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The new Magma: anyone heard it yet?

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Initial post: Jul 23, 2012 12:35:57 AM PDT
So I just found out that the new Magma album, "Felicite Thosz", was released a few days ago. Since "K.A." and "E.R." were both comprised largely of unrecorded material from the 70s, I was curious as to what this would sound like (although apparently the group has been playing the piece live since 2009). The album is an expensive import so I'm currently listening to it on youtube, which has posted a little over half of it so far.

Initial thoughts: apparently the album is only 32 minutes long, which makes it almost more of an EP. 28 minutes is taken up by the title track, divided into ten sections, followed by a 4-minute coda. So far I've heard five of the ten sections, and the coda. While I must admit that I can't really judge the work until I have heard it in its entirety, I can say that my initial impressions are good, but not great.

In short, while this music is certainly recognizably Magma, it is much mellower and more lighthearted than anything I can think of from them. That's not necessarily a bad thing, although the volcanic intensity I usually associate with the band just isn't there. The music is more classical than jazz oriented, with lots of acoustic piano and plenty of vocals. The vocals are reminiscent of the MDK period. It's all enjoyable, but it's all passing by at a leisurely's a little strange, coming from this band.

Has anyone actually heard the whole album, yet? Thoughts?

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 23, 2012 10:07:16 AM PDT
clearcutter says:
Too expensive for only half an hour of music, most of which I've heard on youtube for a couple of years now. I don't really see an issue with the mellowness of the piece myself. Magma has often explored more sedate moods in the past. In fact I recently discovered the marvelous but sedate "The Night We Died" from their otherwise-miserable Merci album, and have listened to it many times in the past few months.

Posted on Aug 2, 2012 6:49:05 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 2, 2012 6:50:02 AM PDT
I still haven't bought it, and I really feel like I'm slacking as a Magma fan. I've heard the piece once or twice, thanks to some live recordings I have. It sounds like it's not destined to become one of their major works, but not everything they do can be a major work (though it seems like it is sometimes). I will buy it, even if it is only 30 minutes, and even if it does cost more than $15. Probably in my next Wayside order.

Posted on Aug 4, 2012 1:10:34 PM PDT
@RareGoat: but isn't it a *bit* disturbing, that us Magma fans can't seem to generate our usual hyper-enthusiasm over this release? I mean, it's not a bad album--it's actually quite good. But compared to the usual standard, it does seem "minor" whereas practically every other Magma piece I've ever heard has always screamed "major epic blowaway".

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 6, 2012 6:19:02 AM PDT

Well I haven't even heard it, so I'm not claiming disappointment yet. But I think there have been several "minor" Magma releases that give their discography a bit of depth and breathing space -- like Udu Wudu, and things like "Simples", "The Unnameables", and "Les Voix de Magma". These show a lighter side of Magma that I'm glad is there. So no, I'm not concerned really.
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Discussion in:  Progressive Rock forum
Participants:  3
Total posts:  5
Initial post:  Jul 23, 2012
Latest post:  Aug 6, 2012

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