Dr. Z – Three Parts to My Soul (1971)

DrZ_ThreeParts3.5 out of 5 Stars!

Loaded with tribal-like percussion, twiddling pianos, and (of all things) harpsichord, Three Parts to My Soul, the one and only album by Dr. Z, is certainly a bit bizarre and totally different in the world of Prog-Rock.

This trio of musicians (keyboardist, bassist, and drummer) from the U.K. is sort of a maniacal version of either Triumvirat or Emerson, Lake, and Palmer. This has much to do with the rather crazy-sounding lead vocals (like the more deranged side of Van Der Graaf Generator’s Peter Hammill), the hypnotically psychedelic and almost-creepy vibe, and the often-strange instrumentation and song construction on the lengthier tunes such as “Spiritus, Manes et Umbra,” “Too Well Satisfied,” and “In a Token of Despair.” Even the shorter, more commercial-oriented songs (if you can actually label them “commercial” in the general sense of the word) such as “Summer for the Rose,” “Evil Woman’s Mainly Child,” and the flute-enhanced “Burn in Anger” offer some strangeness, so Three Parts to My Soul is an album for Prog-Rock fans who yearn for something truly unique within the genre.

If you can imagine the Alice Cooper track “Black Juju” heavily dosed with the sinister atmosphere found on the debut album by the group Black Widow, and further picture the character of the macabre and grumbling manservant Lurch from The Addams Family playing along with these tracks on his harpsichord, then at least you’ll get an idea of what you can expect when listening to this rather strange album.

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