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Magma Köhntarkösz album cover
4.13 | 559 ratings | 45 reviews | 44% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1974

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Köhntarkösz (Part One) (15:24)
2. Ork Alarm (5:27)
3. Köhntarkösz (Part Two) (15:59)
4. Coltrane Sündïa (4:11)

Total Time 41:01

Seventh Records 2023 CD bonus track:
5. Köhntarkösz (live in Beijing) (32:36)

Seventh Records 1988 CD Track Listing:

1. Köhntarkösz (Part One) (15:22)
2. Köhntarkösz (Part Two) (15:55)
3. Ork Alarm (5:28)
4. Köhntarkösz (version 2) (29:50)
5. Coltrane Sündïa (4:11)

Total Time 70:46

Line-up / Musicians

- Christian Vander / drums & percussion, piano, vocals
- Klaus Blasquiz / vocals, percussion
- Jannick Top / bass, cello, piano, vocals
- Brian Godding / guitar
- Michel Graillier / piano, clavinet
- Gérard Bikialo / piano, Yamaha organ
- Stella Vander / vocals

Releases information

Composers: Christian Vander (1,3,4), Jannick Top (2)
Producer: Giorgio Gomelsky
Recording Engineer: Simon Heyworth
Artwork: Fabio Nicoli
Photography: Malcolm Robertson

Recorded on the Manor Mobile at "Bastide de Pierrefeu", Valbonne. (May 1-12, 1974)

LP Vertigo ‎- 6325 750 (1974, France)

CD Seventh Records ‎- REX VIII (1988, France) Mastered from a vinyl copy, with 1 bonus track
CD Seventh Records ‎- 274 1705 (2009, France) Remastered (?) w/o bonus track but otherwise same track running order as previous CD's
CD Seventh Records - REX 8V2 / SEVENTH REX VIII (2023, France)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Prog Network & projeKct for the last updates
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MAGMA Köhntarkösz ratings distribution

(559 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(44%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(39%)
Good, but non-essential (11%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

MAGMA Köhntarkösz reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
4 stars The vinyl came with one of the best poetry I ever read in French and I did a fine job of translating it in English but I lost both. The Cd does not seem to have it. As you can guess the usual Magma music streams out of your speakers as the lava flows from the volcano as represented on this most beautiful cover. The vocal harmonies are delicious as always and to see Magma in concert (even 30 years later) is something that every proghead must experience.

I guess I'll have to rewrite this review in the coming future in order to have it appear on here.

Review by Marcelo
3 stars How dare I write about MAGMA when I'm not into Zeuhl? Well, for those who read this lines, I must say that I love traditional symphonic prog and this is my first experience with this band. So, it will be a point of view from an old prog listener but newbie in the sub- genre.

After several listenings, I would say that this is a dark fusion among contemporary classical music, jazz, space and... madness! Very dense, very strong and very strange. Piano, organ, sax, drums, chorus, voices... and nothing in the traditional way! This album is absolutely different from any other I ever heard. It seems even chaotic and reiterative at the first listening, but intensity is so incredible that made me feel involved on music along the whole opus. Really, even though this style isn't my cup of tea, I recognize I had an unique experience.

For those who look for mellow or simple prog music, or even the conventional symphonic beauty, I would recommend to keep far from "Köhntarkösz". But those who like the most difficult and intense side of progressive will find, at least, an incredible album.

Review by Guillermo
2 stars Prog rock was criticized by the excesses some bands did with their music. One of those bands criticized by this was ELP. ELP sounds to me "very conventional" in comparison to Magma. ELP is even more "accessible". They wote songs in their native language. They played on stage songs like "Karn Evil 9" with a duration of more than 30 minutes, with very different sections in style, but after listening to it several times, one found something good. But Magma seems like they created their own "world" with their own language. So they lived in their own "world" that it is only for their fans only.I don`t understand their language and their music, so I like more "conventional" prog music. Magma for me is one representative example of "prog music excesses". For fans only.
Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Magma as always with a dark macabre , and rare sound, is the escence of this great band, this album is my last purchase, and without any doubt is a very good album, without coming to be of the better of magma as the kobaia or mekanik constriktiv komandoh that´s a masterpieces , nevertheless this is an encxelent album in terms of music ,and compositions,only contains 4 songs but are long songs that maintain us Al pending of the music, a good one recomendation. I like a lot this band cause is another style of musci or by the way another style of prog music, this album is an example of the good work that they made.
Review by lor68
4 stars Dated 1974, this fascinating as well sinister live from a dissonant band such as Magma was an important event, above all for the so called "Zeuhl" Music (think of the controversial French avant-garde albums, except on "Eros" by Dun, perhaps the best and too much intricate work of all time within this music accept or refuse them as for their difficult features, in their coherent nature!!).Nevertheless their lack of precise melodies, except on several interesting but disagreeable vocalizations, even by paying their tribute to Coltrane, make their job a complex and often unbearable number, which can disturb the common listener.well I don't get crazy for their gloomy tunes of free music, in this sort of "ritual" mysticism , but of course -sometimes- I recognize the cleverness of their efforts inside, especially those ones by Didier Lockwood (an underrated English guitarist).

At the end erase "one star" at least, especially if you're not patient!

Review by Progbear
4 stars A bit "toned-down" in comparison to MDK, but hardly "conventional". Still very, very dark, but whereas MDK was all about the rapid tempos and contrasts between soft and loud, the title piece of KOHNTARKOSZ is more about slowly building from start to finish, with a more controlled intensity. As a result, it probably doesn't have the immediate impact that MDK does, but is just as rewarding (if not more so) in the long run. Stella Vander truly becomes a part of the band with this album, her haunting soprano voice adding another important thread in the dense aural tapestry that is Magma.

There are also a brace of short, cameo pieces on the album. "Ork Alarm" is a dark and creepy number typified by "twangy" Hohner Clavinet and scratchy guitar (courtesy of the underrated Brian Godding), with one of Klaus Blasquiz' most affectingly disturbing vocal performances. "Coltrane Sundïa", on the other hand, is a heartfelt piano instrumental, one of the moments of greatest, most touching beauty found on a Magma album.

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars I have a special place for this recording in my collection even though I am not a huge fan of Magma, perhaps because I never bothered to check out the entire catalog. Maybe I should. I still remember admiring Christian Vander both for his amazing talent but also for creating a language which is truly a progressive statement . I also love the cover art , probably among the top 10 ever printed. Magma's music is certainly not for the faint of heart or lovers of saccharine melodies (which explains Hugues ratings) . In fact, their artistry is at the polar opposite, where fiery intensity and smouldering rythms combine to take the listener into a hellish sweltering forge , well beyond the lower depths of rock music. Led by a manic drumming legend, Magma is a volcanic fusion of Wagnerian fury, best expressed on this masterpiece, propelled by the develish rumble of Jannick Top's bass guitar and hissing massed vocals that give a "Carmina Burana" feel to the compositions. Pounding e-pianos, steely organ, sulfurous guitar leads all blend with the ultra dynamic rythm section to create a vortex of swirling vertigo that would soundtrack any sci-fi alien movie to perfection. To get a proper feel , try this sample of liner notes from "Ork Alarm": "The people of Ork are marching upon us . The people are made of indescribable matter which to machines is what the machines are to man. The alarm is sounded...ORK ALARM! The people of Zeuhl Wortz are preparing for battle". Pheww!! How can you Top that (no pun intended) . Now that you have been warned, there is only one course of action... 5 eruptions
Review by Mellotron Storm
5 stars My MAGMA journey began with "MDK", and then I went back to the beginning and have been working my way forward. This record has been the best one i've heard so far. This one is again different from the rest, and compared to "MDK" it's more laid back and less dynamic but I like it more. The vocals are really in your face on the "MDK" album, this one seems to slowly build much of the time with the vocals being more tasteful.

"Kohntarkosz (Part One)" is repetitive and builds slowly. I love it ! Organ and drums open the proceedings before vocals (Blasquiz) arrive 1 1/2 minutes in. It's almost 3 minutes in before we get a good beat that is joined by vocals and organ. Stella comes in with her vocals and she's outstanding as usual.This section repeats itself over and over. Piano 6 minutes in as vocals stop. Another change 9 1/2 minutes in as we get more energy and vocal melodies from Blasquiz. I like this. The sound softens and is repetitive to the end of the song. "Kohntarkosz (Part Two)" opens quietly with piano and keys that sound like a xylophone. Vander's vocals come in as everything is so reserved at this point. The drums get more aggressive 3 1/2 minutes in as organ joins in the melody. Stella arrives 5 minutes in with her beautiful vocal melodies. The pace and volume increase 6 minutes in. Check out the drumming 7 1/2 minutes in. Nice. Some scorching guitar 9 minutes in as the sound has built to almost a frenzy. Male vocals 12 minutes in. The song calms down during the final minute as drums,piano and Blasquiz' vocals end it. This is the best 30 minutes of music I have heard from MAGMA yet ! "Ork Alarm" is a Jannick Top composition. He plays both bass and cello on this one. This song is also very good. I like the way the tension builds to a dramatic conclusion with dissonant sounds.Great song ! "Coltrane Sundia" or "Coltrane Rest In Peace" is pretty much piano and guitar honouring John Coltrane who was a musical hero of Christian Vander. This is peaceful and a fitting end after the intensity of the previous track.

An amazing album cover and a more amazing recording.

Review by OpethGuitarist
4 stars The Dark Opera.

A long overdue review here of one of my favorite Magma albums. I'm going to keep it real simple, and focus on the parts that are not talked about much (ie not the title tracks). Basically, the title tracks are amazing. You need to listen to them. You will enjoy them. They are everything you could want out of a prog epic.

Anyways, Ork Alarm is based around a tense cello movement that gives the song its pace and structure. Kobain chants and a quaint little solo piece flow over giving the feeling of something somewhat like a community march or street protest, at least this is what springs to my mind. The Coltrane Sundia is as you might have guessed, an honorary piece for Coltrane which closes out the album. It is a beautiful and gorgeous piano piece, but I feel it's horribly out of place given the nature of the rest of the album. This might have fared better at the end of Merci or Attahk, but not here, it just doesn't really fit themewise with the overall aim of the album.

I would not start here if you are new to Zeuhl or Magma. This album has too many twists and turns, and takes longer to fully grasp than some of the others (not that they are easy to grasp, but you get the idea). This is one of Vander's masterpieces, enjoy it as such.

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I began to listen MAGMA a few months ago, and to be honest I never cared for Zeuhl before this, but there's something in the pompous, arrogant and self indulgent music of the French band that makes me come again to their albums over and over and what is worst (for my pocket) to buy all their albums, like an addiction I can't explain.

Lets start saying something that falls by it own weight...."Köhntarkösz" is a weird album not for everybody, any listener who wants to get into this album, or better said allow the music to get into him/her, needs to like pompous and strong music, with few but complex vocal sections in Kobaian (A language invented by Christian Vander to sing in the MAGMA ALBUMS) and of course the mysterious chorus hat seem like a combination between the sacred and the pagan, but if you achieve this, the experience is rewarding.

One first recommendation is to buy the Seventh Records CD version and not any other, because you get "Köhntarkösz" parts I and II as a 30 minutes super epic, only separate originally due to the limitations of the Vinyl format

"Köhntarkösz" opens the album with the unusual (even for MAGMA), Psyche Space intro that reminds me of PINK FLOYD, but the real deal comes after a few ,minutes, when the organ starts adding an incredibly portentous section as a theme for an epic movie in the vein of Ben Hur, and the dark male chorus blending with the haunting female ones create a terrifying atmosphere that keeps the listener awaiting in expectation for an sonic blast that never happens.

As a fact, the track keeps getting even more complex with unexpected piano interruptions that instead of bringing calm, contribute to the magical chaos so characteristic of MAGMA.

Even when there are no dramatic changes, the collision of styles happen so gradually that sound natural and not forced, simply brilliant.

If "Köhntarkösz" Part I was strong and haunting, part II is a radical change, the chorus are relaxing and softer, some Jazz passages appear out of nowhere, still the haunting atmosphere is kept by the keys and soft drumming, this time is less claustrophobic.

But my changed part is yet to come, around the 5th minute (or 20th if we take "Köhntarkösz" as a whole track), the music gets faster and explosive with a desperate and repetitive chorus that goes in crescendo both in volume and speed until it breaks into an absolutely dissonant Jazzy section that no Avant band could envy................But even when Jazz or Avant are not my cup of tea, I love this, don't ask me why but is fabulous like getting trapped in a close space but enjoying that fear.

This chaotic section keeps increasing and then in an undetermined moment and for no reason, starts to fade, simply beautiful, elaborate and perfectly structured, 30 minutes of pure Progressive Rock in it's more complex facet.

If this 30 minutes weren't enough "Ork Alarm" hits us with a semi Gregorian Choir in the vein of 666 by APHRODITE'S CHILD, the unusual violin passages are absolutely frightening and after them, everything starts again, absolutely brilliant.

"Köhntarkösz Version 2" again starts with a spacey intro and after that you can expect almost anything, the confusing and frenetic lyrics by Vander are almost hypnotic, but I won't make a detailed review of this track because it's not in the original album, but most important because It's hard to describe all that happens here in simple and limited words.

As it may be obvious for everybody "Coltrane Sündïa" (Coltrane Rest in Peace) is a tribute to John Coltrane, a gorgeous and exquisite piano performance, that seems a bit odd in this album, because it collisions with the almost paranoic and clearly mystic "Köhntarkösz" atmosphere, but serves as a relax after all those weird songs.

Maybe if the album had more variations, I would go with 5 stars, but it's a bit too repetitive even when unpredictable (If you listen the album, this phrase won't sound contradictory), so I will go with 4 very solid stars, which I consider an extremely high rating.

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars On Köntarkösz Magma made another step in their continuing development. The preceding album MDK used to impress me more when I was 20 years younger but now the more restrained arrangements and tight focus of Köntarkösz has my preference .

On MDK, Magma was still all about hammering you down with how out-worldly and bigger-then-life they were. Here, we get a more mature release that convinces by its sheer quality. Magma relaxes just a bit and lets the music and atmosphere speak for itself.

The main part of the album is consumed by the title track: an half hour long improvisation that is carried by an entrancing rhythm and a marvellously dark and brooding atmosphere. Ork Alarm and the Coltrane thing provide an excellent offset against the storm that preceded it (at least on the CD where the tracks are sequenced properly).

Köntarkösz is Magma's studio masterpiece.

Review by Sinusoid
4 stars The instrumental MEKANIK DESTRUKTIW KOMMANDOH in a sense.

Magma had a thing going for them on MDK; putting out an album that is nothing more than an operetta that focused on blending the esoteric qualities of classical, jazz and opera with the punch and dancability of rock. They're still doing that here on KOHNTARKOSZ, but there's a noticeable difference; the vocals aren't as abrasive.

That vocal chanting was one of MDK's strengths, but here on KOHNTARKOSZ, those vocals are mostly wordless. Don't get me wrong, they're tremendous, but they're nothing like the intensity of those Kobaian chants on tracks like ''Da Zeuhl Wortz Mekanik'', no ''wii wii ess ess'' to sing along to. The quality of the music is the name of the game here.

This is probably the perfect second chance for those that couldn't soak up MDK as it seems like the strange chanting was what turned people off on that album. But, the music here is pretty faithful to what MDK did keeping the biting piano, epic bass and overall haunting atmosphere, at least on the title epic. This piece is not something you're supposed do dance to; in my mind, it's supposed to scare the whatzits out of you.

The problem with the direction shift is that now Magma makes their repetitions boring almost by complete accident. This is mostly a problem on the first part as the theme, while thundering, moves too slushily for me to retain attention throughout its entirety. The second part really changes that by beginning with one of the best piano lines anywhere leading into the main theme which builds on itself by slowly speeding up for about ten minutes until some worded vocals come in....that moment is euphoria in music. It makes me want to scream ''YEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!'' at that point as everything that came before suddenly makes total sense. This is the sign of a great composition, a long buildup to a climax well worth the wait.

As for the other two tracks, ''Ork Alarm'' makes me think of very scary gothic music with cellos and ''Coltrane Sundia'' is nothing more than a soft piano ballad in memoriam of the saxophonist. In any case, this Magma is toned down from the Magma on the previous album, which is a good thing if you couldn't get into the band.

Review by friso
4 stars Magma - Köhntarkösz (1974)

Lately I've been sucked into the world of Magma and tomorrow (22-05-2010) I will see them live in my hometown (Nijmegen, Holland)! I first reviewed the debut and the second album, but now I had to skip on the third 'MDK' because I haven't been able to find a vinyl copy of it.

Köhntarkösz was a piece of which I already owned and adored the live version on the '75 Live album of Magma. Throughout my listening experience I couldn't help myself comparing the studio version with the live one. Since Magma has rearranged especially part 2 on the live album there are quite some differences to be found. Köhntarkösz has also two shorter tracks that were new for me. Every side begins with 15 minutes of the Köhntarkösz part 1 or 2. The rest of the side is filled with the two shorter tracks.

On Köhntarkösz Magma had once again changed their formula a bit resulting in yet more new territory for innovation. Still present are the rhythmical basis of Zeuhl-founder Christian Vander on drums and distorted bass by important Zeuhl musician Jannick Top. The haunting choirs and the minimalistic piano parts are also present. New is the Yamaha organ and the low pace of the compositions. A lot of the rhythmical experimentation that had flourished on the first two Magma albums has been replaces for atmospheric, concentrated and steady drums. The use of dissonance and abstract harmonics is what makes this album specifically interesting.

Köhntarkösz is a piece about mister Köhntarkösz who enters the tomb of Ëmëhntëhtt-Ré, and that's precisely what it sounds like! A dark opera with continues troubling atmospheres that are highly original. Somehow Vander managed to create a piece that presents the fear and curiosity of some-one who's entering a very magical and dark place. For most people this music will be very frustrating and unpleasent, whilst others who can see the genius of it or/and get carried away by its curiosity and it's magical appeal will adore it.

Having that said I must say I think part 1 is stronger than part 2 on the studio album, whilst on the live version I like both equally much. Part 1 has a long low-pace opening section with the introduction of all magical themes and atmospheres. Magma is clear from the very beginning there is no consensus-seeking spirit: this concentrated exploratory music. At about 2/3 of the track a shrieking sound scares the hell out of me. And I love it! Such a great intervention of the band! Part 2 has a peaceful opening-section and a long comeback with a minimal approach. When the themes of part 1 start to re-occur it great however and the extremes of the track are great.

The two other track on the album are both totally different. On side one we get to listen to Jannick Top's Ork Alarm. This is a haunting dark song with a minimal structure but interesting cello parts of Top. The vocals are abstract and don't seem to interfere that much with the other elements of the compositions. The song is distinctive on the album, but I don't know for sure how much I like it.. it's just very weird. Christian Vander's Coltrane Sündïa is an ode to Coltrane. The symphonic track sounds like Vander really has the warm farewell wishes for his hero. This songs has no real Zeuhl sound, but it's nice to have this peaceful, emotional ending to such an troubling album. The track works very good for me, in spite of it's simplicity.

Conclusion. This is a well composed and recorded Magma album. It's essential for Zeuhl movement and yet another original recording due to its emphasis on the atmosphere and great use of dis-harmonic themes. My only problem with the album is that Köhntarkösz part 2 has too little ideas. Though this album is very very good, I must say the live version is still the one I prefer, since they increased the material for part 2. Four stars then, but only because of the even better live performances!

Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars If you are not into Zehul, this is not the best starting point. In fact, this album is a mature opera that can't probably be appreciated without having been in touch with their previous recordings.

Unfortunately, the 30 minutes epic was not suitable for a vinyl edition and this is the reason why Kohntarkosz is split into two parts. Some lyrics are in "Kobaian" so it's better to inform Magma's newbies about an alien language invented by Christian Vander some albums before. Don't waste your time trying to understand what the lyrics say. From a musical perspective, there's a touch of cold jazz, some Canterbury (Soft Machine, Hugh Hopper as reference), but also classical accents, apparently without a melodic line. It's only after several listens that a structure seems to appear. A hint consists in following the drums as main instrument because it's where regularities and structures are more evident. The sound and the athmosphere are dark and dramatic. Probably suitable for a soundtrack, but keep an ear to bass and drums. The roots of this piece are with no doubts progressive. Only Magma's vision of music is too wide to be confined into a single genre. The piano ending of part 1 is the easiest. Let's wait for Part 2 now.

"Ork Alarm" is a Kobaian song made of cellos and vocals. Not a relaxing song, of course. It's more bizarre than dark. I think this can be enjoyed also by a newbie. It reminds me to Quintorigo that I recently suggested for inclusion on PA.

Kohntarkosz Part 2 starts with the piano. Of course this is restart from where Part 1 ended. After the first two tracks this is quite a surprise: there's a melody and the agitation of the A side seems disappeared. But only for a couple of minutes. The music turns back into an obscure territory. The piano keeps the tempo with dissonant chords while the variations are given by drums first and bass later. It's like exploring a jungle on an extrasolar planet, or a cave never visited before. This music is evocative, specially when Stella Vander starts with her vocalisms. Christian follows and the music becomes parossistic and chaotic. As in the first part, is the drums that give regularity to the track, but there is an impressive work performed by the bass in the background. For those who appreciate the early Vangelis, this part is not so distant from "Nucleogenesis". I think it can be defined as "cold jazz" when the clavinet (is it a clavinet? I don't know) takes the leadership. This is the part on which Magma demonstrate all their musical skill. From here it's a crescendo of different situations leaded by vocalisms and piano chords while bass and drums provide the base. Suddenly it calms down and the last two minutes bring the piece to its conclusion

"Coltrane Sündïa" is a nice and relaxing track based on piano and keyboards. Again this reminds me of some early Vangelis works.

To summarize, if you are already into Magma, this is essential. If not, it's a good addition to a prog collection.

Review by Flucktrot
4 stars There may be multiple songs on here, but really there is only one for me.

And this main track may be the ultimate slow builder out there.

The first 9 minutes are slow, eerie, and unlike much of anything else I can think of (or course, that could describe much of Magma's canon!). Suffice it to say, few bands could get away with introducing so little new material yet still interest me. Perhaps it's the slight variations, such as the frequent tempo teases, or the unique combination of fuzz organ and bass rips underlying the soft "ooh-aahh" chants. Regardless, it's mesmerizing and unique.

Then, after a slightly pleasant break, we build, slowly but surely, into the phantasmagoric, chant-tastic finale. It never gets ahead of itself, yet somehow stays interesting, and then simply dies into slow bass drones.

There's really nothing like it. For that it gets major points. It's also deceptively simple, when I really think about it seriously, thus taking it out of masterpiece territory.

Regardless, it's a creative, unique, and enjoyable album, and I find it to be more consistent and restrained than much of Magma's other works. It's a very interesting side of the band, and I, like most proggers, am quite pleased they decided to show it!

Review by SaltyJon
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars After a string of four very good/excellent albums, Magma released Köhntarkösz. The album is another good release, and for the most part sticks with the formula of the last two (aka, the majority of the album is one epic track). Unfortunately, things don't work out quite as well on this one for me as on the last two.

All of the same ingredients are here - the dark, brooding sound, the monstrous bass and drumming, and the chant-like vocals courtesy of Klaus and Stella. Something, though, just doesn't feel right on least the studio version. Maybe I'm just spoiled by the other incredible epics the band has released, I don't know. The vocals on this album are more toned down and spaced out than on the last two - for some this is a blessing, for others, it's a curse. Me, I tend to enjoy the vocals on Magma albums very much. The music itself is still very good on the album. Where MDK was big and bombastic, Köhntarkösz is dark and brooding. Unlike the previous two albums, there are two companion pieces here - Ork Alarm and Coltrane Sündïa. Ork Alarm is a very interesting piece with Jannick on cello (and bass, maybe?), and it's another very dark piece of the album. Coltrane Sündïa, on the other hand, is a beautiful piano-driven tribute to (you guessed it) John Coltrane.

For fans of Magma (or Zeuhl in general) this is of course recommended. It isn't a great starting point for their music however, and it isn't as good as several other albums, so I feel like three stars is fair.

Review by zravkapt
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Magma, of course, is the French band who sing in their own made up language. Their songs are about a planet Kobaia and war between that planet and Earth. Egyptian history is involved somehow. Weird stuff but the fact you cannot understand any of it only makes the music more enjoyable. There are actually less vocals here than on most of the band's albums. Most of the vocals are of the "ohh" and "ahh" variety. Christian Vander is the drummer/composer/vocalist. His wife Stella sings. I hear more than one female voice here unless she's overdubbed and double-tracked. I think Klaus Blasquiz does the majority of male vocals, but I could be wrong.

The album is basically a 30-minute piece entitled "Kohntarkosz". It was split in two and two somewhat unrelated songs were put on the album. That 30 or so minutes deserves 5 stars alone. I think it's the greatest Magma epic, with "Theusz Hamtaahk" a close second. I don't like describing very long songs because they usually change so much. You can listen to the first part of "Kohntarkosz" here on PA, and I encourage those who have never heard this band before to do so. It's some of the best music this band has done. Having said that, I like Part 2 more.

Part 1 has a grandiose beginning. It settles down into a mellow groove for awhile. Slowly it builds and the tempo speeds up. It ends with female vocals and a lovely piano part. Part 2 starts with that piano part but without vocals and it is now played on a Fender Rhodes. The trademark distorted and chunky Zeuhl bass sound is more prominent on Part 2. There is maybe a bit more vocals than Part 1 and they are slightly crazier too. Over halfway thru the second part the music goes into a punk rock level of intensity. The vocals almost sound like scat singing here. It settles back down again.

Christian's drumming is excellent throughout the piece(there are no drums on the other two songs). The music almost revolves around what he is playing. Lots of piano and organ. There is guitar but it could easily be mistaken for Canterbury-style fuzz organ. One of my favourite parts on the album is the guitar "solo" on Part 2; it sounds like someone keeps hitting the 'pause' button while the guitarist plays. But he really is trying to sound like that on purpose! No riffs or traditional guitar solos here. The last song "Coltrane Sundia" is just piano and electric guitar. Nice but nothing special. "Ork Alarm" is more interesting. It's basically Jannick Top on cello and bass with clavinets going back and forth. Some chant- like vocals. A bit of guitar near the end. Strange sounds bouncing back and forth in the stereo spectrum ends it.

"Ork Alarm" is interesting because it predates the 'chamber-prog' of groups like Univers Zero and Art Zoyd. Magma was certainly an influence on both. Most CD versions have the "Kohntarkosz" epic together as one 30-minute piece as a bonus track. The version on Hhai/Live is good too and includes violin. One of the better Magma albums for sure. Only "Coltrane Sundia" and to a lesser extent "Ork Alarm" prevent me from giving this 5 stars. So 4 stars it is.

Review by colorofmoney91
2 stars Magma are one of those bands where I like about half of what they do, and the other half is just OK. Kohntarkosz is an album that has been really hard for me to decide whether I like it or not. Everything that has defined Magma in the past is here, but I'm just not "getting it" this time 'round.

The 2 track title-suite is a big miss for me. I've acknowledged that a lot of the transitions between passages and the passages themselves are executed very professionally, and they sound perfect, and it's all wonderfully written, but the only part of this suite that I actually found to be interesting and able to stick with me is the bass groove at around 3 minutes into the first half of the epic "Kohntarkosz". That passage only lasts for about a minute, and enjoying 1 minute out of a 32 minute epic isn't a good sign for me. The rest of the epic, even the more energetic second half, is just so boring. Everything moves so slowly without creating any atmosphere or memorable motifs, or emotion even. I've never been a fan of the Magma operatic vocals, because they always sound unemotional and the vibrato sounds terrible, in my opinion. I just think other zeuhl bands do everything better than Magma, which is odd to say.

The last two tracks are still bland and boring tracks with no development. "Ork Alarm" is just a chuggy cello riff with caveman chanting, and "Coltrane S'ndia" is an uneventful and failed attempt at creating a beautiful and atmospheric piano-based track.

I want to like Magma, and I've always tried to like Magma, but most of their work is just boring. Definitely theatrical and dramatic, but it just isn't interesting. Great musicians, bizarre music with no emotion.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Despite the auspicious beginning, I've always felt that this album was far more sedate almost soft jazz than any of the other Magma epics. As a listener, I've always found it much more difficult to stay tuned in, as if I have to consciously make an effort to stay focused on the music and musicianship here. After the opening three minutes, the pace is fairly plodding alternating with some quite delicate even alien-ethereal passages. Were I a true devoté of all things Kobaïa I might know and understand the story flow and thus appreciate the music for being the delivery mechanism for such, but I'm not. This is music. I don't know where or what "Köhntarkösz" is or why it would/could demand such prolonged stark and lumbering music.

1. "Köhntarkösz (Part One)" (15:24) aside from some occasional interesting keyboard work, the first ten minutes have very little to offer--there is even an unusually noticeable lack of vocals or vocal excitement until a little action in the eleventh and twelfth minutes. Less than what I've come to expect in the usually know-your-socks-off world of Zeuhl. (21/30)

2. "Ork Alarm" (5:29) opens sounding like an interlude or observed chase scene in a theatric stage production. Classical strings arrangement, clavinet, piccolo bass, and lone male vocal provide most of the delivery of this drawn out, monotonous song. (7.5/10)

3. "Köhntarkösz (Part Two)" (16:04) opens with some McCoy Tyner-sounding piano before quickly being handed off to electronic keys, cymbals, and single male voice. In the second minute a pleasant foundation of CHICK COREA's RETURN TO FOREVER-type music is established over within which bass, drums, and synths contribute their pensive and delicate flourishes and riffs. In the fifth minute drums and keys build in intesity before the lead saw-synth gives way to solo female soprano singing her wordless vocalise. At the very end of the sixth minute bass and Klaus serve notice to ramp things up so that by the middle of the seventh minute a quicker, more insistent (almost urgent) pace has been established. Canterbury-familiar sax-guitar (á la Phil Miller) enters to take on the lead, holding on to such for a few minutes as the urgency behind and beneath continue to build, first with increased volume from bass and drums, then with three-note wordless chant being picked up by male and then female choirs. At the end of the twelfth minute the guitar has settled into the background, the drums, bass, and choir driving the music into dangerous abandon--further evidenced by rogue voices sneaking off into tangential ejaculations. At the twelve minute mark full speed has been achieved, everything is cruising along, when Klaus enters to begin his operatic narration. Then he is joined by several other male voices adding their elements to the conversation all-the-while the female voices maintain their solid foundation in support of the "controlled mayhem" that is occurring around them. Early in the fifteenth minute everything comes very quickly to a derailment, layers being stripped away, volume being diminished, as choir of throat singing males frog-sing to the end. Now this is Zeuhl--at its best! (29/30)

4. "Coltrane Sunia" (4:14) basically a piano and electric guitar duet (with some background participation from voice). The song is most notable for opening with and being totally based upon a single chord familiar to us from the opening of John Coltrane's "A Love Supreme." (8.25/10)

Other than Side Two's wonderful epic, "Köhntarkösz (Part Two)," this is a disappointing album of rather benign, banal music.

3.5 stars; another interesting if not always exciting or engaging contribution to the history and development of Zeuhl.

Review by Negoba
5 stars Slow Burn Zeuhl

After the frantic intensity of MDK, Magma released Kohntarkosz. A much more deliberate album, the work is composed of a two part, 30 minute epic and two excellent short pieces. Dominating the album, the lengthy title track begins carefully and evolves slowly like burning embers consuming the last of the fuel from an earlier bonfire. All the classic elements of Zeuhl are still here, but the overall tone is darker, less busy, and more classical. Female vocals dominate, singing clearly more composed lines, and never really devolving into all out chaos. In fact, some sections are subtle and gentle, with clean piano and an open mix almost reminiscent of early Weather Report. Where the enormous chorus vocals dominated MDK, here voice simply play a role in the overall feel of Kohntarkosz (whose primary lead instrument is keys.) Large sections are completely instrumental, with churning drums and bass supporting electric piano and occasional vocal flourishes. By the end of the main suite, the energy builds to a tension and climax, but a sense of cohesion and organization remain. Unlike MDK, no where do I feel the music is going to completely fly into chaos.

Interestingly, the two short pieces are among my favorites in the Magma library. "Oak Alarm" is a dark fusion that evokes Univers Zero, with a rolling string a bass riff that makes me think of goblin soldiers on the march. While the vibe is amazing, the piece doesn't really go anywhere once it has established itself. This is not uncommon in Magma's music, and as this is a relatively short piece, I don't mind. The movement is in grand contrast to the title track, and the song serves it purpose well in the progress of the album. "Coltrane Sundia" is a more pleasant piano-fueled release for the record. Both the guitar swells here and some of the key work in part 1 of the epic point to the connection between Zeuhl and the classic prog artists. In addition, the more deliberate composition and chording make this piece seem more like a song than many of Magma's works.

This album takes more work to appreciate than MDK, and that's saying alot. It's more subtle, but I think it may actually have more to say artistically. Where MDK is a bombastic exposition in a new form of music, Kohntarkosz is more pure form of expression within that new realm. It may not be for everyone, and it may not even be truly essential listening because of its narrow appeal. But for those like me for whom the performances hit the mark, it still is truly a masterpiece. 5/5

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars I really should get more albums by Magma.

This LP was the second of the two Magma albums I found way back in the seventies (the other being "Üdü Ẁüdü"), and the better of the two.

The music is dark, and almost droning. But at the same time, there are elements of fusion that call up some of the best of the Mahavishnu Orchestra. Compositionally, the four pieces are a bit repetitious, but Christian Vander's powerful and energetic drumming keeps the songs from becoming boring.

I wouldn't recommend Magma for the non-adventurous listeners out there, but if you want your music to send you on a journey, they are certainly something to try.

Review by Warthur
4 stars Occupying a compromise position between Mekanik Destruktiw Kommandoh and Wurdah Itah - it takes the full instrumentation of MDK and combines it with the stripped-down vocal performance of Wurdah Itah - Kohntarkosz does not quite have the apocalyptic majesty of the former or the stark ritualism of the latter. But it is still a strong Magma album with a great epic track that builds up to a ferocious climax, as well as a couple of shorter pieces - a peaceful John Coltrane tribute and Jannick Top's urgent and electrifying Ork Alarm. On the whole, if you're already hooked on Zeuhl you will doubtless want this album, and enough fusion returns to the formula that it might make an interesting entry point for those who are particularly keen on the wildest forms jazz-rock might take.
Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Kohntarkosz" is the way I like my Magma served up; dark and uninviting with mournful choirs and soundscapes of irregularity laid on the cold slab. As we approach the altar, Magma draw us in with subterranean caverns of strings and keyboards. The subversive music is guaranteed to alienate many listeners and therein lies it's power. This may be one of the darker more intense albums from the Zeuhl oddballs, and it is a delight from beginning to end. As a followup to "Mekanik Destruktiw Kommando" it delivers on almost every level. The non-sensical alien Kobaian language is never underplayed, the music is brutally off the scale, and the choral voices resonate powerfully with textures of beauty that launch un- expectantly into a mouthful of screeches.

The epic title track is incredibly bleak and yet strangely uplifting in all its transfixing dissonance. This centrepiece to the album is nothing new to my ears as I have heard it many times on the "Live" album. It is missing the raw edges in the studio but still manages to captivate. The music undulates and twists with darkened tones emanating from full blown choirs and sound blasts that jolt the listener into submission under the spell. The relentless exploration of musical form is entrancing, and Magma realise that one becomes good at something by doing it over and over, not by thinking about it. Indeed, much of the music seems improvised as are the vocals but they are sung in sync so somebody must have sheet music to this strange cacophony of sound. The 2 part epic is an amazing tapestry of colour and form, of broad-brush organisational musicianship and the obsessive minutiae of lyrical interpretation. Christian Vander's visionary perception lands clean out of the box as always, and this is the most endearing aspect of the music.

The second track, 'Ork Alarm', is horrific with piercing violin serrations and manic guitar squeals over a staccato percussion. There is a counterpoint of monosyllabic vocal intonations that are oppressive and very unsettling. This is Magma, folks! The final piece 'Coltrane Sundia' has tinkling piano, and nuances of beauty to end the album on a more uplifting note. This brings the listener out of the oppressive atmosphere on a ray of hope; the tale of Kobaian folklore cemented by a convoluted plot. The chronicle tells of an ancient mystic Köhntarkösz', who enters the tomb of the Ancient sage Ëmëhntëhtt-Ré, a master who attempted to find immortality but dies trying. While in the tomb Köhntarkösz is given a heavenly (Kobaian) vision showing him the revealed secrets of the master. None of these secrets are revealed to the average being but must be revealed within as enlightenment occurs. The chronicle would continue on albums to follow and would become more complex until the tale was discarded totally.

"Kohntarkosz" is a unique feat of imagination executed with prodigious artistry and virtuoso skill. The sheer exuberance in the music is a crucial factor that transcends mere understanding of the form; the surreal music speaks for itself and does not need to be interpreted literally. Magma always seems to prompt a re- evaluation of the meaning of music if it is meant to have any meaning at all. It is the emotional resonance that counts, as the music operates on a different level that defies the norm; a veritable stream of consciousness. The serpentine waves of musical patterns have an indigenous, almost primal quality of tribal culture that stirs the soul.

The mythology encased in the music is enigmatic, scattered in a myriad of directions and the listener can do the interpretation in their head. The music is sculpted in layers of polarised vocals that never make sense out of context but seem to make sense in the Magma realm while the album is playing. Magma overturns virtually every accepted notion of musical convention and presents an album of intense labyrinthine confusion. On subsequent listens the whole becomes an immersive experience that is easier to digest, but it takes superfluous patience as you wander down the isolated hallways of a subversive museum; a stark antithesis of the real, replaced by an outlandish mythological paradigm.

Review by siLLy puPPy
4 stars I may bemoan, as may others, the fact that MAGMA didn't repeat a certain formula because we really loved an album, but one thing is for sure: this band really knows how to keep things innovative and interesting by adding just enough of what came before but still really throwing your expectations out the window. This is the case for KÖHNTARKÖSZ, the fifth studio album by zeuhl innovators and Kobaians fronted by none other than the star of the show Christian Vander.

Basically MAGMA takes the approach of "Ẁurdah Ïtah" and presents a more fluffy and friendly sound. While that album was a stripped down to a quartet, this one actually has seven musicians on board, yet it sounds more reserved. The album basically consists of two sprawling title tracks (Part 1 &2) plus two shorter tracks. This album is also technically the first of another trilogy which includes "K.A. (Köhntarkösz Anteria)" (2004), and "Ëmëhntëhtt-Rê "(2009). Whatever the theme may be is beyond me and like all MAGMA albums doesn't really matter.

This album has a slow repetitive feel to most of it. Once the teapot starts boiling it is quite exciting, but there is a lot of building up to get to these points and although Vander has had a long love affair with John Coltrane and cited him as one of his major influences, I had never really heard it in MAGMA music until the tribute called "Coltrane Sundia" on this album. Overall, another great album but I do like this one less than the previous ones.

Review by Progfan97402
4 stars Finally got a copy of this LP, a used copy, so the review is going to be the old vinyl version. Kohntarkosz is the followup to the masterpiece that is Mekanik Destruktiw Kommandoh. Here Christian Vander is joined with Stella Vander, Jannick Top, and Klaus Blazquiz from the previous lineup, and they brought in Welsh guitarist Brian Godding from Blossom Toes, as well as others. The album starts off with the first part of the title track, and you know right away it's not going to be in your face as its predecessor. It tends to go on the slow, dirge, plodding pace, but the vocals are easier to take in. It's a more minimalist piece to say the least. Had I made this my first Magma purchase years ago I would have likely sworn them off. Things really pick up with "Ork Alarm". A truly ominous piece with Jannick Top using cello. Part two of the title track picks up more, with a more fusion feel to it, dominated by electric piano. In fact this points more towards the fusion-oriented direction of their 1975 live album (which includes a live rendition of Kohntarkosz, both parts). The piece really picks up steam towards the end. Then there's the brief John Coltrane tribute, "Coltrane Sundia", which is rather calm and relaxed.

To me, it's doesn't quite hold up to the greatness of MDK, because it lacks the intensity of that album, but I still find it enjoyable despite the flaws.

Review by Kempokid
5 stars After the all out intensity present in Magma's previous album, MDK, Kohntarkosz definitely marked an interesting and somewhat unusual departure from what was expected. Rather than the bombastic, apocalyptic feel of MDK, bursting with blaring horns and operatic wails, this album goes for a very different approach, being far slower and more repetitive, focusing on a very long, drawn out buildup that sounds downright hellish by the end, which ends up working excteptionall well in the end, providing the listener with an atmosphere that is far more compelling than anything on MDK. With that said, I do find this to be an inferior album overall, as what MDK may lack in relative atmosphere, it makes up for it with the way it took all preconceived notions of what progressive music could sound like, and then absolutely smashed it in a burst of epic glory, creating one of the single most exhilirating albums out there. While in comparison, this may not quite measure up to the absolute greats, that's not really to diminish the quality of this album, more to just really highlight how great Magma is, as this album manages to evoke some amazing atmosphere and imagery.

The extremely long title track is the obvious highlight and immediately starts off strong, with long, droning organ notes as the drummer goes mad already setting a very different sort of precedent to the heavily rhythmic opening passages of MDK, with the intensity coming much more from the latent energy that's building up. While some may find the fact that this takes so long to really get going to be a bad thing, as I did at first, the extremely drawn out rising notes that are continuously repeated really effectively create a lot of tension, especially once the incredibly heavily distorted guitar is introduced to kick things up another notch, complemented by a gradually steadying beat. The tempo gradually increases as it goes on quite subtly, taking about 10 minutes of constant repetition over a variety of solos from a range of instruments to hit its peak before settling into a minimalistic piano melody that then continues into the next section, this time played on an organ however. The second half of the track is considerably more fast paced, carrying on from the lengthy escalation from the previous part, making it all the more satisfying. Once again, there's a long period of time where very little new happens, instead really immersing the listener in the atmosphere, all before rising again and falling into a groove that manages to simultaneously be steady and chaotic, erupting into an incredible guitar solo that unleashes the true power that the entire previous 20 minutes had been leading up to, further accentuated by the repetitive vocalisations making it feel as if I've just become witness to an occult ritual.

I find the thing most impressive about this track to be the fact that it doesn't even end there, but manages to become even more insane, bringing back the operatic screams so high pitched and dramatic that they cross over into the realms of absurdity, yet the overall chaos of literally every element of the song making it just add to the disorienting madness being put on display, all before settling down, low pitched throat singing making it all still maintain this very occult feel to it. Ork Alarm once again focuses on long periods of repetition, except within the length of a 5 and a half minute song instead of a 32 minute epic, but the effect ends up being favourable due to how great the motifs used within it are while still throwing in enough Zeuhl weirdness to keep it from being even close to generic, and ends up being one of my favourite short Magma songs. Coltrane sundia meanwhile fully embraces the jazzier aspects of the band's sound, taking a lot of clear influence from John Coltrane's work, particularly A Love Supreme. While this is not up the the same incredible standard as the previous tracks here, it's nonetheless a very nice jazz piece that ends the album off in a nice way.

On the whole, despite the fact that I personally don't think this is quite as good as MDK, the complete transformation of approach taken here is something that I find extremely cool, especially given how well it was done. I love the sound of this album revolving around repetitive buildups into occult sounding chaos, especially given how downright sinister it manages to sound. It's also definitely one of those albums that took a while to really grow on me, but ended up being quite a rewarding experience as a result once I really immersed myself in the weird, intense world that the album conjures. While MDK is still the Magma album I'd start with, the anazing atmosphere of this really makes it another absolute gem in my book.

Best tracks: Kohntarkohz, Ork Alarm

Weakest tracks: None

Verdict: This album focuses heavily around buildup and atmosphere, and definitely requires a lot of patience to really get into. With that said, I highly recommend it to those who do like very drawn out, weird and intense music like this, as this is what I consider some of the best music of this sort of description. While it takes a couple of listens for sure, I highly recommend it to those who are into the slightly slower side of Zeuhl, as I think that this will appeal greatly.

Latest members reviews

3 stars Köhntarkösz tells the story of an Earthling named Köhntarkösz. The story is, again, a bit unclear, but Köhntarkösz seems to have been an archaeologist or explorer. He discovers the tomb of an Egyptian king (Ëmëhntëht-Rê). Köhntarkösz gets a vision of Ëmëhntëht-Rê while in the tomb and is given insig ... (read more)

Report this review (#2904552) | Posted by TheEliteExtremophile | Tuesday, April 4, 2023 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The previous Magma album MDK is the final part of the Theusz Hamtaahk trilogy. The Vander solo/Magma album Wurdah Itah/Tristan et Yseult is its prequel but released a year after, with the live track Theusz Hamtaahk beginning the trilogy but not released on record until 1980. Köhntarkösz retrospe ... (read more)

Report this review (#2440781) | Posted by bartymj | Monday, August 24, 2020 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Kohntarkosz is almost doom metal. All the suite (that's divided in two parts due to vinyls) is a slow piece that is dominated by the Jannick Top's bass and the synthesizers. The first part of the Kohntarkosz suite is something very dark. Many bands of the avant-garde rock movement from France an ... (read more)

Report this review (#807029) | Posted by mau | Saturday, August 18, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Magma does some hypnotic albums which draws the listener in like sugar to a bee. This is the fourth album by Magma and the second really hardcore zeuhl album. The first one was the previous album Mëkanïk Dëstruktïẁ Kömmandöh. And we are really talking hardcore zeuhl here. It starts out a ... (read more)

Report this review (#554628) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Saturday, October 22, 2011 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Kohntarkosz ? 1974 (3.4/5) 11 ? Best Song: Parts of the title track, if I was forced at gunpoint to choose. And gone once again are the overbearing yet flustering opera swells. Can't these French candied yams remain stable for one minute without jumping to whichever side is winning? I'm Steve ... (read more)

Report this review (#443197) | Posted by Alitare | Thursday, May 5, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is in my opinion the best magma album (and i trully love all their stuff), and one of my best music ever!!!The title track (30 minutes in 2 parts) starts in a very slow tempo, and is dark, mysterious, minimalistic, repetitive and oh!!!so powerfull!!! Slowly it goes faster and faster until ... (read more)

Report this review (#339225) | Posted by iliakis | Tuesday, November 30, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Another excellent release by Magma, this is quite different to MDK, as vocals aren't the most important thing here. I would say that this album relies heavily in the mood that causes. One can't help but to fall in the vortex of this jazz influenced band. Especially during the epics, which almost ... (read more)

Report this review (#262825) | Posted by progkeys | Tuesday, January 26, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Dear Lord... Zeuhl. A world and a word that had obsessively intrigued me during the beginning of the year. I had already liked progressive rock for a long time: Bands like Gentle Giant and King Crimson. Bands that have slapped me in the face with their complexity and inward darkness, even thoug ... (read more)

Report this review (#173330) | Posted by Grimfurg | Monday, June 9, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars 'Köhntarkösz' must be one of the most otherworldly albums I've ever heard. Be warned, it is not the sort of thing that most people will 'get' straight away (I certainly didn't!). Repeated plays, however, will reveal the sheer cleverness of Magma. Only they manage this particular blending of th ... (read more)

Report this review (#166136) | Posted by song_of_copper | Wednesday, April 9, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Rating: A+ In one single blow, Magma (led by drummer/vocalist/composer Christian Vander) invented and defined an entire new genre of music, known as zeuhl. That blow was Mekanik Destructiw Kommandoh. With the follow-up, Kohntarkosz, Magma bested themselves (and numerous others), releasing the ... (read more)

Report this review (#165320) | Posted by Pnoom! | Saturday, March 29, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Zeuhl has many distinct faces. The quick, tight, rhythmically led, and very jazzy Zeuhl; the grandiose, compositional Zeuhl; the spacey, bass-heavy, and also jazzy Zeuhl. Interestingly, all of these different styles were all derived from one or two Magma albums. The quick, tight jazz Zeuhl from th ... (read more)

Report this review (#155104) | Posted by Shakespeare | Monday, December 10, 2007 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Something great is cooking inside this CD. I can feel It but I can not totally appreciated It. The harmonies, the vocals, the subtle piano, the hidden guitar parts. As a whole this is a challenging album, one that you must work hard to understand but once you get to know the beauty of a perfect ... (read more)

Report this review (#120137) | Posted by steelyhead | Sunday, April 29, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars It is difficult for me to review this album, because I would ultimately be biased. I listened to this record in the dark, in a very depressed mood, and the result of these two factors allowed me to travel to a world of such intense musical experience that I am forever marked by this album. Mus ... (read more)

Report this review (#116096) | Posted by le orme | Friday, March 23, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I first heard the epic title song on a progressive rock radio, I was sold right away. The vinyl LP had the song split in two halfs, but the CD version contains the "version 2" which is the epic glued together again. The music and vocals on the album are very strange, but that's normal with Zeu ... (read more)

Report this review (#104687) | Posted by Autoband | Wednesday, December 27, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Another magnificent album BY Magma, I liked it the first time I listened to it and was convinced straight away that this deserves five stars because of the energy and imagination in the music. This is probably the darkest sounding album in the Magma catalogue. Kohntarkosz part one kicks of ... (read more)

Report this review (#82990) | Posted by Cheesecakemouse | Thursday, July 6, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The fourth work released in 1974 "Kohntarkosz". It is a work that adds the guitar and the organ to a strong sound and accomplished further evolution. The sound that warps in electricity caused by the guitar and the organ is multiused, too. The rhythm increased heavy, and the performance became ... (read more)

Report this review (#80684) | Posted by braindamage | Thursday, June 8, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is an absolute masterpiece: climactic, dark and minimalistic.Christian Vander is a giant of modern music.The point here is the musical structure.Listen to this a lot of times. This album maybe isnot the best for starters but i think is trully the most important musically speaking. ... (read more)

Report this review (#43582) | Posted by | Saturday, August 20, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars One of my favorite albums of all time. Some won't agree but this is by far my favorite Magma album. Sublime and mysterious. Minimalist, heavy and dark, the 30-minute title track smoulders and burns, until the last few minutes when it goes for the throat and rips your head off. The two shor ... (read more)

Report this review (#22343) | Posted by | Saturday, November 20, 2004 | Review Permanlink

4 stars If you want to hear a totally different kind of Prog music, check Magma's Köhntarközs, MDK, Üdü Wüdü and Atthakh. Köhntarközs has intrincate and beautifully built rhythms and harmony that create the unique mood wich is characteristic of Zeuhl music. Köhntarközs pt.1 has a quiet rhythm and str ... (read more)

Report this review (#22342) | Posted by | Friday, October 8, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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