Thunder Seven

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Triumph's once unstoppable "rock & roll machine" was seriously running out of gas by the release of 1984's Thunder Seven, which was named thus because it was, in fact, their seventh studio album in Canada (sixth worldwide). Where the previous year's Never Surrender had managed to disguise the band's dwindling stores of inspiration and desire beneath a semi-convincing imitation of glories past, Thunder Seven revealed a group that was largely going through the motions. Familiar-sounding fare like "Times Go By" and "Stranger in a Strange Land" merely recycled old templates whose potential for original ideas had already been stripped bare, while disposable heavy rock anthems such as "Spellbound" and "Rock Out, Roll On" suffered from lukewarm execution, had very little of substance to say (no huge surprise there; Triumph were never the most eloquent of lyric writers), and found the band succumbing to the ultimate mainstream temptation of incorporating '80s-style synthesizers to boot. Ultimately, Thunder Seven's rare pleasant surprises were confined to competent radio single "Follow Your Heart" and the mildly enthusiastic "Killing Time," which saw guitarist Rik Emmett and drummer Gil Moore trading lead vocal lines for maybe the first time ever on record. Too bad this show of unity had to come on one of Triumph's most forgettable albums.

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