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Magma - Theusz Hamtaahk - Trilogie au Trianon CD (album) cover




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4 stars really good video of magma performing the whole trilogie!!! what more can you ask for??? here they play every piece just as good as the orginals, with vander in exellent condition, where do they get all the energy from ?? an incredible mekanik destruktiw kommandoh version, with bussonets bass solo!! if you shall have one dvd of a zeuhl/prog/r.i.o. band BUY THIS ONE!!
Report this review (#33485)
Posted Wednesday, April 20, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars This DVD is the live version of MAGMA'S trilogy.The musicianship is Masterfull,Vander is a monster of modern music and his playing is full of musicality.You MUST see him performing.The chorus is in a TREMENDOUS mood singing the fantastic melodies,fender rhodes,great gutar and bass players.See it imediatly.The atmospheare and the mood will lead you to the absolute ecstasy!GREAT
Report this review (#46621)
Posted Wednesday, September 14, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars What I can say??? To see this DVD is an awsome experience. The whole trilogy in concert, on a simple stage which emphasize the music played by Mr. Vander and friends... BTW it's a pleassure to see Vander playing the drums, totally concentrated on every detail of the concert.

Warning: There are more than two hours of music -great music- so if you aren't a fan of Magma, maybe you will find this release a little bored. If you are a Magma fan you will enjoy every minute of this DVD. Great work on vocals (as usual), a superb sense of the times, a constant sensation of being in the middle of ancient and pagan ceremonies and an astonishing grand finale...

Nothing more to say; it's one of the best DVD that I see in the last time, well edited, with great sound and overall, is another reason to keep listening Magma until my last days!!

Report this review (#94110)
Posted Wednesday, October 11, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Magma play the entire Theusz Hamtaahk trilogy for their 30th anniversary show with a 14 piece band. And it is simply stunning. The music is transcendent, well recorded and very well served by this larger Magma ensemble. The core of bass, drums, keyboards and guitar are augmented by a horn section for certain parts and Stella Vander and other vocalists play occasional keyboards as well. The guitarist is quite good in his solo spots. But the bassist is absolutely incredible. I don't know his name, the line-up listings provided by ProgArchive are for Magma's first live album not this DVD. Klaus Blasquiz is unfortunately not on this DVD nor is Bernard Pagnotti or Didier Lockwood. The players (all their names are listed in Kobian on the DVD) though are excellent. Christian Vander may be fatter and grayer but he hasn't lost anything in the drumming department. He's absolutely consumed by what he is doing, no flies on him. The staging of the various musicians is also interesting. At various times the vocalists will move to the sides or the front depending on the music. It's a simple but effective dramatic device. The lighting also adds greatly to the atmosphere, running from bright red to deep blues. The filming and editing are both excellent with good rhythmic editing and plenty of closeups on all the musicians involved. As a bonus you get an extras section that contains interviews with various Magma members spanning Magma's entire career. Unfortunately it's in french and mine is kind of rusty though I understood most of what was said. All in all this is an excellent package and an absolute must have for the Magma fan. It can be pricey but its worth every penny.
Report this review (#156152)
Posted Friday, December 21, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Strong performance that stays true to the classic Magma sound

Sub-genre: Zeuhl (These are the founders, what more needs to be said?)
For Fans of: Jazz/Rock Fusion of all kinds and dark themes.
Vocal Style: A blend of operatic, chant and jazz styles from multiple male and female voices. Strong harmonies and melodies all sung in fictional Kobaian language.
Guitar Style: Jazz tones to lightly distorted rock; definitely not the dominant instrument in Magma's music.
Keyboard Style: Rhodes electric piano is the primary key sound with occasional grand piano (from midi source). Some Moog sounds are heard here and there. Rhodes is usually lightly overdriven.
Percussion Style: Varying styles from busy syncopation to laid back shuffles, Played on a somewhat subdued jazz kit.
Bass Style: Occasionally distorted (not nearly as distorted as heard in earlier Magma works) electric bass.
Other Instruments: 4 piece brass (2 trumpets, 2 trombones) on MDK

Summary: It has become common place amongst classic progressive bands to water down their music to appease the masses and attempt to sell more albums. While there was a certain 80's effort from Magma that has been looked down upon, the bulk of their work has held true to the spirit and energy of their origins. Theusz Hamtaahk Trilogue is a prime example of that. While this version of the ensemble manage to make these pieces unique in there presentation with subtle nuances not heard in previous versions of the trilogy, the sound remains unmistakably Magma and captures energy one would not expect from performers well in excess of 30 years into their careers.

Theusz Hamtaahk: The opening piece is not available in any studio releases from Magma. The song has a very dark energy with long sections of hypnotizing droning. The song has stronger interplay between the musicians than earlier versions. A prime example of this is roughly 25 minutes into the piece where Stella Vander sings a very busy scat duet with the guitarist. The balance between guitar and voice is perfect. It is easy to detect that these 2 practiced this section to perfection and thoroughly enjoyed the interplay. A similar interplay follows with the primary male vocalist and the Rhodes. The piece closes in a flurry that heavily contrasts its opening.

Wurdah tah: Originally released under Christian Vander's name, this is surely a Magma piece. A very similar dark energy to Theusz Hamtaahk, the pace is faster and more adamant from the opening. The vocals throughout have more chants than the other neighboring pieces. Overall the more adventurous of the 3 pieces.

Mkank Dstruktw Kmmandh: MDK is considered by many to be the definitive Magma work. This is a very strong version. The live stage fills to capacity with the addition of brass. The vocal section is comprised of 3 male and 3 female voices. The intro buildup is much longer than the studio original and creates an anticipatory tension. Most of the remaining song holds pretty consistent with the original with the exception of a protracted solo sections for bass and guitar. The Nebehr Gudahtt section (Chapter 6) has a long retard. The energy displayed by Vander often makes it appear his head may spin right off.

The only possible drawback to this DVD is that I would have liked to have heard a 5.1 mix. The PCM Stereo track is of excellent quality, but the overall live experience could have possibly been enhanced by a couple mic's toward the back of the theater. The other thing that comes to mind is a very minimal DVD package. While some releases tend to be a little over the top with the packaging, a little more background and info would have been nice.

Final Score: I see very few prog fans not enjoying this DVD. For those in the U.S., this can be a very pricey release, but well worth it. The performance is amazing, but it would have been nice to have the available tools for DVD sound fully utilized. Although, by the same token, I suppose that sort of stubbornness helps to maintain the strength of the Magma sound. 4 stars.

Report this review (#187948)
Posted Tuesday, November 4, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars Magma - Theuz Hamtaahk - Trilogie Au Trianon (2001)

The perfect Magma live set perhaps?

This amazing live-set of Magma offers us a complete view on the three Haamtaahk pieces: part I Theusz Hamtaahk (35:00), part II Wurdah tah (48:36) and part III Mkank Dstruktw Kmmandh (48:51) (better known as MDK). Wurdah tah and MDK were both released as studio-albums in seventies, but Theusz Hamtaahk was not.

Magma plays a perfect show with technical supremacy, great vocals and choirs, the best of drums by Christian Vander himself and of course the great distorted bass by the Magma- worthy Bernard Paganotti. The accuracy of the band is unbelievable and the way they play the long compositions is masterful. The arrangements are true to their original releases. MDK even get's an additional brass section! I don't own the original version of MDK and Wurdah tah, so I can't compare them with the dvd-versions. The filming of the extravaganza was very good and the sound is perfect.

Theuz Hamtaahk, the opening piece, is incredibly sophisticated and a very hard track to get into. The long repetitive middle section is a great moment to refuel again. It's great Magma recorded this piece so good, because it would have been a worthy studio album.

Wurdah tah is another classic Magma piece with a lot of rhythmical and harmonic experimentation. The vocals are quite important throughout the song. The song has more optimistic moments then most other Magma epics and it suits the band fine.

MDK is often mentioned as one of the best Magma albums. It's bombastic sound is recreated perfectly on stage with choirs, the additional brass section and of course the heavy rhythmical section led by Vander. Some of the themes are played a bit too long, but overall the compositions is very likable. The solo's of Paganotti on bass-guitar and Gabriel Federow on electric guitar show amazing skills. It's nice to see some authentic podium improvisation between the concentrated compositions.

Conclusion. I don't feel like I have found the right words to describe the genius of this live- set. Two hours of the most progressive music ever made with one rare Magma piece, one of most beautiful Magma pieces and finally the bombastic Magma piece. All a fan could ever dream of! For newcomers this might be a bit too much of musical exploration and I would suggest to listen to the new Emehntehtt-Re album first. Four stars, but six stars for fans of the band (like me). Very hard to get into if you're not a fan!

Report this review (#283459)
Posted Tuesday, May 25, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars What's better than listening to an essential concert recording? Watching video footage of the same recording, of course.

It's rare that I recommend a live recording to newcomers to a band, but Magma is best heard live, and the Theusz Hamtaahk Trilogie happens to be one of the band's very best recordings.

Magma recorded these concerts after more than fifteen years of dormancy, so the fact that the band is so on point may come as a shock to listeners. The performances are passionate throughout while remaining technically flawless, and the recordings have a warmer feel to them than the band's Seventies material. Zeuhl has always been potentially somewhat off-putting to newcomers, but this (alongside some of the band's newer recordings K.A., mhnthtt-R, and Flicit Thsz) is amongst the least intimidating recordings Magma has ever made, despite its length.

The fact that the material being performed here is essential in any case doesn't hurt. The band's best known album, Mkank Dstruktẁ Kmmandh, is here, as are Ẁurdah tah and the suite that gives the album its title (which still has yet to be released as a studio recording). All three rank among the band's very best compositions, and they are represented admirably here. The fact that this is the first recording in which all three (which are, as the title might indicate, three parts of a trilogy) can be heard performed by the same line-up doesn't hurt either, as it gives a consistency to the proceedings that cobbling the pieces together from different recordings would not have.

In short, this is essential for both interested newcomers and longtime devotees of the band. It's one of the best introductions to zeuhl I could imagine, and it's one of the high points of the genre. We can only hope that they give the Khntarksz trilogy the same treatment now that it's complete.

Report this review (#1406624)
Posted Wednesday, April 29, 2015 | Review Permalink

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