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Surveillance

Triumph

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Album Review

Triumph attempted to rescue their ailing career with the creative about-face of 1987's Surveillance, an album that saw the veteran Canadian trio rejecting many of the commercial concessions adopted on recent efforts for a return to thundering hard rock with progressive rock flourishes emblematic of their early work. Yes, aggressive numbers like "Never Say Never" (clearly the album's statement of intent) and "Headed for Nowhere" (featuring a guest solo from Steve Morse) tended to be as clichéd as ever from a lyrical standpoint, but they easily made up for those failings with Rik Emmett's reborn passion for biting — heck, positively carnivorous — riffs that seemed to beg fans not to give up on Triumph just yet! Calculated experimentation was also back on the menu, whether the group was looking ahead via the anthemic, crowd-baiting directness of "Long Time Gone" or harking back to those '70 prog rock roots via the keyboard-intensive "Carry on the Flame," which may have harnessed all of the era's novel synthesizer technology but still sounded curiously reminiscent of Kansas. Unfortunately, the album's overall grade was still diminished by its remaining selection of filler material (including the AOR-flavored mainstream single "Running in the Night"), but Surveillance's stronger cuts at least gave Triumph fans some kind of solace before the end, which would arrive in 1988 with Emmett's departure from the group, making this the final album recorded by the original trio.

Biography

Formed: 1975 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Late-'70s/early-'80s prog metallists Triumph endured countless comparisons to Rush throughout their career, and with good reason; they were both quite similar musically and lyrically, comprised of three members each, and hailed from Canada (although it must be said that Rush were the originator, and were much more commercially successful). Formed in Toronto during 1975, the trio consisted of guitarist/singer Rik Emmett, drummer/singer Gil Moore, and bassist/keyboardist Mike Levine, and issued its...
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Surveillance, Triumph
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