Sunday, November 22, 2009

Music Review: Magma - Ëmëhntëhtt-Ré (***)



"Stay with me, earthlings, as our Kobaïan ambassadors have returned yet again, and they come bearing gifts.

Christian Vander is certainly no stranger to long-winded, labyrinthine musical concepts. Magma itself is arguably the longest running concept of the rock era, though the band’s wildly convoluted yet consistently intriguing marathon-length narratives deserve a dissertation in and of themselves. And though these albums have rarely been bound to any sort of linear structure, Vander has gone so far as to stretch his ideas and theories across multiple full-lengths, not to mention the fact that it’s all rendered in Kobaïan babble-talk, upping the pretension to near unheard-of levels, even by prog standards. And now, the French legends’ second post-reunion album, Ëmëhntëhtt-Ré, completes their second official trilogy, which has now stretched across 35 years, two full-lengths—1975's classic Köhntarkösz and 2004's monstrous K.A.—and multiple dead-end narrative strands, which have up until now only popped up on a handful of peripheral Magma releases. So if K.A. felt like a confident reinstatement of purpose and a boldly uncompromising continuation of their pioneering zeuhl style, then Ëmëhntëhtt-Ré appropriately enough feels like the closing of a chapter, the finale Vander has been working toward for over three decades now. That, and it’s about as close as they’ve come to ripping a hole in the time-space continuum." [Continue Reading]

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