration for KRTHL which determined the direction of this album's mood setting. It goes without saying that this album is much more like "Merci" and other more accessible MAGMA moments than pretty much all of the other albums of the band's canon and for those of us who love the alienating darkness of albums like "Mekank Destruktw Kommandh" or "K.A." then we are left finding KRTHL being a little too tame for its own good.

In addition to a lighter vibe there's an impending sense of been-there done-that going on with KRTHL as well which is a bit off-putting. The first three tracks are competent and even pleasant but a bit too happy for their own good. For my ears the album only becomes interesting with the fourth track "Ẁalmhndʌm Ẁarre" where the melodies are more sophisticated, the hypnotic alienation is revisited and the band seems firing on all pistons therefore half the album is excellent and half a bit watered down. Granted there are no unpleasant moments on KRTHL but the disjointed nature of the first three tracks and the following is a bit of a let down.

It goes without saying that MAGMA are masters in the prog world and seem utterly incapable of releasing an absolutely awful album but i also have to say that this is my least likable album since 1985's "Merci." The quality control is simply off on this one and it sounds more like a compilation of various tracks rather than a bonafide album experience which unfortunately for better or for worse is what we have come to expect from a fully-fledged MAGMA studio album experience. For any true fans this is certainly not an album to avoid as it features all those beautiful MAGMA-fied melodies in full splendor however it also fails to take the MAGMA saga into a new chapter of Kobaian mythology which is where true MAGMA fans really want to go. Yeah a tad disappointed and i doubt this will be anyone's favorite album from the band but as far as bumps in the road go, even a mediocre MAGMA album is lightyears ahead of what many bands can muster up.

3.5 stars but given MAGMA is a cornerstone of zeuhl i cannot in good conscious round up for this pillar bamd of classic prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I have enjoyed listening to this album so much this past week. I connected with it right away despite it being vocal heavy along with that optimistic and joyful vibe throughout. It comes as advertised and I'm just surprised at how much I like this. I found it interesting that they released the dark and intense "Emehntehtt-Re" in 2009 and three years later followed it up with the joyful and optimistic "Felicite Thosz" in 2012. In 2019 they release the dark "Zess" and three years later in 2022 release this one the happy "Kartehl".

There's a beautiful tribute from Christian Vander in the liner notes to his old departed friend Rene Garber who passed in 2015. He mentions about thinking of him a lot during these recordings but also how his presence inspired him. "You were always there close to me, breathing energy, inspiration and spirit into me... and into every bar of MAGMA's music."

The one song on here that keeps me from rating this higher than 4 stars is the commercial sounding closer "Dehnde" and it's from 1978 originally sung by Garber while he also played piano and that demo is a bonus track on here. Here Christian sings and in his tribute he mentions this hoping his old friend will like it. The first time I heard it I was actually mad because it's the closer and it's the most commercial sounding MAGMA song I've ever heard. I don't mind it now but it sticks out like a sore thumb when compared to the rest. And I don't want to be too critical as proceeds of this song go to "Fondation Initiative Autisme" to quote the liner notes.

I am such a fan of wordless vocals and that's really the appeal for me here along with Vander's still powerful drumming skills. The drums sound so good, so crisp as he hits them with authority. an eleven piece band here with Bussonnet getting the boot apparently and Jimmy Top taking the bass role. Son of Jannick. I like when I hear him he's got a growly tone but the seems to go missing for long periods. Great to have Simon Goubert here on keyboards along with Thierry Eliez who does the same.

Goubert composed my favourite track on here called "Wii Melehn Tu". I especially like the start with those strange vocal sounds. Like fast-paced gibberish really but it's so cool sounding. Love when the drums and electric piano come in as it builds. I'ma fan of all of these songs really but I also really like "Walomehndem Warrei" a lot. At first the music swells and falls back until dark piano lines arrive along with wordless vocals then drums to the fore. I like the bass 2 minutes in and the overall sound after 3 minutes. Such a great track. Oh and the bass dominates after 6 minutes.

And while we get a lot of vocals on this record we also get plenty of incredible instrumental work to balance things. This is a solid 4 stars for me despite the questionable closer. There's a really nice picture of the band but I'm not sure who the kid is at the back, oh that's Jimmy! Did I mention Stella Vander produced this album?

Latest members reviews

4 stars Magma returns with a new studio album and a frustrating set of diacritics that make writing about this album in Google Docs a hassle. K​​rt​​hl follows 2019's Zss, the conclusion of the Kobaa mythos, so I have no idea where (or if) this fits into the story of the Kobaans ... (read more)

Report this review (#2904600) | Posted by TheEliteExtremophile | Tuesday, April 4, 2023 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Krthl is a new 14th Magma release. For those who don't know or are new to the music of this legendary band, Magma is a french group, whose leader(drummer/vocalist and the main composer behind the music of Magma) Christian Vander is regarded as the creator of Zeuhl genre. Zeuhl music is charac ... (read more)

Report this review (#2870856) | Posted by sepia_blob | Monday, December 26, 2022 | Review Permanlink

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