Thursday, July 8, 2010

Magma - Mekanik Destruktiw Kommandoh (1973)

Extraterrestrial gospel
Mekanik Destruktiw Kommandoh
Art Rock, Jazz-rock, Fusion, Psychedelic,

Led by classically trained drummer Christian Vander, the Paris-based Magma have been, in their way, perhaps the ultimate progressive rock group; while other artists have achieved greater commercial success and critical acclaim, Magma have typified the many ambitions and excesses of the genre that won them as many detractors as fans, even going so far as to invent their own lyrical and musical language in order to bring their unique vision to life.

(by Sean from

This album is Magma's great opus. Whether one prefers one of their other studio or live releases to it, there is no doubt that Mekanik Destruktiw Kommandoh is the most original, definitive Magma album around (although this reviewer personally prefers the Mekanik Kommandoh version!).

Featuring a cast of thousands including a choir, brass section, flute and tuned percussion, Mekanik Destruktiw Kommandoh marries the stripped-down throbbing drive of Zeuhl with orchestral pomposity and operatic aspirations. To those who jokingly describe Magma as Klingon Opera, this is the album that would come closest. The power and command with which Magma drives their themes home with increasingly intense repetition is the key to understanding what the band is all about.

Magma can't really be compared to other progressive rock performers (although many can be compared to them). The dark majesty recalls the classical music of Wagner and Orff, particularly parts of Carmina Burana, but that's about as close as it gets. To understand Magma, one must experience Magma. This album is their masterpiece, and while it might be daunting for the sympho-head or neo-head, (try their live material as an intro instead) it is essential for anyone wanting to find out what Zeuhl was and is all about.



Feq'wah said...

Hi Stuffer,

sorry for the late reply, i guess you meant you couldn't find the link on my Sublime Frequencies post?

here it is:

Feq'wah said...

Never heard of Magma before...heh, Carmina burana, the prog version.

Style? Prog-Opera? :-)

Panda Stuffer said...

Thanks Feq'wah! These gems are a must have:)

Yeah, Magma is quite... something>!@

Anonymous said...

Magma are probably the most uncompromising group ever. Sweet.

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