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Triumph - 'Live at Sweden Rock Festival' (frontiers) 4.5/5

From the mid 1970's right through to the early 1990's Canadas Triumph were right up there with very biggest names in rock, albums like Sport of Kings and Allied Forces sold by the truck load, and they toured the world playing in the biggest venues. However in the early 1990's guitarist and band main man Rik Emmett departed for a solo career, and Triumph fell from view into the were are they now file to spend the next 15 years almost forgotten. Then in 2008 the band reunited for a one off appearance at the legendary Sweden Rocks Festival and as often happens the one off lead to a small tour, which lead to a bigger tour and before you could say I Live For The Weekend the band were back together full time. Now since then there has been no new Triumph material - in fact the band have said there will not be any new studio albums in the foreseeable, but the band have been doing a fair bit of archive raiding and they have just issued this, the full set from that Sweden Rock reunion gig.

Now I will confess I was a bit of a Triumph fan back in the day, but over the past 20 years their albums have been laying at the back of the record rack - in fact I can't remember when I last played a Triumph album for my own enjoyment, and a flick through my playlist archive shows I've only span one Triumph track on air since the BCFM show started, and that was 3 years ago (something I intend to redress over the next few months). So I am finding listening to this one a bit of a journey of rediscovery.

And what a pleasant journey it is. The album kicks off with When The Lights Go Down, a glorious slice of stoner rock, that shows just where the likes of Stone Axe and Mos Generator are getting some of their influences. Other highlights include Allied Forces - a cut that comes on as a real surprise when you realise exactly how heavy Triumph could be from time to time; the aforementioned I Live For The Weekend, always my fave Triumph number, and a rock and roller that still sounds as fresh as it it did back in the 80's; and then there's the epic and progressive Blinding Light Show with Mr Emmett showing he still knows his way around a fret board. All good and classic stuff and when you reach the final notes of the wondrously uplifting Fight the Good Fight you end up with a wonderfully satisfied feeling of having rediscovered something very very good indeed.

This album is a great live document, the production is spot on, showing the pure talent of the band and capturing the excitement of the live situation perfectly. This one will certainly remind the world of Triumph and exactly how good they still are. There's only problem, this has left me wanting more Triumph, new Triumph, I'm sure musicians of this class and standard are still capable of writing and recording anther killer album to add to their back catalogue. Come on guys whatdya say?


For fans of... Rush, Van Halen, Stone Axe, The Rods.....

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