Magma

Mekanik Destruktiw Kommandoh

  • AllMusic Rating
    9
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

There is definitely quite a large step from Magma's second LP, 1,001 Degrees Centigrade, to this one, their third. At the same time, MDK represents a transitional period: drummer/composer Christian Vander has definitely abandoned the jazzier leanings of the previous opuses and has now dived head first into martial hymns and a new form of progressive devotional music -- extraterrestrial gospel. But he has also chosen to retain the brass section that gave Kobaïa and 1,001 Degrees Centigrade their signature sound. Therefore, the music has yet to become the relentless rhythmic kaleidoscope that the future would promise. MDK was introduced in the LP's original liner notes (an illuminated delirium by Vander, who rechristens himself Zebëhn Straïn dë Geustaah -- his text, the essence of which is a revelation transmitted to him by the Prophet Nebëhr Gudahtt, is the key text in Magma's mythology) as the third movement of Theusz Hamttaahk, but it was the first one recorded. The previous two movements are "Theusz Hamttaahk" itself, often performed live but not recorded at the time, and Würdah Ïtah, which would become the group's next album. All three album-length pieces share elements (some lyrics, rhythmic cells, and chord sequences), but they are individual stand-alone pieces. MDK showcased for the first time the incredible range of singer Klaus Blasquiz and introduced the ground-moving work of bassist Jannick Top, with and for whom Vander will develop an increasingly rhythm-heavy style, already present here. Between the meticulous developments of "Hortz Fur Dëhn Stekëhn West," the possessed free-form screams in "Nebëhr Gudahtt," and the hymnal chorus of "Mekanïk Kommandöh," MDK is one giant creative blow to the guts, and unsuspecting listeners will be left powerless at the end of its onslaught of mutated funk, pummeling gospel rock, and incantatory vocals in a barbaric invented language. It remains one of Magma's crowning achievements (together with Kohntarkosz) and the best point of entry into Christian Vander's unparalleled musical vision. And if the literary concept bothers you, just ignore it: the music has more than enough power to do without it.

blue highlight denotes track pick