Tuesday, August 7, 2012

TRIUMPH: "Live At Sweden Rock"

Rating: Live
Label: Frontiers 2012
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom

Triumph - a power trio from Toronto/Canada consisting of virtuoso musicians with a knack for coming up with slighty progressive yet darn catchy melodic melodies. It's merely a shame that this other Canadian power-trio got close to all the attention and credibility from rock journalists and press at the time. And to be frank, many thought of Triumph as poor man's Rush and they came first after all.

But their fans demanded it and after 20 years apart, the long-awaited reunion (of vocalist/guitarist Rik Emmett, bassist/keyboardist Mike Levine, and vocalist/drummer Gil Moore) took place at Sweden Rock Festival, on June 7, 2008, and here's the entire performance on CD. Rik Emmett is the unsung hero of classic rock with impressive lead vocals and top notch guitar-work.

Geddy Lee might just have been an early source of inspiration vocal-wise, but there's so much more to Emmett's vocal chords and the music always been more about straight rock arrangements anyhow. Surely I'm not the only one who thinks there's a small connection between Triumph/Rik Emmett and Montrose/Sammy Hagar?? I'm not usually the live album fan and I'd rather just spend some time with the DVD performance. However, this simply reeks of professionalism and it's nice to listen to proper musicians at work for once. Not nearly as essential as their classic 1985 live release, "Stages", but still miles ahead of most acts. I don't quite understand why they decided to include a cover of Joe Walsh's "Rocky Mountain Way" though? We'd much rather have another Triumph original of the eighties - thanks. Track Listing: When The Lights Go Down, Lay It On The Line, Allied Forces, Never Surrender, I Live For The Weekend, Blinding Light Show, Rocky Mountain Way, Magic Power, Rock N Roll Machine, Fight The Good Fight.

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