Triumph

Surveillance

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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 clich├ęd 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.

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