The second release from the progressive fusion combo of former Magma bassist Jannick Top is a live gig recorded in 1998 in Paris. While this set, made up of one hour-long track called "Spirales", is much looser than the songs from the bands debut, Systeme Solaire, released two years ago, there are still plenty of hot improvisations running rampant here.
Top's meaty bass lines are always a joy to listen to, as he utilizes slippery lead breaks, chords, and lots of effects to give a full and rich sound. The band takes a more atmospheric approach this time out, as opposed to the more furious pace covered in the past. In fact, jazz freaks might like the the bands more laid back attitude on Paris 98. There is still plenty of alto sax wanking from Eric Seva, who weaves in and out of the mix like a menacing snake, and occasional guitar excursions from Matthias Desmier, whose Allan Holdsworth styled leads add the "prog" into this fusiony affair.
Perhaps for these ears STS are better at writing more structured material. While "Sprirales" is certainly an adventurous piece, it tends to get a tad tedious at times. That being said, there still is plenty of great playing here, which should make those into complex fusion or general Magma enthusiasts happy.