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

ILLUSIONS ON A DOUBLE DIMPLE

Triumvirat

Symphonic Prog


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Bookmark and Share
jendoug@sympa
5 stars One cannot help but make the comparison to Emmerson, Lake and Palmer in the early years, in fact the drums sound very similar to that on Court of the Crimson King by King Crimson.I prefer this cd to Spartacus but I can't say why,"cause Spartacus is good as well.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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).

Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#11809)
Posted Thursday, January 22, 2004 | Review Permalink
greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Interesting bits, but unequal. Dancer's delite has hard rock guitar, which is very unusual for TRIUMVIRAT. This album reminds me a bit prog band KAYAK, particularly the lead vocals (Dimplicity and Thimothy)! You feel the coming of a dynamic bass and drums like on "Spartacus", but it's definitely less increased. Plus, the mini moog is not present as it is the case on "Spartacus". This record is less good than "Spartacus", "Old Loves Die Hard" and "Pompei".

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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).

Send comments to greenback (BETA) | Report this review (#11813)
Posted Sunday, April 18, 2004 | Review Permalink
Fitzcarraldo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars "Illusions on a Double Dimple" is TRIUMVIRAT's magnum opus, a whole quantum above their other work in my opinion. Whilst their later (and probably better known) album "Spartacus" is a great album, "Illusions" is brilliant.

"Illusions" has a theme: life's struggle, or something along those lines. The album title refers to the Dimple brand of Scotch whisky (so-called because of the distinctive dimpled bottle, I suppose), so the album title refers to drowning one's sorrows, thus introducing the theme.

TRIUMVIRAT were a progressive rock band whose music involves lots of synthesiser and other keyboards, and are often compared to EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER. Some of TRIUMVIRAT's music has more of a 'pop' feel to it than ELP's, or maybe it's just more melodic. Jürgen Fritz is certainly an extremely talented keyboard player (and classically trained, too). It is often said that TRIUMVIRAT imitated ELP; perhaps there is some truth in that on the later albums but, to me, "Illusions" is on a par with the best that ELP produced and is no imitation. "Illusions" also has the Cologne Opera House Orchestra, plus an 8-piece brass section, plus 3 female backing vocalists. There are plenty of great synthesiser and keyboard moments throughout the album, and some very good guitar and drum playing too. The instruments, the melodies and the lyrics fit perfectly to produce a classic progressive/symphonic rock album.

The 2002 re-release is a digital re-master of the songs on the original LP, plus four extra tracks: two I had never heard before plus two singles of songs on the original LP. The sound quality is good.

In my opinion this is a must-have album.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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).

Send comments to Fitzcarraldo (BETA) | Report this review (#11814)
Posted Thursday, May 06, 2004 | Review Permalink
Menswear
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Oh man, this one's a keeper. 2 excellent tracks of 20 min. or so and it's worth the very low price ('cause it's re-mastered). WOW, I must admit.

First, the first track is a superb blend of everything Triumvirat ever done. Very catchy but not too easy either.There's the obvious winks at Tarkus and Close to the Edge, but who gives? My motto: "A good song is still a good song". So if a little inspiration from England legends don't bother you, let the impulsive buying show you the way to the cashier.

No kidding, Triumvirat at their best is no shame compared to ELP. In my quest for prog that blows me off my socks, a great catch!! Unlike ELP, Triumvirat had the ability to throw less filling by- products in their albums. Triumvirat has a more equilibrate way of writing. They put a good amount of 'goodie-prog' in every tracks. ELP has many classics, but it's like there's no middle. Great (Karn Evil 9, Tarkus) or dispensable (way too much).

The band did listen to a lot of ELP, but the frame and the production of the songs are flawless. Great, and I mean great keyboard works by Fritz who graduated from the classical conservatory of Cologne. With Tony Banks and Van der Linden, he's on top of my list. Helmut Koellen is more than capable as a vocalist and rythm section, thank you. And, at last, my fav'...Hans Bathelt. Big-metal-German-diesel-drumming-tank. The guy's an unstoppable machine. Rolls and fills that would make Neil Peart impressed. Triumvirat had it all.

Catchy and complex at the same time....the dangerous combination. My kind.

Mach Shau!

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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).

Send comments to Menswear (BETA) | Report this review (#11806)
Posted Wednesday, May 12, 2004 | Review Permalink
loserboy
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars "Illusions On A Double Dimple" is a breathtaking masterpiece and IMHO perhaps TRIUMVIRAT's PHD of all their albums. "Illusions" is essentially 2 epic tracks and stands as highly creative in scope and ambition with its fusion of classical, pop, rock and even some jazz elements. For the most discerned listeners will love this album with continuously shifting musical interludes and dazzling mood and tempos shifts. The songs themselves are brilliantly written and the Harvest Records Remastered version brings out the deep tonal sophistication and true analog feel the album is rich in.

Band line up is Jurgen Fritz (keyboards), Hans Bathelt (drums), and Helmut Kollen (guitar, bass, vocals). The overall sound of the album is very crisp and fresh sounding not sounding like an old 70's release. I hear lots of elements on "Illusions" with allusions to ELP (Obviously) , BEATLES, ELO, YES and GRAVY TRAIN. This is an album that either you love to death or I guess don't get, but I definitely love this album all the way thru and will take this one to the desert Island.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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).

Send comments to loserboy (BETA) | Report this review (#11807)
Posted Monday, May 24, 2004 | Review Permalink
Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Symphonic Prog Specialist
5 stars When I ask my friends about "Illusions on a Double Dimple", most of them seem to like the music, but almost everyone believes TRIUMVIRAT is some kind of "B" class band that cloned ELP music, IMHO they are all wrong, the band's music and specially their wonderful arrangements are so unique and well designed that "Illusions a Double Dimple" is at least as strong as the best ELP album, but totally different. They may sound similar because both bands work as a power trio The Rat uses some ELP influences but for nothing more, and it's totally unfair to call them clones or copyists. Lets try to kill the myth man by man:

Jürgen Fritz is an excellent keyboardist and multi instrumentalist plus a talented composer, his style has an obvious influence of Keith Emerson, but his style is absolutely different, while Keith is worried about creating a bombastic or epic sounds, Jürgen tries to be less spectacular but much more solid, probably less classical oriented (by choice not for lack of skills or training), Fritz music flows in a gentler way even when the song's structure forces him to do dramatic changes.

Helmut Köllen was a very talented guitars and bass player (As Greg Lake), but in this case I believe Hans has a much smaller ego, he never tries to shine over the band, he played for TRIUMVIRAT and not for his glory, something Greg forgets some times. He also had a great voice but a terrible German accent. When he left the bad tried to make a solo career but in 1977 sadly died while listening his unreleased tracks in the car poisoned by carbon monoxide.

Hans Bathelt style at drums is the opposite of Carl Palmer; even though he's very strong his roots are obviously in Jazz more than in classical (which is Carl's main influence), he's less solid in the bass drums but his work with metals is amazing.

"Illusions on a Double Dimple" is a perfect band work where personal ambitions are left aside for the wealth of the band, they even called Hans Pape (an ex-member) to help them with the bass in almost all side A, the arrangements for the Cologne House Symphony Orchestra and the Kurt Edelhagen brass section are simply delightful and imaginative, similar to nothing ELP had ever done before 1973.

As not many people know it's a conceptual album about the personal views of life that the band had in the early 70's. The album is divided in two multi-song epics.

"ILLUSIONS ON A DOUBLE DIMPLE" is IMHO the stronger of both epics, the radical changes are amazing and the entire band is perfect, being of course Jürgen Fritz absolutely spectacular. This first side of the album is divided in six songs and begins with "Flashback", a melancholic piano and vocals introduction that resumes the spirit of the side, expressing their fears about life and death. The change between this song and the second one "Schooldays" is amazing, they turn from sadness to a bright and happy sound but keeping the melancholic atmosphere, the guitar work is amazing.

Song three "Triangle" starts with a soft piano and rhythmic triangle sound that's soon followed by the rest of the band, taking gently the music towards a short but beautiful chorus (by Ulla Wiesner, Brigitte Thomas & Hanna Dolitzsch), but then the song changes to a more aggressive synth based sound, that at the end changes to a very complex section where the members of the band really rock, specially Hans Pape in the bass. This hard section is constantly interrupted by choral fragments,. pure prog' rock!!! After a couple more changes more, the song ends with a beautiful keyboards and vocal section that leads to the fourth song.

"Illusions" is probably the one of the most beautiful songs of the whole album despite it's short duration, starts with a spoken section by Peter Cadera, a bit mysterious and would be sad if it wasn't for his strong accent which is a bit shocking, this short intro is followed by a vocal and piano passage very dramatic and again melancholic, with the chorus that adds a bit of drama, if anyone still believed TRIUMVIRAT sounded like ELP, should have changed his mind by this point, the Manticore band never did something remotely similar to this song.

The next song "Dimplicity" starts with a fast and light drumming, followed by the voice of Köllen, and supported by the same chorus that smoothes at least a bit his hard accent. The changes are also dramatic with complex polyphonic sound and crossed rhythms, another wonderful track, the epic has reached the climax with the chorus acting as an additional instrument that replaces the absence of mellotron, great apotheosis!!!

The last song of the first epic "Last Dance" starts with a jazzy drum that leads to a change where the keyboards take the lead, at this point I find more reminiscences of ELP, a short complex passage constantly interrupted by keyboard sections lead to the end with a strong rock & roll passage, 23:11 minutes of great progressive Rock.

Side B (original LP format) presents the second epic "MISTER TEN PERCENT" also divided in 6 songs, the introduction "Maze" starts stronger than side A, with a jazzy piano supported by horns, shocking chorals but when the whole band enters they reach a more aggressive sound, almost violent specially for the solid drumming. Ends with a section that reminds me a bit of Peter Gunn especially for the strong bass, this time played by Helmut Köllen.

Without any interruption starts the second song "Dawning", softer than the previous and more like side A, with a extremely beautiful piano track that is dramatically stopped by the famous Mister Ten Percent lyrics which announce the next song "Bad Deal", that sounds as a threaten against an abusive landlord, supported by a beautiful keyboard section the song ends with a jazzy section with the peculiar style of Triumvirat, a band that can change style in a matter of fraction of seconds. Hans Bathelt does his stronger job with the drums and Köllen's bass is stronger than ever.

The next song "Roundabout" is the first point where ELP and TRIUMVIRAT meet in an obvious way, a song that carries the spirit of Tarkus, but again the arrangements are so unique that never turns into a cheap copy, they work the influence in a very professional style.

"Lucky Girl" is the softer song of the album and the only one composed by Helmut Köllen, in this case the acoustic guitar and the name are a clear reference to Lucky Man, but even when the song is almost a ballad (or power ballad), has no relation with the ELP hit, except maybe for the keyboard section that sounds very familiar to ELP fans even when the track ends totally different and join immediately with the closer song "Million Dollars", which works as a nostalgic summary of the atmosphere of the album, the ending section is again extremely beautiful and a bit sad, great song.

I don't usually justify my ratings, but in this case I will make an exception, the album is one of the most clearly progressive ones I ever heard, the music, production, arrangements and skills of the musicians are wonderful, probably TRIUMVIRAT is the best German band and IMHO Illusions on a Double Dimple is their best album, there are some obvious influences but every band must be influenced by somebody, so I will go with 5 stars.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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).

Send comments to Ivan_Melgar_M (BETA) | Report this review (#11815)
Posted Friday, July 09, 2004 | Review Permalink
Guillermo
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I listened to this album for the first time in early 1977. One of my older brothers bought it. He was the main "buyer" of Rock albums in my family in those years, and in the present he doesn`t listen to this kind of music anymore, but I still appreciate albums like this.The first time I listened to this album I said to my brother: "Hey, this is the song they play at the start of the T.V. programme called "Hoy Mismo"!" This song was "Maze", and the T.V programme was a news/interviews programme, very popular in those days in my country (ELP`s "Fanfare for the Common Man" is still played as the start of an old sports T.V. programme in my country!). Now, writing about this album as a whole, I can say that this is a very good album, with two long musical pieces one in each side of the L.P. (as previous reviewers wrote before me). From start to finish, this album is very enjoyable, full of changes. Jürgen Fritz is a very talented keyboard player, with very good technique. He composed most of the music in this album (except "Lucky Girl", composed by Helmut Köllen), he did the string, choral and brass arrangements in this album. Original bassist Hans Pape plays bass in the side one of this L.P. because he left the band for personal reasons (marriage) during the recording of this album. Helmut Köllen later joined the band, and in the side one he added some guitars and lead vocals, and in the side two he plays bass, guitars and sings lead vocals. Hans Bathelt wrote the lyrics, and he is also a very good drummer who plays with great energy without sounding tired!This album is a "very dynamic" album which caughts the attention of the listener from start to finish.In 1991, one of my brothers was living and working in a German city, and he met some people there who became his friends. So,months later one of his German friends came to my city for one of his holidays.He also liked Progressive Rock music as my brother and me. We chated about bands. I asked him if he had listened to Triumvirat. He say "No". I said "Would you like to listen to this album?", but he said that he wasn`t interested, so he asked me to play the King Crimson`s "USA" album instead!I was surprised that he wasn`t interested or didn`t know about this German band!Well, it is the same for me about "Iconoclasta" and other Prog bands from my country which I know that are very appreciated by some people in my country and in other countries. Maybe some day I had interest to listen to their music, but it is very hard to find their albums and even to know where and when they will play concerts in my city! Maybe my brother`s German friend never saw any of the Triumvirat`s albums before!

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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).

Send comments to Guillermo (BETA) | Report this review (#11818)
Posted Friday, October 29, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars There´s so much talking on this site about Triumvirat being an ELP rip-off. That´s not really the point. The drum section is much better here in this record with a jazzy feeling and a "punch" rarely heard it in Palmer. The musicmanship is increadiblle and the lyrics, well let´s just say there´s no "Benny the Bouncer" around here. Triangle is one of my favourite tracks of all time because of the time changes. So don´t you hesitate and buy this excellent record of german-prog.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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).

Send comments to steelyhead (BETA) | Report this review (#37220)
Posted Wednesday, June 22, 2005 | Review Permalink
majoriot@comc
3 stars The first few times I heard this album were at a friends house in the mid 70's. He had this "super stereo' wih these (as I remember them) 6' tower speakers. Blew me away. So clean and punchy, lovely keyboard interludes, some good lyrical movement...and I don't think it was just the drugs. Being a keyboard player, I always appreciated the work on this album. I also loved the mix on the drums. However,Ii couldn't listen to it forever and I have a;ways found it a bit redundant in it's composition. I just listened to the MP3 of "Illusions...' and found it seeming to be a series of loops. Good loops, but loops non the less. Well played, well produced, but just a bit lacking in inventiveness and improvisation.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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).

Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#40098)
Posted Saturday, July 23, 2005 | Review Permalink
guibaldin@uol
5 stars Truly this is one of the best German Prog Albuns I've ever listened to. But let's face it: TRIUMVIRAT was never an 100% original group. They owe a lot to ELP, but in this particular record, they weren't just a cheap copy yet. Unfortunately, that didn't last long, as the next album, SPARTACUS, it's a terrible German clone of TRILOGY from ELP. But ILLUSIONS is an amazing album. Fritz it's a great and original keyboard player, with good piano guts, covered by a pretty good band, maybe not genius, but good. The tittle track is basically in the same level of any ELP organ-driven suite. It has many brilliant themes and good lyrics (the vocals aren't bad either). The other track, MISTER TEN PERCENT, has a very acid criticism to music industry, but musically is in the same level of the previous. An excelent album, truly, but this is the only one to get by this band, unless you're a big fan.

-Guilherme Baldin

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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).

Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#41878)
Posted Saturday, August 06, 2005 | Review Permalink
erik neuteboom
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars If you listen to this band, only one comparison can be made and that's ELP because almost every inch of this keyboard-driven band is inspired by the legendary symphonic dinosaur! I enjoyed the pleasant and melodic sound, featuring lots of fine work on the Hammond organ, Moog synthesizer and Grand piano. Triumvirat also delivers lots of flowing shifting moods with warm vocals, fine acoustic guitar and even some saxophone. I can understand that progheads udge that this is an ordinary ELP-clone but I simply love their lush symphonic keyboard-sound on their first four studio-albums, no more or less.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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).

Send comments to erik neuteboom (BETA) | Report this review (#42628)
Posted Friday, August 12, 2005 | Review Permalink
Zitro
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars 2.5 stars

This is an album of just two long epics. Both songs are ok, and sound very similar to ELP in style. However, there is nothing groundbreaking, nothing original, and nothing outstanding about this album. Just two prog tracks.

Illusions on a Double Dimple : It starts as an upbeat piano/organ driven track with their signature sound (those backing female vocals that can get irritating for appearing too many times). The following section is the one that can be downloaded in this site, and it is the best part of the album. It goes through countless changes, and the percussion is extremely interesting here. After that section ends, it flows naturally into a haunting piano song with once again great percussion. The next section is a symphonic rocker with organ playing that reminds me of Emerson and backing vocals overused. Finally, the last section brings back the riffs played in 'Triangle' and is a little of filler for me since I do not want to hear the same section over again. 5.5/10

Mister Ten Percent : The first section 'maze' is a frenzied piece with fast emerson-like piano runs and jazzy playing. The music comes to a halt in 'bad deal' with heavily accented and heavy vocals appear, and later switches to a nice chorus dominated by great keyboard playing. 'Roundabout' is an ok ELP (tarkus especially) influenced rocker. Lucky girl is an ok rocker that is not influenced from ELP. The ending is pure Triumvirat music with an extended hammond organ solo. It's just ok 4.5/10

The problem with this album, is that it tries to hard to be ELP (or tries not to, but it is heavily influenced by it) while instrumentally these musicians are not very talented. Their epics lack a bit of cohesion and direction because they seem like a group of short songs put together.

My grade : C/D

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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).

Send comments to Zitro (BETA) | Report this review (#42659)
Posted Friday, August 12, 2005 | Review Permalink
hpouyanne@hot
4 stars This second effort by the german trio is more personnal than the first one. It sounds more as the result of a group's work. If I must give a definition of this music it will be Pop- symphonic. These guys have a real capacity to create very good songs, perfectly arranged and played. So why don't give five stars ? Just because there is no madness or risk in this music. Elegant and very professionnal, this band is a second hand. Not a masterpiece, but for sure you can appreciate "Illusions on a double dimple" if you love traditionnal symphonic prog.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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).

Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#45636)
Posted Monday, September 05, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Let me tell you all something. When I first listened to Triumvirat's Illusions on a Double Dimple, I was about 13 years old (1973). Our whole "gang" (per say) all listened to this album...it was our album. I had never listened to ELP back then...I figure, Triumvirat is in a whole class of its own...they are way jazzier than ELP (not to say that I don't also love ELP...I think that they are fab)...but Triumvirat for me is my heart and soul...they won my heart some 30+ years ago...Illusions is probably my most "favouritist" album...I have worn through some 10 records. I also had Sparticus and Pompeii (but I don't have a turntable any more). I just managed to get Illusions (kind of broken up a bit) on a CD.

It's Sparticus that sounds a lot like ELP...I am just listening to the MP3 stream.

Cheers anyway...

H

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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).

Send comments to hearthere (BETA) | Report this review (#60084)
Posted Sunday, December 11, 2005 | Review Permalink
Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This is the second album from Germany band Triumvirat led by composer and keyboard player Jurgen Fritz, a graduate of The Cologne music conservatory. After recorded and released their debut "Mediterranean Tales" in April 1972, they returned to the studio in 1973 to record their second album "Illusions on A Double Dimple". There is line-up change from its debut album whereby bassist Hans Pape was replaced by multi- instrumentalist Helmut Kollen. Together with a string quartet from the Cologne Opera Orchestra, the brass section of the Kurt Edelhagen Band and a background choir, Triumvirat continued to work on the new material from June to October, obviously much longer than originally scheduled. The result of their hard work and commitment was an album worth collecting.

The album comprises only two epic tracks which at the time of vinyl meaning one epic per side of LP. The first one is the title track "Illusions on A Double Dimple" (23:22) comprises 6 parts: flashback, schooldays, triangle, illusions, dimplicity, and last dance. It's very obvious through this first epic that the band tried to make all the stories went into one common theme with music of various styles. It starts with a nice piano touch and nice vocals of Jurgen Fritz followed with all instruments: bass guitar, drum and synthesizer play collaboratively to form a nice music. One might see the influence of ELP right from the beginning but Triumvirat has put an effort that their music seems sweeter and a bit lighter than ELP. The music moves nicely from one segment to another, from one part to another. Some transition seem unnatural that sounds like a disjointed part but with repeat play of the CD it's gonna be fine.

The second epic "Mr. Ten Percent" (21:31) comprises 6 parts also with: maze, dawning, bad deal, roundabout, lucky girl and million dollars. With this track the band pushed their limits further so that the influence of ELP seems lesser as compared to the first epic. The music style is something like an opera with vocal style that supports a dialogue style. The trade-off of having this style is that the music is less melodic compared to the first. Combined together, the two epic tracks form a cohesive whole at album level and they sound like one theme as storyline.

Personally, I only knew this album after I got "Spartacus" album which was really legendary for me. From "Spartacus" I knew the band's name and tried to trace back any other albums of the band. Overall, this is an excellent addition to any prog music collection. It's legendary album. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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).

Send comments to Gatot (BETA) | Report this review (#75915)
Posted Saturday, April 22, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Putting a little bit of order into my vinyl collection I found these awsome LP. Immediatly I played it and I couldn't stop to think how beautiful is.

Released at the early 70's sometimes sounds like an imitation (a very well of course) of ELP. But Triumvirat is more like this: excellent arrangements, a superb work on vocals, a constant and perfect sense of what prog is and of course awsome keyboard parts thanks to Mr. Jurgen Fritz.

Both sides of the album are great, totally symphonic, but I have to recognize that "Mr. Ten Percent" is one of the most fabulous pieces of prog that I ever heard. This is one of the reasons to have this album in any prog collection.

A classic of the 70's...

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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).

Send comments to progadicto (BETA) | Report this review (#77230)
Posted Friday, May 05, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars I am honored to review such a mind-blowing masterpiece, and by the way, NO ELP clone, as triumvirat developed a very own atmosphere, commanded by the genius Jurgen Fritz, his piano and keyboard playing continue to move me. This epic album starts with Flashback, a melancholic piano and vocals, which will remind you of some childhood song. The following Schooldays starts with a fantastic riff, giving a happy atmosphere, condensed by the catchy vocals, a small masterpiece really. Triangle is the first huge masterpiece on the album, starting with some brilliant piano playing, covered by mind-blowing synth riffs, increasing the instrumentation each second more into a rocking piece. Illusions gets back with a melancholic piano playing, with very nice drumming, and some synth riffs in the background. The vocals are really melancholic and drive a deep atmosphere. Dimplicity is the concept following to Illusions, and is probably the album's masterpiece, alternating fast and happy moments with some very serious and intense. There are some parts here which sounds like the Yes Album. The melody here is brilliant, specially the vocals. A pure prog rock piece. About Last Dance. okay, there is really something here sounding like Tarkus or Karn Evil 9, but that do not prevent this from being a very good and complex piece, and Triumvirat's own style impressed on it. The second piece starts with Maze, a frenetic fast piano followed by fantastic basslines and precise drumming. In the middle section, there's some synth playing. The song might remind you of Across the Waters from Mediterranean Tales album. The great rocking spirit of this song is followed by some dark and intense piano playing in Dawning. Bad Deal gets off with weird vocals, with some kind of a sax in the end. Roundabout is a synth driven piece, with some fast and fuzzy playing reminding Emerson Lake and Palmer, and a very groovy bass playing. Lucky Girl has a nice (and rare, for Triumvirat) acoustic guitar playing, sounding like a ballad, with beautiful vocals, another masterpiece. The song becomes a synth driven piece, evolving into the final act, Million Dollars. The closer song is a very happy one, wich gets the atmosphere developed in the album to a bitter and great end, the piano playing starting at 2 minutes after the synth driven introduction, closing the album in a great style.

This is a great introduction to Triumvirat, and a great hearing for any proghead. Best Songs: Schooldays, Triangle, Dimplicity and Lucky Girl.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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).

Send comments to Grimble Crumble (BETA) | Report this review (#77506)
Posted Monday, May 08, 2006 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars One of the most well crafted algums in the 70´s, Illusions On A Double Dimple was only, unbelievingly, Triunvirat´s second release. And the first one with the classic line up of Jürgen Fritz (keyboards), Hans Bathelt (Drums) and newcomer Helmut Köelen (Bass, vocals, guitars). First bassist Hans Papen did play some bass on Illusions, though.

It´s hard to believe how such an young and unexperienced band, in a country that had at the time almost no rock music scene, produced such a milestone in prog music. A concept album telling two different stories, it showed the world the talents of Fritz, who not only wrote most of the music, but also arranged strings, horns and choir. Hans Bathelt, a very talented drummer, on the other side proved a good lyricist, even though he was writing songs in a foreign language, an act no very common at the time. Koellen was also an excellent choice, being a far superior vocalist than Hans Papen (hear their first album and see for yourself if you don´t believe), a good bass player and also putting some tasteful acoustic guitar licks on several songs.

All this combined to produce an outstanding album that was critical to put Germany on the map as a country capable of creating original rock music. The record hit even in the USA which was something quite remarkable, since the germans were seen up to that point as rock lovers rather then rockers themselves. Even today the music stands on its own, growing old like wine. The themes they chose (alcoholism and greed) are as valid today as they were at the time (pehaps even more so today).The music still impresses by its sheer melody sense, the great arrangements and the skillfully playing. No real highlits here, the album can be enjoyed as a unit (although I still think Illusions... is actually a little better than Mister Ten Per Cent)

A classic, a masterpiece of prog music, a must have for anyone who calls himsoelf a prog lover.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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).

Send comments to Tarcisio Moura (BETA) | Report this review (#115063)
Posted Wednesday, March 14, 2007 | Review Permalink
Andrea Cortese
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Well, what we have here? Wow that's fantastic! A symphonic tour de force by this mythic german ELP inspired band.

I didn't think of such a high level of quality. They do not seem to search to impress the audience with complex tecnicisms. Nevertheless the whole thing sounds pompous, superb and involving. No weak point. Every section of the two extended tracks is wonderful. Excellent also the vocal parts (from mellow to rough) and the melodic parts with acoustic guitar- Hammond organ, moog synthesizer, electric and grand piano at their best. Jurgen Fritz's performance is absolutely stunning. Hat off.

I find Illusions a little bit more varied in sound and instruments than the other classic album Spartacus (especially in the second part) thanks to feminine background choruses, trumpet and tenor sax on second side and also strings section (violins, viola and cello). Many shifting moods, powerful and dramatic parts alternating with mellower classical and acoustic jewels.

No more to say. A big applause to Triumvirat. No problem their main inspiration comes from ELP. This music is just superb.

4.5 stars.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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).

Send comments to Andrea Cortese (BETA) | Report this review (#131195)
Posted Wednesday, August 01, 2007 | Review Permalink
febus
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator / In Memoriam
4 stars THE STRONG FOLLOW-UP TO THEIR DEBUT ALBUM!

How would TRIUMVIRAT follow up after such a masterpiece like MEDITERRANEAN TALES?? ''not a problem!'' answers JURGEN FRITZ our keyboards wizard,''you know, i have accumulated a lot of ideas all these years and my creative juices are on steroids lately, so get ready for great things to come''. Not that he said that, but after listening to ILLUSIONS ON A DOUBLE DIMPLE, we can agree that this is a fine successor to their debut.

The line-up has been modified with the arrival of HELMUT KOLLEN in lieu of HANS PAPE on bass and vocals. And like another english bassist playing in a a successful trio band at the same time, he adds here and there some acoustic and guitar guitars, nicely enriching the sound in general. However, the new voice doesn't differ much from its predecessor as being kind of harsch and sometimes abrasive, yet sometimes tender and......poppy!!! But we are still not in the same league than with the original KING CRIMSON singer who was having a monumental carreer at the same time with his own keyboard wizard.

We have here, well in the tradition of the times 2 epics -around 22 mns long each- subdivised in 6 parts, very well in the symphonic prog style from the beginning of the 70s with bombastic keyboard eruptions , demential rythm section, sometimes over the top vocals, very melodic moments only destroyed by ensuing frenetic playing where everyone in the band is showcasing their own technical talents, our JURGEN FRITZ in the first place of course; but he is good! he is that good! There is nothing new he can learn from his successful peers in UK! He is on the same level than KE and RW, as flashy as grandiose, as pompous (as would say some nay-sayers) as them.This is a album of keyboard feast, an orgy of hammond, synth, grand piano and all other goodies.

There is not one side better then the other,imho .MISTER 10% is as powerful than the title track, as frenetic but also beneficies of some quiet acoustic passages that quiets down a little bit our palpitations. This is symphonic prog on high vitamines; the energy rarely stops; that's full speed organ driven prog.There is nothing dull and bland. The only low point is once again the backing vocals, not that vey nice for me, kind of harsh, but there are not too many of them to be heard.

I don't know what rating to give: a 4 or 5 stars, but i prefer the first album:MEDITERRANEAN TALES, so will be

4 STARS

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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).

Send comments to febus (BETA) | Report this review (#132543)
Posted Friday, August 10, 2007 | Review Permalink
ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars The least we can say about this release is that the original trio must have been receptive about the critics related to the poor vocals that could be heard in "Mediterranean Tales". No more than a quatuor of female vocalists (plus a male one) will bring some support. A guitarist is also joining the band. So, no more than nine members are forming this "Triumvirat" !

But don't worry, the music is still of the same caliber. Probably even better. My only concern is that this "choir" provides some soulish mood which is not really what you would expect...

Two epics. In those days almost each great prog band were releasing side long epics so, why not "Triumvirate" ?

I used to like epics a lot. Not because their are lenghty, but because they allow a band to a great dose of creativity and inventivity to keep the listener's attention to a high level throughout the whole.

The title track "Illusions On A Double Dimple" is such a composition. It combines bombastic intrumental parts and yes : even decent vocals ! Same remark as in their closing number from their previous album : these sound almost beatles-esque. Since the poor vocals were really a negative point in their first release, one can only be pleased that they got better.

Of course, the ELP filiation is still very present. Just listen to these keyboards ! No way to forget whom they remind you. Listen carefully to the last section "Last Dance" if you have some doubt. But again, I can not blame "Triumvirat" for this. Rather a great performance. Only the short "Illusions" is a weak part. I just lack some recurring main theme in this song to have the feeling of a true epic song.

I don't know to whoe the band is referring with the B-side of this album. "Mister Ten Per Cent". This epic opens brilliantly but as soon as lyrics come in; their grotesque aspect is quite hard to bear. The sort of background orchestral type of music is not really welcome either. The section "Roudabout" as well as the closing "Million Dollars" are my favourite parts from "Mister...". The latter strongly evoking Jeff Lynne during the vocals.

This song doesn't reach the quality of the title track. It sounds as if "Triumvirate" repeats the same ELP mistakes. Each member wanting to show his skills (and they are skilled, for sure). I also wonder why they hired a guitat player. Doesn't add anything great, IMO.

The bonus tracks on the remastered version also show their pop side 5"Dancer's Delight"). But good pop music, which I could not blame them for.

I would say that this effort is slightly better than their debut one. Seven out of ten; but I can hardly round it up to four stars.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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).

Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#132974)
Posted Monday, August 13, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars When I first player this album, I was very sceptic because I've heard some bad things about it (a copy of ELP, etc...), but I must say that I love this album! The first piece ("Illusions On A Double Dimple") starts gently, but very soon the keyboard kicks in and it becomes a real candy for your ears. The main riff is great. Each time I hear it I must increase the volume and stop whatever I do to concentrate on the song. The second piece is also very spectacular, with a fast tempo. This band is a nice discovery for me, and this album convinced me of their unique talent and ingeniosity.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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).

Send comments to Astrodomine (BETA) | Report this review (#135796)
Posted Saturday, September 01, 2007 | Review Permalink
CCVP
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars You can succeed your whole life long, but some folks always fails yeah, i hope i am not THAT folk.

That quote up there is one of the opening phases of the incredible Illusions on a Double Dimple, the second album of Triumvirat.

Unlike the other album, the also incredible debut Mediterranean Tales, this album is enormously, immensely, unbelievably influenced by Emerson, Lake and Palmer, and also some bits of classical music. You cannot consider, however, Illusions on a Double Dimple a mere Emerson, Lake and Palmer copy for a number of reasons.

1st: the so called Emerson, Lake and Palmer sound comes from using dodecaphony and atonality in the music, but not in a aggressive way, or extremely complex way, like did some avant-garde bands / artists. The usage of such musical elements was made in moderate amounts, so that the music could still attract a large amount of musically uneducated people.

2nd: there are many original elements on the album that differs greatly over Emerson, Lake and Palmer, like the more group music that Triumvirat had, instead of several individual music united in one song that Emerson, Lake and Palmer had.

3rd: Triumvirat had a greater flexibility in musical composition, then Emerson, Lake and Palmer.

Anyway, Illusions On A Double Dimple presents a brand new Triumvirat to the people, and the people liked it. Their music was refresh, remade, it was . . . . . NEW, at least it was new for the group music. The music still was very synth / organ / piano driven, like it was on the first album, but unlike Mediterranean Tales, Illusions on a Double Dimple was more jazz driven than classical music driven, having that unexpected surprise and craziness of jazz, associated with symphonic progressive rock alike. This combination created the unique piece of progressive rock presented on this album.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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).

Send comments to CCVP (BETA) | Report this review (#158682)
Posted Tuesday, January 15, 2008 | Review Permalink
Atavachron
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Question; should music that is derivative of other artists in a similar style be considered second class? I'm not sure I know the answer, but I do know this is one fine piece of symphonic rock. It may scream "Tarkus Rules!" but is full of little touches, tasteful orchestration and extended vocal arrangements not heard on that landmark record and had Emerson,Lake&Palmer composed 'Illusions on a Double Dimple', they would've gotten plenty of kudos. The album, a two part 45-minute epic, is fixed firmly in its time, there is no doubt. But it is also a completely genuine extension of the keyboard/bass/drums formula ELP and others had founded. If unoriginal in design, it was splendid in execution and the album is a thrilling, fabulously-recorded work that is somehow left off of many a proggie's wish list.

Jurgen Fritz's reverent piano opens gently, stalls, and jumps to a driving phrase of organ and synth supported by Hans Bathelt and Hans Pape's power rhythm. Humming and blazing classic period synth sounds here in buckets, and the mix is luscious, flawless, the three-woman chorals enhance but rarely distract and it's right back to more building, tight organ-driven grooves. This first part is broken into six pieces which, unlike many epics, don't simply bleed into each other unnoticed. Rather, each division has identity, contributing as a distinct movement but with a connection to the whole. 'Last Dance' has funny Ray Davies-like vocals but gobs of Emersonian pleasure. This is the stuff you put on when you've listened to 'Brainsalad Surgery' and, after it's over, find yourself wishing it lasted longer. Jurgen Fritz maintains the huge energy for part two including 'Maze', a furious jazz-rocker with neat, tiny choral accents, and perfectly played lament of 'Dawning'. 'Bad Deal' is overblown and could have been toned-down but when can't that be said of much Prog. It's saved by the killer, whirling jams from these guys in 'Roundabout' and nod to Greg Lake 'Lucky Girl'. 'Million Dollars' is beautiful symphonic pop leaving BJH and even Queen in the dust.

In a way, Triumvirat were to ELP what Aerosmith are to Zeppelin; a proud offspring that on occasion out does Dad, and this one is well worth your time. 4 1/2 stars. The EMI reissue includes four bonus cuts released originally as singles which don't enhance the album but may be of interest.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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).

Send comments to Atavachron (BETA) | Report this review (#163514)
Posted Saturday, March 08, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars A quote for Atavachron answers for me all the things about the ELP/Triumvirat connection: Triumvirat was for ELP the same thing that Aerosmith is to Led zeppelin. This comparison summarizes all the defects and virtues of both offsprings.

My first contact with Triumvirat wasn't very good: I bought Pompeii by impulse (and under the influence of a review in an old 70's brazilian rock magazine). Although the first track and the instrumental ones are very good, the album as a whole sounded too cheesy to my ears. Some years after that I found a copy of Spartacus in my local second-hand albums' seller and bought it moved solely by the interest I always had in Roman history. And that album sounded so good to me! The drums and bass work were very different from Pompeii's. This was in 1992, when there was no internet to supply my need for information about music.

In the 2000's I was informed that Triumvirat albums were remastered and released again, even here in the Third World, by a reasonable price. Imediattely I bought Spartacus. After recovering for the delight of hearing this old masterpiece, I started looking for other albums by the same line-up of the band and found Illusions on a Double Dimple. Bought it immediately and get exactly what I wanted to hear: the melodic voice of Helmut Köllen, the superb drums of Hans Bathelt and the ELPish key work of Jurgen Fritz. I prefer the first suite to the second, but both are very rewarding. If you're a fan of keyboard driven prog rock, don't hesitate: buy right now this wonderful piece.

Is this music original or just a wanna-be ELP german trio? Of course ELP are the greatest influence of Triumvirat, and I think it is very difficult to like this band if you dislike their major inspiration. But they weren't mere clones. I think Triumvirat was more melodic than ELP, and this is a good point to them. They can show their own signature sound at some points (and Spartacus is very different of our regular ELP album). Maybe Illusions on a Double dimple is too ELPish to some tastes, but I can hear a band that struggle with their influences to create their own music. Sometimes they did it, others didn't. I think Le Orme achieve full success in maintaning the trio format (in their three most know albums, e.g.) and creating their own distinctive music, while Triumvirat fell somewhere in the middle of this way. But nobody can say that the music in this album and Spartacus is bad. It is great!

Do you like 70's keyboards? Go without hesitation to this album and the next one. You can't stand with ELP? Run like hell from Triumvirat. Second league prog, but a team who sometimes get up to the first league and make some surprises confronting the great ones. 3.5 stars that, in PA criteria, can get a 4 star rating.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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).

Send comments to moodyxadi (BETA) | Report this review (#168316)
Posted Monday, April 21, 2008 | Review Permalink
Sinusoid
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars This rating can be seen as a ''How dare you!'' type of rating. On the surface, ILLUSIONS ON A DOUBLE DIMPLE has very much promise of being a prog masterpiece. It has two twenty minute epic excursions and has more keyboards than you can shake a stick at. How could I give this only two stars?

Maybe it's because I have a little grudge against this album; before this, I thought that any double-digit epic would be great. Then I listened to the two things here, and I became an ''epic skeptic'' ever since. I can never enjoy myself when listening to either piece because each one seems to over-extend every idea ad nauseum. And it seems that whenever I get to the end of either epic, I get very restless just wanting the thing to just stop. That's not a sign that I'm enjoying what I'm listening to.

The music is just too suspect for me. Too much cheap, cabaret type stuff in the vocal sections, particularly the ''Bad Deal'' section of ''Mister Ten Percent''. While I like the ''Lucky Girl'' segment of the same piece, it really sounds too close to ELP's ''Lucky Man'' in title and any Greg Lake ballad in sound. The ELP sound is all over the place here from the Hammond organ sound to the phased drumming. And I swear that there's a ripoff of the ''Mission:Impossible'' theme somewhere in ''Triangle''. Most of the music just flat out doesn't excite me e.g. that bass jam in the middle of ''Mister Ten Percent''.

I have too many gripes with this album. I feel like I've described them in a cluttered mess of words, so let me summarise: the epics go on for much longer than my liking with themes that sound very suspect. If you cannot get enough prog, here you go.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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).

Send comments to Sinusoid (BETA) | Report this review (#176471)
Posted Thursday, July 10, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars The best prog rock band from Germany ?

This band is one of the best finds from PA in my view. I found the band here, got their albums and fell in love. Then I let them rest for some months before I listened to them again. Just to give them a fair hearing.

Two twenty minutes + long epics. That's this album. Both of them are lush and full of very good music. The best of them are the first epic, the title track. The first ten minutes of it is just fantastic. The rest of the album is superb too.

The music is very much in the ELP (Emerson, Lake & Palmer) vein. But it is not a clone. This German band does prog a bit less complicated and much more melodic than ELP. Still, this album require concentration. This is certainly not an album for the masses. The music is moog based, with some added bass and guitars. The music is not particular heavy or bombastic. There are some good vocals here, but most of the music is instrumental.

I find this album very interesting. A hidden gem, indeed. That is, if you are not active on PA. This is one of the finds of the year in my view.

4 stars.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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).

Send comments to toroddfuglesteg (BETA) | Report this review (#188149)
Posted Thursday, November 06, 2008 | Review Permalink
The Quiet One
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Just an ELP Illusion...

''Illusions on a Double Dimple is the best ELP (Emerson, Lake & Palmer) album, ELP never did''. A direct quote of myself, which the reason why I state it is to clarify that I don't say it meaning they're ''ELP clones'', actually the contrary, meaning that Triumvirat could really pull out some great music and make something ELP could never do, being consistent on great material, rather than inserting filler. Besides the 3 men line-up similarity and Jürgen Fritz being influenced by Keith Emerson, there's also some very notable differences in each band, in which ELP were bombastic with the Hammond Organ runs and Carl's powerful drumming, and was highly creative/experimental with the Moog, while in the case of Triumvirat, they didn't have those aspects, they had a drumming which stayed in tune more simple, and Jürgen's use of the Hammond and Moog wasn't extravagant and mind-blowing, yet great by its own advantages/means. I should simplify this by saying that Triumvirat is a consistent, less innovative and softer, but still a incredible version of ELP, which these aspects already make Triumvirat a band of itself, rather than being stuck with the ''ELP clone'' label.

Illusions on a Double Dimple is a 2 epic song album, both are divided in 6 parts, which in each case some are more entertaining than others. Still, these parts are connected very well by Moog solos or drumming interludes. Both parts, Illusions on a Double Dimple and Mister Ten Percent, have a very equal use of Hammond and Moog, which I cannot say which is the more Hammond-driven or Moog-driven.

What I can say is that both songs, are divided in 2 half's, the first one in both in general is a bit darker in mood and heavier on the hammond, drums, bass and Moog use, while the second half of both are more melodic, with soft backing vocals use, as well as featuring acoustic guitar, but still with some stunning Moog work as well as for the Hammond.

As I said earlier, each part of the epics are very well crafted and connected which few bands, besides the 70's Giants, could do. An underrated band with an overlooked gem. I recommend this album for anyone looking for some great well-crafted +20 minutes songs with some really fine Hammond and Moog work. Also those who don't like ELP's bombastic sound, then I must tell them not to cross-out Triumvirat from their buy-list, they're much softer and melodic, and yet an incredible Symphonic Prog band, which you might appeal.

4 stars. An excellent addition to your Symphonic Prog collection.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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).

Send comments to The Quiet One (BETA) | Report this review (#196458)
Posted Tuesday, December 30, 2008 | Review Permalink
Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The sophomore Triumvirat release is in my opinion (and of many) the top achievement of this German power trio. As stylish as "Spartacus" can undeniably appear to the educated progressive ear, it is in "Illusions on a Double Dimple" that Triumvirat reveal themselves on top of their game regarding sonic power. During the recording process, Hans Pape was still in charge of the guitar/bass department, but Helmut Köllen was just making his way into the band (something that Fritz embraced quite gladly) until he eventually filled the stringed instrument department by himself. His singing was capable, being melodic and strong at the same time, so he became the third part of Triumvirat's classical line-up. Bathelt's drumming is more inventive and engaging than it ever was or would ever be in successive albums, so as I said earlier in this review, the trio was in top form and comprising its best line-up. The first of both suites is the best amalgamated one in terms of thematic unity; the second one, on the other hand, surpasses the first in terms of thematic development and energy - together, they state a solid album in which the ELP framework meets a creative variation that is more focused on clean melodic sensitivity and a bit less of pomposity and aggressiveness. This is made very clear from the beginning through the fluid sequence of the 'Illusions on a Double Dimple' opening section 'Flashback' and the follower 'Schooldays'. The bombastic delivery of the three main portions of 'Triangle' finds Fritz showing off his mastery on piano, Moog synthesizer and Hammond organ, successively. The last section fades out as the famous "sacked Last Friday" monologue enters in to start the 'Illusions'/'Dimplicity' section: being a catchy alternation of soft romantic prog and rock'n'roll, it properly portrays a perfect example of the sort of constrained pomposity that characterized Triumvirat. After an abbreviated reprise of 'Triangle', 'Last Dance' closes down the suite with a joyful mood evidently based on Central European folk. 'Mister Ten Percent' starts with what arguably is the best Fritz composition ever: 'Maze' - a solid instrumental full of inspired mannerisms from Baroque and Neoclassical schools, very Emersonian, with an intended rough rhythm section. 'Dawning' is a lovely piano solo than soon gives way to the sarcastic 'Bad Deal' (combining R'n'B and rock'n'roll). This, in turn, is followed by yet another instrumental tour-de-force entitled 'Roundabout', which is longer than 'Maze', including more excerpts, being almost as splendid. 'Lucky Girl', in spite of the obvious hint at ELP's acoustic side (also with music written by the singer-guitarist-bassist instead of the keyboardist), has a more similar feel to Yes. This description fits the extended Moog solo as well, which bears a very deep Wakemanesque vibe. 'Million Dollars' flows quite well from the end of the previous section, displaying a mid-tempo exercise on melodic prog in a convincing return to the predominant ELP influence. The only minor points that bother me somehow whenever I listen to this album are the extra additions of female choral arrangements, sting section and brass ensemble. Well, the latter is not that annoying since I find it as making sense within the nuclear ambitions pursued in the two suites, but I tend to find the female vocals and string arrangements quite corny, almost approaching the muzak scheme and so, unnecessarily toning down the music's inherent majesty. Specific objections aside, "Illusions on a Double Dimple" is in itself an excellent manifestation of the best that Germany had to give to the symphonic prog rock scene worldwide: it is only a justice of Fate that Triumvirat had to catch the attention of wider audiences over the world with this album.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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).

Send comments to Cesar Inca (BETA) | Report this review (#197409)
Posted Monday, January 05, 2009 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
3 stars Always wondered why a group would try to sell an album to teenagers that alluded to anything sounding remotely close to "pimple, but I take it this actually worked FOR them rather than against them >>> read: social life after a zit-attack". I also seem to remember a different rat artwork for this album for the US version.. Probably to avoid shocking well-thinking people with the rat and the empty eggshell. The group's line-up is castly different , since only keyboardist/singer Jurgen Fritz remains. Here with Bathelt on drums and Helmut Kollen on bass are in the group, but there is a bunch of guests to help out on the vocals, but alas, to no avail.

Generally regarded as their best album, Double Dimple is again not striking any cords with me, due ti highly derivative music and particularly execrable singing. The album is split into two sidelong themes where the tracks seem more or less arranged that they forma multi-movement suites.

The ELP influences are less present (but still plainly audible), but you understand that Fritz listened to a lot of Yes before sitting and attacking this album. This is quite audible on the vocal dept and one can hear Relayer bits in the Triangle and Last Dance movement of the title track suite, but also on the start of the second suite Mister Ten Percent. But on the whole, I find the group sometimes sounds like no-one else, meaning itself, thus meaning that the group was constructing its own identity. Alas we know that this wouldn't be the case with the following Spartacus album and a return to ELP clone. There are still some very odd moments like those spoken words denouncing the intermediaries or the local mafia, etc..

While I wouldn't call Double Dimple a masterpiece or anything close to being essential, we have here Triumvirat's best album, the one where they tried, even if it wasn't hard enough, IMHO of course. .

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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).

Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#212261)
Posted Friday, April 24, 2009 | Review Permalink
Negoba
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Very Good Integration and Interpretation of Classic Prog

Triumvirat have been named ELP clones for decades, but there's certainly more to their work than that (at least on this CD, the only one I have). Along with the Emerson Moogs and organs, we get some very Yes-ish vocals (the multiple quotes of the brief harmony Aaaah from CTTE are pretty funny), and other classic rock allusions. These include Sugarloaf, Beatles, and early Journey (the lead vocals resemble Gregg Rolie quite a bit). I personally like Jurgen Fritz' key work better than Keith Emerson's, as it's more musical, that is, composed in its virtuosity. Some of the clean piano parts are gorgeous, and as some others have said, the album as a whole is more consistent than any of ELP's I've heard.

There are parts that are stereotypical 70's rock to an almost humorous degree (a la Deep Purple's "Woman from Tokyo" among others). There are also some chord voicings and tensions that offer colors rarely heard even in prog (Fritz was classically trained, no surprise). The female choral vocals add some symphonic character, which is most apparent when the clean piano is playing. The drumming is light and jazzy, and grooves so well in grand 70's tradition.

While extremely well composed and executed, there is absolutely nothing original here. I think for those who have exhausted the classics and are still looking for more music in the style of early prog, this would be a great choice. 3.5 stars rounded down because though it's very good, it's also completely non-essential.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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).

Send comments to Negoba (BETA) | Report this review (#219586)
Posted Tuesday, June 02, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars For me, this is one of those albums that's very difficult to rate, because parts of it are fantastic and other parts are limp. If I had to say one thing about this band to sum them up, I'd say they are a band who should have stuck to instrumentals....but I know that rock bands have always felt intense pressure to have singing and lyrics. For some sad reason, there are hordes of bands that have great musicians but only a good or mediocre vocalist. (I guess part of the problem is that you can learn to play an instrument, but you can't learn to have a good voice.)

Triumvirat's musicians are definitely top-notch, and on certain songs, such as "Triangle", they prove themselves to be near-equals of the giants: ELP. Yes and Genesis. Of course, as many others have pointed out, they at times get very close to being "clones", but I really don't mind if the song kicks butt, and some of these songs do just that. The music is complex and muti-part, but it's also muscular and driving. It's just a lot of fun to listen to, even if you can easliy play "spot the influence".

Unfortunately, what separates Triumvirat from the giants (Yes, Genesis, ELP, King Crimson, VDGG), is the comparatively weak vocals and lyrics. Not to say the singer is bad, and at times he reminds me of one of my favorites (Robert Wyatt)....but he's no Peter Gabriel, Jon Anderson or Peter Hammill. I also feel that the band really simplifies the music during the vocal parts, to the point where it's sort of bland and musically uninteresting. They go from these really cool, intricate musical sections to vocal sections that are almost mundane and sappy.

Tracks 7-9 are a perfect summation of the strengths and style of Triumvirat. "Maze" charges forward like a rhino, with aggressive drums and almost frantic keyboards in a style that is very reminiscent of Tarkus-era ELP, but every so often there's a quick little break where the vocals go "aahhh!" and it's an almost comical nod to CTTE-era Yes. The next song "Dawning" is a gorgeous piano solo that's clearly based on Rick Wakeman's style. "Bad Deal" is another propulsive track with great music and also some vocals that remind me of Wall-era Pink Floyd. Really good stuff....

So, my opinion is that the musical sections are often great (4 or 5 stars), but the vocal sections are usually weaker (2-4 stars).

I'd definitely recommend this to fans of ELP, Yes, Genesis and the Moody Blues, but I can't say it's essential.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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).

Send comments to peskypesky (BETA) | Report this review (#220169)
Posted Sunday, June 07, 2009 | Review Permalink
friso
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Triumvirat - Illusions on a Double Dimple (1973)

Yes, it sounds an awfully lot like ELP. In fact, I think there is little progression made here. No new grounds are discovered, no new recordingtechniques and no new sounds. This leaves us a still very inspired heavy/symphonic/key prog album! The recording itself is still quite oustanding for 1973, the coverwork inspired. Triumvirat proves to be a highly evolved technical group with great the keyplayer Jurgen Fritz, heavy drummer Hans Bathelt and bassplayer Helmut Kollen.

Though in the vein of Emerson Lake and Palmer, I find this Triumvirat much better then everything I've heard from ELP so far. This record is focussed, with no moment wasten. Two times twenty minutes of music, no interuptions, no fillers. The vocals are surpringly good for a German band. Both sides of the lp are great, I have no preference. There isn't much else to say about this record, for everyone knows about the ELP sound.

Yes, it sounds an awfully lot like ELP. But it's better. Four stars.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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).

Send comments to friso (BETA) | Report this review (#240670)
Posted Monday, September 21, 2009 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Considering that this band is known as the "German ELP" I really had no desire to check them out. I love ELP's debut but it's the only ELP album I still listen to. Well thanks to Todd I made the plunge and boy am I glad I did.This album is better than anything by ELP except for their debut in my opinion. We get two side long tracks both over 20 minutes full of proggy goodness. I suppose keyboardist extraordinaire Jurgen Fritz is the main reason for the ELP comparisons and he doesn't disappoint. This bottom line though is that this album is full of well thought-out melodies that are very enjoyable and challenging. On a side note my wife and daughter have been going through the "Gilmore Girls" seasons (they're on season 5 right now) the last 6 months or so, and it's hard to avoid it when it's on all the time. Anyway I almost choked on my supper the other night when this character Daniel says in the show that he's a closet Progressive music fan, and that he's into GENTLE GIANT, VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR and TRIUMVIRAT.

"Illusions On A Double Dimple" opens with beautiful piano melodies as reserved vocals join in. The vocals stop as the tempo picks up and it soon becomes a powerful soundscape with organ. It settles some when the vocals return. Great sound here. Piano, synths and drums lead after 4 1/2 minutes as we get this long instrumental section right through to the 11 minute mark. Some incredible stuff here. Spoken words then vocals after 11 minutes. A change 13 minutes in to a brighter sound with vocals. Another change 15 1/2 minutes in to a more urgent sound before returning to that bright, melodic soundscape. Some nice chunky bass too. Hey a cow bell 20 minutes in and some killer organ late.

"Mister Ten Percent" opens with piano but bass and drums take over quickly. The tempo keeps shifting back and forth. The organ 2 1/2 minutes in comes and goes. Piano only before 3 1/2 minutes then we get theatrical vocals after 4 minutes. Sax 5 1/2 minutes. Then this instrumental section kicks in that's so impressive just like the first track. This one lasts until after 12 minutes when the vocals return. This section with vocals is so uplifting. Chunky bass after 14 1/2 minutes as the organ, synths and drums also stand out. Organ and drums then lead before 17 minutes. Huge bass lines return then the vocals as well later on.

Nothing less than 4 stars will do. Great album.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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).

Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#260093)
Posted Saturday, January 09, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars Let me start by saying that it is wrong to label and dismiss this fantastic group as an "ELP clone"-a close examination of Triumvirat's music, and one will soon realise that they are a group in their own right (and a greatly under-rated one, in the grand scheme of things) The album Illusions On A Double Dimple is their best, and also the best progressive rock album of the whole seventies decade.

This is real classical rock, and i love classical music. Any way you look at the sound they create, every aspect of it is done so right, and it hangs together and stands the test of time, not only because it is technically well done music, but full of emotion in the same breath. Jurgen Fritz's keyboard work throughout is amazing, Hans Bathelt's drumming is a thrill to follow, and in the middle of that is the awesome Rickenbacker bass, and six-string guitar playing of the late Helmut Koellen, along with his wonderful vocals, one of the most naturally musical voices in all of rock. For me, it is Helmut's presence in this recording the makes everything fit together so well, as it does with the following album Spartacus. (Though some of the bass playing on Side One is done by previous Triumvirat member Hans Pape, who left in the middle of recording Illusions)

Illusions On A Double Dimple (a Double Dimple referring to a drink of Scotch) consists of two long suites of music, both over 20 minutes in length. Instrumentally, the album gets right to the point, with dazzling, classically inspired playing that leaves one breathless in it's intensity and beauty. Jurgen Fritz's keys dominate the sound, but drummer Hans Bathelt and Koellen on guitar, bass and vocals make their importance felt throughout things, as well. There are female background vocals at times, and both a string, and brass, section inserted a bit. The album also has an ever so slight jazz feel to it at times, though the band don't develop that aspect much.

Lyrically, the record is the story of a bloke that loses his job, and is downtrodden, wanting to "drink till i can't stand on my feet". Side two's lyrics start off by bemoaning a money grabbing manager dubbed "Mister Ten Percent". Later, we hear of the "Lucky Girl", who sounds nodoubt like someone one of the band members met on the road, touring.

Illusions would not be the end of Helmut Koellen and Triumvirat, and his involvement in Triumvirat not the end of Koellen's music recording. It is a mistake to overlook his subsequent work in the group Jail from 1976, or his solo album You Won't See Me, released after his death in 1977, both also evidence of his overall great and spirited musicality.

I never discovered Triumvirat's music until the eighties, so unfortunately never saw them live, but this album is so gutsy and exciting, as well as brilliant, it truly is the next best thing. No other group from this period stands a chance against this wonderful recording, and there are two single tracks included in the 2002 remastered edition-Timothy and Dancer's Delight- that are just as appealing as the album itself, with the result that everything jives even better than previously imagined. Progressive rock at its best! Five deserving stars.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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).

Send comments to presdoug (BETA) | Report this review (#262369)
Posted Sunday, January 24, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars To describe the sound here without futzing around with a billion paragraphs --- think ELP, except with better song structure, better vocals, better bass, better drums, stuff like sax, and even GUITAR on top of all that. Hence, moreso than even Tarkus or Brain Salad Surgery, Triumvirat's 'Illusions On A Double Dimple' is the quintessential masterpiece of keyboard-driven prog, and thumpier than almost anything you'll hear in the world or prog. beyond Yes's early years. For those looking for another classic to add to their collection, pick this up post-haste!!!

The bonus tracks, btw, are pretty cool as well. Any one of them could have been killer singles at the time!

A freakin' masterpiece that goes well beyond the 5 star mark.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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).

Send comments to Candlejack (BETA) | Report this review (#262439)
Posted Monday, January 25, 2010 | Review Permalink
Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Metal Team
5 stars Illusions On A Double Dimple is the masterpiece that ELP never released!

This is one of those albums that I recognized as a big favorite of mine just after my first listening experience. It's been almost four years since then and I'm still highly enthusiastic about this album which hopefully means that it wasn't just one of those passing fads. The comparison to the works of ELP is of course very hard to ignore by this point of Triumvirat's development, but I'll try to spin it 180 degrees and proclaim that Illusions On A Double Dimple is the Tarkus that just never got made.

As most of you know, Tarkus was an important album in ELP's career since it featured a side long genre-defining Tarkus suite. There's really no denying that the 21 minutes of an epic is a masterpiece which should not be overlooked by fans of progressive rock music. The real problem comes up once we transition to side two of Tarkus only to find it being filled by shorter and much less exciting material. If you are like me and think this ruins some of the momentum that was created on side one, chances are you might find Illusions On A Double Dimple to be a great improvement.

With the strategic replacement of Hans Pape with Helmut Köllen, Triumvirat not only got themselves the needed support in the guitar and bass departments but also a great improvement of the vocals! Jürgen Fritz has definitely improved his songwriting since Mediterranean Tales and the long jam interludes have now been substituted with smooth transitions between the different sections of these two lengthy suites. The music itself is Symphonic Prog music at its finest with the album's title track being a great example of the balance that can be achieved between great solo-spots and the melodic instrumental arrangements.

Unfortunately I have the feeling that some people won't be able to enjoy this music solely because they'll be busy finding all the sections that Triumvirat had taken from the U.K. scene of the time. After all, ELP is not the only band that Triumvirat has taken their 'inspiration' from. As much as I'm partially guilty of that same nit-picking, there's just so much passion in these two compositions that I am able to overlook most of the flaws and concentrate entirely on the excellent songwriting.

This is where Triumvirat was on top of their game and so they took the occasion to show ELP just what those lads could have achieved if only they expanded their Tarkus suite to the full LP size. Even though Triumvirat's two compositions have taken a great deal from bands like ELP and Yes, Fritz and his band still managed to make it sound fresh and exciting which can sometimes be more than enough for a masterful performance.

***** star songs: Illusions On A Double Dimple (23:24)

**** star songs: Mister Ten Percent (21:37)

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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).

Send comments to Rune2000 (BETA) | Report this review (#294743)
Posted Monday, August 16, 2010 | Review Permalink
Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Metal Team
2 stars My most disappointing type of albums are those that are entirely derivative but fail to get anywhere near the quality of the original. I can handle a good amount of cloning as long as the songwriting is good, but in case of Triumvirat's Illusion on a Double Dimple the sterile ELP worship mixed with the poppy vocals are a complete turnoff.

The first song kicks off with a mellow vocal whose melody sounds a bit like it was discarded from the first Genisis album, aka very 60ties pop. The piece develops by alternating similar weak vocals with extended instrumental parts where ELP takes over with a flood of bouncy Hammond organs adorned with brash moog parts. But instead of keeping the majestic power of ELP intact, Triumvirat replaces it with a stale musical-hall feel. The closing section Dimplicity features possibly the dullest hard rock cliché riff I've heard. Last Dance reiterates the main instrumental themes and is the only section of this suite that is almost listenable. Overall, very unoriginal and uninspired, hardly 1 star.

Track 2 is a bit more interesting, it dares to ease on the pure ELP influences and sounds like a The Nice meets Arthur Brown hybrid, with a kind of theatrical vibe, some enjoyable grooves, a Jethro Tull interlude around section E, and a couple of ELP flavorings of which some are acceptable (part D) and others are plain dull (the first half of parf F). The track closes with a plain classic seventies rock ballad that is as uninspired as what preceded in the first track. Overall listenable but barely3 stars.

My advice, if you want to hear ELP-styled synths and organs combined with a more meaningful lyrical content, listen to Le Orme. Unless you're a convinced ELP and Beatles fan, this album is one of the last I would suggest if I wanted to win you over to the Prog cause.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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).

Send comments to Bonnek (BETA) | Report this review (#297614)
Posted Monday, September 06, 2010 | Review Permalink
AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Symphonic Team
4 stars Triumvirat break new boundaries and launch headlong into prog territory.

What a delightful discovery for my prog sensitive ears! Triumvirat are an awesome German prog band that have discovered the glorious sound of symphonic progressive music. The simple streamlined piano arpeggios permeate each track along with some thunderous Hammond stabs by the dextrous talents of Jürgen Fritz. There are adventurous basslines from Helmut Köllen who doubles up on guitars and vocals. The lead vocals are from Hans Pape who also dabbles in bass, and then there's the sporadic blitzing drums of Hans Bathelt. Together they make up one of the most compelling innovative symphonic bands one may ever hear.

The music on the title track that spans an entire vinyl side, is ever changing and detouring into a range of directions. The playing is solid and pronounced, with very clear rhythmic patterns. From double time to slow and lucid, the song floats on an air of keyboards as vocals caress the spaces between. The vocals are reminiscent of Canterbury bands such as Caravan or Camel, yet are completely unique in their own right. There are a myriad of time sigs to keep one interested and the bass is particularly resonant at times and maintain a consistent rhythmic figure. The chimes and bell sounds are counterbalanced by heavy passages of guitar, though the music is always allowed to breathe. The shimmering organ is a key feature and touches my senses in the same way Emerson does on his classic pieces.

There are certainly ELP influences yet this is no clone band, quite the contrary, Triumvirat stand alone as one of the more dynamic 70s band in the golden era of prog. 1973 was a good year for prog and this one escaped my ears due to the high quality of other albums of the time. However, I believe this to be one of the key albums of that delightful year that deserves recognition. The 23 minute epic is segmented into sections as always but I always prefer to hear this as an entire piece. However I do like certain sections, especially when the buzzing synthesizers crunch in. The soloing of Fritz is dynamic playing but one must never forget the rhythm section of bass and drums that drives this beast along. The sections of the epic are Flashback (0:54), Schooldays (3:20), Triangle (6:55), Illusions (1:40), Dimplicity (5:28) and Last dance (4:42). The piece as an entire work is absolutely essential symphonic prog.

The second side is also a huge epic consisting of 6 separate components; Mister Ten Percent runs for 21:22 minutes and features the segments Maze (3:01), Dawning (1:01), Bad Deal (1:40), Roundabout (5:49), Lucky Girl (4:32) and Million Dollars (5:19). Ironically enough, Lucky Girl is nothing like ELP's Lucky Man, and Roundabout is not a cover of the Yes classic. Lucky Girl is a quieter melancholy piece that features odd drum time signatures and retain a fluent melody. The lyrics are imaginative and rhyme constantly; "when we ride on tomorrow I will find someone new" seems to hint at the theme of loss of a loved one, ditching a girl in other words. "Weren't you a lucky girl, never try to hate your world, do what your mama told you...." The music is a testament to the innovative creative talents from the group that were only hinted at in the debut. The band go into full flight on this track and plunge deep into the steamy waters of quirky pop and dance at times. There is a large ensemble adding backing vocals among other instrumentation. It adds a full sound into the mix.

This track begins with a Tarkus sound and some Yes harmonies, strange bedfellows I agree but Triumvirat make it work somehow. The melody is difficult to capture but there is so much happening at such a frenetic pace that it does not matter. The band rarely settles on one melody for long as they are experimental and unexpected in their approach to music. The sax on this is complemented by huge cloudbursts of synth and the reckless heartbeat of pounding drums. The massive Hammond staccato stabs are the dominant force here though especially on the intro to Million Dollars. There is a sweet orchestra to enhance the sound, notable at the end of the track, with some intriguing lyrics, "dreams are torn the game is over for you.... all illusions have disappeared but we have to live on for another 40 years... left alone on your own... who is going to work for you for the rest of your life... just say goodbye."

Although the band hail from Germany there are no signs of their accents bursting through. The vocals are easy to understand and clearly inspired by the prog of the day. They are heavier on this track with forceful verses, Gabriel-like in their theatrical approach, and the humorous edge is ever present. There are some confronting themes touched on but they never dominate over the sheer force of musical virtuosity. Themes such as alcoholism, oppression, and the love of money, are well received and have relevance even by today's standards.

Overall this is an excellent place to start for newcomers to the band. If you love ELP, Atomic Rooster, Yes or any other keyboard driven prog, you should sink your teeth into this. One of the great albums of 1973.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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).

Send comments to AtomicCrimsonRush (BETA) | Report this review (#302776)
Posted Friday, October 08, 2010 | Review Permalink
Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars OK, numerous attempts to get into this work have fallen on deaf ears or numb minds. I am a huge fan of music from Germany especially the 70's and believe they were pioneers on creating and developing so much new sounds, just ref TD, Can, ART, Amon Duul II to name a few. What pioneers this country proved, Krautrock made it's mark like a tatoo on your musical soul.

Yet, Illusions On a Double Dimple is just good music, but nothing more. What is apparent is their leanings too much in the ELP department, granted this was 1973 so there was not much time to be influenced too much, but the clone sound seems too self evident. " Mister Ten Percent" probably the better of two halves. Like I say there are moments of grandeur and then just plain bombastic ELP overkill. I can see what symphonic fans get out of this album, but that is just too confined a view for me and would prefer to base the review on a general assessment. For collectors of symphonic only.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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).

Send comments to Chris S (BETA) | Report this review (#349596)
Posted Friday, December 10, 2010 | Review Permalink
Chicapah
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars One should extend admiration to anybody who can play, for example, the piano like Chopin. It takes years of practice to be able to perform even the simplest of his etudes with expertise. However, there is a vast, yawning chasm of difference between being able to master one of his pieces and being able to compose something comparable. Originality trumps the competence to merely mimic in every scenario and that's how I feel about Triumvirat's "Illusions on a Double Dimple" after listening to it many times over. The band's musical talent is not in question. They are truly gifted craftsmen. But what separates the men from the boys, especially in the field of progressive rock where innovation and ingenuity are of the utmost importance and valued far above hair styles and such, is the elusive component known as "uniqueness." With this trio I gave them every benefit of the doubt I could muster but not once was I able to attribute that rare virtue to what I experienced on this album. That's no cruel knock, rather a fact of life in the major leagues. Uniqueness is what makes a group like King Crimson stand out as an icon of the genre and no amount of dedication or rehearsal can force it to become an adhering adjective that justly describes a band's endeavors. As the saying goes, if having "It" was easy then we'd all be stars. Unfortunately for Triumvirat, along with a host of others, they just don't have that crowning jewel.

If you've casually scanned over the other reviews for this record then you already know of the overwhelming comparisons to Emerson, Lake & Palmer it elicits with regularity. Therefore, references to ELP will be appearing often in this essay, possibly to the point of aggravation. Can't be avoided. Any prog outfit consisting mainly of keyboards, bass and drums is likely to hold that great combo in high regard, especially back in the early to mid 70s when ELP was riding their tallest crest of worldwide popularity and acceptance like a championship surfer team. If Triumvirat had named themselves "Alison's Leaky Plumber" then I could've written them off as a competent tribute band but these guys earnestly set out to equal the feats of their famous idols by writing, arranging and producing their own material. Being a fan of ELP, I deem this trio's gallant ambition to be worthy of moderate respect yet, at the same time, sadly foolhardy. For there is, and ever will be, but one Emerson, Lake & Palmer. They are the unbeatable incumbents of their esteemed seats in the prog senate.

The first of the disc's two epics is the album's namesake. It begins with the brief "Flashback" in which the piano and a lone vocal carry the onus. It's the opposite of bombastic, somewhat quaint yet not demoralizing. "Schooldays" follows and it's surprisingly un-ELPish in texture in the early going. The singer's voice is weak but not unpleasant on this pop ditty that eventually wanders into faux ELP territory in the end. They then present an extended cut (almost 7 minutes long) titled "Triangle." Here the group spins through some tight musical gymnastics that might've impressed me more sans the tinny Moog synthesizer (Jurgen Fritz's cheesy settings are at fault) that spoils the journey. Hans Bathelt is a decent enough drummer but the overuse of the gating effect is another drawback to this number's success. Jurgen's Hammond B-3 organ sounds better than anything else but there's not enough of it to coalesce this jumble of proggy ideas into a solid song. I hate to use the term "amateurish" but that's what this track hits me as being. Dramatic piano chords lay down a stern foundation for "Illusions," a tune that reminds me of Pink Floyd's more accessible detours from psychedelia in their early days. "Dimplicity" is next and when they reprise the melody from "Schooldays" and "Illusions" within its borders it becomes clear what they're up to. From here on out they keep bringing back earlier themes instead of taking the listener to new places. This wouldn't be so bad if they were more engaging melodies but they aren't strong enough to support constant revisits. Neither Jurgen nor guitarist Helmut Kollen are designated as lead vocalist but whoever it is they really exaggerate why Greg Lake's unmistakable voice was an essential ingredient to ELP's rise to fame. The keyboard extravaganza that dominates on "Last Dance" is enjoyable but Fritz poses no threat to Keith Emerson, let's put it that way. It's one of those tracks that probably worked better on stage but the finale is so ELP-like that it's amazing they didn't get sued for plagiarism.

Splendid news! The second half of the album, "Mister Ten Percent," is an improvement. Jurgen opens it with a flurry of energized piano for "Maze" but the odd vocal intrusions are copped directly from Yes' "Siberian Khatru" (maybe they meant it to be an homage). The driving, jazzy feel they settle into offers hope for where they're headed with this thing and the rawer sound they utilize on the drum kit substantiates it. "Dawning" offers more of Fritz's excellent technique on the piano and I have to admit that he's good. Real good. "Bad Deal" is a grandiose rocker and the singing includes much-needed grit to give it the punch required for a proper tirade against greedy agents and managers. They segue into "Roundabout" wherein a menacing, churning organ/synth riff leads right to an ill- advised bass guitar solo. Helmut must've griped about never getting to step into the spotlight but he doesn't do very much with his shining moment so perhaps he should've stayed put. A slightly dissonant organ movement reclaims my attention and Jurgen's growling Hammond ride is well-executed. The man knows how to make his B-3 roar. They then evolve into a pseudo military march cadence with Hans clanging on a loud cowbell. (Christopher Walken would be proud.) "Lucky Girl" is a giant step backwards. Their attempt at manufacturing a radio-friendly pop smear fails woefully as this song brings to mind the early Small Faces, a style that seems very passé for 1974. Fritz doesn't help anything by finding yet another thin, reedy setting on his Moog that makes it sound as plastic as Tupperware. The closer is "Million Dollars" and on this big-build-up cut they retreat to the safe environs of ELP land and then blatantly ape Vanilla Fudge's signature "You Keep Me Hanging On" pattern. After that they drop into an organ-led jam session that suffers from the rhythm section having tea. An orchestra and vocal jump in, attempting to shore up the tune's cracking levees, but the session engineer defeated their emergency repairs by not recording them with the necessary power. By the time they wind this shebang up you'll have been ready for it to end minutes in advance.

Some may say that I've been grossly unfair to these German dudes but I didn't step into the prog coliseum to challenge the fierce tigers and gladiators, they did. With that brave adventure comes the very real risk of being garroted and/or eaten alive. Such is the nature of the symphonic prog arena. Triumvirat took advantage of landing a record deal and I have no misconceptions that they gave it their best shot, dancing with the girl who got them in the door. In this case that fetching, glamorous lady was their ability to pull off Emerson, Lake & Palmer and Nice songs in crowded Berlin hot spots. But once the grand parade started it became obvious that their empress had no clothes. Without being in possession of extraordinary writing skills this threesome of well-intentioned musicians were destined to blend inevitably into the ever-swelling ranks of the mediocre. Don't despair their fate. They have plenty of company. 2.5 stars.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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).

Send comments to Chicapah (BETA) | Report this review (#426772)
Posted Saturday, April 02, 2011 | Review Permalink
Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Triumvirat's second album is a substantial improvement over their first; Jurgen Fritz is no longer trying to sing like Greg Lake and play like Keith Emerson, and the band as a whole are no longer quite so heavily reliant on their homage to ELP as they were on Mediterranean Tales. In fact, the album shows a broad range of influences - backing singers a la The Dark Side of the Moon - as well as some strikingly original parts, like the bit in Mister Ten Percent where Fritz stops playing and lets the guitar and drums carry the music for a while, a move which Keith Emerson wouldn't have been able to sit still for without physical restraint. Having paid tribute to their heroes on Mediterranean Tales, Triumvirat here made an album that's better than ELP's own output in 1973 - the two epic tracks that make up the album even hang together as coherent compositions better than Karn Evil 9 does.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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).

Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#509865)
Posted Friday, August 26, 2011 | Review Permalink
b_olariu
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Triumvirat from Germany is considered one of the front progressive rock bands from early to mid '70s from Europe, very often compared with ELP, but with good reason because they were the german version of ELP.. Even their career lasted little more then a decade from 1969 untill 1980, they released at least two legendary albums in this field one is Illusions On A Double Dimple from 1973 and second is Spartacus from 1975. Conducted by excellent keybordist and composer Jürgen Fritz , Triumvirat rapidly gain popularity between 1971-1975, their best period with the peak at Spartacus album. The second offer Illusions On A Double Dimple issued at Harvest in 1973 is a good album to my ears, but I think it sounds date it after almost 40 years of first issue. Two giants tracks grace the album clocking over 20 min Illusions on a Double Dimple and Mister ten percend, each one divided in smaller pieces. In the true manner of ELP, where the wizard Jürgen Fritz done some excellent job on some pieces like on the best tune from the album Triangle, aswell the drumer Hans Bathelt on this particular pieces is great, nice complicated chops. The voice is pritty much ok most of the time, nothing is spectacular here, but pleasent like on Schooldays.Well, I think in the context of those years, when prog music was at the peak this album must have bean much more appreciated then today, even is ok and has good passages, it fails to impress me big time. 3 stars nothing more, nothing less.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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).

Send comments to b_olariu (BETA) | Report this review (#794977)
Posted Thursday, July 26, 2012 | Review Permalink
apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Neo Prog Team
3 stars During the recording sessions of the second album Triumvirat had to deal with the departure of bassist Hans Pape, who got married and life on the road did not suit with this new chapter.Bathelt and Fritz were now searching for a new bassist, who could actually sing.This was meant to be Jürgen's cousin Helmut Koellen, who was a mechanic but also a talented singer and bass player in a number of bands around the Cologne area.The result of this collaboration was the album ''Illusions on a Double Dimple'', released again on Harvest, and featuring help by the orchestra of The Cologne Opera House and the brass section of The Kurt Edelhagen Brass Section plus some guest backing singers.

This was definitely among the most ambitious efforts of the whole German Prog scene, as the album consists of two sidelong epic compositions.The eponymous 23-min. one is a great seminar on how to use Hammond organ , grand piano and moog synths to create a tight composition full of epic, dramatic or romantic atmospheres.Full-blown keyboard-based Progressive Rock with some instant melodies, keyboard pyrotechnics and discreet use of electric guitars, divided into E.L.P.-like virtuosities and more smooth NOVALIS-like moments with Koellen's voice on the forefront.Actually Koellen prooves to be also an excellent bassist and next to Hans Bathelt he completes a confident rhythm section.Among the monster sound of synths and organs there are some nice string sections performed by the orchestra of Cologne, but the majority of the track is characterized by Fritz'es dual and triple keyboard crescendos.

The flipside is also dedicated to one track, the 21-min. ''Mister Ten Percent'', which contains actually some pretty humourous vocal lines that are more than welcome to my ears.Musically this continues from where the eponymous suite stopped, E.L.P.-influenced organ-driven Progressive Rock with huge Classical references. But this time there are also some differences, as the rhythm section sounds really pounding and bombastic, given more space, while the great brass section appearing on the chorus sounds great.There is even an acoustic part around the middle performed by Koellen, who's voice comes closer and closer to GREG LAKE's, and as a whole the composition sounds a little more flexible than the opening one, but at the end it doesn't sounds as tight.

Very talented group.Although the music of Triumvirat constantly steps on the fundamentals of E.L.P., noone can deny that these guys could perform great and come up with some majestic moments.Strongly recommended to all keyboard freaks out there...3.5 stars.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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).

Send comments to apps79 (BETA) | Report this review (#884886)
Posted Monday, December 31, 2012 | Review Permalink
Neu!mann
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars It's become almost a cliché to dismiss Triumvirat as 'the German ELP', but that knee-jerk label doesn't fit the band's second (and best) album. To begin with, they hardly sound German at all, singing English lyrics (memorized phonetically one line at a time, or so I've been told), and playing in a crowd-pleasing, extroverted style far removed from anything that might be considered Krautrock.

And unlike other keyboard whiz-kids Jürgen Fritz never leaned on the crutch of classical music with the same reverence as Keith Emerson, despite being supported on this album by the Cologne Opera House Orchestra, plus a separate brass section and a quartet of distaff backing singers. The ELP influence is hard to miss: one song is even titled "Lucky Girl" (and was written in what sounds to this non-musician like the same key as Greg Lake's "Lucky Man"). But if the German trio was making a conscious effort to walk in ELP's footprints they at least did so wearing sensible shoes, unburdened by the high artistic pretensions of their English role models.

The band was allowed an astonishing level of creative freedom by EMI after only one other (uneven) studio album, and they responded with their most fully realized and ambitious effort. The new LP was divided into an unmatched pair of side-long suites, but without the often trite thematic overkill common elsewhere in Prog Rock at the time. Side One relates the downward spiral of an alcoholic (a Dimple is a blended Scotch whiskey), and does so with more kinetic energy than the subject matter would otherwise suggest, cued by the furious attack of Hans Bathelt's curiously foreshortened drum sound.

The flipside "Mr. Ten Percent" is a satire of sorts of the music business. Neither suite (to their credit) has a defined narrative, but each is held together by the flow of the music, unified to a point where even the occasional copycat riff sounds entirely natural in context. Besides the expected nods to ELP you'll notice a wink or two at classic YES, including a sudden "Close to the Edge" vocal interruption at the top of the "Tarkus"-like opening to "Mr. Ten Percent" (a later episode is titled "Roundabout", but any resemblance to its namesake ends there).

If you can only hear one Triumvirat album, this should be it: a five-star pinnacle in the arc of their own career, and still a vital addition to any well-rounded European Prog Rock library. They certainly weren't pioneers or innovators, but how many of our musical heroes actually were?

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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).

Send comments to Neu!mann (BETA) | Report this review (#951737)
Posted Tuesday, April 30, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars You are almost forcing me to comment. But I think I am a pretty layman compared with you in musical knowledge and skills. But I can say I listened to Triumvirat for the very first time in a very unlikely circumstance, it was in a small mexican city named Jalapa (Xallapan, in nahuatl native language) in 1976, same region where Jalapeno chilis are from (they are jalapenos as me). It was very weird but it happened. From all my friends from those times, I am the only one who kept going with progressive rock, jazz-rock, etc.

I don't know much about music and I am not an englishman, so I don't have to pay tribute to ELP. I definitely like Triumvirat a lot more than them, and I am deeply sorry at the fact they just had some few records recorded.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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).

Send comments to Alrixa (BETA) | Report this review (#1075572)
Posted Monday, November 11, 2013 | Review Permalink

TRIUMVIRAT Illusions On A Double Dimple ratings only


chronological order | showing rating only

Post a review of TRIUMVIRAT Illusions On A Double Dimple


You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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).

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

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — the ultimate jazz music virtual community | MetalMusicArchives.com — the ultimate metal music virtual community


Server processing time: 0.80 seconds