Triumvirat started as a three-piece band from Germany, but by this album had grown mostly into a vehicle for Jurgen Fritz’s songs and exceptional keyboard work. Hey look ma! No guitars! Think of them as an ELP with more commercial sensibilities. Not that there’s anything wrong with that! Though occasionally the lyrics come off just a wee bit on the schmaltz, the musicianship is stellar.
Opener “I Believe” is a great introduction for new vocalist Barry Palmer. Replacing the late Helmut Kollen could not have been easy, as the band had to replace not only a bass player but a superior singer as well. Palmer fills the singing role amicably in a style not unlike Greg Lake, and Dick Frangenberg on bass fits nicely too. I believe “I Believe” could be heard as the marriage of Jean Michelle Jarre and Eloy, with its percolating keyboards and memorable chorus.
My favorite track is the instrumental “A Day In a Life.” This is not the Lennon/McCartney tune. That was “A Day in THE Life.” Triumvirat’s version moves through three completely different sections comprising Dawn, Noon and Dusk. It is an excellent showcase for Fritz’s talents. Starting with a melodic electric piano piece on “Uranus’ Dawn,” then to a classically oriented grand piano for “Pisces At Noon,” and finally reaching an incredible climax in all out synthesizer mania with “Panorama Dusk.” Keith Emerson/Rick Wakeman, watch your back dudes!
“The History of Mystery (Part 1 & 2)” sounds like it could have easily been wedged into “Karn Evil 9” from ELP’s Brain Salad Surgery and no one would be the wiser. It’d make a great “mash-up!”
Once again though, it’s another instrumental piece that brings the level of the record to a higher level. “Panic On 5th Avenue” is amazing to hear and is just more proof of Jurgen Fritz’s genius and his place with the legends of prog.
If you are a fan of Emerson, Lake and Palmer you can’t go wrong with most any of the earlier Triumvirat albums. This is one of the better ones, though I might reach for 1975’s Spartacus or 77’s Pompeii first.
Reviewed by Terry Jackson on October 10th, 2011