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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Triumvirat

Old Loves Die Hard

Review by Gary Hill

I remember hearing about Triumvirat and the thing you can’t avoid hearing when people talk about this band – how much they sound like Emerson, Lake and Palmer. Well, that’s definitely part of the picture, but only one piece of the puzzle. The truth is, there’s probably as much Beatles, Procol Harum and other bands in the mix of music these guys create as there is ELP. Sure there are some points where it really sounds a lot like ELP, but there’s plenty of other music here that doesn’t. Whoever they sound like, though, Triumvirat is a great band and this is an exceptional album. Any fan of classic prog would be well advised to get themselves a copy.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2009  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
I Believe
This comes in tentatively with bits of echoey keyboard creating the sounds. The cut grows out from there to more of a powerful symphonic rocker. Sure, there are nods to ELP here, but in a lot of ways this is more direct. When it shifts to the rocking movement for the vocals, this is quite AOR in nature. It's perhaps a bit like something Asia might do. The cut is a dynamic one, moving through a number of different, and rather intriguing section. I love how the more mainstream stuff grounds it after it wanders through all the different sections. The keys drive a lot of this tune. Some chorale vocals later bring something completely new to it. This is quite a ride.
Day in a Life: Uranus' Dawn/Pisces at Noon/Panorama Dusk

The keyboard section that leads this off reminds me a lot of something from Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon album, but it grows out from there into a track that’s more in keeping with the opening number. It builds in tasty instrumental fashion, combining those sounds and working into a killer piece of music. Then it drops back to the opening sounds around two and a half minutes in. After carrying through like that for a while they drop it out to a piano solo that moves through a number of themes and alterations. At times it becomes quite classical. At other points this becomes one of those ELP-like segments. It’s not until after the six and a half minute mark (this is an eight minute fourteen second piece ) that they bring it back out into a full rock treatment and it’s a powerhouse prog rock jam at that, but we never get vocals on this, Triumvirat choosing to leave it as an instrumental.

History of Mystery, Pt. 1
Starting with just piano, the first minute and a half of this or so are in the mode of a keyboard and voice ballad. When it moves out to the full band treatment it’s in the form of a bouncy, joyous prog journey that definitely does call to mind ELP. They take this through a number of changes and alteration in its instrumental glory and believe me; it wouldn’t take much to convince someone that this was a song by Emerson Lake and Palmer. Even when the vocals join at around four and a half minutes it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to believe that. The extended keyboard solo that ends this is powerful and pretty.
History of Mystery, Pt. 2
They jump out into a motif that calls to mind Nektar as much as it does ELP. It moves back out into the ELP-like jam from the previous number. At less than four minutes in length, this basically represents a reprise of the musical themes from the last piece.
Cold Old Worried Lady
The first minute or so of this makes me think of Elton John. It’s a powerful piano based ballad. After that, though, they power it out with a symphonic fury for a segment and then return to the balladic to continue. This is a very evocative piece of music. They alternate between these two musical motifs as the track continues and it’s just plain powerful and beautiful.
Panic on 5th Avenue
A killer instrumental, this has some serious keyboard domination. It’s another that’s very much in keeping with the musical styles of Emerson, Lake and Palmer. It has some great variations and powerful musical segments and really covers a lot of musical ground. Even at almost ten and a half minutes in length, it doesn’t get repetitive or boring.
Old Loves Die Hard
Take healthy helpings of the Beatles and merge them with the sounds we’ve heard on the rest of the disc and you’ve got a good idea of what this track is all about it. It’s a powerful piece of music that gains as much from the vocal performance as it does from the musical one.
 
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