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FERMÁTA

Jazz Rock/Fusion • Slovakia


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Fermáta biography
Fermáta is a Slovak group that formed in 73, from the association of guitarist Frantisek Griglak (ex-Collegium Musicum and Prudy) and keyboardist Thomas Berka. Apparently their brand of instrumental jazz-rock was at best approved, at worst tolerated by the Communist regime as they released all their albums on the state apparatchik label Opus. Indeed, their music has been compared to Spain's Iceberg or Holland's Finch, but this writer wouldn't hesitate to talk of Mahavishnu Orchestra as well, at least for their first few albums.

Both Griglak and Berka would be the mainstays of an otherwise often-changing line-up, even if Karol Olah held the drum stool from their third album until the mid-80's at least. Right from their first album, Fermáta posessed some quality western instruments like Gibson, Fender, Rickenbacker and the full array of keyboards except the Mellotron and the Moog, which might be a bit surprising for a band that was under scrutiny of the closed-borders regime. Their music slowly degraded to a synthesized rock of Ad Libitum in the mid-80's. Apparently still alive today, the group still releases the odd album.


!!!!!!!! Bio written by Hugues Chantraine, Belgium !!!!!!

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FERMÁTA discography


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FERMÁTA top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.26 | 41 ratings
Fermáta
1975
4.04 | 39 ratings
Pieseň Z Hôľ
1976
4.15 | 84 ratings
Huascaran
1977
3.78 | 32 ratings
Dunajská Legenda
1980
3.63 | 18 ratings
Biela Planéta
1980
3.68 | 16 ratings
Generation
1981
3.96 | 16 ratings
Ad Libitum
1984
4.10 | 10 ratings
Simile...
1991
2.88 | 8 ratings
Real Time
1994
3.63 | 12 ratings
Fermáta X
1999
3.22 | 8 ratings
Next
2005

FERMÁTA Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 7 ratings
Live V Klube Za Zrkadlom
2007

FERMÁTA Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.60 | 5 ratings
Live V Klube Za Zrkadlom
2007

FERMÁTA Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.06 | 9 ratings
Fermáta / Pieseň Z Hôľ
1997
4.60 | 5 ratings
Fermáta/Piese; z hô318
2009
4.60 | 5 ratings
Huascaran/Dunajská legenda
2009
4.00 | 5 ratings
Biela planéta/Generation
2009
3.33 | 6 ratings
Ad Libitum/Simile...
2009

FERMÁTA Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

FERMÁTA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Pieseň Z Hôľ by FERMÁTA album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.04 | 39 ratings

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Pieseň Z Hôľ
Fermáta Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Suedevanshoe

5 stars A scintillating listen that takes a while to sink it's teeth.

This album is constructed in nearly the same vein as all top shelf fusion albums, with lengthy diversions, quick tempo changes, and glorious rhythms to spare. Synths and guitar dominate the solos, with tons of solid backbone all the way through. Some violin adds a classy touch to the precedings on a few tracks. It's not overwhelming like on some records, say Jan Hammer's Oh Yeah!

This is professional fusion at it's finest done by true pros. They may steal cookies from the Mahavishnu jar but they take those cookies and add some interesting toppings.

I think the closing track is as fine a closer in fusion, perhaps all of prog. Truly fitting, spacey opening gives way to heavy synth and violin solos, followed by synths and lovely sung harmony to close. A classic.

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 Huascaran by FERMÁTA album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.15 | 84 ratings

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Huascaran
Fermáta Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Fermata developed their musical sound in a more rock-oriented direction this time around, taking on influences from symphonic prog mainstays such as Emerson, Lake and Palmer in order to craft this concept album about the devastating Huascaran earthquake of 1970. As far as blendings of symphonic prog rock and jazz fusion go, I don't think it's as interesting as the territory fellow Iron Curtain group SBB were exploring at around these times; the fusion sections lack the fury and passion of Fermata's previous albums, and the symphonic rock sections sound lifeless and unenthusiastic to my ears. Not my cup of tea by a long way.

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 Pieseň Z Hôľ by FERMÁTA album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.04 | 39 ratings

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Pieseň Z Hôľ
Fermáta Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars As with the previous album, Fermata's Piesen Z Hol presents a strongly Mahavishnu Orchestra-influenced brand of fusion based around the furious guitar work of Frantisek Griglák. With both Griglák and Tomás Berka contributing keyboard work to the mix, the album shows a somewhat greater synthesiser presence than the debut - or, for that matter, the original Mahavishnu Orchestra's albums, making Piesen's sound rather more unique. If you want to imagine what the Orchestra might have sounded like if the original lineup had stayed together and Jan Hammer had gotten some top-flight synthesisers, you should definitely consider giving this album a try.

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 Fermáta by FERMÁTA album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.26 | 41 ratings

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Fermáta
Fermáta Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

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.

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 Fermáta X by FERMÁTA album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.63 | 12 ratings

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Fermáta X
Fermáta Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Music By Mail

3 stars The cross on the front cover is a discreet sign telling you in fact that this is the tenth album by the Slovakian band! And they push the vice as far as giving you ten tracks too! Guitarist Frantisek Griglák is the only original member left and he's now also partly taking charge of keyboards; bass player Fedor Freso has been on the three albums made in 1980 and 1981, Midlan Tedla - here guesting on violin on one track - had also appeared once previously; so if the '99 version is presenting a new drummer (Martin Valihora) and an additional keyboard player (Peter Prelozník), the musical direction is firmly taken in charge by the guitarist (composing, arrangements) and the bass player, who is also the producer. Fermata has well kept alive the good values that made them popular: a sense for melodic development, a solid rhythm section, rich keyboard textures and a good technical playing ability. To keep the sound in tune with the times, programming and samplers are also integrated; Fermata's music is of a much expressive nature with great lyricism and classicism; if the fire from the 70's may have slightly faded a bit, putting up an album like "X" 24 years after their debut album from 1975 is in itself a remarquable achievement and it is a much enjoyable album indeed!

Note! The line up given here by the original poster is WRONG and should tend to have you believe that the band returned to their original line up for their tenth album! This is NOT the case! Tomás Berka (keyboards), Anton Jaro (bass), Peter Szapu (drums), Peter Oláh (vocal) are NOT performing on "X" and I hope the admins at Prog Archives will correct this amalgam of false credits! Too bad from the poster's side not having duly made his/her homework!

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 Ad Libitum/Simile... by FERMÁTA album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2009
3.33 | 6 ratings

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Ad Libitum/Simile...
Fermáta Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Music By Mail

3 stars This is the 4th twofer released in 2009 on the label Opus, thus providing us with two more albums from the Slovakian band Fermata. And this one is a mixed bag! If "Ad Libitum" (1984) clearly shows signs of fatigue and sounds decidedly more plain rock than progressive, the return operated in 1991 after a long (and positive) break, ending with the release of "Simile", is far more interesting, presenting a band that found new energy and can bite again! The synth work also gives us rich and powerful sounds, able to sustain catchy melodies as well as darker moods or guitars on fire. There is a solid drumming throughout and some nice harmonic bass playing (the track "Mardi Gras" on Simile) or gentle arpeggiated acoustic guitar that give extra colours here and there. When this is said, I'd better finish by telling you that the band's highlights are still what they came with in the 70's; no matter how but the late releases from the 90's are still halting, compared to the initial outburst; and what they did in the mid 80's will probably not leave much positive in your memories! So to be fair, I should only rate this 2,5 stars, "Simile" being the only real value of this twofer.

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 Huascaran by FERMÁTA album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.15 | 84 ratings

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Huascaran
Fermáta Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Bonnek
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

3 stars This symphonic jazz/rock album from Eastern Europe is a popular title amongst symphonic fans. The album excels in balancing different moods against one another, busy funky fusion sections with lots of synths alternate with gentle piano parts, sweeping guitar solos and even some pastoral vocal sections. The interplay between the members is of consistently high quality as no one takes the spotlight unnecessary or diverts the attention from the compositions.

The album is meant to tell a story and this clearly shows in the compositions, which move from scene to scene, almost like Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition". In structure at least, as the music lacks dramatic impact for me, there are section that rock out, but I'm not a fan of the mellow melodic style, nor of the sympho-funk style they use at times . The production could be better as well, the instruments don't always blend together well and it's too polished and synthetic for my taste. In other words, it's the typical Progrock sound of the second half of the 70s.

This is a good fusion album, and at the same time it's an adequate symphonic album. Fans of melodic fusion like RTF should apreciate this a lot. But looking at the Eastern European scene, I prefer SBB and Blue Effect.

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 Fermáta by FERMÁTA album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.26 | 41 ratings

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Fermáta
Fermáta Jazz Rock/Fusion

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+!

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 Live V Klube Za Zrkadlom by FERMÁTA album cover Live, 2007
4.00 | 7 ratings

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Live V Klube Za Zrkadlom
Fermáta Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by snobb
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars I never saw Fermata playing live, and it was really interesting for me to listen this, their first ever live album. Another moment was important as well - even if in almost the same line-up as 30 years ago, the music was played and recorded in late 00', or let say three decades after their golden moments.

In mid-70-s Fermata was known in Eastern Europe as leading symphonic progressive/jazz fusion band. What do we have now there, on their newest release ?

Still great melodies, excellent musicianship, and - what is very important - no even small evidence they are tired or bored. Great instrumental music, full of energy and melodies. But - there (as often) is a little but ...

Excellent concert, recorded on this album, is great example of instrumental rock music. Good arrangements support great heavy guitar, which fills almost all the space of sound. All musicians are extremely competent, recording sound is great, and not too often you will remember this is live recording. Still plenty of keyboards, many moments of symphonic prog. But main all album's atmosphere is still very influenced by axe-heroes works ( think - Steve Vai or Joe Satriani).

Happily, differently from heavy guitar instrumental albums, there are enough space for all other instruments, and compositions have their melodies , not just a formal reason for guitar technique demonstration.

In whole - really good instrumental symphonic prog album ,full of heavy guitar sound and few jazzy moments. Could be really recommended for lovers of melodic well arranged symphonic instrumental rock as well as for fans of guitar-based instrumental rock. Nothing to offer for fusion fans though.

My rating - 3,5, rounded to 4.

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 Huascaran by FERMÁTA album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.15 | 84 ratings

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Huascaran
Fermáta Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by snobb
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Possibly the best album from one of greatest Eastern European jazz fusion band from 70-s. Whenever Red Regimes all around Eastern Europe took under control all possible written information, including songs lyrics, there were much more bigger possibilities for instrumental bands.

Music there is well balanced, heavily arranged fusion, with strong symphonic influence. Whenever all album is conceptual and based on theme of Peruvian earthquake's (in 1970) tragedy, there are some dark, dangerous and sad moments in its sound. But in general it is still bright, no way depressing. Electric guitar solos are more technical, than aggressive. Plenty of electronic keyboards made the basis for all music, but the space is filled with guitar, bass, even some strings sounds.

All the music is more good musicians team work, than soloists and back-up supporters. Musicians are very competent, so you will hardly find technically weak point there. From other hand, not too much experimentation could be found as well. Almost excellent, but a bit too safe. For sure, it is more question of taste: for every lover of harmonies and symphonic excellence, this album is almost perfect. Whenever I am more on free-jazz side, I will be glad to hear less beautiful sound ( still no way cheese, happily), but more nervous sound with fresh elements. But generally it is nuance, and I'm speaking about really great album.

Every melodic jazz fusion fan must have this work, possibly some symphonic prog lovers will be happy with it as well.

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