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Fermáta Fermáta album cover
4.13 | 92 ratings | 10 reviews | 41% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1975

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Rumunská rapsódia (Roumanian Rhapsody) (5:52)
2. Perpetuum II (10:27)
3. Postavím si vodu na čaj (I'll Put The Kettle On) (4:20)
4. Valčík pre krstnú mamu (Waltz For Godmother) (7:03)
5. Perpetuum III (11:47)

Total Time 39:29

Line-up / Musicians

- Frantisek Griglák / guitar
- Tomás Berka / electric piano, organ, synth
- Anton Jaro / bass, percussion
- Peter Szapu / drums, percussion

Releases information

Artwork: Milan Hrcka

LP Opus ‎- 91 15 0374 (1975, Czechoslovakia)

CD Bonton ‎- 71 0623-2 (1997, Slovakia) Bundled with 1976 album "Pieseň Z Hôľ "(2 LPs on 1 CD); Remastered by Alexander Soldán
CD Belle Antique ‎- BELLE 142251 (2014, Japan) Remastered by Kazunori Ohara

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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FERMÁTA Fermáta ratings distribution

(92 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(41%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(40%)
Good, but non-essential (15%)
Collectors/fans only (2%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

FERMÁTA Fermáta reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
4 stars 4.5 stars realkly!!

Fermáta's debut album is certainly a masterpiece in its own rights, but for Griglak, this was not a first oeuvre as he had passed through Brastislava's Collegium Musicum and before that Prudy. The group is definitely the vehicle for the two frontmen, Griglak and keyboardist Tomas Berka, but by all means the rhythm section is never far behind as both bassist Anton Jaro and Peter Szapu are both excellent as well. A cool abstract music-related artwork graces the sleeve of this eponymous album.

Indeed this quartet plays a spotless jazz-rock that can be likened to Mahavishnu Orchestra, and when getting more symphonic (usually via Berka's synths) they can sound like Finch or Iceberg. The opening Romanian Rhapsody is a typical Fermáta track, that can round-up most of the group's characteristics, but then again, almost the same can be said of every track on this album. In this first album, it is difficult to tell which leader writes which track, as the writing is consistent and very even. While not exactly groundbreaking, it is a pleasant surprise to find such excellent progressive music not only existed (that was to be expected) on the other side of the iron curtain during the cold war, but that it was fairly well produced and recorded.

Although the 2-album-on-1 Cd doesn't hold the fifth track (Perpetuum III) of their debut album, you can safely jump on that release as this first album is at least as good as their sophomore effort, this particular release even getting an extra half star, making it 5 in all.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Hailing from Slovakia this 4-member instrumental band should be included in the list with the biggest and most talented jazz/progressive rock bands...Heavily influenced by MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA the band released their debut album in 1975 under the simplistic name ''Fermata''...And what an album this is!...

The disc kicks off with ''Rumunska rapsodia'', a great jazz/fusion track with a sound very close to AREA,as some parts of it follow the ethnic/fusion vein of the italian band...''Perpetuum II'' comes next and this the most jazzy improvisated track of the album spinning from jazz to hard rock and back with a slight psychedelic edge.Vey good!...''Postavim...'' is the shortest track of all but what about its great musicianship...Very close to the fusion/symphonic sound mostly of CRUCIS and less of FINCH this maybe the best track of all!...''Valcik pre...'' follows and it continues from the point ''Postavim'' stopped...Very fusion CRUCIS-like start ,in the middle it conitinues an excellent but more mellow MAHAVISHNU-like type of jazz/rock and for the end the opening theme returns.Stunning!...And for the closing of the album comes ''Perpetuum III''...And it really sounds like an amazing MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA tribute to my ears...The best moments of MAHAVISHNU,all condesnsed in 11 minutes of great instrumental music...

Not much more to say or write for this excellent Slovakian band,I'll rate their debut between 4 or 4.5 stars and I'll advice everyone of you to just add this one to your collection...It will propably be a very good company for a lot of years to come....

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars In a time when saying Czech meant Czechoslovakian, the Slovakian ensemble Fermáta was the greatest pinnacle in the aforementioned ex-republic from Eastern Europe. Stating a progressive vision fully installed in the standards of the sort of experimental jazz-rock that ha become so big in the USA area (Return to Forever, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Weather Report). Formed in 1973, tow years later their namesake debut release will grace music shops. Such virtuosos as guitarist Frantisek Griglák and keyboardist Tomás Berka find a solid framework for their alternating expansions in the robust rhythm duo of Jaro and Szapu ? in this way, the development of the basic motifs and jams becomes fluid and solid equally. Fermáta were capable of starting their recording career with a progressive jazz masterpiece (and it wouldn't be the last, as the astonishing "Huascaran" will prove a few years later): prog collectors are seriously ulikely to feel any sort of disappointed when acquiring the "Fermáta" album, given the tremendous amount of elegance instilled in the band's sonic architecture. 'Rumunská rapsódia' opens up the album with an agile introductory motif that reminds us of The Nice mixed with early Deep Purple. Once the track shifts into its central jam, the band indulges in an incendiary display of jazz-infected heavy sonorities, eventually leading to an excellent coda that reprises a reconstructed version of the opening motif. The listener must be hooked by now, or otherwise, check his pulse? I'm not kidding. 'Perpetuum II' starts on a different mode, featuring an intro of languid electric piano chords set on an ambience of soft freedom, with the bass guitar subtly filling some empty spaces. Once Spazu's drum kit goes gradually settling in, the whole band brings a partial crescendo as anticipation for a drum solo, which in turn anticipates the main body. This main body grows on a blues-rock tempo, then shift to a warm jazzy swing seasoned with clever funky nuances. If you can figure how one of Mahavishnu's joyful numbers would sound like if jan Akkerman filled the lead guitarist's shoes, then you will get a good picture of the sort of musical magic that you can expect from this great track. 'Postavím si vodu na čaj' is the next one, ostensibly playful in its well-amalgamated lyricism. A special mention has to go to berka's electric piano flourishes, majestic yet not excessive. This is how the album's first half is filled: three masterfully crafted pieces in a row. 'Valčík pre krstnú mamu' rounds to my ears like a hybrid of Finch and Bill Connoer-era Return to Forever: there is a playful undertone that rounds related to track 3, but the sonic scheme is more related to track 1 actually. 'Perpetuum III' is the amazing closer, bringing in exulting moods right from the starting point. The main motif of 'Perpetuum II' can be easily recognized, although you can also tell that there is an extra psychedelic element that enhances the instrumental colors quite effectively. Once the band turns to a more relaxed ambience, Fermáta states certain homage to the eerie archetype of pre-Pastorius Weather Report. Spazu's talent is wide enough as to create absolute finesse for the nuances required from his drum kit, balancing technical proficiency and sensibility. Also, here are the best guitar leads in the entire album, at times properly augmented by spacey synth ornaments (like a robotic cornet). Finally, the track ends with storm effect whirling around the instrumentation's closing passages. All in all, this album is a total delight for any jazz-rock lover and prog rock collector, and it abundantly justifies Fermáta's good name among prog connoisseurs.
Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars I thoroughly enjoyed their "Huascaran" record, an album that most people consider to be FERMATA's masterpiece. I was content to end my affair with this band right there, but then along came Todd who insisted I needed to hear their first two albums as well. Thankyou once again Todd ! For my money these first two recordings surpass everything this band has accomplished including "Huascaran". This their debut has simply blown me away with it's sheer power and finesse. I can't say enough about each member of the band, the playing here is flawless. Thankfully the sound quality is crystal clear as well.

"Rumunska Rapsodia" has a powerful intro then the tempo speeds up with drums and guitar leading the way. It's like the guitar is dancing all over the soundscape. It settles after 1 1/2 minutes as the guitar solos, then drums,huge bass and piano kick in. I really like the electric piano. The guitar is screaming 3 1/2 minutes in then the tempo picks up again. A calm before 4 1/2 minutes but not for long. "Perpetuum II" is experimental to open then sounds come and go quietly before it starts to build after 2 minutes. Chunky bass, drums and piano stand out. Love how this sounds. Check out the drumming after 3 1/2 minutes. My God ! It kicks back in and the keyboards really impress. Guitar kicks in at 5 1/2 minutes then it settles with drums and keys. Nice. The guitar before 8 minutes is laying a trail of fire to the 10 minute mark.

"Postavim Si Vodu Na Caj" sounds amazing. It has to be heard. The intricate drumming and guitar work with deep bass is outstanding. It settles as we get some atmosphere. It kicks in at 2 minutes. This is so good, very moving. The guitar is lighting it up. A change 3 1/2 minutes in and the tempo picks up to end it. "Valcik Pre Krstnu Mamu" opens with solemn organ before it kicks in with lots of keyboards. Guitar too. It settles again after 3 minutes. Nice bass. Blistering guitar 5 minutes in. It's heavy late with more great guitar. "Perpetuum III" is the almost 12 minute closer. Water sounds to open as the music plays along. The guitar comes to the fore before 2 1/2 minutes. It's pretty intense then it changes completely before 3 1/2 minutes. Nice bass and drums here. It kicks in again before 6 minutes with the guitar out in front. A change follows as drums lead but then the guitar is back a minute later ripping it up. This is just a joy, so emotional as he plays on and on. A big finish with some thunder.

What more can I say ? I'm shocked at how good this is.

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Slovak leading symphonic prog fusion band Fermata is well-known by its album "Huascaran". Not many of fans are familiar with their debut.

The band, established by former Collegium Musicum guitarist Frantisek Griglák at very first step of its career was a really interesting one though. Just five compositions, but what a great music! Still a bit raw, but very fresh music, combining very energetic ,but never aggressive guitar and keyboards passages. With many heavy and symphonic prog influences of the time, even on their debut band had their own sound and style.

The main difference between debut album and well-known "Huascaran" is the sound. On their debut there are much more real fusion elements, and still not so deeply arranged symphonic prog sound. I believe it's a question of taste, and symphonic prog lovers will obviously prefer "Huascaran", but everyone, searching for more fusion sound should check debut album as well.

And I'm almost sure that for many jazz fusion fans this album will sound more attractive with its more acoustic, heavy and adventurous music. In all cases, this work is one of the best examples of Eastern European symphonic prog fusion from mid 70-s, you should listen to it!

My rating - 4+!

Review by Warthur
3 stars A confident fusion debut from Fermata, with Tomás Berka's keyboards and Frantisek Griglák's guitar playing providing a particularly interesting sound. Raw and aggressive, the music clearly shows a mild Mahavishnu Orchestra influence, Griglak in particular showing just as much capacity as John McLaughlin for fast-paced playing - as shown off on the opening track Rumunská Rapsódia. A good fusion debut which feels at points rather anonymous - the band would develop a more distinctive sound over the course of subsequent albums, of course. Fans of the Mahavishnu Orchestra and anyone interested in jazz from beyond the Iron Curtain will be particularly happy with this one.
Review by friso
4 stars Lately the Eastern European label 'Opus' has been re-releasing some fine vinyls of classic prog fusion albums from behind the Iron Curtain. Fermáta's debut album is a fully formed symphonic prog fusion record in the vein of Mahavishnu and Finch. In their own region (Tjecho Slovakia) it could be compared to Leb I Sol, SBB and Blue Effect. Fermáta's debut is a particularly fierce tour the force of rockin' fusion vibes, greatly enhance by the added mystery of being such an unknown group in the West for so long. The music is obviously influenced by American fusion, yet it has its own way of thinking. Their compositions are quite dense and fast and it takes some time before you can swallow it hole, but boy is it worth getting to known this gem. The electric guitar of Frantisek Griglák is an obvious eyecatcher with his fast and fierce licks. Yet the band as a whole performs as a tight unit and the drums sound massive as well. The recording sound is surprisingly fine, the band its spark it really caught on tape here. The final track 'Perpetuum III' combines both the fierceness and the melodic skills of the band best in my opinion. A strong four star rating for this one.

Latest members reviews

5 stars Some background here: Fermáta was founded in 1972 by guitarist Fero Griglák, who had "graduated" from two seminal rock bands in Slovakia, Prúdy in 1970, and Collegium Musicum in 1971. Even between the two albums he recorded with the aforementioned bands there was considerable growth in his playing, ... (read more)

Report this review (#152225) | Posted by Magor | Thursday, November 22, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Excellent!!! A bit similar to Colosseum II, Fermáta did in its first album a very truly sound with great feeling and technique. Tipical 70's Jazz Rock with some Hard Rock approach. All instruments are well played. The electric guitar is the instrument that most appears. Despite the similiarit ... (read more)

Report this review (#129839) | Posted by Marcelo Xanadu | Sunday, July 22, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars What an underrated band!. If you like your jazz rock fusion with prog overtones and excellent musicianship than this is for you. In the same vein as late Missus Beastly, Release Music Orchestra and maybe even a bit of Brand X and Coloseum II. But Fermata deserves more recognition because even ... (read more)

Report this review (#35445) | Posted by | Monday, June 6, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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