Magma
Kohntarkosz Anteria (K.A.)


4.0
excellent

Review

by bnelso55 USER (30 Reviews)
November 21st, 2016 | 26 replies


Release Date: 2004 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A masterful return.

The progenitors of Zeuhl ended a decades-long silence when they resurfaced in 2004 and surprised devotees and disparagers with Köhntarkösz Anteria (a.k.a K.A.). The crown jewel of the Ëmëhntëhtt-Ré trilogy, which also includes 1974’s Köhntarkösz and 2009’s Ëmëhntëhtt-Ré, the record shows Magma at their apex, brandishing their original blend of hypnotic jazz fusion, otherworldly, frenzied, Orffian choral chants, Bandleader Christian Vander’s signature serpentine drum work, and unrelenting musical tension.

The first fragments of this continuous three-piece suite were conceived in 1973-1974 and intended to serve as the harbinger of the aforementioned compositional sequence. They appeared in bits and pieces on the mid-70s release Inédits, but were never fully realized. The trilogy slipped into antiquity with only its Köhntarkösz portion ultimately seeing the light of day. Who could have guessed that Vander's risky decision to dust off and revive this piece more than 30 years later would pay off in almost every conceivable way?

All of the band’s greatest qualities intermingle on K.A.. The rhythmically inventive jazz fusion elements a la Köhntarkösz-era Magma ring clearly as they filter though the lyrical intergalactic atmospherics of Vander’s modern-day songwriting lens. It’s a melding of the primitive and the celestial, a music born at the line where earth and sky meet. Couple this sensation with outstanding recording quality and the result is one of the band’s stoutest, most rapturous opuses.

Standout moments abound and include when the rhythm section joins the odd-time vocal theme at the start of Part I and when the furious bass line punctuating Part II’s quirky vocal refrain hits full tilt. Despite its consistent nature, the piece’s highlight would have to be the indelibly infectious 7/4 groove driving the extended jam at the start of Part III. Analog synthesizer chords bounce atop churning drum beats and are steadily built upon by guitar, bass, and a five-member chorus until the piece erupts with a coda resembling a maniacal, extraterrestrial relative of Beethoven’s “Hallelujah chorus”. The finale is a wonder all its own.

As a genre, Zeuhl can be a tough nut to crack, but the effort can be rewarding. For those who are willing to be carried by alien grooves and perhaps indulge in a little madness, K.A. bears that reward. As a document of a band transcending their former selves and doing so without sacrificing an ounce of their power, it stands as one of progressive rock’s finest "comeback" albums, one that is sure to stand the test of time.



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user ratings (55)
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
bnelso55
November 21st 2016


1338 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I love these guys. Check the record here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EcP4IgvotOU&list=PLX5kKkf15sGDmN1I40f-5D3jajx3FPA4L

Shadowmire
November 21st 2016


5118 Comments


i should prob check this band
nice review

bnelso55
November 21st 2016


1338 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks Shadow. Check them if you get a chance! They're such an original band. Their discography isn't flawless, but there are some really solid entries. I personally think this is one of their best.

Friday13th
November 21st 2016


7021 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Magma...heck yeah!

Digging: Kanye West - Jesus Is King

beefshoes
November 21st 2016


7604 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great review. I have been meaning to listen to this for years...

Digging: Deveykus - Pillar Without Mercy

e210013
November 22nd 2016


2589 Comments


I need to pay more attention to this band. Since the old 70's I don't listen to any album of them. Nice review, man. Pos.

bnelso55
November 22nd 2016


1338 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks guys!

Yeah, e210013. Of all their most recent material, I think this one comes the closest to matching the greatness of their 70s output.

e210013
November 22nd 2016


2589 Comments


Thanks, dude. I will check it soon as I can.

DrJohn
November 22nd 2016


1041 Comments


nice review. will check

Jethro42
November 22nd 2016


15963 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I've already listened to this album, I can tell by the cover art. I'll have to refresh my memory though.



Good job on the review, Brandon.



@e21, start with the album Mekanik Destruktiw Kommandoh.

bnelso55
November 22nd 2016


1338 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks Doc and Jethro.

@Jethro - This one is always worth revisiting, in my opinion! Agreed with MDK rec, too.

e210013
November 22nd 2016


2589 Comments


@ Jethro

"Mekanik Destruktiw Kommandoh" is precisely one of the albums I know from them. I think it's probably their masterpiece. Besides it, I also know their debut, "UduWudu" and their live debut.

Anyway, thanks bro.

Jethro42
November 22nd 2016


15963 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

@e21, sorry, mate, I misread you. I thought you never listened to the band...My bad ;)



@Brandon, yeah, from what I remember, I liked this album. I probably have not rated it cos it needed more repeated listens.

e210013
November 23rd 2016


2589 Comments


Ok, Jethro. My mistake. I wasn't very assertive with the expression chosen on my previous comment.

AnimalsAsSummit
December 6th 2016


4314 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

zeuhl is one of the best genres ever heck yeeeeeaaaaaaa

Digging: Date of Birth - Planet DOB

Scoob
December 30th 2016


4384 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Bump. Didn't see that coming

Cimnele
December 30th 2016


1431 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

band need smore hugs

Scoob
December 30th 2016


4384 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Nobody digs here and people think they're elite

bnelso55
December 31st 2016


1338 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Band is legendary. Agreed.

Jethro42
December 31st 2016


15963 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I have to relisten to it to see if my rating is right. Their music is so demanding...



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