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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Triumvirat

Illusions on a Double Dimple

Review by Steve Alspach

Triumvirat - a band of exciting keyboard wizardry, or the poor man's Emerson, Lake and Palmer? There can be some similarities drawn: "The History of Mystery" from the Old Loves Die Hard album is almost a rip-off of Karn Evil 9's First Impression (right down to the break in the middle of the piece at the end of side 1 and the continuation of side 2), and Jurgen Fritz, the keyboardist, apparently studied Emerson-ology at the Cologne Music Conservatory. But Triumvirat went a bit heavier on the guitar, and the band stayed away from classical themes and kept within a more traditional rock environment. Illusions on a Double Dimple, the band's second album, is considered by many to be one of their finest.

The personnel on this album is: Hans-Jurgen Fritz, Hammond organ, Moog synthesizer, electric piano, Steinway grand, and vocals; Helmut Kollen, bass, electric and acoustic guitars, and vocals; and Hans Bathelt, drums and percussion. Also Hans Pape, bass; Peter Cadera, spoken vocals; Ulla Wiesner, Brigitte Thomas, Hanna Dolitzxch, vocals; Karl Drewo, saxophone; The Cologne Opera House Orchestra, and The Kurt Edelhagen Brass Section.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2002 Year Book Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Illusions on a Double Dimple

Flashback
An introductory piece with Fritz on piano and Kollen on vocals, this serves as a preamble to the rest of the suite that generally deals with the trials and tribulations of life.
Schooldays
The band kicks in with Fritz' Moog playing cutting lines and the female vocals joining in on the chorus.
Triangle
An instrumental where Fritz plays lead on several themes, the band seems to enjoy experimenting with different rhythms and motifs here.
Illusions
A more solemn piece, it is made that much more dramatic by strings and a minor mode.
Dimplicity
An air-drum thumper with the piano banging out 8th-note chords and an infectious riff, the song goes back to some of the verses from "Illusions." This cut was edited as the single from this album when it was released.
Last Dance
An instrumental that borrows from "Triangle", it then switches into another section built around a catchy I-IV-V riff.
Mister Ten Percent

Maze
This song is an instrumental, some of it played at double-speed, including the Yes "stop-everything-for-the-voices" breaks. Bathelt's drums keep the song moving at a brisk pace.
Dawning
Fritz shows his virtuosity on this solo piece, rifling off lightning-fast arpeggios. The song serves as an effective lead into the next piece.
Bad Deal
I guess it's every band's dream - telling off the manager. Jurgen shares lead vocals with Helmut on this piece. The second half of the song features a saxophone solo from Karl Drewo, and some passages where the band plays with different 4/4 rhythms.
Lucky Girl
Kollen wrote the music on this song, and it is more guitar-laden than any of the others. Fritz fills in with a rather simple Moog solo and takes the vocals on the bridge, but the song is mostly Kollen's showpiece.
Million Dollars
The song starts off as a march with Fritz playing lead on the Hammond, complete with some Emerson-like blues riffs. It then ends in a more traditional mode, with the orchestra and strings at full throttle. Fritz seems to lay low until the very end where he plays a simple baroque coda to end the piece.
Dancer's Delight (bonus track)
There is a bit of a "call-and-response" between Kollen and the background vocal girls on this fairly obvious attempt at a hit single.
Timothy (bonus track)
Variations on the Beatles' "Dear Prudence"? It sure sounds like it with the descending riff.
Dimplicity (edit) (bonus track)
The edited single version of the album cut, some of the verses are rearranged from the original.
Million Dollars (edit)
This is the second half of Million Dollars. The march section is edited out, and the cut starts halfway through the full version.
 
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