March to the Eternal City ~ Triumvirat

Triumvirat

Triumvirat was a German progressive rock trio that formed in 1969 in Cologne, Germany. The founding members were: keyboardist/composer Hans-Jürgen (later simply Jürgen) Fritz (born March 13, 1953), drummer/lyricist Hans Bathelt, and bassist Werner Frangenberg.

Triumvirat is the Latin word for a triumvirate, a grouping of three powerful men, thus referring to the musical trio.

During its early years, Triumvirat initially played Top 40 songs at local venues in Cologne. The Nice and Emerson, Lake & Palmerheavily influenced Triumvirat’s musical direction and the band incorporated some of Nice/ELP music into their repertoire (Rondo among others). In fact, at the height of their fame during the 70′s prog rock era, Triumvirat was often referred to as the ‘German Emerson, Lake & Palmer’ or ‘ELP clone’ due to Fritz’s classical virtuosity on keyboards and synthesizers.

In the early 1970s, the band sent a demo tape to EMI Records in Cologne and won their first record contract. Triumvirat subsequently produced modestly successful albums during the early to mid-1970s, including Mediterranean Tales: Across The Waters and Illusions on a Double Dimple and toured the United States with Fleetwood Mac to support Illusions on a Double Dimple, playing the album in its entirety. In 1975, Triumvirat reached the apex of their commercial success with the release of Spartacus, which is considered by many as a classic “prog rock” masterpiece album, along with Illusions on a Double Dimple.

The band underwent numerous personnel changes over the course of its life and eventually disbanded in 1980 with the release of their final album Russian Roulette. An officially-authorized biography of the group was written by Russell Schenewerk and appears on www.triumvirat.net.

In spring 2012 EMI released the first ever Triumvirat compilation “Essential” with tracks from all of the seven albums.

Vocalist/bassist Helmut Köllen (performing on the band’s most successful albums, Illusions and Spartacus) left the band after Spartacus to pursue a solo career. On May 3, 1977, at the age of 27, he died from carbon monoxide poisoning while listening to some of his studio tracks in his car’s cassette player while running the engine in his garage. His debut solo album You Won’t See Me was released posthumously in October 1977.

 You should read the official biography of the group at their website.

March to the Eternal City

From the album Spartacus by the German group Triumvirat. Spartacus is a concept album based on the Thracian gladiator who led the 3rd slave uprising in 73-71 BC. The lyrics were written by Hans Bathelt, with contributions by Jürgen Fritz.

(Dusty Road/Road/Italian Improvisation/First Success)

Dusty Road
Marching on a dusty road
They are on their way to Rome
Countless slaves to go to war
And they are fighting not alone

On their way so confident
They are carrying missile and spear
The desperation disappeared
And victory is near

In the sea of blood and bones
Sands of time stand still
Dying on the dirty road
Spartacus has come to kill

First Success
On their way so confident
They are carrying missile and spear
The desperation disappeared
And victory is near

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  • Audio from the 1975 albumSpartacus:

spartacus
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About DJ Allyn

DJ Allyn is a burned out radio guy who went on to become a burned out sound engineer for a few Seattle area grunge bands in the 1980s and 1990s. Left the madness of worldwide tours with bands, cleaned up my act and went into the relative sanity of sound engineering for television series. Currently working as the Director of Sound for a television series being filmed in North Vancouver, British Columbia. I am always on the lookout for interesting videos, old music, and fun.

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