Title - 'Zėss'
Artist - Magma
For those not in the know, Magma is a French progressive rock band founded in Paris in 1969 by classically trained drummer Christian Vander; who claimed as his inspiration a "vision of humanity's spiritual and ecological future" that profoundly disturbed him.
In the course of their first album, the band tells the story of a group of people fleeing a doomed Earth to settle on the planet Kobaļa. Later, conflict arises when the Kobaļansdescendants of the original colonistsencounter other Earth refugees.
Furthermore, Vander invented a constructed language, Kobaļan, in which most lyrics are sung.
In a 1977 interview with Vander and long-time Magma vocalist Klaus Blasquiz, Blasquiz said that Kobaļan is a "phonetic language made by elements of the Slavonic and Germanic languages to be able to express some things musically. The language has of course a content, but not word by word."
Vander himself has said, "When I wrote, the sounds [of Kobaļan] came naturally with it. I didn't intellectualize the process by saying 'Ok, now I'm going to write some words in a particular language', it was really sounds that were coming at the same time as the music."
Later albums tell different stories set in more ancient times; however, the Kobaļan language remains an integral part of the music.
Magma's brand new album Zėss marks the 50th anniversary of the group, still led by Christian Vander with long-time member Stella Vander assisting, as always.
Released this past June 28th, 2019 via Seventh Records it comes with a 40-page deluxe CD book which also includes all the lyrics from the record.
Given that the Vanders are not spring chickens these days, word has already spread that this might well be their very last album.
Indeed, some of the lyrics themselves kinda foreshadow that theory, but then again, understanding them wholly and having your own mind as to their meanings is a whole other world to be part of, of course.
That said, Christian - who for the first time ever does not play drums on the album (which already puts Zėss into its very own singular entry in the groups discography) - has admitted that this is to be the grand finale to the Kobaļan story - so it makes sense to go out with a bang, so to speak!
The album's plot - which features just the one song for just under 38 minutes in length - focuses on the end of the universe and all of the music is accompanied by the aforementioned orchestra.
Indeed, a first draft of Zėss first emerged in 1977, made its live debut in 1979, and was part of the French outfits set until 1983.
Now completed as a mainstay project this wondrous new studio version complete with the excellent The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra is rather the most perfect prog beast to behold, believe me.
Vocalist and producer Stella Vander Linon says: It was the right time for us, and our audience wanted it too. We wanted to make a beautiful studio version different from the live versions and closer to the original vision for the song."
Christian Vander adds: Zėss is the story of the end of everything the end of time and of everything that has ever existed. Absolute oblivion, like a dreamless night."
"It feels like nothing has ever existed nor will it ever exist again all forms of consciousness have vanished.
FYI: Magma's new album Zėss is available for pre-order as a limited edition of 1500 numbered copies on gold colored vinyl.
The package includes a 4-page booklet. The vinyl edition will be released on September 20th, 2019.
180 gram audiophile vinyl
Brand new album
Gatefold sleeve with UV spot varnish
Limited edition of 1500 numbered copies on gold colored vinyl
Watch The Making Of Magma's Limited Edition Gold Colored Vinyl of Zėss!
Amazon Gold Vinyl CD Purchase Link
Amazon CD Purchase Link
Magma @ Facebook!