Triumvirat's concept album Pompeii, about the devastating earthquake from 62 a.d., was an end of an era for this German prog band. Subsequent albums took on a commercial pop flavor, and left most of the bombastic symphonic rock that they were famous for in the dust.
Singer Barry Palmer and keyboard ace Jurgen Fritz remained, while the band added a new bassist and drummer (both from the fusion band Passport) for this album. Many of the pieces here are much shorter than what the band had previously recorded, and more vocal oriented. The lush "Journey of a Fallen Angel" has some serious hooks, something the band had never discovered before, while the bouncy and pompous "The Time of Your Life" takes on a slight Queen feel. The band still squeezes in some awesome displays of instrumental prowess, like on the raging "The Earthquake 62 A.D." and the keyboard romp of "Viva Pompeii", but the moments are less lengthy than in the past. There is even a touch of jazzy pop on "The Rich Man and the Carpenter", which sadly is a hint of things to come on later albums. "Dance on a Vulcano" is good Hammond laced ELP symphonic prog with bursting bass lines, while Fritz is all over the place on the orchestral "Vesuvius 79 A.D." The album ends on a downer, with the overbearing crooning of "The Hymn." Yes, Palmer sounds great, but the song would be more at place on a Barry Manilow record than on a Truiumvirat album.
So, buyer beware on this fifth release from Triumvirat. There is some good stuff here, but also some poppy filler that would rear its full-blown ugly head on the follow-up A La Carte.