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Magma - mhnthtt-R CD (album) cover





4.19 | 468 ratings

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4 stars Magma - mhnthtt-R (2009)

This saterday I saw the live version of the mhnthtt-R suite in my very hometown! I had been waiting for the event for two weeks! The live version of this amazing new piece was even better then the album version, albeit the live-amplification of the festival wasn't that good. The way Magma plays is absurd: seeing music this technical and sophisticated played live like it's child's play is amazing. Drummer and vocalist Christian Vander was simply amazing, the best drums I've ever seen live.

Now back to the album. After the success of K.A. (2004) Magma continued this musical direction with part three of the Kontherkosz trilogy. Though Magma's seventies catalog was finished with directional changes on Udu Wudu, Attahk and Merci in the second part of the seventies, they returned to their mid-seventies sound of MDK and Wurdah Itah in 21th century. Fans seem to have preferred the heavy rhythmical magical gothic sound of the band and I partly agree. I like the heavy and concentrated Udu Wudu and I can enjoy Attahk, but I also think the albums that came earlier were better with more innovation and ideas.

mhnthtt-R is one of the most accessible Magma albums. It has even become the highest rated PA album of 2009 and it lured a lot of new people to the band of Christian Vander. And all this is for a good reason: Magma sounds more energetic then ever! After the breathtaking compositions of mhnthtt-R I with great female vocals and atmospheric piano we get into a thirty minute up-tempo frenzy of adventurous music. The drums are jazzy throughout and I must say Vander's drums are even more amazing then on earlier Magma albums. The bass is distorted and almost impossible to play for most bass-players (I'm partly one myself). The technical achievement of this rhythmical session has not been matched by any other progressive rock band. During the up-tempo parts we get to listen to some great choir vocals and a great vocal solo by Christian Vander (you should have seen him sing it live... it was unbelievable!). Halve of part II & III (they sound as if it were one composition) is very positive and has a courageous ambiance. The other halve has a dark and dangerous feel. The only fault on this album is the duration of this second halve, I think it's a bit too long. Funhrarum Kanht is an almost atonal composition that has a good title which needs no further description.

Though it can be perceived as a new Magma album, a lot of the compositions are reworks of earlier compositions. mhnthtt-R I has a new version the Rinde of Attahk (1978), mhnthtt-R II has an expanded and re-arranged version of Hhai from Live '75 and mhnthtt-R III uses the Zombies (Ghost Dance) track from Udu Wudu (1977) as a basis for further exploration.

Conclusion. Yet another well recorded and played Magma album with amazing Zeuhl music . It is the best place to start for newbies and an essential purchase for fans of the genre and band. The only reasons I'm not giving this five stars are the lengthy mhnthtt-R III and the fact they used so many older compositions. Four stars for this amazing album and a recommendation for every-one on this community.

friso | 4/5 |


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