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Triumph - Never Surrender CD (album) cover




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2.61 | 51 ratings

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2 stars I'm no fan of Triumph, but I've heard most of their albums, and have most of them here at home (I deal vinyl on eBay, so I have an "extended" library of sorts). They're entirely below-average. I also question their inclusion on this site when a band like Blue Oyster Cult are infinitely more qualified. But since I supported the inclusion of Radiohead here, I guess it's all in the ear of the beholder.

Behold: radio rock that never gets too heavy or too wimpy, played by musicians with admittedly remarkable talents, especially drummer Gil Moore and Rik Emmett. This is Triumph, and 'Never Surrender' sees them toeing the line between their metal, AOR and hardrock leanings, never veering too far one way or the other. The album always feels too safe, stiff and a bit bland.

Their heavier material reminds me somewhat of Styx at their heaviest (and it's a fact: Styx has more heavy songs than ballads...research it, it's true!). "Writing On The Wall" and "Battle Cry", in particular, but they lack the character and spark Styx injected into their music (pre-'Cornerstone', that is). The only song I would ever want to hear again is "Never Surrender", a fairly dramatic composition that splits the difference between 'Signals'-era Rush, 'Pieces Of Eight'-era Styx and early-'80s Blue Oyster Cult. Good stuff. The rest of the material is too middle-ground for my tastes, and, as with just about all the Triumph albums, I feel like they're too conservative for prog tastes, not heavy enough for metal fans, too edgy for AOR fans, and not living up to the musicians' potential. I have a tiny bit of respect for this band and this album, which is probably their most well-rounded and accomplished, but still, who needs 'em when we have Rush and Blue Oyster Cult?

slipperman | 2/5 |


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