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Triumvirat - Spartacus CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.81 | 338 ratings

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3 stars Most fans consider Spartacus to be Triumvirat's masterpiece or at least the next best release after Illusions On A Double Dimple. This would have been all hunky dory with me if only there weren't so many problems with this concept album!

Personally, I have two major issues with this release; First off, I don't buy the whole Spartacus concept and this is coming from someone who usually appreciates most concept albums. What I dislike the most is how the whole story is depicted. There are just so many sloppy written passages here that it becomes tedious at times. Here is an example for you --- In the gladiator's school/Things were perfect things were cool/Faith was around. Helmut Köllen did an excellent job, in the vocal department, on Illusions On A Double Dimple but the result here are just tough to get through without sitting with the lyrics sheet. His pronunciation/articulation does create a few truly hilarious moments like the section on the album's title track where I always assumed that the lyrics went --- Spartacus dance, sword in his hands. Combined with the almost disco-like vibe in the instrumental arrangement makes me chuckle every time! Grammatically incorrect you say? Well, how could I assume anything different when an earlier lyric clearly said --- Soon the final dance begins!?!

The second issue comes from the well known fact that Spartacus has a similar structure as ELP's Trilogy, an album that I actually enjoy a lot more. It might be considered strange how I could accept the obvious similarities to ELP on Triumvirat's previous album in comparison to this, but for me it's pretty clear; Triumvirat did something new and interesting on Illusions On A Double Dimple by implementing the ELP-trade marked sound only to go on and created the album I always wanted ELP to do. I'm talking about making a two sides of pure epics which could have made Tarkus a true progressive masterpiece. For more information please see my review of Illusions On A Double Dimple.

After all the bashing in the lyric and concept departments I'm actually quite pleased with the instrumental sections of the album. The only exception comes with the 9 minute extravaganza called The March To The Eternal City which I can only describe as a very long march indeed! An obvious moment where Jürgen Fritz lost himself in his playing resulting in a rather bland and displeasing performance. Still, all in all Spartacus is a good album but not one of my favorites because it's basically ELP-by-numbers, which is not terrible but leaves more to be desired of.

***** star songs: The School Of Instant Pain (6:22) The Hazy Shades Of Dawn (3:09)

**** star songs: The Capital Of Power (3:13) The Walls Of Doom (3:57) The Deadly Dream Of Freedom (3:54) The Burning Sword Of Capua (2:41) Spartacus (7:40)

*** star songs: The Sweetest Sound Of Liberty (2:36) The March To The Eternal City (8:47)

Rune2000 | 3/5 |


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