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Triumph - Rock And Roll Machine CD (album) cover




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3.47 | 55 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars 3,5 stars reaally!!!

This second album is quite the follow-up of their very promising debut, amost borrowing the exact same template. This is to say hat the album is not anymore prog than the previous one, but it is more accomplished and less na´ve. Triumph's line-up will stay unchanged for years and is the perfect trio with Emmett's superb guitar playing (both acoustically and electrically) and Moore is one of the hardest skin pounder around. Both have excellent voices in the same vocal timbre, so it is hard to tell who is signing which song. Levine's bass playing is very apt and he doubles on Kbs although these stay in a minor mode, not any bigger role than in Rush's classic albums of the same era - a few layers here and there, always tasteful but relatively rare.

The first side opens with three typical trying tracks that range from the very riffy Takes Time to a more changing Bring It on Home, but nothing not achieved on the previous record. In this regard, one understands the comparisons to cross-town rivals/friends early Rush. Albums, but the lyrics will always stay down to earth, depicting RnR lifestyles. The two part NY City Streets closing off side 1 is definitely based on the two part Street Fighter on the debut but more ambitious if partly flawed, as they try themselves incorporating some soul singers sister into their RnR but it is only partly convincing and leading into the much heavier second part where manic guitars and great vocals demonstrating impressive vocals sustain ability.

As opposed to the previous album, they start with the epic three part 9 min+The City and this is Triumph at their more Triumphant. The first War March is a very martial instrumental full of breaks showing that they could manage some superb prog writing followed by a very convincing flamenco guitar solo with full dramatics (the first acoustic guitar piece, but there will be at least one on every album for years to come) to lead into a slow but delightfull and ever-changing crescendo to finally reach the grandiose full power finale. Simply their apex, and only an aperšu of what they could've done had they persevered into that direction. After this peak, the rest can only pale, but still manage to to hold its own with the Joe Walsh cover RMW and the great title track a bit flawed by the long guitar solo by an over-confident Emmett.

This second album is clearly their better and proggier effort, but around the corner lay changes in direction and Triumph, sensing the winds of changes, will leave prog pastures for greener more metallic fields!

Sean Trane | 3/5 |


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