Triumvirat - Mediterranean Tales (1972)

Triumvirat´s debut is more a showcase for the talents of the keyboard maestro Jurgen Fritz, which is by the way my favorite keyboardist in progressive rock. The band was inspired by The Nice and it sounds like Emerson Lake & Palmer a bit because it is a keyboard-driven power trio. But the songs are somewhat different from what Emerson, Lake & Palmer did at the time and all the merits are for Jurgen Fritz that could do excellent music and creative, although in the same style of the other keyboard-driven power trios (ELP and Trace). And the results are a masterpiece, this being along with Old Loves Die Hard the best Triumvirat albums.

The first song, Across The Waters, is a 16-minute long suite with superb music. The first part of the suite is completely classical, with excellent organ arrangements and a great rhythm section accompaining. The song changes to a superb symphonic prog with great bass, drums and excellent organ and harpsichord. The vocals are not great, but not bad also. The song goes to another classical music part, with good organ and bass playing. The song changes again to a jazzy part with superb piano and organ and this part remembers somewhat Emerson playing. This part is very moving due to the great rhythm section giving a great rhythm to the music and superb keyboard. The song makes another excursions to the heavy symphonic prog realm, classical realm, haunty themes, all played with superb musicianship and complete integration among the members. There is another sung part with great keyboard melody and good vocals (and a strange sounding chorus). There is a good electric piano solo in the song. Then more excellent organ and piano instrumental passages and I wonder how can they put so much different ideas in a not so long suite. There are some spacey moog soloing near the end of the song along with a good piano and bass riff. And in the end there is the return of the classical theme that was shown in the beginning of the song. This song is absolutely a masterpiece of symphonic prog.

Eleven Kids is the next song and it starts with some different keyboard arrangements that vary from jazzy to classical inspired. The vocals of the song are very different and interesting. Then the song goes to a long instrumental passage with different arrangements and the most notably in this song is the organ passages, which was the preferred instrument by Fritz at that time. Then the main theme with vocals return and there is one more good instrumental part before the end, with good drumming and electric piano.

E Minor 5/9 Minor /5 has a haunty main mood, with strong paino and organ riff and synthesizer soloing. The drumming is strong in this part. Then the song changes to a haunty synthesizer lead over piano notes. Then the song changes a bit, but the rhythm is always slow and there is a mind-blowing organ solo and then the song continues with variations in the riffs and melodies and superb keyboard work always providing a somber and haunty sound.

Broken Mirror is the last song of the album, with insane piano, harpsichord and drumming in the beginning of the song. It is a song with piano to the lead and classically influenced. Jurgen Fritz doesn´t owe anything to the great piano composers with this song. Then the song changes completely to a good symphonic part with great organ melody. The song has many changes, with beautiful piano parts, organ solos, and then turn into a jazzy part with some vocals in a very particular manner. The part is very interesting and the sung part goes to the end, changing to a mellower voice that is good and with almost no accent. The end of the song is heavenly, with beautiful piano, voice and choir.

So it is a symphonic prog delight and if you are an admirer of progressive music filled with keyboards, you will be delighted with this fantastic album where the best keyboardist of the prog music shows all his potential. Two thumbs up and five stars for this masterpiece. - Review by akin (Fernando Raffani)

Track Listings

1. Across The Waters (16:31)
- a. Overture
- b. Taxident
- c. Mind Tripper
- d. 5 O'Clock Tea
- e. Satan's Breakfast
- f. Underture
2. Eleven Kids (6:00)
3. E Minor 5/9 Minor /5 (7:55)
4. Broken Mirror (7:14)

Total Time: 37:00

Bonus tracks on EMI remaster (2002):
5. Be Home For Tea [Edit] (3:38)
6. Broken Mirror [Edit](3:24)
7. Ride In The Night (4:28)
8. Sing Me A Song (4:37)

- Hans Bathelt / drums, percussion
-Jürgen Fritz / organ, electric piano, piano, synth, percussion, vocals
- Hans Pape / lead vocals, bass
Releases information

LP Harvest 1C 062-29 441 Electrola (1972 Ger)
CD EMI Records 535161 (2002)(remaster)

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