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Magma Attahk album cover
3.72 | 424 ratings | 36 reviews | 22% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1978

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Last Seven Minutes (1970-77, Phase I) (7:00)
2. Spiritual (Negro Song) (3:17)
3. Rind- (Eastern Song) (3:07)
4. Lirik Necronomicus Kanht (In Which Our Heroes rgon And Gorgo Meet) (4:59)
5. Maahnt (The Wizard's Fight Versus The Devil) (5:29)
6. Dondai (To An Eternal Love) (7:59)
7. Nono (1978, Phase II) (6:17)

Total time 38:08

Line-up / Musicians

- Christian Vander / lead vocals, drums, percussion, grand piano, Rhodes, Chamberlin
- Klaus Blasquiz / vocals, percussion
- Stella Vander / vocals
- Lisa "Deluxe" Bois / vocals
- Benot Widemann / grand piano, Rhodes, Mini-Moog, Oberheim polyphonic synth
- Guy Delacroix / bass
- Jean-Luc Chevalier / bass
- Ren Garber / bass clarinet, vocals
- Tony Russo / trumpet
- Jacques Bolognesi / trombone

Releases information

Artwork: Hans Rudolf Giger

LP Eurodisc ‎- 913 213 (1978, France)

CD Charly Records ‎- 111 (1988, France)
CD Seventh Records ‎- 274 1707 (2009, France) Remastered (?)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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MAGMA Attahk ratings distribution

(424 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(22%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(48%)
Good, but non-essential (24%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

MAGMA Attahk reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars Asd far as I know , this is the last of their new material studio recordings for quite a while and If Blazquiz is still there Janik Top had left to form another band taking much the spirit left in Magma with him. A few years before Yochko Seffer and Faton Cahen had formed Zao (the second most important band in Zheul music) and at about that time Gauthier and Paganotti had formed Weidorge (after a track from Udu Wudu) , leaving Vander a bit alone. this is quite evident on this album although tere are still moments on here but too few to my tastes.

Note that this artwork sleeve is very much Giger influenced.

Review by Syzygy
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Magma produced an extraordinary body of work from 1973 - 1976, when the ever changing line up revolved around the core of Christian and Stella Vander, Klaus Blasquiz and bass maestro Jannick Top. Apparently the creative partnership of Vander and Top was a stormy one, and following Udu Wudu Top quit the band. There was a Vander/Top tour, with the two getting equal billing, but following that they went their separate ways. As Magma Live demonstrates, thepost Top Magma were still a force to be reckoned with, but this album is proof that they were past their best.

Things get off to a promising start with The Last 7 Minutes (phase 1), which builds on the jazz fusion experiments of Udu Wudu and is a good slice of Zeuhl with some superb bass work from Guy delacroix, who is frequently overdubbed on this album so there are 2 bass parts. Spiritual is a stab at Zeuhl meets gospel, and is best seen as an interesting failed experiment. Rinde (Eastern Song) is a chance for Stella Vander to take a lead vocal over an excellent piano accompinament. It's not exactly old school Zeuhl, but it's a fine piece nontheless. Lirik Neconomicus Kanht is another track which doesn't quite work, mainly because of a rather irritating novelty keyboard sound.

The second half of the album more than makes up for the shortcomings of the first. Maanht (The Wizard's Fight Vs The Devil) is a highly enjoyable piece of Zeuhl tomfoolery, with some interesting vocal effects that fans either love or hate - personally, I think they work superbly. Dondai (To An Eternal Love) is a slower paced piece with jazzy chords that is reminiscent of early tracks like Kobaia, and also has a similar atmosphere to some of Popol Vuh's vocal pieces. A simple yet menacing bass line takes us into Nono (phase 2), a companion piece to the first track and just as effective, and which features Vander's best drumming on this album.

Attahk may not be Magma's greatest work, but it stands up well alongside Udu Wudu and is possibly the easiest album for the novice Zeuhl head to get into.

Review by Progbear
4 stars Definitely more of a group effort than D WD. Also, more of an influence from contemporary R&B and black American spiritual music creeping in this time round. (explicitly so on "Spiritual", which is basically a gospel tune in Kobaan!) This takes more of a turn towards fusion than the last three albums or so, which kind of shows Magma going full-circle, returning to their jazzy roots after some cosmic explorations.

This album finds Blasquiz somewhat marginalized, only really showing up for some odd alien vocalizations on "Maahnt", easily the strangest song here. The other tunes generally mate the distinct Magma intensity to white hot fusion playing, making this one incendiary record. Christian's voice has gone off on an R&B/soul-inflected falsetto tangent, which might rub some the wrong way, but which works for the type of music.

Alternately, "Rind[untypeable character]" and "Donda" are as close as Magma have ever come to "ballads". The latter is something you could even call "beautiful", a tune that wouldn't even scare Grandma. Yet it's utterly wonderful at the same time, utilizing the female backing vocals and layered keyboards to their best effect.

So, yeah...a little more of a conventional offering from Magma, but enough of their distinct personality shines through to make this one another winner. Probably one of the better places to start with the often rather daunting Magma oeuvre.

Review by OpethGuitarist
4 stars The funkiest Magma experience.

In this highly psychedelic sounding and driving album, Magma take a sidestep from their typical routine and opt for something a little more spicier, if you will. The advanced jazz routines of Kohntarkosz are replaced with a more song oriented approach, albeit probably to the disdain of many Magma loyalists. Much of the album is up-tempo, relying on intertwining ostinatos, and essentially more normal transitions than would be found on other, superior albums.

This is not to say that Attahk is a poor album by any means. It is just groovier, so take that for what it's worth. An example being the danceable tune of Liriik Necronomicus Kanht, which is highly entertaining, but hardly the same experience felt while listening to the songs from Centigrade.

I came to this album nearly last in my Magma quest, so it's really difficult for me to call this album more "accessible" than earlier albums, as I found it just as challenging and enjoyable as many of their previous albums. The only thing that makes it easier is that the music is broken down, but I would argue that Attahk still makes for an excellent release in the field.

Review by laplace
2 stars Poor Klaus Blasquiz. On Attahk, Vander - having already lost the definitive zeuhl bass-player - manages to minimize the role of one of his most effective musicians, and thus the quality of the whole record. Now, Christian Vander is still a striking singer, drummer, pianist, acrobat, master craftsman, rocket scientist and composer and I cherish his vision of Kobaia, but to me, this is where he starts to misjudge the band's correct balance. There's no indication whether this album has any mythology or back story at all - already marking the disc as somewhat less than essential.

The album certainly begins strongly, with the prophetic "Last Seven Minutes" of truly propulsive zeuhl - it starts most suddenly and pressures the listener in the traditionally epic way. Also well-realised is the "Rinda / Lirik Necronomicus Kanht" mini-epic, which starts sensitively with a rare Stella Vander lead piece, and blossoms into some great zeuhl funk - not as insistent as "The Last Seven Minutes", but still very sly - four or five bite-size "story" pieces like this would make a great album. The opener of side two, "Maahnt" is Blasquiz's (perhaps too earlily curtailed) moment in the sun, as he intones and gibbers his way through a great piece of futuristic avant-fusion (think of Area's best moments.)

Sadly the other half of the album is poor. "Spiritual" is mercifully brief, being a gospel-blues style song with a total lack of tension. Everything else on side two is absolutely swamped with Vander's voice - while that's great for the commanding, histrionic moments earlier in Magma's canon, he seems woefully out of place on these more celebratory songs. I understand that an album needs light and shade, and that a band's priorities can change, but I was deeply disappointed in Attahk.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars This was the toughest MAGMA record for me to get into, although now I have to wonder why. Although I agree with Syzygy that the last three tracks more than make up for what was originally a tough first half for me. This almost seems like a Vander solo album, even to the point of dominating the lead vocal parts.

"The Last Seven Minutes" is a good start as drums, bass and piano lead the way. The vocal melodies are enjoyable and Vander's high vocal sounds become more prominant in that department. His drumming though is outstanding to say the least. "Spiritual" sounds like one of those gospel "revival" songs with the backup singing and everything. It's short and kind of fun though. "Rind" features piano melodies and vocals throughout. Vander is again the dominate force vocally with those higher pitched melodies. I can't help but smile. "Liriik Necronomicus Kanht" is uptempo with impressive vocal sounds to open. Actually the bass is the most impressive part. Vander comes in per usual 1 1/2 minutes in vocally. The bass and drums shine.

"Maahnt" features Blasquiz on lead vocals finally. The instrumental work is fantastic ! Widemann comes in with some great piano work. Trumpet blasts follow. The bass and drumming are unrelenting. "Dondai" is slower paced with piano. Drums, bass and vocals fill out the sound. This one is my second favourite. Good to hear the female vocal melodies. Blasquiz and Vander share the lead vocals. Great sound. Some trumpet ? 4 1/2 minutes in. "Nono" features incredible male and female vocals. This is my favourite. This one gets intense to the point you think something has to give. Zeuhl at it's finest. Some trumpet followed by clarinet. The vocals though are the focus and they do not disappoint one bit.

The last 3 songs are killer and i've grown to appreciate the earlier ones. Hey did you notice the sunglasses on the two guys on the cover ? Safety pins ?

Review by ghost_of_morphy
3 stars Attahk is a very uneven album. I'm hitting this one track by track to clarify my thoughts before I give a grade.

The Last Seven Minutes (5/5): This is the track that sums up Zeuhl for me. If I were going to point to one track that shows what Zeuhl is all about, this would be it.

Spritual (1.5/5): Just as everything from opera to jazz has been given a unique Magma-sound twist, so Magma visits the gospel spritual form and gives their own spin of it. It doesn't work. Sure, all of the elements are there, but it just doesn't gel. This gets an extra .5 because it's possible to waste a good deal of time pleasurably trying to figure out WHY this track doesn't work.

Rindae (2/5): This one relies way too heavily on vocals and operatic theatricals. It's like a slow, drawn out aria without being entertaining or catchy. This would be a good track to skip.

Liriik Necronomicus Kanht (3/5): Good honest zeuhl, but nothing special here. Still returning to good honest zeuhl (which the rest of the album is) is a welcome contrast from the last two tracks.

Maahnt (3/5): Like the track before it, good honest zeuhl, but nothing special.

Dondai (4.5/5): A slower track with two vocal soloists singing over a very slowly building, almost hypnotic musical bass line. Ensemble vocals slowly emerge, the band builds things up very slowly and very tastefully, and this ends up as the other can't miss piece on the album.

Nono (4/5): A more energetic closer with some great drum work by Vander. Not a gem like Dondai or The Last Seven Minutes, but more interesting than, say, Maahnt.

Anyhow, this is a rather uneven work. There are some things on here that you just can't miss, but fair amount of material that you'd not miss at all. And a lot more of it is just hit or miss.

Three stars for Attahk. It's got it's moments and it's generally good, but there are lots of other things out there you might want to hear first.

Review by The Quiet One
3 stars Jazz Rock Attahk

Magma's Attahk was my first purchase from Zeuhl foundators and it gave me mixed thoughts of them: some jazz rock, odd language and use of it, dark(generally), catchiness? All of these came to my mind when I listened to this; of course, the ''odd language'' was really about the language they created/invented, very inventive I must say; the way they use that language(Kobaian) is incredible, it's capable to create a lot of melodies which I can barely think of a 'real' language is able to do; dark mainly for the overall mood of most of the songs, created by the language and bass; catchiness, well the use of their language besides making dark moods and avant-gardish style, can also bring a lot of groove, which are fun to follow(despite being difficult to follow, lol).

The album starts with the breath-taker, The Last Seven Minutes, a Zeuhl track which compromises the Jazz Rock aspects the most, with an unbelievable drum/bass rhythm; as well with Avant-Garde here and there created by the vocals harmonies; as well as the catchiness I've been talking about earlier, created by the great vocals of Christian, as well created by the funky rhythm from the bass/drums. Overall, a killer opener, full of great harmonies and musicianship.

Spiritual is what I would call Zeuhl-friendly, an odd gospel/blues song. It contains nothing more than catchiness with a groovy rhythm a la Ray Charles' What I'd Say, to specify: the part in which Ray sings with the women: ''Oh! Uh! Oh!, etc, just that this time it is in Kobaian.

Rinde is a wonderful piano piece sung by Stella Vander, with a dark mood created by the backing vocals and by the way Stella express' her words. Wonderful piece.

Liriik Necronomicus Kanht has the killer bass/drum rhythm of The Last Seven Minutes, though the difference is that that's the only thing this song has besides some great parts created by the vocals, the song is quite repetitive and doesn't develop as The Last Seven Minutes did. Still a quite good song for the already mentioned aspects.

Maahnt another fantastic rhythm based song, with a somber/dark mood in the first 2 minutes, while the rest of the song has some very good synth stuff as well as trumpet/trombone stuff. The vocal delivery this time is decent, nothing special. A worthwhile song for those who like jazzy bass and synth work.

Dondai is a slow gentle piece, like Rinde but more elaborated; with 2 lead vocalists, with a subtle development, speeding up slowly through the vocals. The song also includes some subtle Chamberlin work(which is similar to a mellotron). Overall, one of the best songs of the album, without being bombastic on the vocals nor on the musicianship like in The Last Seven Minutes.

The album finishes, almost as good as it started with Nono. Opening with a catchy bass line, and soon Christian's drums/vocals and Benoit's keys enter. The song is in a quite speed-up rhythm created by Christian's hi-hat. The song evolves subtley, speeding up Guy's bass and with this the vocals, and soon a synth solo to come a la symphonic style. The song finishes as it started, dramatically with the repetitive ''nono, nono''(just think about it: ''no!, no!, no!'', there's something wrong on there in the studio, right?, hehe)

This is not typical Zeuhl, well Zeuhl is not typical, but well, you get it.... It's like to say Drama by Yes, or Trick of the Tail by Genesis, without comparing the potential of each of these albums, they're similar in style, in which each are great by their own rights, yet different from their classic stuff.

Definitely Attahk has its downfalls, and though overall it's not really excellent, this album manages to be a solid and unique album. The standout instrument in this album is definitely that unstoppable jazzy bass by Guy Delacroix, simply stunning all through the album.

3 stars: Recomended tp Jazz Rock fans who want to listen to an original twist of the genre, and its a good album for newbies, unless you're into Zappa and the whole Avant-Garde section, then start with M.D.K.

Review by MovingPictures07
5 stars Zeuhl like you've never heard it before!

Many people overlook this album by Magma and I'm not really sure why. It is an extremely unique album, even among Zeuhl albums, and the funky edge is extremely welcomed from this reviewer. Isn't prog supposed to progress? I'm surprised at the reactions for this album, as the new grounds covered in this album really expanded the Zeuhl sound.

1. The Last Seven Minutes- Woah! What a way to start. I have seen videos of this live and the drumming is AMAZING. This has to be one of my favorite Vander drumming performances of all time, and everything about this song is pure Magma genius. The vocals are fantastic, and the instrumentation is perfectly upbeat. Danceable Zeuhl? The piano towards the end gives me goosebumps every time. Flawless. 10+/10

2. Spiritual- Gospel Zeuhl. as much as I do not like Gospel type music at all, I extremely enjoy this song, and that is probably the best way to describe it. This is a very pleasant song; definitely a unique step in the Magma catalog. Extremely upbeat and wonderfully executed! 9/10

3. Rinde- This is an absolutely beautiful song, featuring great vocal work from Stella and heavenly piano. Too bad it's so short. 10/10

4. Liriik Necronomicus Kanht- If you thought the vocals were weird before, just listen to this. All of the instruments create a fusion of sounds to perfection once more, and it all explodes in a masterful 5 minute onslaught. Everything comes together so perfectly that it is tough to describe through words. Genius! 10/10

5. Maahnt- From the futuristic opening, this is a haunting piece. The vocals here are hilarious. Try not tapping your foot especially to this one! 10/10

6. Dondai- A more peaceful contrast to the previous two songs, with a piano and drum-driven laid back atmosphere. This still continues the new style of Zeuhl that has been used all throughout the album in an extremely effective song structure and instrumentation. The bass line is hypnotic and the building vocals are masterfully sung. 9/10

7. Nono- A great closer! It continuously builds and builds until reaching a very neat keyboard part. This is, along with the opener, the highest point of the album. Magma that you shouldn't miss! This has a very demented, yet upbeat and futuristic feel to it. Flawless. 10+/10

If you haven't heard this, what are you waiting for?

A very unique addition to the Zeuhl catalog from Magma, but no less genius and way too overlooked.

Review by Kazuhiro
3 stars "Live" that had been announced in 1975 was a masterpiece on which power and the idea of Magma were splendidly concentrated. An advanced result struck close to home to the listener by "Live" on one the top with the original outlook on the world and overwhelming performance power after they had debuted.

And, the music character of Magma since "Live" is gradually revolutionized. The content of each work at this time was always certainly offering the listener a sense of existence of Magma developing an exactly high-quality performance. However, the change in consideration to the music of the band might appear in the tune in "Udu Wudu" and this "Attahk" announced in 1976.

The secession of Jannick Top who one of the important people of the band and the change of the return might have caused a little confusion in the band. And, the discord with the member who had been supporting an initial band might also have given the trouble to the directionality of the band.

The band temporarily faces the state of dissolution. However, the band expands the width of directionality and the idea of music and has advanced further. The result was "Udu Wudu". As the change from "Udu Wudu" to this "Attahk", it is a point that the construction of the tune is refined from the chaotic world of the sound till then and the element of Improvisation. Or, the point that Christian Vander began to grasp the initiation for the song. These points might be important in the point to talk about Magma at this time.

Dash feeling of "The Last Seven Minutes". Or, a beautiful melody of "Dondai" will be able to discover directionality that Magma is new.

Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars When first saw this cover, I though about it a lot. This is 1978 record, in these years, Alien movie was produced, with Alien himself designed by H. R. Giger, Switz (is he?) master of weird dreams. So when I looked to their eyes (on this cover), I saw his work here. But that's not necessarily true. I use just my imagination and deductive skills for that, because this way, it's more fun. And also I have to think about it.

Thinking about Zeuhl music is quite difficult. Instead of some people, I don't think that it's hard to listen to Magma albums. But what is hard is to think about them. This can be quite hard. Basically, this is mostly fast in pace jazz with almost choral-like singing. I maybe took wrong path, from newest to oldest ones. Just because I wanted to try it, do it same Zeuhl style, in other way. New point of view, perspective. I know that I can't compare much, but instead of K. A., this one is more repetitive, maybe like they starting to be out of ideas in these days. Of course, I'll edit this review later and see how wrong, or right I was.

Therefore, neutral rating 3(+), can be up to 4(+) in future.

Review by friso
3 stars Magma's 'Attahk' is by no means a perfect album, but it does have its moments. Still very much a Zeuhl album with intricate bass-drums interplay, choirs and classical influences, it does enter a world of slightly more worldly jazz influenced (funk)rock music. The opening track 'The Last Seven Minutes' is classic Magma, but there are also some gospel influences on songs like 'Spiritual' and 'Rind-' (which was re-used on E'r album of 2009). Side two has the stronger compositions with hypnotizing hooks and spiritual vibes throughout. This albums isn't actually that much diminished by its different artistic approach; it is the production that does the harm here. The mixing and mastering sound is harsh and unpleasant (heavy mid frequenties) and most of these songs could have turned out way better had they been lest hastily arranged and recorded. The vocals are also a return to the screeching of the MDK-era, which is not my cup of tea.
Review by Sinusoid
4 stars Diet-Zeuhl.

The late 70's were dire straits for any prog groups still existing at the time. Magma decided to take a risk and infest their sound with huge R&B meals, a lifetime's recommendation of gospel and nice funk grooves along with a Zeuhl diet that promises fewer calories and more energy.

Newcomers to Magma might find this album a warm one to get into, the only real barrier being the Kobaian lyrics and possibly Christian Vander's falsetto shrieks. But the jazz, funk, pop, Zeuhl, etc. fusion will please some progsters as all instruments are well played, the music is still complex and the compositions sound carefully thought out. Among the album's best are the frantic opener of ''The Last Seven Minutes'' and the ballad-y ''Dondai'', one of the few inoffensive ballads I've found.

The only group of progsters that I think will get annoyed with this are those who are fans of Magma's earlier body of work. It can sound like a push for mainstreamity, but ATTAHK still has plenty of perks to keep the old fan around for a few listens (notably songs ''Rindae'' and ''Nono''). Heck, I'm a fan of the earlier Magma stuff, yet I believe ATTAHK is worth some value if you give it a chance.

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Attahk is a Magma album that I had ignored because of my built-in scepticism against Prog albums from 1978. But as it turned out, I'm glad Magma proved me wrong again, this album doesn't show a band that was losing it, it's the sound of a band that stuck to their strengths but still continued to move forward through their unique universe.

The experiments with synths and RIO influences of d Wdare mostly discarded, and they returned to the sound of MDK and Khntarksz: a dense journey full of prominent bass and drums, weird vocals, jazzy piano playing and the occasional brass instrument. And soundwise, they never sounded tighter really, I wish they had been able to record MDK with the same production standards.

The music is far more upbeat then their earlier works, at time it's even funky, invigorating, swinging and danceable. Despite these brighter flavours, I wouldn't call it more accessible, and certainly not more 'commercial'. It remains a challenging experience.

I enjoyed this album from the first listen, but even for an experienced Kobaan like me, it has taken me quite a few spins to fully absorb and appreciate it. As usual Magma delivered a rich album, with many layers to discover: the intricate compositions, the vocal harmonies, the crazed drumming, the frantic bass guitar and so on. I'm really curious now how that other low-rated Magma album will become me...

Review by zravkapt
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This album features a great cover by artist H.R. Giger. It's the most accesible of Magma's '70s albums. But it's still weird compared to most prog albums from 1978. By the time this album was recorded Janick Top had left for a solo career, and Bernard Paganotti and Patrick Gauthier had left to form Weidorje. New bassist Guy Delacroix overdubs his bass parts; he does "Air" bass and "Earth" bass. On Attahk, Magma have a strong funk/R&B/soul influence which seperates it from earlier albums.

"The Last Seven Minutes" has great drumming from Vander. Before 2 minutes sounds like a drum machine with scat-like vocals. After some back up vocals. Love the bass starting before 4 minutes. Singing gets more intense. After 6 minutes settles into a nice groove with crazy lead vocals and lovely back up vocals. Ends with echoed drums. "Spiritual" is Zeuhl gospel. A happy sounding song, makes you want to clap your hands. "Rindae" has classical piano with Zeuhl vocals.

"Lirik Necronomicus Kanht" is Zeuhl disco. This song features kazoo-like vocals. I like the sound of the phased hi-hat. This song makes want to dance. Good back up vocals. I like when the music picks up and gets more intense with the operatic back up vocals. Nice Rhodes before 4 minutes. Music gets faster at the end. "Maahnt" begins with synths and drum fill. Then funky bass and complex but funky drumming. Lots of altered vocal sound including a belch. Later tempo increases with horns. Disco beat near the end. The song ends with the sound of a train/subway. On some CD versions the next song starts with the train sound.

"Dondai" starts with piano and a flute part on Chamberlin, then goes into a mellow groove. Later some subtle but effective Rhodes. Bass gets more busy and then an overdubbed fuzzy bass appears. Vocals get more dramatic. Calms down a bit with good bass. More Chamberlin. Drums get faster. Calms down again near the end with what sounds like vibes. "Nono" begins with a bass riff, Rhodes and vocals. Then a nice melody on Rhodes with harmonized back up vocals. A steady hi-hat pattern. Steady bass with more intense vocals and drums. Then great synth playing. Gets louder and more intense. Vocals chanting "nono". A voice going back and forth in the stereo spectrum. Slowly fades out. Ends with the sound you hear when someone dies in the hospital; the beep when the line goes straight on the machine.

This is a good introduction to Magma but not really representative of their sound. Magma's worst '70s album but still more interesting than most prog releases from 1978. The music is not as strong as on earlier albums, but the production is an improvement over previous releases. 3 stars.

Review by SaltyJon
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars On Attahk, Magma goes further toward "typical" fusion than on any album before (or after). Gone were the side long/album long epics, to be replaced by shorter, more accessible tracks. What wasn't gone was the incredible drumming, out-of-this-world bass, and Kobaan lyrics. Instead of the chanting style which was more prominent on albums like MDK and Wurdah Itah, we get a mixture of styles here - everything from the scat-like vocals on the incredible opener to gospel-style vocals on tracks like Spiritual. Many of the tracks have some incredibly funky bass and drum interplay - Guy Delacroix was a very capable replacement for Jannick Top. Just listen to The Last Seven Minutes, or Maahnt, or Nono, or Liriik Necronomicus Kahnt to see what I mean. Along with Vander, he's the one who really draws my attention on this album. Those tracks are my favorites, by the way - they're all incredible testaments of how intense Magma could get in a more compact setting. Especially The Last Seven Minutes and Nono - some amazing bookends to an amazing album.

After MDK, this was one of the first Magma albums I heard. Ever since those days so long ago, it's been one of my favorites. This album will appeal as much to lovers of fusion as to lovers of Zeuhl I think - the jazzy/funky side of Vander and co. really comes out full swing here. Also worth noting - the third track, Rind, is now a part of mhnthtt-R, so any sense of dj vu you have while listening to that one after this one is fully justified. This is a severely underrated album in my opinion, I definitely count it among my favorite Magma studio albums, and a definite improvement over Udu Wudu.

Review by Warthur
3 stars Having lost Jannick Top after Udu Wudu - an album arguably dominated by his powerful bass and featuring some superb Top compositions - Magma briefly dissolved before reforming in a new configuration. Attempting to kick-start a new phase in the band's history, the band move away from the Zeuhl territory they had defined and made their own and experimented in a number of different styles - The Last Seven Minutes and Lirik Necronomicus Kahnt are, of all thingsMagma funk workouts. Spiritual is a Gospel song (bearing the rather unfortunate subtitle of "Negro Song"). Rinde is a piano-based composition which sounds like a minimalist version of the Zeuhl the band are mainly known for, but which also sounds like an attempt at early fusion of the In a Silent Way variety.

You get the picture: this is an album which is in no way as cohesive and coherent as the best Magma albums, and feels directionless and random. It rounds off with a decent Zeuhl composition in the form of Nono, but even so when the best material on here would eventually be released on Emehntehtt-Re in the context they were originally intended to be heard, the album is left thoroughly inessential.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Attahk" is a conclusive quality album after a number of excellent albums in the 70s. By the time 1978 rolled around Magma had cemented their reputation as pioneers of the Zeuhl sound. Drummer extraordinaire and visionary Christian Vander is back with a vengeance on this album but he lost the incredible bass guitarist Jannik Top and thus a lot of that deep bass resonance is missing. The album cover is intriguing designed by legendary H R Giger of "Alien" fame.

The spacey Kobaian language is still a component and this album features perhaps some of the more amusing chants I have heard in Magma. At one point I can hear what sounds like "I am the seatbelt, I am the seatbelt, I am the seatbelt, I am the seatbelt ." The screaming sax, ominous piano crash, creepy off kilter spinning jazz spasms fused with peaceful flute are all part of the wonderful Magma experience. Some of the chants sound peculiarly like odd English phrases such as "an Amanda, cinder riff, so we live in dust we are, soon as I sing this song in Victoria, body laid to rest, hai hai hai se soudia suva. Turn the bodies saw you. Our butts are black."

There is a delightful twin sax melody line on side two, which is a vast improvement, and some deliriously weird time sig changes with Vander screeching like a parrot caught in a blender. The chanting grows in intensity towards the end of the album as does the atonal jazz patterns. I have no idea what song I am listening to on this as they all blend together, but it sounds terrific.

"Attahk" is not a Magmasterpiece but I enjoyed returning to this form of Zeuhl. I believe, after this album, the music for the revolutionary band became less cohesive and not up to the incredible standard. That is, until the astonishing brilliant "Emehntehtt-Re" in 2009.

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Despite lacking the outright intensity and fully dark alien atmospheres that made `Kohntarkosz' and `Udu Wudu' such hypnotic and unsettling Zeuhl albums, `Attahk' from 1977 is still more or less an essential part of Magma's catalogue. It's not quite as immediate as those above mentioned works, but once you get past the initial disappointment of it lacking the more sinister elements (and don't worry, they're still there in subtle ways), you start to focus on everything it does right. Dark jazz still remains, the choral and vocal elements are given even more exquisite focus, the spiritual qualities are more heightened than ever, a heavy dose of ballistic funk has been implemented, and despite being comprised of seven shorter pieces, they are all tightly composed and some even rank among the greatest pieces from the band.

Magma leader Christian Vander mentions in the CD booklet how much he wanted to push his voice with this record, to especially focus on the best performance possible, and the results paid off superbly. Taking on the full lead role, the man has never sounded so gloriously inspired, passionate or complex, and he fills the pieces with a break-neck insane experimental scat vocalising that sounds like no-one else on the planet. Although he mentions as well that the drumming was not as much of a priority at the time, you wouldn't know it by listening to the album. The opening piece alone is full of so much furious and exhausting percussion fury, but throughout the disc Vander knows when to show restraint and not dominate the overall arrangements.

`The Last Seven Minutes' is one of the most frantic compositions ever from the band, full of quick- change tempo changes, devilish unpredictable drum fills and some supremely dirty grooves, with Vander's confident voice a lusty mix of squealing, yodelling and inhuman crooning. Right from the start the piece grabs your attention and it's the perfect punchy opener. `Spiritual' could not be more appropriately named, it's one of the most glorious and uplifting gospel-inspired works from the band. Hand claps, lovely shimmering Fender Rhodes, Vander and his female choir caught up in the most rapturous joy. The melancholic interlude `Rinde' has Vander's sweetly crying falsetto spiralling around dazzling classical piano. The relentless `Lirik Necronomicus Kant' has a maddening repetitive humming vocal melody over thick murky slab-like bass puttering away in the background with a chaotic finale.

The seriously weird `Maaht' brings back some of the unnerving sci-fi tension, a deranged blast with skittering drumming, sped-up voices, belching, ranting vocals and stomping call-to-arms trumpet/trombone fanfare and bluster. `Dondai' is one of the most romantic and sumptuous pieces ever to appear on a Magma album. Wistful and deeply passionate, filled with great spirit, some lovely call-and-response chorals from Stella and her choir a real highlight. Confident piano and some bass moments that creep to the foreground briefly add just a touch of tension, with nice Chamberlin bursts adding a touch of sophistication and majesty. The album closer `Nono' comes the closest to the apocalyptic menace of the darker previous albums. A sinister and brooding chanting female choirs builds in intensity to weigh down on the listener, with growled spitting vocals that turn proudly victorious in the final minutes. Oddly, the track also has a strangely powerful and triumphant symphonic prog finale that sounds quite unlike Magma, the bouncy and grand briefly even resembling E.L.P or Genesis!

Considering the level of upheaval and uncertainty in the structure of the band at this point (some of the Magma musicians taking off to form Weidourje), it's amazing to discover that the recording sessions still resulted in a cohesive and quality album. Admittedly the loss of Jannick Top's thick and prominent bass is instantly noticeable, but Guy Delacroix is not merely some poor substitute. Sadly, Vander reveals in the lavish CD booklet that the pieces `Dondai' and `Maahnt' were both originally over 25 minutes in length, so in some ways it's disappointing to know what we missed out on here (although parts of these ended up reworked on later Magma albums). However, `Attahk' is still an example of a band refusing to repeat itself, finding new facets to their sound and offering an energetic, fascinating and rewarding work.

Four stars.

Review by siLLy puPPy
3 stars The musical times were a-changin' and even the Kobaians were influenced by the heavy gravitational forces of the music industry. MAGMA had broken up for a year after "D ẀD" but Christian Vander decided to resurrect the band two years later with an entirely different lineup and with it an entirely different sound. Out of the thirteen musicians and vocalists to be on the previous album, only Vander himself, vocalist Klaus Blasquiz, vocalist Lisa Bois and keyboardist Benot Widemann returned for the sixth MAGMA album ATTAHK. Out were Bernard Paganotti and Patrick Gauthier who left to form Weidorje as well as the enigmatic Jannick Top whose contribution was seemingly irreplaceable and the musical cast has been trimmed down to a mere eight performers. This is a strange album in the MAGMA discography as it seems utterly disjointed from the rest (still haven't heard "Merci" though.) Gone are many of the complexities from the first few albums and gone are the interesting developments of "D ẀD" and instead what we do get is a more watered down version of zeuhl mixed with a lot of more accessible musical styles.

A lot of this is a matter of personal taste, of course, but i just don't find this album as enchanting as the rest. Kobaian music, after all, isn't supposed to be designed for Earthly consumption. It is supposed to be alien and take you somewhere you never considered. ATTAHK never seems like it is going anywhere specific and randomly lollygags through a rather MAGMA-by-the-numbers approach of shortened takes on previous albums. Take the first track "The Last Seven Minutes" for example. What we get here is a zeuhlish take on funk where it sounds like Vander is trying to take his vocals to new levels. After several minutes of this funky zeuhl we get some of his most intense screeches and high pitched squeals ever. The only problem with this for me is that it ends up sounding like a cross between the high falsettos of Prince from the "Lovesexy" album mixed with the trills of an orgasmic Edith Piaf. It seems incessant at the end and i am left wondering just what he had in mind with this one.

For some reason i'm just not keen on this simplified version of MAGMA. I am hardly against pop music and when progressive pop works for whatever reason i am quite receptive but this album drifts hither and tither without developing those elements sufficiently. That said, this album isn't totally without its merits. It's really the first two tracks that turn me off totally, but starting with "Rind" (which would be stolen and incorporated into "mhntht-R" like tracks from other MAGMA albums) the pace picks up and although the tracks are short, sweet and to the point they at least sound more within the Kobaian universe of intergalactic Top 40 hits at least. There will be many familiar elements from the past only embellished with much more Vander falsetto squeals laced with healthy doses of funk, R&B, gospel and pop elements. My favorite track on here is the closing "Nono" which has a bass worthy of the departed Jannick Top being on board.

This is an album that is hard for me to get excited about but is an ok listen when all is said and done. Just expect a MAGMA lite and you won't be too disappointed. Definitely one of the weaker albums in the discography but this is MAGMA after all and even the bottom of the barrel has a lot of interest and worthy of adding to any collection. I personally like the album cover a lot but despite its ber-hipness by H.R. Giger, the music just doesn't measure up to the expectations i had for it. As good as some of these tracks are it isn't quite the otherworldliness that the Kobaians have been so adept in spoiling us with. This MAGMA stream isn't exactly a steaming hot pyroclastic flow of originality laced with Kobaian litanies of tales of extraterrestrial phenomena but hardly a throwaway album either.

Latest members reviews

4 stars After d Ẁd, Jannick Top would leave Magma to form the electronic band Space. Magma, in turn, would continue to tweak their sound. 1978's Attahk, saw the band integrate more funk, soul, R&B, and gospel elements into their music. The album cover was designed by H.R. Giger, and some fans have ... (read more)

Report this review (#2904554) | Posted by TheEliteExtremophile | Tuesday, April 4, 2023 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Review #23: Attahk I'm going to try from this point on in my time as a ProgArchives user to try to write my reviews better without a lot of chatter and get straight to the point, complementary and well, just to be clear. There are some brilliant tracks that never fail to innovate and inspire ... (read more)

Report this review (#2674263) | Posted by Saimon | Thursday, January 20, 2022 | Review Permanlink

4 stars After the disjointed Udu Wudu album and departure of Jannick Top, Christian Vander took Magma in a slightly different direction, building on the funkier feel to try and get more commercial success, with some R&B styles thrown in. This is signified by the aptly titled "The Last Seven Minutes" ... (read more)

Report this review (#2575585) | Posted by bartymj | Thursday, July 1, 2021 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Attahk is a very special album. It is the perfect bridge between all eras of Magma, both past and future. Despite its abrasive cover, which still looks weird despite being now familiar, this album is very chill, intricate in its beauty but subtle. 'The Last Seven Minutes' start with throb ... (read more)

Report this review (#2241418) | Posted by handwrist | Friday, August 2, 2019 | Review Permanlink

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-cor ... (read more)

Report this review (#939087) | Posted by Fenrispuppy | Wednesday, April 3, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The best album of the Magma's "middle" period (Udu Wudu, Attahk and Merci). A great thing on this, is the falsettes by Vander, he's constantly screaming and making the songs more absurd and even funny. But, when Rinde begins, you'll recognize he's not making a joke, he's a soul that is speaking t ... (read more)

Report this review (#807046) | Posted by mau | Saturday, August 18, 2012 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Attahk ? 1978 (3.2/5) 11 ? Best Song: Maahnt Akin to the moniker that's been granted to Magma's 1978 release, this is heavy-handed, melodrama-drenched battle music. It kicks off with a forceful Jazz-fusion rave-up (piano and blabbering in tow) in the name of 'The Last Seven Minutes', which is ... (read more)

Report this review (#443278) | Posted by Alitare | Thursday, May 5, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Great album. The Zheul in best. Unique atmosphere when liric voices give a unique combinatrion in this universe. Vander in another amazing performance. I like the voices. One siging and the others made a instrumental complement in space context. Great bass. The calm periods are mature and m ... (read more)

Report this review (#257345) | Posted by Joo Paulo | Tuesday, December 22, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars 'Attahk' is a weird anomaly in the Magma repertoire. I've had to rewrite my review, because I rather missed the point of it originally. A reappraisal was required! And with that in mind, I'll start out this revised review with a few words of caution!Before you listen to this record, I need to ... (read more)

Report this review (#174650) | Posted by song_of_copper | Saturday, June 21, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Attahk continues in a furious marriage of jazz and Zeuhl that began with d Wd two years prior. The famed Mr. Top has left, and is replaced by Guy Delacroix who is not without skill and the Zeuhl-touch. Vander's fearsome drumming is more prominent than ever. In fact, Vander is more prominent t ... (read more)

Report this review (#169667) | Posted by Shakespeare | Saturday, May 3, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Rating: B By the time Attahk was released (Magma's original swansong not counting the awful Merci and the comeback K.A.), Magma had already dumped several masterpieces on the world's unsuspecting ears (MDK, Kohntarkosz, and Live/Hhai). Udu Wudu marked a shift in direction but was still excelle ... (read more)

Report this review (#163465) | Posted by Pnoom! | Saturday, March 8, 2008 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This is the worst Magma I've heard and for that I almost gave 2 stars - but Magma is always good (this could get 4 too, but the extraordinarity just doesn't hit anymore - after listening other Magma stuff). This can be considered as a weird pop album. Although the structures are nice and there's ... (read more)

Report this review (#94898) | Posted by progressive | Wednesday, October 18, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars A slight step down from the previous masterpieces Kohntarkosz and Udu Wudu, the reason is that Jannik Topp is sorely missed. This is a four star album because there are some weaker tracks notable Spiritual, which is a gospel song in Kobian nothing more, no musical experimentation, more just an ... (read more)

Report this review (#81325) | Posted by Cheesecakemouse | Saturday, June 17, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Album released in 1978 "Attahk". Album that reorganizes from state to dissolve MAGMA, and is produced. If heavy music was expected, you might be disappointed. Wicked respect was suppressed, initial abnormality returned though it was a light style, and it became a work that was able to be made ... (read more)

Report this review (#81183) | Posted by braindamage | Thursday, June 15, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The last review mentioned one song making him actually want to dance. I can actually think of 5 tracks on here that make me want to do it, the 1st, 3-5th, and last. Its unstobabe. I think its the amazing inclusion of such funk in the bass and rythym. I actually just remembered this album, ... (read more)

Report this review (#22369) | Posted by | Wednesday, May 18, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I Think personally this is one of their best, Zeuhl, jazz, avant garde, motown and allkinds mixed into one album. For those who have read some other reviews and stayed away from this album, i must say you gotta gotta have read more)

Report this review (#22363) | Posted by zebehnn | Monday, January 12, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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