Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography



Prog Related

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Triumph Never Surrender album cover
2.64 | 56 ratings | 9 reviews | 11% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

Write a review

from partners
Studio Album, released in 1982

Songs / Tracks Listing

. Too Much Thinking (5:34)
2. A World Of Fantasy (5:03)
3. A Minor Prelude (0:43)
4. All The Way (4:22)
5. Battle Cry (4:57)
6. Overture (Procession) (1:54)
7. Never Surrender (6:40)
8. When The Lights Go Down (5:03)
9. Writing On The Wall (3:34)
10. Epilogue (Resolution) (2:41)

Total time 40:31

Line-up / Musicians

- Rik Emmett / guitars (electric, 6- & 12-string acoustic, dobro, slide, pedal steel & synth), bass pedals, lead & backing vocals
- Michael Levine / bass, organ, piano, synth
- Gil Moore / drums, percussion, lead & backing vocals

Releases information

Artwork: Ken Steacy

LP Attic ‎- LAT-1150 (1982, Canada)

CD MCA Records ‎- MCD31069 (1983, Germany)
CD MCA Records ‎- MCAD-31069 (1986, Canada)
CD TRC Records ‎- TRBD6206 (1995, Canada) Remastered by Bob Ludwig
CD TML Entertainment ‎- TML 78006 (2004, Canada) Remastered by Brett Zilahi

Thanks to Retrovertigo for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy TRIUMPH Never Surrender Music

TRIUMPH Never Surrender ratings distribution

(56 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(11%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(36%)
Good, but non-essential (38%)
Collectors/fans only (12%)
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)

TRIUMPH Never Surrender reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
2 stars I received this album on loan from my buddy as an extra with all of the early albums I had asked him for to review Triumph for the PA. I had dropped Triumph ( and a lot of 70's survivors I must admit) by this time in the 80's as totally disgusted by the rock scenes , I went on to explore jazz , jazz-rock , psych rock folk-rock of the previous decades, that I had been too young to discover.

The thing that strikes me on this album (I only heard two tracks ever before) is that they still sound a bit like Triumph but they also sound like FM rock of the times, namely Journey , Styx, REO SpeedW etc.. Even the obligatory acoustic track, is shorter by a minute than usual and serves as intro to the metallic All The Way. Some tracks drag on (Battle Cry) while others are insufferable right from the start (Lights go Down and Writing On The Wall) and their "epic" (if you can call it that) title track with its intro is downright deceiving for the old fan. But it is in term with the rest of the album: compared to their early albums, ideas are rarer and therefore stretched to last a whole song where previously you could stick four of them into a filler track. If I seem severe with Triumph, burning what I have loved before, I can only answer your angry remarks by telling you how the once mighty have fallen! I will however be king enough to round off my rating to the upper unit/star.

Review by slipperman
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?

Review by ClemofNazareth
1 stars Another classic from the golden age of Triumph. This one came out on the heels of Allied Forces, and included three hit singles on the 1983 Mainstream Rock charts in North America (note the genre of these hits – more on tat later).

The album cover is impressive enough – a cartoonish drawing of a warrior’s face mask sprouting what is apparently a profile of a phoenix above the eyes. This was contributed by Canadian artist Ken Steacy, better known for his comic book work like Orb and Johnny Quest. Today I had occasion to actually get past the cover and play this one for the first time in twenty years.

The second most striking attribute after the cover is the lyrics on the back of the record sleeve. Some choice gems here – many words to live by from the boys up north:

“where there’s a will there’s a way; every dog will have his day”.

“you better watch out, you better look around, ‘cause what goes up is gonna’ come down”

“writing on the wall – stand up and be counted; all for one and one for all”

“see tomorrow coming, shake the hand of fate. Mirror, mirror on the wall – is it all too late”

“the loser pays and the strong survive, so take your shot – give it all you can”

“I have no choice – I answer the call; I can see it, and I believe it – there is wisdom in the writing on the wall”

and no shortage of tender moments either:

“the path of least resistance has led me right to you”

“oh sweet love, you wore such a disguise: so neat love, the way I fell for your lies”

The music is pretty much what we’ve come to expect from the Triumph trio – Rik Emmett shredding his way through a couple of chords per song, off-key shrieking, and Levine alternating between his one-two bass rhythm and nondescript keyboard work. Really, Gil Moore is a decent drummer, and he probably deserves better than this.

“Never Surrender” fits the previous description, not much more to add. “When the Lights go Down” is Triumph’s version of REO Speedwagon’s much better “Back on the Road Again”, with Emmett reaching new heights of toneless singing. “Too Much Thinking”, which kinds of describes the song-writing approach of this band, carries the message that we’re all doomed and are going to die.

There’s an attempt at a soldier tribute with “Battle Cry”, then more shrieking and shredding on “All the Way”.

Apparently the band is predicting the fate of this album with “The Writing on the Wall”, and finally the album ends with the inexplicably hit single “A World of Fantasy”, a confused love song for yet another woman Emmett is both drawn to and repulsed by. With any luck she got away.

So ends another in a too long line of Triumph musical forays. I will say that with the possible exception of Thunder Seven, this is probably their finest work.

One star.


Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Well at least I find the bass guitar work at the opening track "Too Much Thinking" is good. The music is something similar with Germany's early Scorpions (when Uli John Roth was still in the band). This opening track rocks! It's suitable to be as album opener as the rhythm section is energetic and guitar solos are quite substantial compared to previous albums of Triumph. "A World of Fantasy" (5:03) is another blues-based music from Triumph with good interlude. "Battle Cry" is also good song from this album. When the album reaches ""Overture (Procession)" (1:54) my expectation of "prog" elements grows but when it is followed with "Never Surrender" (6:40), it's just another straight hard rock music. Nothing is different, even though it's a good song. Keep on rockin' ..!

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
3 stars Thinking man's Hard Rock without too much thinking

Never Surrender is possibly Triumph's most varied yet consistent and perhaps also their most progressive album overall. Like all of Triumph's works, this is still primarily a Hard Rock album, but this time they have chosen a slightly more sophisticated approach than on most of their other albums. The band's most undemanding and generic compositions are, thankfully, not to be found on this album (but, admittedly, their most progressive song is also not here). Even in the lyrics they manage to stay away from the worst Rock 'N' Roll standards and clichés.

The album starts with Too Much Thinking which is a good melodic Hard Rock song that runs for five and a half minutes. They use this space to include some nice guitar work. Triumph can never be accused of too much thinking, but they sure know how to play their instruments. With World Of Fantasy the tempo is slowed down a bit and they deliver here dynamic song with a strong vocal performance. A Minor Prelude is a classically inspired acoustic guitar piece of the kind that has become standard on the band's albums. Being a "prelude" this, of course, leads straight into the next song, All The Way, which is the album's most straightforward rocker and easily the least interesting song here. The chorus is quite tedious both musically and lyrically ? a very typical Triumph Hard Rock number. Battle Cry is a much better song that alternates between slower and more intense passages. This will hardly blow the Prog fan away, but it is a good song in my book.

Next up is an "overture" that introduces the title track. While hardly remarkable, this Overture surely raises the expectations for the rest of the album, but anyone expecting a Prog epic will be brought down to earth with Never Surrender. Despite a the instrumental middle section, it is basically another sophisticated melodic Hard Rock song, similar in style and quality to Too Much Thinking and World Of Fantasy - good, but hardly something to write home about. When The Light Go Down is worse! It has a short, folksy acoustic intro and outro that evokes Led Zeppelin and overall it is a pretty unexciting bluesy Hard Rock number in the style of that band. As the album closer is a short, relaxing, bluesy instrumental guitar piece, the album's last proper song is Writing On The Wall which is, again, a melodic up tempo rocker.

Three stars might be seen as a rather generous rating for this album, but it is nonetheless the rating I will give as this is one of Triumph's better albums. Good, but by no means essential.

Review by Prog Leviathan
2 stars In Never Surrender we've got a hefty collection of hard-rock and almost metal that clings to the hard-rock blues of the '70's despite being surrounded by shifting musical styles. Triumph gets points for not being a party/glam band like many of their contemporaries like Motley Crue or Dokken or Ratt or (insert crappy/campy '80's hard rock band here). Songs on Never Surrender are mostly political in theme and include just enough sprinkling of artistic nuance to get them into Prog Archives... but don't go in with the wrong expectations: Triumph is a hard-rock band first. The skill and artistic merit that comes along the way seems like an after thought.

Most of the album is straight-ahead, gruff, crunchy, upbeat rock. Emmett's guitar playing, and especially his solos, are above average. If Triumph stuck to their instrumental guns they'd actually be a pretty badass band, as shown by Emmett's axe work in the ferocious "Too Much Thinking", the bluesy "Battle Cry", and especially in the extended and creative soloing in "When the Lights Go Down." It's too bad that Emmett opens his mouth to handle most of the singing, too. Never Surrender has lyrics that are acceptably bad for the genre and era, but Emmett's high, tinny, thin, frail vocals are just plain bad. If you like camp (like me), you'll actually have fun slumming along to the shrill wails, but vocals are definitely among the album's low points (drummer Gil Moore provides much better, though infrequent vocals).

The rest of the band plays quite well. While not striving for instrumental virtuosity or ear-catching moments, the rhythm section is entirely effective. The real issue with Never Surrender is that the songs just aren't much to write home about. Emmett's guitar ends up being the most memorable thing about the album, not the songs he's playing on.

The result is a fun, unchallenging yet uninsulting hard-rock release from a fun, unchallenging band. Check out the heavy bluesy guitar antics on "When the Lights Go Down," and maybe you'll agree... if you don't press the STOP button on your way there.

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

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars My Triumph trilogy

Triumph is one of those bands which officially sanctioned "proggers" feel the need to debase, when in reality the band has always been a feel-good hard rock band who I'm sure doesn't pine for the approval of we, the musical Asgard. How some folks see fit to trash this band with one-star reviews is beyond me. Triumph always struck me as similar to what Styx would sound like without Dennis DeYoung, if it were led by Tommy Shaw and James Young alone as it is today. Just good quality suburban hard-rock, surviving the era of bad clothes and big hair with respectable musicianship and grueling tour constitutions. But these days, revisionism is huge in all areas of life, so I shouldn't be surprised.

I think the one-two-three punch of Allied Forces/Never Surrender/Thunder Seven marks what is probably my personal highpoint for the group. Everything seems just a bit more cohesive, planned, polished, and executed. The live Triumph were at the absolute peak of their power in this period as proven in the 1983 US Festival performance, which you should own on DVD if you like this band to any measurable degree.

They still don't deviate far, unfortunately, from their template of several bar-rock hard bluesy tunes sung by Gil, to Rik's more grandiose anthemic tracks, with the cherry on whip cream short acoustic guitar number stuck in there (not unlike what Steve Howe did with stuff like The Clap.) The album is on par with the previous and the latter, although on most days, it is probably my least played of the three. The title track is a great song and the acoustic interludes are beautiful. It boasted a couple of high-charting Billboard singles, with "A World of Fantasy" being a standout track. It and the title track have that big epic Rik song style vibe that became the hallmark of Triumph in this period, even if it wasn't quite comparable to the attempts to pass this band off as another Rush (they never were or tried to be.) Still, good vibes duly noted, three stars is definitely the best I can do with Never Surrender.

For anyone remotely interested in checking out Triumph, who has no previous experience with this Canadian hard-rock juggernaut, the place to start is their full, spectacular performance at the US Festival, which is available on both CD and DVD. That is the day they arguably blew their peers away. THAT is Triumph at their finest. They never quite translated that same ferocity to their studio work, most of which is three stars at best. Still, suburban kids of the late 70s and early 80s will remember Triumph as a really good band they enjoyed at the rink or arcade, and they frankly couldn't give a whiz what the cerebrals in the "progressive community" think. Nor should you. Carry on, kiddos, and pass it this way.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Good album Triumph's Never Surrender was an albun that I didn't really know what to think of when I first heard them. But the album didn't let me down at all. I was immensly impressed with how it started off and carried through. Too Much Thinking, A World of Fantasy, Writing on the Wall, Never ... (read more)

Report this review (#92698) | Posted by Xeroth | Saturday, September 30, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars For me this was a hard album to get on cd. I had it on LP but the grooves were nowhere to be seen. This is an album that you put on....and on....and on. One of the best songs ever, the title track, Never Surrender has one of the best rhythems in rock. The singing is clear, crisp. There are no ... (read more)

Report this review (#57301) | Posted by Hét LICHAAM | Monday, November 21, 2005 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of TRIUMPH "Never Surrender"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.