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Atoll Tertio album cover
3.69 | 107 ratings | 13 reviews | 20% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1977

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Paris C'est Fini (Part I & II) (5:54)
2. Les Dieux Même (4:46)
3. Gae Lowe (Le Duel) (7:31)
4. Le Cerf Volant (5:41)
- Tunnel (13:54) :
5. Part I (5:45)
6. Part II (8:09)

Total Time: 37:49

Line-up / Musicians

- André Balzer / lead vocals, percussion
- Christian Béya / guitar, vocals
- Michel Taillet / organ, piano, clavinet, keyboards
- Jean-Luc Thillot / bass
- Alain Gozzo / drums, percussion

- Lisa Deluxe / backing vocals
- Stella Vander / backing vocals

Releases information

Artwork: Alain Robert with Bernard Schu (photo)

LP Eurodisc ‎- 25302 (1977, France)

CD Musea - FGBG 4019 (1991, France)
CD Musea - FGBG 2102 (2003, France) Remastered

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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ATOLL Tertio ratings distribution

(107 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(20%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(45%)
Good, but non-essential (29%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

ATOLL Tertio reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
2 stars Although , there are still strong moments , on the whole one is happy that this album is over and sees the needle is lifting off the wax. A sense of relief overcomes me but I always wondered why because there are good passages but somehow those fail to overcome the voidness of other moments. Get their first two as they are very much among the best from France . strange thing though is that the production is much better on this third album.
Review by loserboy
3 stars "Tertio" was ATOLL's 3rd album furthering their exploration into the symphonic world of France's 70's progressive rock genre. ATOLL were a talented French ensemble who very much carried their own symphonic sound blending the finer aspects of fellow acts ANGE, PULSAR and MONA LISA. Their music is prominently guitars and keyboards with some excellent drums and bass interplay. Vocals are well done and are sung in French. I love when these guys get going as they get into some lovely deep instrumentation. Their style is very theatrical in nature offering dynamic and melodic arrangements with some great song writing.
Review by Prognut
4 stars Darn!!!! violin here...still is a fantastic album; refreshing, invigorating. Much less fusion, and much more symphonic and jazz touches. However, you still can fell the Yes influence. A very nice album all the way. Recommended.
Review by lor68
3 stars Well a "2 stars and an half" score is righter: talking about the French scene, They were not as much good as Ange, nor so much innovative like Pulsar, but anyway a good part of their stuff was remarkable and enriched with fine Mini-moog harmonizations. A strange year it was such 1977: the issue of "Novella" by Renaissance was the consolation for the betrayed fans of Yes, hating almost the whole production in the vein of "Drama" (without forgetting the beginning of the "Era of punk"); and cause of the reasons above, every melodic pop progressive work from France, resembling a bit the "Yes sound" of the early seventies, was like gold!! ...but coming back to the present issue, of course there's a certain discontinuity within and the guitar harmonic solutions are not so innovative as well; nevertheless by considering their sense of melody I prefer this work to- for instance- the mainstream works by Asia, even though I don't get crazy for this melodic genre (Camel are much better for example!!)

Make your own choice!!

Review by Neu!mann
3 stars The second of ATOLL's two classic albums (after "L'Araignée-Mal" in 1975) is musically less interesting than its predecessor, but more immediately accessible to anyone able to recognize the obvious role models. This was a band that spent most of its abbreviated life span looking for an identity to call its own, and here they finally nailed it, after what must have been a serious overexposure to the music of YES.

I don't mean to suggest that, like so many other copycat bands, they sound just like YES: they don't (even if some of guitarist Christian Beya's riffs are unmistakably Steve Howe inspired). But all the subtle shades of fusion that so effectively colored the previous album have been jettisoned here in favor of a stronger, more confident symphonic rock sound that clearly owes a stylistic debt to the English Prog pioneers without in any way sounding like a plagiarism.

If anything the group had more in common with ANGE, their compatriots on the Gallic Prog scene and always one step ahead of ATOLL in sales and acclaim. Christian Beya was even asked to join ANGE around the time this album was in the pipeline, but declined what must have seemed an almost irresistible invitation to fame and fortune out of loyalty to his own struggling band mates.

And ATOLL singer Andre Balzer shares with Christian Decamps a similar urge toward verbal histrionics. But where the ANGE vocalist is often compared (not altogether reasonably) to PETER GABRIEL, Balzer is more a cross-channel analog of PETER HAMMILL, in the way his voice is able to shift from sultry croon to satanic croak in the span of a single melody.

Gone is violinist Richard Aubert, but the remaining quintet of players (in the traditional line-up of guitar, drums, bass, keyboards, and vocals) is more focused here, from the first, circular chords of the catchy opening track "Paris, C'est Fini" to the mock- Gregorian chant fade-out of the epic, two-part, fourteen minute "Tunnel" (fourteen of the most exciting minutes in any Prog library, I might add).

The only song that doesn't really work is "Gae Lowe (the Duel)", not coincidentally also the shortest track on the album. The best Progressive music is always able to blend conflicting ideas into a cohesive whole, but instead of having a natural flow this sounds more like a K-Tel medley of rejected outtakes.

Elsewhere, the ethereal backing vocals are provided by Lisa Deluxe and Stella Vander of MAGMA, showing that ATOLL was certainly mixing with the right company. But it's too bad they were such late bloomers: by the time the band had mastered the classic symphonic style (this album was released in 1977) the party was just about over.

I can't really call it essential listening, if only because there's little here that hadn't already been done elsewhere (and because the Musea CD adds no bonus tracks to the original album's skimpy 37-minute running time).

But let's put it in perspective: over their entire career ATOLL may have only produced two really strong albums, but that's two out of a total of four studio albums altogether, a batting average most bands would be proud of.

Review by Progbear
4 stars After the majesty of L'ARAIGNEE-MAL, pretty much anything that followed it couldn't be perceived as anything but a letdown. It's rather surprising, then, that TERTIO is as good as it is.

Without Aubert or Gehin to fill out the sound, it relies on Taillet to pick up the slack. To be fair, he has enriched his sounds some. He still uses the Solina and the Clavinet as his main axes so to speak, but he pushes as far as his sounds will let him.

Fortunately, the compositions are strong enough to make the sounds (almost) beside the point. "Paris, C'est Fini" opens the album on an authoritative note and the lengthy, two-part "Tunnel" has a sound and feel quite similar to the fantastic "L'Araignée-Mal" suite. Definitely your next best-bet as far as Atoll albums go.

Review by ZowieZiggy
4 stars Atoll has released two albums prior to this one, and even if I found them good, I could not really be over-enthusiast about the band. It is then with some care that I discovered "Tertio".

The opening number "Paris, C'est Fini" almost sound like what "Ange" will produce some two years later. French-rock; period. This one being true rock and not influenced with some disco beat like the later "Ange". Fortunately. It is more sci-fi influenced and even if it is not a great start, it's not too bad either.

"Les Dieux Même" is one of my favourite Atoll song ever. It sounds as a fantasy tale : a brilliant and gorgeous keyboard intro. Extremely melodic, finally symphonic, it will overwhelm you with delicate and vigorous keys (depending on the moment of the song you are listening to) and some theatrical vocals. A great number, with a wonderful and emotional guitar solo at the end. I guess this is heaven.

I am not as positive with "Gae Lowe - Le Duel". The song is truely complex (bearing in mind its lenght - less than five minutes). It will feature the two facets of this band : the one I prefer (subtle, harmonious) and the other one (noisy, almost improv-style and jazzy). Nonetheless, the final result is not bad at all, but more difficult to approach.

A track like "Le Cerf-Volant" is a very nice and gentle song. Beautiful synthesizer and again good vocal harmonies are the keys are. Simple structure but fully symphonic. Gone with the noisy improvisations (like "Gazotte N°1"). Only marvelous and delicate music. Aerial lead vocals (which is nothing but normal with such a title : "Kite"). I really like it.

The closing number(s) is a two pieces suite clocking at almost foreteen minutes. We'll be reverted a bit to their previous effort : it is far much complex than the average songs that sit on "Tertio". The second part is particurlarly brilliant : great guitar and very strong rhythmic section. Another highlight.

This album is far more accessible than "L'Araignée Mal" (especially the first side of it which was rather difficult to diggest). This one is almost fully symphonic and I far much prefer "Atoll" in these shoes. But if you prefer intellectual masturbation your opinion will probably differ.

As far as I am concerned, I will rate it with four stars.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars While this may be less complex and adventerous than their "L'Araignee-Mal" record (this one is more Symphonic and melodic) , I still really enjoyed my time with "Tertio" a lot. In fact the first two tracks and the last two songs(4 out of 6) I would rate as excellent. It's pretty cool as well that Stella Vander and Lisa Deluxe from MAGMA are singing background vocals on this record.

"Paris C'est Fini" features really crisp and precise drumming to open the album. Vocals a minute in and lots of spacey synths. This is quite catchy. Some melancholic guitar before 4 minutes as drums pound and synths wash. "Les Dieux Meme..." features a dark,drifting sound with vocal melodies. Lots of synths as drums pound. The vocals here remind me so much of Fish when he was with MARILLION as the piano plays. Beautiful soaring guitar 6 1/2 minutes in and again the spacey synths are all over this one. "Gae Lowe(Le Duel Part 1 & 2)" opens with GENESIS-like synths as drums beat. Waves of synths as vocals arrive a minute in. Lots of tempo shifts in this one.

"Le Cerf Volant" opens with the sound of wind blowing as reserved vocals come in. More spacey synths and a full sound after a minute. The contrast continues. The vocals become passionate after 4 minutes with some aggressive guitar to follow. "Tunnel Part I" really grew on me. Banks-like synths are prominant. Guitar before 2 minutes. It even gets a little funky and the singer is having fun. Some nice drum work late. "Tunnel Part II" opens with spacey synths as sleepy vocals come in. Drums 2 minutes in as the sound builds. Waves of synths. Christian solos away on his Gibson guitar 4 1/2 minutes in. It goes on and on. Nice. Vocal melodies to end it.

Tszirmay told me this was fairly dark and he knew I would like it. He was right. "L'Araignee-Mal" is still my favourite from them.

Review by Kazuhiro
4 stars After they debut exactly, development as the music character of Atoll might be expressed in the work indeed remarkably. The performance and the idea that they had done as groping and development of the music character might have had an indeed legitimate part in the nucleus. The music character that other musicians had been doing for the band in France at that time had a lot of a little unique bands. Heldon, Magma, Clearlight, and Lard Free existed if it mentioned it. The part that had been thought to be an axis with diversity and an experimental part though the part of Rock was made a nucleus respectively became individuality and it is likely to have appeared. It might be acknowledged that the music character of Atoll and development indeed expressed the tradition and legitimate enough in the flow for the field of Prog Rock.

After announcing this album, they dare the tour. This tour that had been done in October, 1977 was a tour to fight without getting other musicians' help only by them. They have grown up as existence that is not only an own country but also admitted worldwide in this album. The evaluation by the critic and label had decided the band. The existence of Didier Lockwood that participated in guest's standpoint in their tours had succeeded as a part of the important factor, too.

When the music character of "L'Araignee-Mal" that they announced in 1975 is compared with the music that can be listened by this "Tertio", I will be able to feel the revolution and the evolution of the music character. Part of power that can be listened with 2nd Album of involving. Or, it is partial where flavors of a few Jazz were introduced while having it centering on legitimate. And, the height of the perfection of the composition by the tune round which the flow of symphonic twines well. Those flows might contain the music character refined further by this "Tertio" and the sense of relief.

A composition of the tune refined as respect that this album has overall as a point that should make a special mention and a legitimate extension will be able to be enumerated. Its having been done by five person organizations except Violin player's Richard Aubert might greatly act on the album. However, the revolution of their music characters faces the conversion of the band further by the intention of the recording label in the content of "Rock Puzzle". "Tertio" might be able to be caught for them as one attainment point if it considers it from 1st Album as their music characters.

In "Paris C'est Fini", the melody of symphonic that is a little reminiscent of the atmosphere of "Yes" is a feature. The flow of transposition and minor Chord had as a composition has originality. The work of the guitar on which Christian Beya depends greatly contributes to the band. It is from which the song of Andre Balzer is refined further.. finished. The composition in which fast and slow is put can feel their developing parts.

"Les Dieux Meme" starts by a beautiful chorus. Atmosphere of the ballade that advances attended with good symphonic and is beautiful and the composition of Chord might have originality. The part and the flow of the song in close relation to the piano might be proofs to which the band surely acquired the width of the sound. The tune makes Chord on which you may accompany the dash feeling act on an intermittent effect. The tune raises the perfection and reaches the peak. The composition in which a good melody is intermittently done has succeeded as a tune. The composition that has both a beautiful part and an intense part and does might have a good synergy effect.

As for "Gae Lowe", the theme of a good dash feeling and a glossy keyboard is impressive. Rhythm and chorus who put change. And, the guitar and the chorus who has a transparent feeling. The tune accompanies development to which fast and slow is introduced and the forecast doesn't adhere. The part of the melody of development of the HalfTime shuffle that appears on the way and a grand keyboard might be a part of a complete extension of the tune.

A beautiful melody and the song of "Le Cerf Volant" are impressive. The line of the guitar and Bass also contributes to the tune. And, rhythmically by putting the part and the fast and slow of symphonic that overflows with the whole volume. The composition and Chord that produces a legitimate element enough might be the music for this band. The composition with a rhythm of 6/8 and an intermittent part has acted on the tune well, too.

"Tunnel Part 1" is given a grand impression and starts. Development that is reminiscent of the demiquaver and space in close relation to symphonic means their establishment. The guitar and the keyboard to decide the impression of the album did good work. Complex development and Chord that is reminiscent of "Yes" have originality. The rhythm that looks like a few Funk has acted, too.

"Tunnel Part 2" receives the flow from "Part 1" and continues a grand impression. Making and the dash feeling of the sound of the keyboard create one space. The performance done attended with the tension and the anacatesthesia might be the top that Atoll exactly received. The melody and the soundscape done by making good use of the HalfTime shuffle exactly express legitimate of Prog Rock. Ensemble drawn out while following the directionality of 2nd Album is splendid.

Atoll completely established the existence by the success of this album that received the support of Press and the critic. There might have been a situation in which their legitimate music characters were enhanced according to the content of this album.

Review by b_olariu
4 stars Tertio is their third album from 1977 and is their final great album. With slightly change in musical direction, I mean the compostions are little shorter and straight forward and less adventurous as previous album, but the great moments are all over the release. I like this one equaly with their previous one. Atoll sounds here like a cross between Ange and Edition Speciale, maybe little more towards the second band, with a clear jazzier direction here, but also their symphonic side is present more or less on each tune. The musiciansship is excellent, ecach one shines not else, excellent druming again from Alain Gozzo and some fantastic guitar parts and keyboards. Paris c'est Fini is a great opener, Gae Lowe(Le Duel Part 1 & 2) is another top notch piece, Tunnel part 1 and 2 ends the album in a great manner.. I found Tertio to be a very joyful album with lots of memorable parts, Atoll is still great here, pity their last outstanding album. 4 star album to me.

Latest members reviews

4 stars The album Tertio by the French group Atoll is the most mature album they ever produced. It is classified as symphonic prog at the prog archives website which makes sense in the same way that Yes would be classified as symphonic prog. There is also a good deal of Zeuhl influence inspiring this r ... (read more)

Report this review (#591056) | Posted by Christian Locke | Sunday, December 18, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I think this is Atoll's best and most consistent work. There were better individual songs on the previous two albums, but neither album was as good on the whole as this one. Tertio is the album where Atoll found their own unique sound. It is almost totally free of the Jazz Fusion influence of ... (read more)

Report this review (#207417) | Posted by AdamHearst | Monday, March 16, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The third work released in 1977 "Tertio". The album became a masterpiece again. It is lucid, tight, symphonic rock. The balance of the mystique and the melody is good. Technical play of remarkable jazz-rock in the former work merges in music. It is a work to which it is more fantastic than the ... (read more)

Report this review (#79578) | Posted by braindamage | Sunday, May 28, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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