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MAGMA

Zeuhl • France


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Magma biography
MAGMA is a progressive group led by drummer/composer/vocalist Christian VANDER that has been active in the 'classic period' and in the 21th century. The music of MAGMA is often categorized as 'Zeuhl' (which means 'celestical' of 'heavenly' in Kobaïan, MAGMA's own language). The band doesn't clearly fit in any other progressive subgenre, though avant-prog would qualify.

Swirling riffs in odd time signatures, theatrical choir arrangements, heavy and distorted pulsing bass guitar, bombastic and minimalistic (sometimes both at the same time), dark and brooming, adventurous and angelic, jazzy or classical, but always with the highly innovative and original drums of founder and main composer Christian VANDER. The music of MAGMA is adopted by the progressive rock movement, though even for progressive standards it is very hard to get into because of its 'other worldly sound' and its extended compositions of often more then thirty minutes. The band has had almost no connection whatsoever with other bands of the progressive genre, though in France it would prove to be a big inspiration for other Fusion and Zeuhl bands. It is often though that the modern classical music of Carl ORFF (for instance Carmina Burana) must have been a big influence to MAGMA. VANDER himself has claimed on several occasions that his main influence was the jazz saxophone player John COLTRANE, and listening to COLTRANE's version of 'My favorite things' we do find a hint to what was to become the Zeuhl genre. Legend goes that MAGMA was formed after a vision that was revealed in a dream of Christian VANDER about a spiritual and ecological future for mankind. This vision would influence the three different multi-part saga's, namely the Kobaïan saga (debut and 1001 Centigrates), the Köhntarkösz triology (Kohntarkosz Anteria or K.A., Köhntarkösz and Ëmëhntëhtt-Ré) and the Theusz Hamtaahk triology (Theusz Hamtaahk, Mekanïk Destruktïw Kommandöh or M.D.K and Wurdah Ïtah). The third studio-album of MAGMA, M.D.K., is often seen as the genre defining Zeuhl album, whereas the first two MAGMA albums have stronger jazzrock/fusion leanings and less Orffian choir arrangements.

Being heavily disturbed by his vision, classically trained drummer and composer Christian VANDER formed the first version of MAGMA in 1969 in Paris as a means to give musical expression to his fears for humanity. With a small list of fusion and rhythm and blues musicians, among them some wind-players and one of MAGMA's mai...
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Buy MAGMA Music


Wurdah ItahWurdah Itah
Import
Imports 2009
Audio CD$20.77
$26.90 (used)
Mekanik Destruktiw KommandohMekanik Destruktiw Kommandoh
Import
Imports 2003
Audio CD$30.32
$29.49 (used)
KobaiaKobaia
Import
Seventh Records 2013
Audio CD$31.49
$38.31 (used)
Studio ZündStudio Zünd
Import
2008
Audio CD$561.71
Udu WuduUdu Wudu
Import
Indie Europe/Zoom 2003
Audio CD$6.91
$10.14 (used)
Felicite ThoszFelicite Thosz
Import
Seventh Records 2013
Audio CD$20.96
$17.99 (used)
Emehntehtt-ReEmehntehtt-Re
Import
101 DISTRIBUTION 2009
Audio CD$29.99
$40.32 (used)
Mythes & Legendes 3Mythes & Legendes 3
Import
Seventh Records 2013
DVD$44.99
$55.25 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Les Voix-Concert 1992 - Magma (2004, CD New) US $23.49 Buy It Now 1h 26m
GUAPO Twisted Stems CD UK darkprog a la Zeuhl magma, members of Æthenor Ulver US $10.98 Buy It Now 1h 38m
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SPEED LIMIT "2ND" ZEUHL JAZZ PROG 76 RARE MAGMA WEATHER REPORT JAPAN MINI LP NEW US $24.99 [0 bids]
20h 27m
ESKATON "FICTION" ZEUHL PROG ROCK MASTERPIECE 1980 MAGMA RARE NEW HARD TO FIND US $19.99 [0 bids]
20h 27m
SPEED LIMIT "1ST" ZEUHL JAZZ PROG 75 RARE MAGMA WEATHER REPORT JAPAN MINI LP NEW US $24.99 [0 bids]
20h 27m
Rahmann- S/t + 4 bonus tracks (Shm-cd) (Mini Lp) (Magma, Zao) US $36.99 Buy It Now 20h 40m
Magma-Udu Wudu French prog cd US $22.99 Buy It Now 22h 27m
Kobaia by Magma (France) (CD r2009 Seventh Rex IV) prog krautrock US $39.99 Buy It Now 1 day
BEAST IN THE FIELD WORLD ENDING 2LP DOPETHRONE ELECTRIC WIZARD MAGMA ELDER SLEEP US $26.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Clearlight- clearlight symphony (vinyl,lp)( heldon, magma, lard free) US $35.99 Buy It Now 1 day
ONE SHOT "Vendredi 13", SEALED CD, Magma, Zeuhl ... Offering, C. Vander US $40.00 [0 bids]
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ESKATON "Fiction", SEALED CD, Magma, Zeuhl, Univers Zero ... US $28.00 [0 bids]
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NORDHEIM,ARNE - TENEBRAE MAGMA [CD NEW] US $14.69 Buy It Now 1 day
MAGMA - LIVE - SNAP008CD US $13.64 Buy It Now 2 days
Magma - Udu Wudu 1976 French ZEHUL PROG NEW CD US $19.90 Buy It Now 2 days
MAGMA - INEDITS LIVE 72-75 FRENCH PROG ROCK ZEUHL led by CHRISTIAN VANDER CD US $17.95 Buy It Now 2 days
Magma Inedits FRANCE LP Orig it TP10001 US $59.99 Buy It Now 2 days
MAGMA LOT OF 2 CD LIVE, KOHNTARKOSZ US $13.00 [0 bids]
2 days
MAGMA KOHNTARKOSZ 1974 JAPAN CD OBI 2000yen PCCY 1ST PRESS US $99.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Guitar Wolf T-Shirt Magma Tour, New, rare 2013 Australian tour tshirt, Size L US $18.69 [0 bids]
3 days
MAGMA Ëmëhntëhtt-Ré christian vander weidorje shub niggurath univers zero setna US $12.99 [1 bids]
3 days
MAGMA " esperando tu caida " MEXICAN HARD ROCK new & sealed TAPE US $19.99 [0 bids]
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Magma - Live (NEW CD) US $14.68 Buy It Now 3 days
FRENCH JAZZ ROCK LP VERTO / KRIG - VOLUBILIS Potemkine Heldon Magma US $50.00 Buy It Now 3 days
DURA MATER 2 CDs + T-Shirt LOT NEW Prog Rock Astra Magma Mahavishnu Orchestra US $16.99 Buy It Now 3 days
ONDA VAGA-MAGMA ELEMENTAL-JAPAN CD BONUS TRACK E75 US $26.99 Buy It Now 4 days
MAGMA - UBER KOMMANDOH NEW CD US $17.03 Buy It Now 4 days
MAGMA UDU WUDU JAPAN MINI LP CD NEW OUT OF PRINT K2 REMASTERING VICP-63570 US $18.99 Buy It Now 4 days
Magma / Udu Wudu (fra) CD US $25.51 Buy It Now 4 days
Faton Cahen-Piano Reves French orig' Cryonic Inc. LP 1986 Magma US $29.99 Buy It Now 4 days
Francois Faton Cahen-Tendre Piano Solo French orig' Free Bird LP 1978 Magma US $24.99 Buy It Now 4 days
Giants of the Big Band Era: Harry James by Harry James (CD, Jan-1994, Magma) US $0.99 Buy It Now 4 days
MUSEO ROSENBACH Zarathustra JAPAN 1993 CD RARE!! PFM AREA MAGMA US $59.00 Buy It Now 5 days
Magma - Attahk 1978 Tomato original LP US $32.00 Buy It Now 5 days
ART ZOYD "Musique pour l´Odyssée" LP, Univers Zero, Magma ... US $46.99 [0 bids]
5 days
N.T. ATOMIC SYSTEM S/T LP on MAGMA RARE ITALIAN PROG FIRST PRESS TRI-FOLD NM US $11.50 [3 bids]
5 days
CHRISTIAN VANDER MAGMA - RESTROSPEKTIW III ***RARE CD (R) US $17.95 Buy It Now 5 days
MAGMA MUSIQUEROS DEL SILENCIO ARGENTINA NM LP US $61.19 Buy It Now 5 days
Magma 2001 Bum Bum Baby 12" Urban 158 131-1 2000 Vinyl US $9.99 Buy It Now 5 days
~~MAGMA~~LIVE~~UTOPIA~~PSYCH~~PROG~~2XLP~~1975~~EX~~ US $14.99 Buy It Now 5 days
Magma Emblem Promotional Poster 7th Records France [gong christian vander Q US $25.00 Buy It Now 5 days
Magma Emblem & Group Promotional Poster 7th Records [gong christian vander Q US $25.00 Buy It Now 5 days
Magma:Mythes et Legendes Vol IV DVD France All Region NTSC (christian vander Q US $35.00 Buy It Now 5 days
Magma:Mythes et Legendes Vol II DVD France All Region NTSC (christian vander Q US $40.00 Buy It Now 5 days
Magma:Mythes et Legendes Vol I DVD France All Region NTSC (christian vander Q US $35.00 Buy It Now 5 days
Magma:Studio Zund 10 CD Box Set France Digipak NM (not mini-lp Q US $292.50 Buy It Now 5 days
CATHERINE RIBEIRO + ALPES / LIBERTES? Heldon Magma Gong US $48.00 Buy It Now 5 days
FIELDED NINETY THIRTY THIRTY 90-30-30 LP GA'AN MAGMA GOBLIN KATE BUSH DIVA VINYL US $16.00 Buy It Now 5 days
GA'AN GAAN BLACK EQUUS LP COUGHS LOAD PROG NEW TERMBO FIELDED MAGMA AMON DUUL US $13.99 Buy It Now 5 days
GA'AN GAAN 1st LP COUGHS LOAD PROG NEW TERMBO FIELDED MAGMA AMON DUUL US $13.99 Buy It Now 5 days
FIELDED NINETY THIRTY THIRTY 90-30-30 CD GA'AN MAGMA GOBLIN KATE BUSH DIVA US $12.00 Buy It Now 5 days
JAPAN ISSUE LP HELDON / STAND BY Richard Pinhas, MAGMA GONG US $40.00 Buy It Now 5 days
Magma:4 DVD Obi & Booklets only[no cd gong christian vander pulsar not mini-lp Q US $75.00 Buy It Now 5 days
Surya- s/t (Shm-CD) (Mini Lp) (Didier & Francis Lockwood, Magma, Zao) US $35.99 Buy It Now 6 days
Magma,candenza, Nexus, Barcelona 216, Hommage a Carm... US $16.37 Buy It Now 6 days
original pressed japan cd/animation/magma vol.2 /soundtrack/osamu tezuka/1993 US $49.00 Buy It Now 6 days
Magma ATTAHK prog LP PROMO moog orig '78 tomato french christian vander rare US $59.00 Buy It Now 6 days
cd AVANTGARDE Arde Nordheim "Tenebrae"/"Magma" NORWEGIAN COSMIC MASTERPIECE MINT US $14.99 [0 bids]
6 days
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David ROSE GROUP- Live (musea) (TRANSIT-EXPRESS,MAGMA, ZAO, RAHMANN) US $19.99 Buy It Now 6 days
MAGMA - CONCERT BOBINO 1981 NEW CD US $55.83 Buy It Now 6 days
Didier Lockwood Group - Phoenix 90 (RARE 1990 USA CD) (Magma, Prog Jazz Fusion) US $2.99 Buy It Now 6 days
Giants of the Big Band Era: Count Basie [Pilz] by Count Basie (CD, 1994, Magma) US $1.00 [0 bids]
US $2.00 Buy It Now
6 days
MAGMA Attahk lp 1978 Original Press on Tomato PROMO COPY nice shape Weird PROG US $9.99 [0 bids]
6 days
WOW! Magma by Inaba Kohshi Koji (CD 1997) RARE Japan! US $7.49 Buy It Now 7 days
MAGMA - ATTAHK NEW CD US $41.61 Buy It Now 7 days
Magma - 1.001 Centigrades [Vinyl New] US $44.95 Buy It Now 7 days
Magma - Attahk [CD New] US $38.99 Buy It Now 7 days
Magma - Concert 1981-Bobino [CD New] US $56.99 Buy It Now 7 days
MAGMA - 1.001 CENTIGRADES (IMPORT) NEW VINYL US $58.72 Buy It Now 7 days
ULTRA RARE FRENCH PROG MAGMA RELATED LP HENRI GOUGAUD CHANSON POUR LA VILLE US $39.99 Buy It Now 7 days
GRAND MAL jibber the kibber 12" 2 trk white label promo b/w ride (gamt) uk magma US $8.38 Buy It Now 7 days
Giants of the Big Band Era: Benny Goodman by Benny Goodman (CD, 1994, Magma) US $10.57 Buy It Now 8 days
Raico - Magma Driver - Japan CD - NEW J-POP US $14.24 Buy It Now 8 days
RUINS 1986-1992 CD hardcore Japanese thrash-prog Magma Zeuhl Koenjihyakkei guapo US $13.98 Buy It Now 8 days
Magma - Trilogy (NEW 3CD) US $24.75 Buy It Now 8 days
Puissance 13+2 w/Magma, Ergo Sum, Markusfeld, Zabu, Catherine Ribeiro US $19.99 Buy It Now 8 days
Weidorje-same French prog cd Magma related US $19.99 Buy It Now 8 days
Magma - Wurdah Itah 2009 [CD New] US $35.16 Buy It Now 8 days
MAGMA - MERCI (IMPORT) NEW CD US $29.32 Buy It Now 8 days
MAGMA - WURDAH ITAH (UK) NEW CD US $40.07 Buy It Now 8 days
ZAO - Z=7L 1973 FRENCH ZEUHL JAZZY PROG w/ex MAGMA MEMB. YOCHKO SEFFER MUSEA CD US $21.95 Buy It Now 8 days
VARIOUS: Jazz Magma (jazz vinyl LP) US $25.00 Buy It Now 8 days
TAAR Magma Symphony (#4) - EVELYN GLENNIE - Paavo Jarvi - CD NEW US $12.99 Buy It Now 8 days
MEKANIK Der Mekanik Grooves CD Norwegian prog/black thrash magma zeuhl enslaved US $9.98 Buy It Now 8 days
MAGMA - 1.001 CENTIGRADE FRENCH ZEUHL PROG LP ORIGINAL BLACK PHILIPS LABEL US $60.00 Buy It Now 8 days
MiniLPCD Patrick Gauthier ?/ Bébé Godzilla HELDON MAGMA ANGE US $15.00 Buy It Now 8 days
Mini LPCD RICHARD PINHAS / Rhizosphere + 5 HELDON MAGMA US $15.00 Buy It Now 8 days
Mini LPCD RICHARD PINHAS / Iceland + 1 HELDON MAGMA US $15.00 Buy It Now 8 days
Mini LPCD RICHARD PINHAS / Chronolyse HELDON MAGMA ANGE US $15.00 Buy It Now 8 days
NEW CD RICHARD PINHAS/Single Collection 1972-1980 HELDON MAGMA Merzbow US $15.00 Buy It Now 8 days
CLEARLIGHT / Visions + 7Bonus -MAGMA, Mini LP CD+Obi US $18.00 Buy It Now 8 days
Magma - 1.001 Centigrades Import-EU Vinyl Record LP US $44.96 Buy It Now 9 days
MAGMA - UDU WUDU (1989 Tomato) 1st Press Import CD FRENCH PSYCH / PROG ROCK US $17.99 Buy It Now 9 days
SAINT-PREUX - LE PIANO SOUS LA MER (EX/EX), 1st Pr Canada GAMMA Symph Prog MAGMA US $6.99 Buy It Now 9 days

More places to buy MAGMA music online Buy MAGMA & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
  • AmazonMP3: Search for MAGMA DRM-Free MP3 Downloads @ AmazonMP3 (USA Only) | AmazonMP3 (UK Only)

MAGMA shows & tickets


  • Magma at La Tannerie, Bourg-en-Bresse on 23 May 2014
  • Magma + Chromb! at La Source, Fontaine on 24 May 2014
  • Rock in Opposition on 19 Sep 2014
  • Rock in Opposition 2014 on 19 Sep 2014

MAGMA discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

MAGMA top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.01 | 275 ratings
Magma (Kobaïa)
1970
4.11 | 260 ratings
1001° Centigrades
1971
4.26 | 558 ratings
Mëkanïk Dëstruktïẁ Kömmandöh
1973
4.08 | 307 ratings
Köhntarkösz
1974
4.19 | 205 ratings
Ẁurdah Ïtah (Christian Vander)
1974
3.74 | 253 ratings
Üdü Ẁüdü
1976
3.68 | 218 ratings
Attahk
1978
2.47 | 129 ratings
Merci
1984
3.79 | 65 ratings
Mëkanïk Kömmandöh
1989
4.30 | 395 ratings
K.A
2004
4.18 | 345 ratings
Ëmëhntëhtt-Ré
2009
4.10 | 241 ratings
Félicité Thösz
2012

MAGMA Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.43 | 157 ratings
Live/Hhaï (Köhntark)
1975
3.08 | 29 ratings
Inédits
1977
3.97 | 51 ratings
Retrospektïẁ III
1981
4.53 | 77 ratings
Retrospektïẁ I-II
1981
4.02 | 15 ratings
Concert 1992, Douarnenez:
1992
3.09 | 21 ratings
Concert Bobino 1981
1995
2.52 | 12 ratings
Concert 1971, Bruxelles - Théâtre 140
1996
4.41 | 17 ratings
Concert 1975, Toulouse - Théâtre Du Taur
1996
4.14 | 32 ratings
Concert 1976, Opéra De Reims
1996
4.24 | 34 ratings
BBC 1974 - Londres
1999
4.65 | 45 ratings
Theusz Hamtaahk - Trilogie
2001
4.00 | 16 ratings
Bourges 1979
2008
3.07 | 8 ratings
Live In Tokyo
2009

MAGMA Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.22 | 27 ratings
Theusz Hamtaahk - Trilogie Au Trianon
2001
4.43 | 14 ratings
Concert Bobino 1981
2004
4.32 | 35 ratings
Mythes Et Légendes, Volume I
2006
4.32 | 36 ratings
Mythes Et Légendes, Volume II
2006
4.81 | 44 ratings
Mythes Et Légendes, Volume III
2007
4.79 | 37 ratings
Mythes Et Légendes, Volume IV
2008

MAGMA Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.50 | 7 ratings
Mythes Et Légendes
1985
2.31 | 7 ratings
Kompila
1997
3.86 | 10 ratings
Simples
1998
1.58 | 10 ratings
Spiritual
2002
2.37 | 10 ratings
Über Kommandoh
2004
3.50 | 2 ratings
Archiw I & II
2008
4.89 | 39 ratings
Studio Zünd
2009
3.32 | 6 ratings
Trilogy
2012

MAGMA Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.67 | 3 ratings
Kobaia/Mûh
1970
3.67 | 3 ratings
Mekanïk Kommando / Klaus Kömbälad
1972
4.25 | 4 ratings
Mekanïk Machine/Köhntarkosz
1974
2.20 | 5 ratings
Ooh Ooh Baby / Otis
1985
3.88 | 27 ratings
Floë Ëssi / Ëktah
1998

MAGMA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Ëmëhntëhtt-Ré by MAGMA album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.18 | 345 ratings

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Ëmëhntëhtt-Ré
Magma Zeuhl

Review by BatBacon

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 Magma creation, very serious and very very exciting. I can't say that I have any idea at all about what´s going on, I never have any idea at all when it comes to Magma, but thats not a bad thing.

The music is melodic and, in some weird way, very beautiful. At the same time its dramatic and very haunting, and even though all the lyrics are written in Kobaïan, the strange languish created by Christian Vander, you get the feeling of something terrible going on. I don't know, but I like to think the story got something to do with the destruction of some civilization somewhere in universe, as it is known to be a common theme for the conceptual music of Magma. Drummer and bandleader Christian Vander´s playing is as driving as it is mindblowing! Who ever thought jazz drums could create a feeling this ominous, its like he´s playing theater with his drums. He also provides the album with his scary, almost preaching voice, which in combination with the choir of destruction (thats the sound of it, anyway) should be able to lay ground for some really nasty nightmares for those listening to Ëmëhntëhtt-ré just before bedtime.

Just like a great movie, this album has a great dramaturgy. There is ups and there is downs, often the songs builds up really slow to keep the excitement on top and the listener very alert. It goes from slower and more atmospheric phases to fast and action packed phases. Also the end pursues this dramatic way of storytelling; with some very serious words the album comes to an dramatic but quick conclusion. Those last words will keep on echoing in your head (even though you still don't have a clue what they meant), thats exactly how powerful this piece of music is. The silence after the music is over is almost as important as the music itself.

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 Ëmëhntëhtt-Ré by MAGMA album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.18 | 345 ratings

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Ëmëhntëhtt-Ré
Magma Zeuhl

Review by Roundabot

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 outstanding drumming, but also of composing this wonderful piece of music. All members of this Magma incarnation give their best in this album, bringing to the table the best of them to fulfill Vander's perfectionist vision. The result is one of the best albums of the past decade, at least in my book.

The first three minutes work as an introduction, first with spoken words and then some classic Magma chanting surrounded by a very dense atmosphere created by the drums, the bass and the piano. Following this we have Stella Vander's beautiful vocals in the forefront accompanied by the piano and the choir sporadically singing with her. This section attracted my attention from the start; it is gorgeous what all this voices do together and the chemistry that the piano, drums and vocals achieve. Christian Vander is, as always, masterful in playing minimalist drum passages in this section. They are a great companion to the sheer beauty that we are witnessing.

As the first section of 'm'hnt'htt-R' ends, the Stella gives the main vocal duties to Christian. This transition always puts a joyful smile on my face; it is so amazing how naturally the composition flows from a more contemplative mood to this almost celebratory section. Section II of 'm'hnt'htt-R' has many moods, as it is more than 20 minutes long, but this first part is a favorite of mine. The bass is the star here flowing very nicely and playing the melody the vocals sing. All the elements the musicians display such passion and talent in section II, they all play as tightly as they can showcasing some of the most amazing musicianship I've had listened to in the process.

As said before, this first part of section II has a celebratory sound, which is mostly displayed by the beautiful and complex vocals, but also by the playful bass and guitar playing and the constant piano line which surprisingly is what gives rhythm to the song even more than the relentless almost schizophrenic drums. It ends in a blast of musical genius when the piano gets loose and shifts from playing the main repetitive melody it had been playing and plays a very beautiful melody to finish the first fourteen minutes of section II.

The last eight minutes are more somber and take the jazz elements from the first half to a more aggressive and urgent place. The darker tone is accomplished by the outstanding bass and the male vocals, which keep the listener on edge by building a tension that seems to be endless. The guitar and the drums create a delightful sense of madness and paranoia that is palpable throughout this whole section. It feels like a trip into the mind of a very insane person, and it is a real treat to listen.

As section II unravels, the choir introduces the third section with one of its most outstanding performances, a blast of vocal genius that leads to a very quiet and minimalist section with the drums, bass and piano displaying their talent for minimalism. The vocals then re-enter, with Stella in the forefront again, accompanied by the jazzy drums that displays its talents on minimalism and avant-garde in this part of section III. The song starts taking shape as the bass starts playing a repetitive riff that gives pace to the song. There is a ritualistic feel throughout section III that is reminiscent to section I but with the jazzy and relentless complexity of the ending part of section II.

By the middle of this section we have been witness to some of the most virtuosic display of avant-garde, not just by the usual incredible drums, but also by the bass when it gets loose from its main riff to give a master class on bass playing. The rhythm section is in top form throughout the thirteen minutes that compose this track, but this is not the only treat we get on it. The mysterious piano playing and the almost menacing vocals are of the highest quality and the guitar in the final part of the section also contributes to the overall feeling of apprehension this section portrays. In the end the chants come back as the song becomes faster and playful again as section III comes to a magnificent conclusion.

Section IV opens with the beautiful vocals of Stella Vander preparing us for what promises to be a gorgeous conclusion. The chants that follow are evocative of the ritualistic celebratory moments we have heard throughout the album. The piano is the main attraction here, with beautiful melodies that carry the section along with Stella's vocals. The section surprisingly also has its dark and its jazzy moments, but the general feel is calmed and melodic instead of the dissonance from before. The song ends in an enigmatic tone that leaves the listener baffled to what he has just listened to. In me, it created a need to go back to listen to this composition again and again until I could grasp all of its complexity and beauty.

'm'hnt'htt-R' is not the only composition we have here, even though it is the most important one. Fun'hrar'um Kanht works as a sort of funerary march with its dark and depressive tone. The vocals here are almost like Gregorian chants, and have a mournful feel. There is a very hard hitting piano accompanying the chants that make the feeling of dread the song has even more despairing. Finally S'h' is a short piece of spoken word that is surrounded by an obscure atmosphere that makes it very cryptic, leaving the listener puzzled by what it means.

As this was my first experience with Magma, which is one of my favorite bands, this record is very dear to me. This is a band that begs to be listened and acknowledged as the musical geniuses they are. This album is one more addition to the series of masterpieces of Magma's outstanding catalogue, and shows this incarnation at its best. This legendary ensemble has achieved here a level of maturity that establishes its status as one of the best in musical history, and confirms once again that Christian Vander is one of the most talented and creative composers of all time.

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 Magma (Kobaïa) by MAGMA album cover Studio Album, 1970
4.01 | 275 ratings

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Magma (Kobaïa)
Magma Zeuhl

Review by VOTOMS

5 stars What is Zeuhl? Imagine John Coltrane riding a space battleship ruling an utopic (or dystopic?) universe. I can clearly see space troopers marching and praising him and singing Magma tunes like M. D. K. Well, this first record has a different meaning for a lot of progressive rock and zeuhl followers. To fully understand this album, you need to be very ecletic. And think ecletic. Magma is a space opera. The concept of the albums were written right from the planet Kobaia. And their music are not focused on something you will learn from the first time. You will never understand their language. Christian Vander don't know about King Crimson. And he doesn't need to. He came from jazz, classical music, avant-garde, and finally, the music from his own universe and the Kobaia planet. I play the sax and the guitar. And I'm saying, if you know Coltrane, you know who's influenced by him. A lot of Magma sweet came from his soul. Nowadays, some extreme & experimental bands like Gorguts are highly influenced by the dissonant Magmatic free-jazz/fusion.

While MDK defines Zeuhl genre for me, their Kobaia debut was the most complete Magma work. This album has many faces, but everything fits perfect. From the smooth parts to Vander alien-screaming proclamations. There's a lot of horror and creepy passages, and I must admit, those are the best moments, evoking classic soundtracks. Unique and creative. If I should find a concept for this album music, comparing it to their other releases, I would say this album studies Kobaia ambient, policy and history. And it's awesome.

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 Studio Zünd by MAGMA album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2009
4.89 | 39 ratings

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Studio Zünd
Magma Zeuhl

Review by GruvanDahlman
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Box sets comprised of a groups entire studio output are quite a nice thing to behold, especially if the box is as magnificent as this one. If there is one of my precious boxes I will keep to my dying days and probably use as pillow in the coffin, it's this one. I adore it. It is pornography for the music lover and when it comes to this edition I can proudly proclaim myself to be a pornographer of the highest level. I can look at this box and marvel for what seems to be forever and ever. And yet that is only the visual part of it all. The musical content is unmatched in so many ways. Individual to the T and furthermore displays a groups hard core vision of music as medium. Lovely.

Zeuhl needs to be approached with care, especially when we are talking Magma. No other group sounds like this. It is aggressive, harsh and dark. I think it is rawer than any black metal group, harder than any metal band and more inventive than many a prog band. With Studio Zünd you get all their studio albums up to K.A., which is one hell of great selection of prog.

As with other boxes like this, the Modry Efekt box is one example, not all albums are five star discs. Maybe it is even so that there's only one certified five star album, as far as I am concerned, but the package is of such importance and grandeur that no other rating is possible. This is a glorious way of getting all albums. While the zeuhl found within can be a bit hard to digest and swallow, it'll come to you. No need to wait for postal deliveries or racing through record stores (however enjoyable that may be). You simply pick out the next album and put in your player and there you go.

There are no live cuts in here but a full two disc collection of rarities, which is very nice. There is for instance tracks from Univeria Zekts only album and that I find thrilling, alongside very early recordings of Kobaïa. Great stuff!

Now, I managed to get the last copy of this box available at the HMV website (in the UK) and maybe it is hard to get a hold of but if you ever get the chance i command you to buy it immediately. This is a five star box if ever there was one. It just do not get any better than this, musically or package wise*. Extraordinary.

*Well, maybe package wise. Still, it is a wonderful piece of package.

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 Mëkanïk Dëstruktïẁ Kömmandöh by MAGMA album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.26 | 558 ratings

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Mëkanïk Dëstruktïẁ Kömmandöh
Magma Zeuhl

Review by cris_ostoma

5 stars If I put this record on, my mother comes to my place and looks at me with her weirdest face. And I understand her. Really, this album is crazy (and, perhaps, so I am).

First of all, I love the story behind: it's about an extraterrestrial prophet that wants all of us to follow his religion. At the beginning, nobody wants him but in the end all of us fall in his suggestion. The funniest thing is that you can recognize in the music this progression. At some points it gets quasi-operistic (maybe Wagnerian?).

This is clearly not for everyone, but as far I'm concerned this is one of the most peculiar things I have heard.

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 Attahk by MAGMA album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.68 | 218 ratings

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Attahk
Magma Zeuhl

Review by Fenrispuppy

4 stars The late 1970s and early 1980s were a tough time for prog-rock. Disco was king, punk was hot and new-wave was on the horizon. Many great prog bands broke up (E.L.P. and VdGG, for example). Others tried to change with the times (E.L.O., Gentle Giant, Genesis etc...), often infuriating hard-core fans. Magma ultimately did both. "Attahk" would be Magma's last album of new original material for several years.

This album is often bashed by hardcore Magma fans, however it contains all of the elements that made Magma so interesting: a great rhythm section with bizarre vocals and prog-rock flourishes. The musicianship is great and the piano, bass and drums really drive the music.

Yes, the album does lag a little bit in the middle, but it gets off to a great start with "The Last Seven Minutes", which is downright funky. "Spiritual" is a bit of gospel flavored fun. "Rindae" is very slow and plodding, and is just okay. "Lirik Nekronomicus Kahnt" is a funky, fusion jam with complicated and bizarre vocals. Closing out the album are "Mahnt", "Dondai" and "Nono". "Mahnt" is fun and frenetically paced. "Dondai" is mid-tempo and has a nice groove to it. "Nono" builds up to a frantic pace, has a catchy chant and closes the album in style.

"Attahk" is not a cohesive album which flows seamlessly or hangs on a single concept like many of Magma's other albums. However, most of the songs taken on their own are very good and a lot of fun. This writer still feels that this album is very enjoyable and is funkier than anything Magma has ever done before...or since. While this album may not be among the very best that Magma has to offer, it is still quite good...especially if one considers how many of their British, Italian and American counterparts were in decline in the late 1970s. "Attahk" does not sound like a band in decline, rather it sounds more like an exploration of new territory. Unfortunately the market for this album was pretty slim. Hardcore Magma fans abandoned it, while it was not nearly mainstream enough to attract new fans. However, from the music to the H.R. Giger album cover, this listener considers it a minor masterpiece. 4 stars easily...

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 Retrospektïẁ I-II by MAGMA album cover Live, 1981
4.53 | 77 ratings

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Retrospektïẁ I-II
Magma Zeuhl

Review by chamberry
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars You've probably heard the story before: Magma is a tough band to swallow at first. I've had a hard time trying to "get" their music. My first album of theirs was Mekanik Destructiw Kommandoh and, to be honest, I didn't understand what was happening. The vocals were too grating, the beat was too repetitive and the music sounded too chaotic. Magma scared me. It took me a lot of time to understand what they were doing, years, to be a bit more precise. But one day it clicked. I don't know how to explain it. One day I played it and it all made sense. The jazz-rock, that I didn't even realized at first because of the shock of all the music, grooved throughout the whole album and I was chanting gibberish and dancing all the way until the end. The chaos in their sound started to take form and everything, even the vocals, were necessary for it to click. The repetition made it all more intense and engaging (it'll grab you, alright, and it won't let you go.) Before I knew it I was downloading albums like crazy. I was hooked on Magma like a junkie. To be fair, some albums weren't as good, but I still went through.

But if you, reader, want to get into Magma, don't do as I did, don't start with MDK. Heck! Start with K.A., since everything sounds so crisp, pounding, aggressive compared to the studio version of MDK. But if you really want to know what all the MDK fuss is about, then you should do yourself a favor a get this live album. MDK is a beast! For starters, the studio version of MDK gives more importance to the orchestration and it drowns the sound of the band. In Retrospektiw the sound is evenly balanced. The rhythm section, which is the driving force behind Magma, sounds crystal clear and up front. This is the important thing here and it does make a difference, since THEY are the band, not the orchestra. The music sounds more organic and less polished, though not less tight. Magma needs to sound gritty for it to be effective. The other composition, Theusz Hamtaahk, is no less interesting, though it is a bit less explosive. The middle section of Theusz will put you in a trance and you'll end up nodding your head without even knowing it.

All in all, this live album is a must for Magma fans and for people trying to get into 70's Magma. Considering that you're knowing what you're getting yourself into, this album will deliver, and how it delivers!

4.5, but I'd rather give it a 5 than a 4. It deserves it, and you deserve this album, too.

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 Félicité Thösz by MAGMA album cover Studio Album, 2012
4.10 | 241 ratings

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Félicité Thösz
Magma Zeuhl

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

5 stars It's rare for a band who has been performing for 40 years to be able to put an album which at once remains true to their preceding work and at the same time manages to sound fresh and new. This is what Magma have accomplished on Félicité Thösz; whilst the distinctive rhythms characteristic of zeuhl remain bubbling away under the surface here and there, the main focus of this album is on the vocal performances, which offer up one of the happiest atmospheres ever to grace a Magma album.

This is not a frivolous, giggly happiness so much as a sense of deep personal and spiritual accomplishment; this, and the mixture of male and female vocals and French and Kobaian lyrics, tend to make me think that this is not a Magma saga about peril or conflict between Earth and Kobaia (as in Mekanik Destruktiw Kommandoh), but is instead a celebration of some important achievement, perhaps a particular enlightenment attained by the human colonists on Kobaia or the attainment of peace between the two worlds or a romance between a man and a woman each from a different planet which eventually comes to a triumphant fruition or something like that. Either way, it's an intriguing piece, thoroughly road-tested and elegantly recorded, with a fairly restrained running time to boot. It's still distinctly zeuhl, but it might also be one of the most pleasant and approachable albums the band have ever recorded.

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 Merci by MAGMA album cover Studio Album, 1984
2.47 | 129 ratings

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Merci
Magma Zeuhl

Review by GruvanDahlman
Prog Reviewer

2 stars It's kind of sad I don't appreciate this album. There are many an occasion I find the oddball albums being very pleasant but that isn't the case with Merci. The overall feel of the album is messy and confused. I can appreciate what I think is the main idea behind the album, making music quite accessible and thus reaching a wider audience. However, I do not appreciate the end result. It's not all bad, that's hardly the case with musical brilliance, as evident on basically all other albums. Theres sparks on here, sparks that glisten but after a spin you find yourself unimpressed and unattentive. Merci do not have the power to hook you and keep you locked in the experience until it's over. Merci is kind of Magma goes Asia. It really mustn't be a bad thing but it's certainly not a good one.

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 Félicité Thösz by MAGMA album cover Studio Album, 2012
4.10 | 241 ratings

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Félicité Thösz
Magma Zeuhl

Review by Epignosis
Special Collaborator Eclectic Prog Team

4 stars Vocally bombastic and instrumentally mysterious, Félicité Thösz transmits the listener through a wintry, dreamlike world of sound. It is dramatic, punchy, and strangely uplifting. The medium is quite homogenous, but the moods are gloriously diverse.

"Félicité Thösz" The ubiquitous piano is stellar, a phenomenal adhesive binding the album together. The operatic vocals sound almost like Christmastime, and yet convey a darker sense of urgency coupled with a triumphant joy. "Nüms" is the melodic highlight, with an effervescent counterpoint, showcasing an inviting male vocal. "Tëha" that follows offers the climatic feminine vocal, and it's difficult to not feel elevated. And "Waahrz" is a piano interlude that rivals Rick Wakeman's performance in the middle of Yes's "Turn of the Century."

"Les hommes sont venus" Delightfully repetitive, this carol serves as something of a postlude to the excellent collection of segments that makes up the main substance of the album.

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