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Magma - 1001░ Centigrades [Aka: 2] CD (album) cover





4.12 | 414 ratings

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Symphonic Prog Specialist
4 stars Before I proceed to review "1001║ Centigrades" need to be honest and say that I evaded Zeuhl until this point of my life mainly because I consider he use of Kobaian as absurd as Klingon Opera or Elvish music, and one of the reasons why people catalogues Prog as unreal and excessively fantastic, but still worth to give a try.

Before I got this album, started to investigate what exactly Zeuhl is (Before my research Zeuhl was only a hollow term), and the idea of blending Neo Classical, Jazz Fusion, Symphonic and even tribal elements sounded interesting, so bought a couple albums and likes what I heard.

So where better to start my adventure in Zeuhl than with MAGMA

"R´ah Sah´ltaahk" is a 21 minutes epic that I enjoyed from start to end, and summarizes what I read about the genre, the rack begins with a Funk - Jazz intro and the peculiar vocals of Christian Vander (Not my cup of tea, a bit self indulgent IMHO), the wind instruments by Teddy Lasry and Jeff Seffer are simply delightful while the harsh and almost tribal chants of Vander blend perfectly.

What impressed me more about MAGMA is the speed in which they move from one sound, mood or atmosphere to another radically different, in some points I believe they sacrifice coherence for spectacularly, but the result is delightful and intriguing, forcing me to listen more.

The piano performances by "Franšois Cahen" deserve special mention, because the radical changes from almost violent Operatic sections he jumps to fluid jazz in the vein of MAHAVISHNU. By the way, the frenetic finale is simply fantastic. Still the Kobaian language is hard to assimilate, but the music is outstanding.

"Iss Lanse´ Do´a" is simply one of the weirdest musical experiences I had in my life, after an experimental intro of incoherent sounds comes an extremely coherent Fusion passage, and despite the obvious dissonances, they never loose the sense of melody and musicality. But this is only the beginning, the real weird stuff comes after that, chant sections, experimental stuff, hallucinating vocals, frenetic music, interrupted by coherent Jazzy sections, almost impossible to assimilate by a newbie.....Despite this fact, I loved it, the mystery and pomp is fantastic.

"Ki ¤ahl Í L´ahk" is the shortest track and my favorite, the bass , winds intro that lead to an absolutely dissonant passage where the piano enters as in Avant garde and then sections of fantastic melody and contradictory changes, but overall the amazing chants and the fluid fusion sections, all blended in a coherent mixture, is something you love or hate from the first listen...I like it

Before I finish this review I want to apologize if the review sounds amateurish, but this is my first experience with Zeuhl, even when I'm sure not the last, the only thing I can say in my defense is that is really honest, being that I am basing my opinion in what I hear and for that reason judging MAGMA exclusively for their merits

Now, if I try a weird genre for the first time and like it, I believe here must be something, if you add the versatility and skills of the musicians you are before a great album that deserves no less than 4 stars.

Ivan_Melgar_M | 4/5 |


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