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4 stars Let me just start with the fact that I was a huge Triumph fan back in the day. Saw them twice in concert late 70's early 80's. Also Rik Emmett is and was a great talent. He could play with the best of them. I'm always perplexed by the comparison between these guys and Rush. The word Trio is the only thing the two bands have in common. With that said, this record is the pinnacle of Triumph's AOR/Rock success. It's not the most progressive record they made, but it was their most consistent. There are some very good hard rock anthem type songs, and musically it aged much better than their other records. Good for those who long for the good ol days with a little prog mixed in.(Fight the Good Fight and Ordinary Man specifically)
Report this review (#49999)
Posted Tuesday, October 4, 2005 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
Prog Folk
2 stars If it was not yet fully confirmed with the preceding album (well the title did warn us) , now we are in full metal flight with tracks like Fool For Your Love , Fight The Good Fight and the impressive Allied Forces (complete with its Air Raid intro) , but they managed to remain a radio-friendly touch bit at the expense of their personality and inventivity. Some tracks (Magic Power and Fight The Good Fight) can only please die-hard fans and there is also the now-) obligatory acoustic guitar piece Petite Etude. The RnR-esque Hot Time has some relatively bad recording, with the drums simply recorded too loud, but this is also valid for most of the album. Even their typical crescendo track (Ordinary man in this case) is sounding déjà-vu (or déjà-entendu in this case) and is downright boring and it is thankfully we Say Goodbye to this album..

Strangely enough this rather poor album will definitely break them into the more visible video-MTV terrain and ever more commercial success, but it was without me from this album on!!

Report this review (#51224)
Posted Tuesday, October 11, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars I used to like Triumph back in the '80s when this album was released. However, I don't really understand what their connection to prog might be. First of all, I think the only things they have in common with Rush are their home town and the trio format; though some have found similarities between the voices of Rik Emmett and Geddy Lee, who is in my opinion a far superior vocalist.

That said, "Allied Forces" is a more then adequate album, heavy enough to counteract the more evident radio-friendliness some songs (like the mediocre "Say Goodbye", which closes the record). The musicianship is also quite good, with a particular mention for guitarist Rik Emmett. It's a pity that some of the songs are almost indistinguishable from the production of countless other AOR bands, technically proficient but with little feeling. There are, though, a couple of excellent tracks, namely "Ordinary Man", with its acoustic introduction and slow buildup, and "Fight the Good Fight".

"Allied Forces" is a pleasant listen for those times when we can't take anything too complex and demanding, but nothing ground-breaking by any means. 2.5 stars, nothing more.

Report this review (#55799)
Posted Thursday, November 10, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars this album is amazing, all the songs on it rock in their own way, i listen to it all the time, and i dont see the comparison between triumph and rush either, the only things that make them similiar are where they're from, the number of band memebers and rik and geddy both have a high voice...other than that they are totally different bands as far as what they offered musically, if you havent heard anything by triumph you have to get this album-it is their best....the songs that arent well known on it still rock, such as ordinary man which has some very inspirational lyrics talking about the average man and life itself...quite possibly my favorite line in a song ever comes from that song..."here's to health, here's to wealth, may you never doubt yourself"-thats going to be in my mind forever when i think about triumph...this band rocks and so does this album
Report this review (#58794)
Posted Thursday, December 1, 2005 | Review Permalink
2 stars From a "progressive" perspective... What does this album give us? Nothing, but repetitive formulaic songs. There are reminiscence of Led Zeppelin... but more oriented to Metal joined to some AOR air... I don't know how Triumph is in this site. Don't get me wrong... this is a enjoyable album, if you are going to listen to it once in a while... once in a year-decade, etc. There are 2 or 3 track that maybe saves this album: Allied Forces, Ordinary Man, and Fight The Good Fire... BUT this is Hrad-Rock/AoR/ or whatever.

Collectors/Fans only

Report this review (#63905)
Posted Monday, January 9, 2006 | Review Permalink
Prog Folk Researcher
1 stars Well I decided if I'm going to keep grousing about Triumph wasting space on this site, I should go back and re-listen to some of their albums that I bought back in the early 80's. The first disclaimer is to explain WHY I own these albums, and my only excuse is that I drank heavily back then and my judgment wasn't so good. Meh.

That said, I popped Allied Forces on the turntable and played it through several times this week. This was the first time I've heard these songs in over twenty years, except for the occasional radio play in my car when I couldn't reach the dial fast enough to avoid them. The album is pretty much exactly the way I remember it - power chords, neanderthal lyrics, nothing to really distinguish them from dozens of other hair bands back then. The one thing I'd forgotten about was the liner concert photo where Mike Levine is gripping his bass and looking all the world like he's pleasuring himself. My friends and I got lots of laughs off that picture back then, and it's just as funny today!

The album starts off with "Fool For Your Love", which is about - well, a fool. There's nothing special in the music in this song. Stunning lyrics though - "your love is vicious, slightly malicious" and "I keep lettin' love get the better of me. My head is spinnin' honey - can't you see what I need". Now that's what I call a timeless classic!

I have to grudgingly admit that "Magic Power" still kinds of gets my toes tapping. I don't know if that's because of the memories it brings back from those days, or because it's actually a decent song, but either way the rhythm is solid, and it is a catchy tune. Here again though Emmett's ego kills what might have been an otherwise tolerable tune - "I'm young, I'm wild and I'm free; I got the magic power of the music in me", followed by the ever-present 'God's gift to women' refrain - "She's young, she's wild now, she wants to be free; she gets the magic power of the music from me". "the music's got the magic it's your one chance for escape; so turn me on - turn me up - it's your turn to dream". Thanks for gracing us all with your presence Rik.

"Allied Forces" was a kind of anthem for angry young suburban rednecks around 1981, the so-called "mobile allies", who were apparently "marching every night". In other words, rebels without a clue. This is a song that is apparently a call to arms for frustrated youth to take on the world and kick ass with guitars - the "Allied Forces of Rock and Roll". This was not what you'd call really progressive stuff in any era, ad particularly not in 1981. The Zeppelin riff rip-off toward the end is kind of interesting, I suppose.

If I remember right, "Hot Time (In This City Tonight)" was a modest hit single twenty- five years ago. I would imagine it was a concert staple as well (although hopefully not anymore - that would be almost as embarrassing as Mike Reno of Loverboy in his size 44 spandex doing "Little Girl" at the state fair!). Anyway, this one features that stunningly torrid lyric "rock me baby like a long lost friend, then roll me over and do it again"! I can't help but wonder if Emmett intended this one to be Triumph's equivalent of Lionel Ritchie's "Dance on the Ceiling", only with power chords.

One could assume the back side of this album would at least be no worse than the front, but that would be an incorrect assumption. The only upside is that Rik Emmett's Geddy Lee imitation is less off-key on the final three songs of the album.

"Fight the Good Fight" proved once again the low opinion that Triumph had of their fans' capacity for judging good music, with lyrics like "nothing is easy, nothing good is free. But I can tell you where to start - take a look inside your heart". Thanks for the pep talk..

I wonder if "Ordinary Man" was supposed to be Triumph's "Simple Man", or maybe more like their "Blue Collar Man". Dunno'. Either way, I didn't get it then, and I don't get it now. They do manage to incite their pubescent and liquored-up fans against politicians, the media, the legal system, preachers, teachers, pretty much every familiar authority symbol except parents (smart career move - there were a lot of parents on anti-rock witch hunts back then, and a bad rap from those scary b****es would have been a kiss of death on album sales for Triumph). So they get a point for being more business- savvy than Twisted Sister anyway. I guess the idea with "Ordinary Man" was to make sure there was a chip on any young man's shoulder who was in listening range and didn't already have a bad attitude. I'm sure they were more than a little successful.

The album ends (mercifully) with "Say Goodbye", a sentiment I heartily agreed with by this point. I may have been saying goodbye to the album, but Emmett was apparently telling his skanky girlfriend goodbye because she's some kind of head case. He does point out though that he's leaving "in the morning", I guess so he can squeeze one more off. The guy is a pragmatist, after all.

I have to be honest and say that I really didn't expect to come away from this 'rediscovery' of Triumph with some new-found appreciation for their progressive bent (or even for their "talent"). That said, these few listens did reaffirm my utter dislike for these guys and the tripe they call music. Look, I'm just as quick as anyone to ridicule pompous prog prima-donnas who look down on more mainstream music just because it's popular, or because it has a beat and you can dance to it. However, one doesn't have to be pretentious to quickly develop a dislike for this band - they simply need to have ears.


Report this review (#75912)
Posted Saturday, April 22, 2006 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars My only chief reason to consider listening to this album is, of course, "Fight The Good Fight" (track 6) which I consider one of good rock tracks during my school days. As far as rock music, Triumph is not bad at all. Their music is basically a straight hard rock music played by a trio band. In the case of Rush, the one who sings is bass player but for Triumph, it's the guitar player Rick Emmett. From the opening track "Fool for Your Love" (4:32) is clear enough to say the straight composition of Triumph. The music reminds me to the early 70s of classic rock with similar vein like Budgie. "Magic Power" (4:55) has a nice combination of guitar fills and keyboards and thin voice of Rick Emmett.

The album title track is also another good track from this album. But still the best track is "Fight The Good Fight" where it has nice intro - a combination of keyboard and guitar fills - followed with a blast of upbeat music that energizes your day, I believe . The interlude guitar fills work and solo, even though it's simple but it's nice.

Definitely, this is NOT a prog album and if you expect something prog, then you will be wrong. But as a rock album, you may collect this one. The only shortcoming for me is this album is quite boring when it's listened to in its entirety.Keep on rockin' ..!

Report this review (#120973)
Posted Monday, May 7, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Since I'm going the another Sweden Rock Festival in less than three month from now I decided to check out one of its more progressive attractions.

Of what I've heard on Prog Archives Triumph is suppose to be a follower of the movement that was originally started by Rush. Unfortunately that's not entirely true, since, in comparison to Rush, Triumph lacks the technical and lyrical skill. What we're left with here are some typical Arena Rock/Rock & Roll performances that has already been done to death by Journey, REO Speedwagon and Boston.

Luckily this album does feature some really great power ballads like Magic Power and Say Goodbye. On top of that 7 minute track titled Ordinary Man is a mini-suite with some light progressive style. So all in all it's a good Arena Rock album but don't expect much else.

Edit: It's been almost two years since I saw the band perform their reunion gig at Sweden Rock Festival and to tell you the truth they weren't all that spectacular. Although the band played the biggest stage (called Festival Stage) they really didn't handle it all that well and I personally think that the performance would have been enhanced if they played a more secluded stage. It was nice to hear Triumph perform Magic Power but other then that I can at least now understand why this band never achieved the status of their fellow-countrymen Rush.

**** star songs: Magic Power (4:55) Ordinary Man (7:17) Petite Etude (1:16) Say Goodbye (4:34)

*** star songs: Fool For Your Love (4:32) Air Raid (1:20) Allied Forces (5:04) Hot Time (In This City Tonight) (3:24) Fight The Good Fight (6:31)

Total Rating: 3,46

Report this review (#163768)
Posted Wednesday, March 12, 2008 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Triumph is simplified Rush-clone with more AOR oriented sound. Many years ago I got their album "Progression Of Power", and in fact it wasn't so bad. More precisely - collection of good songs and very bad songs. But I have it till now, it is acceptable for listening.

"Allied Forces" is band's next album, and it got strong reviews in time of releasing. So, many years later I decided just to check once again , and purchaised that Triumph album. Disappointment!

Music became less complex and more straight AOR. In fact, radio oriented rock songs. Even previous album sounds much more better. No any connections with prog or even just good heavy rock.

I just missed any interest to Triumph after that album. Not recommended.

Report this review (#245416)
Posted Tuesday, October 20, 2009 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
2 stars Music for the ordinary man!

The Led Zeppelin-like Hard Rocker, Fool For Your Love, opens this album and sets the expectations for the rest of the album very low. While it surely gets better, it sadly never gets much better. Like all of Triumph's works, this is primarily a pretty straightforward Hard Rock album, but there are a few glimpses of a more sophisticated approach that sets Triumph apart from other similar bands. Apart from Air Raid, which is a short instrumental - or should I say mood setter? - that introduces the title track, the whole first half of the album is filled with these generic and wholly undemanding Hard Rock songs. The absolute low point of the album is the Rock 'N' Roll number Hot Time (In The City Tonight). The title itself gives it away, doesn't it? Like always with Triumph, the vocals and guitar work is strong. Sadly, they rarely put these talents to any good use.

The second half of the album has a few much better songs in Fight The Good Fight and Ordinary Man. Ironically it is Ordinary Man that is the least ordinary track on Allied Forces. These songs are more elaborated and save this album from being a total disaster. The latter is very much in the style of Styx (in their better moments!) and also reminds of an earlier Triumph song, Blinding Light Show, which is, in my opinion, Triumph's best song ever. It is songs like these that make Triumph relevant for a Prog audience.

Like on many other Triumph albums, there is a short, classically inspired, acoustic guitar piece by Rik Emmet. This time it is called Petite Etude and functions as a very nice interlude. What comes after it is, however, sadly another generic rocker that closes the album. Here the vocals evoke Steve Perry of Journey and the chorus in particular is very Journey like.

Allied Forces is hardly Triumph's best album despite a few good and even one great moment. Their next album, Never Surrender, is a far better album in my opinion (though, hardly great!).

For fans and collectors only this one!

Report this review (#247956)
Posted Tuesday, November 3, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars Wow. Laughing at all the haughty reviews on here; "pleasant listen for those times when we can't take anything too complex and demanding". I guess something as...easily digestible as a Triumph record is going to get a cold response on a progressive sight.

Because, really, there's very little progressive about Triumph, and almost nothing by this point in their career. Still, from a hard / melodic rock aspect, this is an above average album. From beginning to end you have outstanding guitar work, and a number of fun to sing-along-with tunes.

Ordinary Man is clear standout here....with the only hint of prog to it (and just a hint, at that, as only the arrangement warrants the term). The title track is the other noteworthy track as it simply rocks from beginning to end and appropriately showcases Rik Emmett's otherworldly guitar skills.

Magic Power and Fight the Good Fight are your typical early 80's radio fodder, signaling the coming onslaught of hair metal. The remaining songs range from straight-ahead rocker (Fool For Your Love, Hot Time in the City) to the obligatory acoustic guitar solo to filler (Air Raid).

Yes, the lyrics are cheesy and often juvenile. Yes, the singing from both Emmett and Gil Moore rarely rates above mediocre. Still, for a hard rock album, it does quite fine, far outclassing most offerings from this category. If you like Triumph or had rock, a recommended album.

Report this review (#766038)
Posted Thursday, June 7, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars Perhaps, this prog-site is no the place for Triumph albums. Triumph are an excellent heavy/melodic rock band, somewht similar to Night Ranger, Led Zeppelin and Van Halen.

A perfct balance between partyrock and progressive rock, as shn on this album. Gil Moore and Rik Emmett switch vocals and Mike Levine does keyboards.

As always people compare it to Rush. Why? Because they're both trios? It's just stupid to compare both. I think it's a shame an excellent album wich delivers such beautiful and progressive tracks like Ordinairy Man and Fight the Good Fight has such a low score.

Even the heavy rockers are musically interesting and have some awesome drumming and guitaring.

For me, this album is the peak of the career of Triumph, and deserves much better than a score of 2,5*, wich is just silly. Maybe a site, where users aren't stubborn progheads, will be more of a warm home for these canadians.

Report this review (#910854)
Posted Thursday, February 7, 2013 | Review Permalink
3 stars I just don't get people who balk at the comparisons to Rush. This album broke the same time as Rush's Moving Pictures, and there's a startling similarity between "Fight the Good Fight" and Rush tracks like "Freewill" and "Limelight." I mean that in the best possible sense.

Just as many thought Red Rider's song "Lunatic Fringe" was a new Floyd song and sounded like something from The Wall, I well remember my friends at the time thought "Fight the Good Fight" was the newest Rush song - and let's face it, that track is probably better than some of the Side B songs on Moving Pictures. (That statement's sure to rankle Rush fans, haha.) The song "Magic Power" got a lot of airplay on US radios as well, and it's not a great leap to imagine Geddy Lee singing this one either.

It's not the closest Rush impression I've heard - that would belong to the Christian rock band The Daniel Band (also from Toronto, Canada), whose albums On Rock (1982), Straight Ahead (1983), and Run from the Darkness (1984) are recommended, if you can take the Christian lyrics (they're all on Spotify, I believe; check out their song "You're All I Need," which slots right in with Rush and Triumph's "Fight the Good Fight"). If you're a Rush fan you'll want this in your collection, especially for the two tracks mentioned above.

Until we can do half-ratings: 2.5, rounded up to 3. Two killer tracks, but the rest I've never felt the need to re-visit.

Report this review (#1081017)
Posted Sunday, November 24, 2013 | Review Permalink
1 stars There's a talented, daring trio hailing from Canada that's been around since forever commenced, consistently making high-quality progressive rock & roll throughout their long career while accumulating a legion of die-hard fans along the way. And then there's Triumph. If you're an admirer of theirs and consider them to be a literal bastion of prog music then you might want to stop reading right now because you aren't going to like what I have to say about this album. I know very little about Triumph other than being vaguely familiar with one of their songs that garnered some FM airplay back in the 70s, "Lay It On the Line," and coming across their various LPs while rummaging around between Traffic and The Tubes in the record store bins of that era. No one I knew was into them or ever said anything pro or con about them so they flew under my radar. When I noticed that they were listed as qualifiers for this esteemed site it occurred to me that perhaps I missed out on hearing some decent prog by never paying them any attention. They wouldn't be the first band I've overlooked and even though the aforementioned radio tune never struck me as particularly proggy it didn't mean it wasn't an unrepresentative anomaly. I mean, it wouldn't be fair to judge Genesis' catalog of work by "Follow You, Follow Me" would it? I picked "Allied Forces" because I figured that by the time they recorded their fifth record they'd most likely have honed their craft to the point where they felt very comfortable in the studio environment and should be making some of their best music accordingly. To say I was disappointed is putting it way too mildly. There's absolutely no prog to be found on this disc. Not a speck. In fact, listening to it turned out to be like playing some kind of parlor game titled "Guess The Band They're Trying To Sound Like On This Cut!"

Any tune that sports the unimaginative, pedantic moniker of "Fool For Your Love" is hinting that it's not going to be something along the lines of a complex King Crimson number. This opening song is a case of bad Bad Company and my immediate reaction was that it was probably written on the road in a Podunk, Iowa motel room in about ten minutes tops. It's pedestrian, middle-of-the-road fare akin to what you've heard a thousand times before from as many groups. "Magic Power" is next and it's a blatant Journey imitation. It's about as authentic as a gold Rolex watch purchased on a street corner. I find nothing original whatsoever to report and I'm kinda surprised that they weren't sued for plagiarism. The short segue item that is "Air Raid" follows and it's so predictably patronizing as to be humorous. As the title implies, it comes complete with sirens wailing atop some general mayhem sound effects and ends with a metallic thud. "Allied Forces" mimics Deep Purple semi-accurately sans the intensity. By this juncture I can't help but think of those fancy golf courses they're building these days where every hole is intentionally designed to be a replica of one of the more famous ones on the PGA tour so that a middle-of-the-road player can get a second-rate taste of the real thing. Don't get me wrong, the musicianship I'm hearing is passable but it's nothing that you can't hear on any given Saturday night at your local biker bar. "Hot Time (In This City Tonight)" is as boring and unimaginative as the name implies. I guess they added the parentheses' because it looked cool or something. Here they ape any one of a half dozen Southern-styled boogie outfits that flourished in that timeframe by cranking their amps up to eleven and bellowing out some rhyming lines about how much crazy fun they're going to have while getting wasted with their bubbas. Holy crap this is so lame!

"Fight the Good Fight" proves that even Led Zeppelin wasn't immune from being ripped off by these desperate dudes. By the way, fellas, using a synthesizer doesn't make you progressive. On this cut it appears that singer Rik Emmett is trying to out-screech his northern territory rival, Geddy Lee. Ugh. "Ordinary Man" is counterfeit Styx, complete with big stacked vocal harmonies and a lot of low-brow political posturing crammed into the lyrics. This is so contrived and amateurish that it's embarrassing to listen to. Next is "Petite Etude." If there's a bright spot in this morass of mediocrity it's this little acoustic guitar piece that's the equivalent of a colorful toadstool growing out of a cow pie. It succeeds mainly due to bassist Mike Levino and drummer Gil Moore taking the day off and not being in the studio to screw it up. That's my guess, anyway. "Say Goodbye" is the last tune and I couldn't have put my sentiments more succinctly than the title does. The number is so generic that it defies identification as to whom they're trying to copy this time around. I'll put it this way. If you were to combine all the hair bands that were yet to come along in the 80s into a musical melting pot and have a song appear this is what it'd taste like. Bland to the point of being nausea-inducing. Considering that this record was released in 1981 it might be reasonable to blame Triumph for all the banal power ballads that inundated the industry for the rest of the decade. That might be stepping over the line of decency, though. That's a brutal accusation on my part so I take it back. You can decide for yourself as to who started that ball rolling.

Giving them the benefit of the doubt, it could be that they started out as a progressive band in '75 but abandoned it long before they got around to recording "Allied Forces." In their defense they sold over a million copies of this album and it reached #23 on the LP chart so they no doubt filled a few arena seats because of it and, according to what I found on the web, they're still a working entity with a loyal following traipsing the state fair circuits. I have no beef with these boys per se but when they're put up on the Progarchives dartboard and labeled worthy of inclusion then they're also qualified to be shot at. My only goal is to warn proggers who, like me, might be tempted to check this disc out in hopes of discovering something intriguing that they should spend their time looking elsewhere. To think that a group can manufacture a hit song simply by imitating what others have achieved is folly but it sounds like Triumph was trying to do just that. This is as intentionally derivative as anything I've ever come across and I hope I never have to sit through it again. 0.5 stars.

Report this review (#1087364)
Posted Sunday, December 8, 2013 | Review Permalink
Prog Leviathan
2 stars Indefensibly mediocre AOR that fits right alongside the arena-rocker greats of the era (or steals from them wholesale, whichever). A lot of people compare Triumph to Rush for obvious reasons, but for me Triumph is much closer to Journey: sort of proggish in the '70's transitioning to mainstream rocking in the '80's. For some this isn't a bad thing; after all, I appreciate camp, so like this style just fine. But, in the same year that Journey put out their top selling album of all time, Escape (as does Rush, coincidentally with Moving Picture), Triumph's Allied Forces seems like that much more of a squeaky whimper that says "us too!"

So what do we get with Allied Forces? Well, if you can image a band finding unused songs by Journey, Rush, Bad Company, Styx, Foreigner, and REO Speedwagon you'll have an OK idea of what Triumph is doing here. Maybe that's a little harsh, because there's actually some excellent musicianship on this album and Rik Emmett's legacy is respectable, but Allied Forces simply sounds derivative, unambitious, and humorless. It doesn't connect with the listener, in part because of bland production that gives each song the same flat tone. Moreover, it sounds like each song was written in an attempt to satisfy a different market segment (this song is for people who like to sing along; this one is for people who like Led Zeppelin; etc.).

Standout songs like "Fight the Good Fight" and "Ordinary Man" have a few artistic crumbles to enjoy, but for each one of those one must endure the AOR pastiche heard throughout. Emmett's voice is thin and shrill which makes me wonder why he even bothers singing when his guitar work is clearly where his talent lies. Songs like "Magic Power" feel to me like they were written for an '80's movie montage, but when you hear Emmett's vocals you'll probably agree that not even Ralph Macchio or Sylvester Stallone could make them cool.

Songwriting: 1 - Instrumental Performances: 3 - Lyrics/Vocals: 1 - Style/Emotion/Replay: 2

Report this review (#1411949)
Posted Monday, May 11, 2015 | Review Permalink

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