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Triumvirat - Illusions On A Double Dimple CD (album) cover

ILLUSIONS ON A DOUBLE DIMPLE

Triumvirat

 

Symphonic Prog

3.95 | 369 ratings

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whit-the-taker
5 stars What is there to say? This album, Illusions on a Double Dimple, has literally come to define an era of my life, a band which has the accessibility and the groove for anyone, has produced a masterpiece. In my eyes, this is an unsung champion of Progressive Rock, an incumbent to the throne of unrecognized talent. Triumvirat's second album, in personal terms, is the exact sound that is inside my head.

Jürgen Fritz, Helmut Köllen, and Hans Bathelt managed to encapsulate a dynamic and adventurous diversity of seamless sound. It incorporates such a unique array of instrumentation throughout the entire work, generating a sound that paints an image so magnificent and sophisticated that it can take this reviewer's breath away. It, while being a challenge to listen to perhaps at first, is a true ear worm, and soon you'll find yourself listening to it again as to catch a part you particularly enjoyed only to appreciate the music more this time around.

From the captivating piano and bombastic beats of the beginning of the first song "Illusions on a double Dimple", to the extraordinary final ten minutes of the album in "Mister Ten Percent", the virtuosity of its composers shine through in the complexity of their orchestration as well as the wonderful, storied lyrics. Lyrics that go on to tell a story that lends it self well to most in the messages of personal struggle through life, relationships, personal vices and the passage of one's wisdom.

An album this worthy deserves a thorough analysis of all its components to really codify its majesty and ingenuity. Here I am going to try to just that:

Song 1: "Illusions on a Double Dimple"

-Flashback - an enchanting overture that both invites and deceives the listener, a genius foray into the tried and true classical piano of the old times accompanied by haunting, solemn lyrics. In under a minute the listener is beguiled into something even more satisfying and this is where the deception comes in. The lyrics herald the a tale both sad and bitter, but their deliverance will leave you fooled that the message could be so somber.

-Schooldays - A remarkable shift into the bombast and rocking beauty that progressive offers. A sound that can be danced to or to lift the spirit. With vocals and lyrics both timeless and storied, to not at least give a toe tap or two to this part is plain unfortunate. This is where the story really begins lyrically, telling the tales of the struggles of childhood and early teenage years and family relationships and becoming a working adult.

-Triangle - A transition into the true realm of prog, the challenge and the attention that prog both poses and requires is brought about in an extended, highly percussive instrumental section that incorporates space-tacular synth and headbanging beats. This is the alien noise I think the band "Magma" hoped to achieve in some parts of the eponymous album. This coming from such a sound as "Schooldays" seems to present the aural metaphors that describe the angst, struggle, wonderment, hatred and overall tumultuous experience of growing older, and facing hard times in ones teenage and early adult years. A song of rebellion, of dysfunction of pure chaos but harmoniously so. All coming to an end in a cosmic grandeur that transitions into "Illusions" that leaves the listener captivated.

-"Illusions" - A Short segment with incredible power, in a sense the shortest power ballad you'll ever hear that acts as both an intermission from the first quarter of the album and an overture for the second. Illusions is a championed return to vocals from the extended instrumentals of "Triangle" before it, which quickly casts you into the magnificent "Dimplicity".

-Dimplicity - The masterful climax of the first half which is both endearing and dynamic in its own right. With messages so deep, vocals so powerful, and beats this grooving and bombastic, one will find that this song is a real hallmark to any progressive collection. Everything about this section is bar none fantastic, from the twang of the guitar, the angelic sound of the background singers, the johnty backbeat of the piano, or the simply joyous sounding lyrics that convey a message of dejection and booze soaked hopelessness. This marvelous 5 odd minutes is one of the best 5 minutes of record Triumvirat has produced.

-Last Dance - The final number of the first half which reminds me of "Underture" from Triumvirat's previous work "Mediterranean Tales". It's the summary of the album thusfar before it, that retells the themes of the song as well as leaves the listener with another space-tacular, electric moog groove that mellows any tron. It does it's job wrapping up the first half quite nicely and leaves the listener mystified that listening to a song "Twenty minutes long?!" could be so enjoyable.

-- Mister Ten Percent

-Maze - A crescendo into what I Imagine what it would sound like to be an international spy in the 1960s, perhaps not as enticing as the opener to the number before it, Mister Ten Percent leaves little time to rest on the other side of the record, especially when listening to a digital copy. It begins with a powerful funky jazz instrumental and collapses into the next section

-Dawning - A shrill almost toy sounding piano interlude that really consecrates the keyboarding skills of Mr. Fritz and like the piano opening of the album, tricks the first time listener with its brevity and the set up into something a lot stronger to immediately follow.

-Bad Deal- The highlight of the third quarter, which in my view is the weakest quarter of the album. A frantic almost ska feel that really can get people dancing to the dramatic lyrics and rapid rhythm. Little can be said about such a short segment, but its power and its ability to elevate some of the more challenging instrumentals surrounding it help keep the untrained listener cruising along to the masterful final quarter, and the seasoned progressive enthusiasts curious for more.

-Roundabout - For those expecting something analogous or even referential to the hallmark song by "Yes" of the same name, forget it. This piece bears little resemblance to the other, but Triumvirat's "Roundabout" will really please lovers of progressive, especially those loving percussive experimentation. This extended section is perhaps the most challenging for those most unfamiliar to progressive, as it tends to combine many unusual instruments with each other, producing an equally frenetic, feverish and frantic sound. From the strong slapping bass, the hammond organ, or the cowbell (it doesn't need more, its just enough) creates an eclectic noise that enchants the lovers of heavier beats, and forms a transcendental mental picture that is dystopian, space-tastic, and again, highly metaphorical to the theme of the album itself. This reviewer imagines a aural tale of drug addiction, or the collapse of ones life altogether. Whatever one imagines, it is sure a grim, fantastic and heady picture.

-Lucky girl - Here it is, the final ten minutes of the album, the all out best sound Triumvirat orchestrated and an unfairly obscure masterwork of the progressive genre. "Lucky Girl" is a credit to the musicians' virtuosity. If there was ever a song that heralded the arrival of utopia, the wonder of the rising sun, the warmth of the day, and of greater things to come it's this right here. The guitar, the vocals...the everything! Everything is so perfect and splendid and breathtaking surely it could not be topped, but however it is matched, by none other than:

-Million Dollars - A farewell piece that is neither brief nor dragging, neither generic nor too experimental which grabs the torch from Lucky Girl at a perfected climactic moment to cruise the album to its magnificent conclusion. This piece really emblifies all the composers talent from Fritz's keyboard work, to Bathelt's powerful percussion and Kollen's wonderful vocals culminate here along with "Lucky Girl" to really usher in the golden age of Triumvirat's creative contribution to this world, and solidifies Triumvirat's status in the Progressive Scene as a misunderstood band of three truly powerful men, and forever establishes them among the best in what the genre has to offer.

There can be no doubt, no accusation of Clone-hood, Triumvirat truly entered a phase of musical genius the likes of which only those of us who actively seek Progressive music can know when they produced this prodigious work. A beautiful and unprecedented degree of excellence that has the capacity to bring together progressive lovers and those unknown or reluctant to the art. A true hallmark of any collection and truly in the same tier as Yes, Genesis, Pink Floyd or any other Progressive band of such status.

"Do what your mama told you, you will never think,

about yourself..."

whit-the-taker | 5/5 |

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