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




Symphonic Prog

3.95 | 382 ratings

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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.

Atavachron | 4/5 |


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