Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Emerson Lake & Palmer - Tarkus CD (album) cover


Emerson Lake & Palmer


Symphonic Prog

4.05 | 1747 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Prog Reviewer
3 stars "Tarkus", as a whole doesn't match up with its brothers (or sisters?) in that it seems to have two sides to it. One side is serious and epic like the "Tarkus Suite" and the other is kind of joking around with songs like "Jeremy Bender." These bear some resemblances to early, Syd Barret- era Pink Floyd and carry the same humour. Of Course, the "Tarkus Suite" is arguably the very first Symphonic Progressive Epic written at least a year before counterparts Yes and Genesis constructed their first epics. The "Tarkus Suite" in its self is different to most other epics as it is very heavily keyboard based and like many epics carries a vague concept. "Tarkus" is basically about a half- tank half-armadillo creature named Tarkus, and the suite shows some of his enemies and also the effects of war.

The "Tarkus Suite" is very moving, especially in "The Battle Field" in which Greg Lake shows us that he can play guitar. This section in particular conjures images of a revenged battlefield and fallen/massacred people strewn in the midst of war. Similar to Yes's 'Gates of Delirium', but in this regard "Tarkus" is more effective. The piece begins with an intro into Tarkus, which is rightly named "Eruption" and is the birth of Tarkus and of war. The song then moves into "Stones of Years" in which the first set of vocals come in as "Has the dawn ever seen you eyes." This section is accented by an electric organ and moog synthesizers and is quite moving. Following this is "Iconoclast", a violent instrumental section with furious percussion, bass and stabbing keyboards. Next comes "Mass", a sort violent jazzy section with flowing lyrics and grand synthesizers. Next is another short instrumental section called "Manticore", a Manticore being a half-human half-lion creature. Manticore is one of Tarkus' greatest enemies and what follows is a fight between the two creatures. "The Battlefield" comes next and brings with it a truly epic feel with excellent musicianship which must be heard to be believed. The closing section has two parts, the first is a military sounding march which is brought on by a snare drum and synthesizers, the second part is the re-birth of Tarkus and is a repeat of the beginning of the song.

"Jeremy Bender" is next, not much to say about it, very average and is one of two out of place songs. Next is "Bitches Crystal" another song following the "Tarkus" concept, except with no references to the actual creature. This song and the next three to follow seem as one song as they all follow a theme of war and destruction. Real Post-war music. Lastly is the comical "Are You Ready Eddie", the other out of place song, not bad though!

1. Tarkus Suite (5/5) 2. Jeremy Bender (1.5/5) 3. Bitches Crystal (3.5/5) 4. The Only Way [Hymn] (4/5) 5. Infinite Space [Conclusion] (3.5/5) 6. A Time and a Place (3/5) 7. Are You Ready Eddy- (3/5) Total= 23.5 divided by 7 (number of songs =3.357 = 3 stars

Good, but non-essential

In the end "Tarkus" comes in as a healthy three stars, good stuff and although "Are You Ready Eddy" may seem out of place on "Tarkus", it is a mood lifter from the rest of the album which is dark and mournful. "Tarkus" is truly a ground breaking and meaningful album and it has the potential to be a rewarding album to all, though many may not see it. I'd recommend "Tarkus" to Symphonic Prog Fans to get a glimpse of the very first progressive epic (to my knowledge.)

Australian | 3/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this EMERSON LAKE & PALMER review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives