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Triumvirat - Spartacus CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.81 | 342 ratings

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5 stars After the great artistic success of Illusions in a Double Dimple, The Rat strikes again with the Conceptual and epic album Spartacus. Based in the story of the Gladiator who lead an insurrection against the all mighty Rome, this album is almost as good as the previous (even when some people believe it's better). The concept of course is simpler because the history can't be changed, but this leaves less artistic freedom to the band.

TRIUMIRAT managed to keep the same lineup with Jürgen Fritz, Helmut Köllen and Hans Bathelt that worked so well, and the result couldn't be better, with more clear ELP influence but with much better arrangements, Spartacus is an album that is worth to have in any collection.

The Capital of Power¯ is a magnificent overture or introduction (choose the adjective that fits better for your taste); totally instrumental resumes the epic atmosphere of the album and gives the listener a clear idea about the whole concept. If I had to describe musically the greatness of ancient Rome, there a no doubt I would choose this excellent track of amazing keyboard and extremely accurate drumming.

School of Instant Pain¯ is a small multi part epic that starts with a very beautiful piano solo, which is followed by the classic vocals of Helmut Köllen, a great voice but still keeps the hard German accent. The song develops as a powerful ballad where Helmut's voice and Bathelt drums add enough strength too keep the interest. In the middle of the track there's an interesting jazz/march section where Jürgen Fritz keyboards and piano are outstanding, somehow when you listen this section, the ELP sound is present, but not as a copy, only a strong inspiration. At the end a psychedelic keyboard, bass and drums passage gives a clear perspective of the Gladiator's training, even without a single word.

The Walls of Doom is not one of the best tracks, the marching music intro sounds weak, but the final keyboard and drums section is probably enough to save the song and again provide enough power.

The Deadly Dream of Freedom¯ is a very beautiful ballad mainly for vocals and piano which narrates the moment when the idea of Liberty is born in Spartacus mind idea that's expressed in the phrase "I have a dream that we can make it"¯, before the end we can listen a keyboard section reminiscent of ELP and of course a touch of extra piano, where Jürgen Fritz shows his skills with the keys.

The Hazy Shades of Dawn¯ starts as another march but changes into a more complex tune again very reminiscent of ELP but with the characteristic and unique style of The Rat.

Burning Sword of Capua¯ starts with an absolutely baroque Hammond solo, but what impresses me more is that Bathelt keeps the military drumming to maintain the revolutionary and epic atmosphere, also changes into a very complex and progressive Hammond based song with some good changes.

The sweetest Sound of Liberty¯ is another beautiful and powerful ballad where the rhythm section provides unusual power and strength for a soft and beautiful tune, a song of contrasts, simply delightful.

The March to the Eternal City¯ is another multi part mini epic, the first part Dusty Road¯ works as an introduction for the track, starts as a slow march followed by a vocal part where all the band is amazing, in some way expresses the difficult march of the rebels to Rome, the piano adds dramatics to this first part. Italian Improvisation is an extremely complex section with crossed rhythms and complex keyboards. The last part The Battle, a frantic short section where the listener can feel the fight.

The album couldn't end in a different way than with "Spartacus" another mini epic divided in three songs, The Superior force of Rome¯, A Broken Dream¯ and Finale¯, again a complex track full of contrasts and changes, that mixes with great talent frenetic battle sections softer tunes full of nostalgia with sadness and jazzy chords, simply progressive rock at it's best expression.

IMHO Spartacus is not as brilliant, innovative and free as Illusions in a Double Dimple¯ because of the historic frame that leaves little room for the personal expression, but The Rat does a hell of a job even with the limitations.

So still 5 solid stars, because along with the previous release, it's the peak of the band.

Ivan_Melgar_M | 5/5 |


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