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Trial By Fire

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Album Review

After a ten-year hiatus, Journey returned to recording in 1996 with Trial by Fire, an album that sounds as if no time had passed between it and the band's last album, Raised on Radio. Journey have been completely unaffected by any trend in popular music, whether it's hair metal, hip-hop, or alternative rock and, frankly, they're the better for it. Trial by Fire delivers exactly what any Journey fan wants — anthemic rockers and sweeping power ballads. Steve Perry sounds as powerful as ever, while Neal Schon's accomplished guitar licks remain as tasty as ever. The songwriting, as before, is slightly hit-and-miss, with singles like "When You Love a Woman" and "Message of Love" standing out from the handful of mediocre album tracks. Which means, if you've enjoyed Journey in the past, you're certain to enjoy the best moments of Trial by Fire, but if their arena rock and radio-ready ballads have never agreed with you, the album will not change your mind. [Legacy Recordings reissued the album in 2006 with the bonus track "I Can See It in Your Eyes."]


Formed: 1973 in San Francisco, CA

Genre: Rock

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

During their initial 14 years of existence (1973-1987), Journey altered their musical approach and their personnel extensively while becoming a top touring and recording band. The only constant factor was guitarist Neal Schon, a music prodigy who had been a member of Santana in 1971-1972. The original unit, which was named in a contest on KSAN-FM in San Francisco, featured Schon, bassist Ross Valory, drummer Prairie Prince (replaced by Aynsley Dunbar), and guitarist George Tickner (who left after...
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Trial By Fire, Journey
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