Saturday, 5 October 2019
Magma - Zess (2019)
The 12th album from these French masters.
Magma was a sextet on this album with a lineup of drums, bass, piano, guitars and vocals.
The band is supported by many vocalists and Prague Philharmonic Orchestra.
Wow.... a new album from these masters ! It is always an event and a pleasure. I am a great admirer and fan of Magma. But my expectations to new material is not particular high. The band is now touring and taking it easy. Christian Vander is also an old man.
So I became intrigued when I heard the positive reviews of this album. I picked it up and started to listen to it.
It seems like Christian Vander does not do all the drums here. Morgan Agren has taken over most of the drums. Christian and Stella Vander is still very much doing the vocals here.
The music is indeed zeuhl too. The first half is really hardcore zeuhl as we know from Magma's most pioneering moments and albums.
The final half of this album has a classical orchestra...... That is unusual for this band.
The philharmonic orchestra adds a lot of light and colours to the zeuhl and is an interesting addition to Magma and indeed this genre.
Clocking in at forty minutes, Zess is not their best album. It is still an album who delivers the goods and a timely reminder that Magma was and still is one of the best bands around.
This is indeed a very good album.