On January 23, 1983, "Triumph" released their sixth album, "Never Surrender".
The album was first released in late 1982 in Canada only, through "Attic Records". Due to record company distribution issues, the album was released in the US and worldwide only on January 23, 1983, through "MCA Records".
"Triumph" came to record this album at its peak, following four consecutive platinum albums, including the 1981 "Allied Forces". On the other hand, the tremendous pressure of releasing albums at a dizzying pace and the tours that accompanied them, left the band exhausted, physically and creatively. There were high expectations from "Triumph" to produce another blockbuster album at the level of the last four, so the band re-entered the studio in an attempt to harness enough energy and inspiration to make sure the next album would meet the high standards of those who preceded it.
In our opinion, the band accomplished it and even more! Despite the relative creative difficulty and pressure around, the band managed to produce another great album that won the gold status in the US and includes at least five rock anthems, including: "Too Much Thinking" with the wah-wah effect inspired by Jimi Hendrix, the sweeping "All the Way", the semi-ballad "A World of Fantasy "and of course the theme song "Never Surrender", that became the highest charting songs of "Triumph" in the" Top Rock Tracks" chart.
The band's song has taken on a more political tone on this album, compared to previous albums and this can already be heard from the opening of "Too Much Thinking", which includes a sample from one of President Ronald Reagan's speeches. Drummer Gil Moore opens strong with powerful drumming and vocals, guitarist Rik Emmett emerges from behind with a deadly riff and a "Talk Box" effect solo, while bassist Mike Levine acts as the glue that holds everything together with his beating bass.
After Gil Moore's powerful opening, we're introduced to the semi-ballad "A World of Fantasy" sung by Rik Emmett. These quasi-quiet pieces are no stranger to Emmett and they sit perfectly on his incredible voice.
Instrumental pieces are already a matter of tradition for "Triumph", which makes sure to include one or two of these in each album. In this case, we get three of them. The first of which is "A Minor Prelude" is a classical guitar piece that proves once again Rik Emmett's monstrous talent. Rik is perhaps one of the greatest and most underrated guitarists in Hard Rock. He could smash any metal guitarist in guitar shredding, but that was not his thing. He always tried to show his diversity and versatility by playing different musical styles, as he does here as well.
The A Minor Prelude" instrumental piece, serves as an introduction to the excellent "All the Way". A simply great song with a rhythmic and catchy riff and the melodic and sweeping singing of Rik Emmett. No doubt one of the most beautiful songs on the album.
"Battle Cry" sung by Gil Moore is a mesmerizing song with a slow riff and a "Zeppelin" drumming, that emphasizes the heavier side of "Triumph". Have we already said that the added value of this great band is the fact that they have two excellent singers with different tones of voice who really complement each other? So here's another proof of that.
The other side of the vinyl opens up with the second instrumental section "Overture (Procession)", which features a short guitar intro accompanied by bassist Mike Levine's synthesizer playing. This track is actually a "build-up" to the main course - the album's great theme song - "Never Surrender". These two tracks cross the 8-minute line altogether and sound like one complex and complete work. Gil Moore's drumming may sound simple, but whoever listens to the "drum fills" and "drum rolls" he plays in between the chords and riffs, will find that he is a talented and intelligent drummer.
As if the three instrumental pieces on this album are not enough, so Rik Emmett takes care to open the song "When the Lights Go Down" with a steel guitar intro, which leads us to the explosion at 0:30 min. with the rock'n'roll riff and powerful vocals of Gil Moore. We have also written our opinions in the past about drummers who are also singers and noted that for us they are "Supermen". It's perhaps the hardest thing to do, sing and play drums at the same time and anyone who watches this band's performances will find out that Gil Moore just does it perfectly! See here:
We're getting near the end with Rik Emmett's most brilliant melodic writing in the song "Writing's On the Wall". A catchy song with Emmett's amazing singing that sounds like a stadium anthem.
The album is sealed with another instrumental track called "Epilogue (Resolution)". This beautiful piece illustrates where Rik will go next in his future solo career, decades down the road, with hints of jazz and classical music.