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Triumvirat - Mediterranean Tales (Across The Waters) CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.61 | 213 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
2 stars 2.5 stars really!!

For some reasons, Triumvirat escaped my radar during the mid-70's and when on the closing of the decade I finally stopped laughing at this group's Roman fixation and their dumb artworks, I jumped on Pompeii, and the least I can say is that it gave me everything I feared. Nearly grotesque Art rock emulating ELP, and trying the one just before (OLDH), I was confirmed that these guys were bound for the laughing stock of the genre.

Three decades later, I started investigating their earlier records, probably still with this preconception, but curious anyway. So the original line-up was a KB-lead trio and obviously like all of them, they sound like Egg or ELP, but this time, unlike those mentioned, the lack of adventurous spirit (ala ELP or Egg) and their taste for facile melodies pumped onto the old Composers (ala Trace or Ekseption) make these guys plain bore. Don't get me wrong, these guys poured their kearts out for this music and whatever success they had back then (one of the rare German bands to ge big in the States), they probably deserved it, but this old warrior remains unimpressed although he knows he'd think different if he had v-been aware of this back in 74. So the side-long opening Across The Water sounds like a cross of Nice and Ekseption due to the numerous "borrowings" to the masters of yestercenturies. Furthermore the singing is approximate (to remain polite). The 16 minutes of this "epic" are divided in 6 subsections, and while there are some moments that are worthy (they usually include a healthy dose of drums and bass), they still few and far in between. Booring, and to be quite bold, I'd rather listen to Ars Nova and dream of their organist's arse.

The flipside is filled by three songs, but only one holds enough interest; the Caravan-sounding E-Minor 5/9 with its fuzzed-out organ in a great Canterbury-like moment (and it's an instrumental!!!), that even Egg had not done before. Great track lost in a medium-terrible sea tales. Unfortunately it comes after the horrendous Eleven Kids, combining all of the KB trio clichés plus the atrocious vocals. The closing Broken Mirrors sounds luike a The nice piece complete with crappy Lee Jackson vocals (yes, THAT bad!!!) and merits another good dose of laughs.

Vocals apart, this is the kind of albums that had been done dozens of time before, and probably ten of them had been more adventurous, so aside this being a first oeuvre, this is exactly the kind of album that should remain dormant and never peak its ugly heads out of the swamps it took refuge in. I can't seem to find much redeeming qualities and if my ears hear some fine tonalities and apart the one Caravan-sounding beauty, Medium-Terrible Tales is best avoided.

Sean Trane | 2/5 |


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