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Magma - Christian Vander: Tristan Et Iseult [Aka: Ẁurdah Ītah] CD (album) cover





4.19 | 308 ratings

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5 stars Magma - Wurdah Itah (1974)

This makes the prog-giants look silly...

By the time Magma had released MDK is was clear they were a band playing in their own league. They have little to do with 'ordinary' progressive rock, hence the sub-genre 'Zeuhl'. On the Wurdah Itah album, which was released as a Christian Vander solo-album, the band has less members. This problem was solved by the unbelievable composition of Vander, which doesn't give you a moment to doubt about this 'stripped' Magma crew.

Ok, right now I'm searching words to describe this extraordinary album. Well, it's just a bit more of everything when comparing it to MDK. It's more melodic, it has many even darker moments (like the opening section), it's more hypnotic, it's has great vocal performances as well as sublime choir performances, it's extremely atmospheric, it has a lot of tension.. it just has everything! The technical and rhythmically extremely challenging compositions of Vander seems almost impossible to play, yet the Magma crew doesn't seem to have any problems with it. Even on the Trianon version of the song the band manages to play the album faultless. Wurdah Itah has some great atmospheric parts, as well as beautiful melodic parts (without being dark or too technical). Perhaps one could say there are some world music influences. There's only one part on the album I don't like too much, which is 'dwarfsong-like passage'. All other parts are between great and divine.

Conclusion. Perhaps not the best way to start your Magma collection, for this album is extremely challenging. The opening section is hard to digest, though perhaps the rest of the album is quite relaxing for fans of the band. This album is for me a perfect combination of technical and atmospheric genius. Since this is quite rare this is something to consider whilst listening to Magma. This is top 10 PA material. Five stars.

friso | 5/5 |


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