Rock & Roll Machine review by Triumph

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  • Released: Jun 24, 1978
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 9.8 (4 votes)
Triumph: Rock & Roll Machine

Sound — 10
Triumph are one of those bands whom have faded into obscurity due to the lack of any new material in fourteen years, mostly due to the bands split. However before their split they were a band full of diversity and craftsmanship, compelling music and inspirational lyrics. From 1975 to 1988 the band released nine splendid and innovative albums, that helped give birth to progressive metal, thrash metal & speed metal. They were also the first band from each of those categories to properly include a multiple of styles not commonly heard in them, such as classical and jazz. While the band never truly made it big in the US, their presence and influence was felt by any individual lucky enough to have any of their albums embrace their turntable. In 1977 Triumph released the album Rock And Roll Machine in Canada to a huge response, the following year the US took notice and released their own version of the album. This version took four songs from their self-titled first album and five tracks from the original RnRM and created a masterpiece of an album, one that should be heard by any respective metal fan. While the album may not have that overall bone crushing, ball busting, spine splitting heaviness, it made up for it with sheer aggression and speed, not to mention a level of versatility that no one had ever touched before them. From fist-pumping stadium rock anthems, to skull-crushing speed metal tracks about drugs and sex, to sophisticated progressive epics this album totally delivers.

Lyrics — 10
Triumph on a whole were one of the best lyricists in the game of metal, they knew how to be inspirational without sounding cheesy, and without a shadow of a doubt they could write demonic. On this album we get lyrics about kicking ass, falling in and out of love, touring the world, being at a concert, a street fighter man who is a rebel before settling down only to be killed during a run in with a drug dealer days before his wedding, while his killers need to run and hide. A minstrel whom was once beloved having fallen out of favor with his fans, is either drowning in sheer depressing or blinded by his ego and creations. Plus the title track single-handedly describes the world of heavy metal. Two different singers in Triumph, Rik Emmett and Gil Moore, and while both have distinctive styles, both can sound very familiar. Each song is sung with a ton of conviction, delivered with grit and heart. Rik is one of the greatest singers in the history of music, no matter what kind.

Overall Impression — 10
Does it compare? Hell yes, one of the all time greatest releases in the history of metal. Most Impressive Songs? Each is awesome, but each can be the highlight, although that claim goes to the Blinding Light Show. Love about it? Everything. Hate about it? Nothing. I've already bought the album six different times, three each version. This album was way ahead of it's time. Rik Emmett was the first guitar player to properly Shred, and he does so in so many different styles. For instance on the title track he plays a three minute shredding guitar solo, first recorded three full years before Eruption. On the Blinding Light Show he shreds on both an acoustic and electric, alternating between the two. Street Fighter Man and the title track are two of the first ever thrash metal songs, and New York City Streets Part 2 has one of the most original metal vocals in it.

3 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Totally agree here - I first heard this album in the mid-80's - and have seen Triumph in concert back then too - and they are for sure one of the best rock bands ever. They shred! Thanks for bringing t his back to mind!
    Triumph are no doubt one of the MOST underrated bands in the history of Rock, and this proves it. The title track's guitar solo is the beginning of shred, since this album was recorded and released(in Canada) a year before Van Halen was recorded and released. And if I'm not mistaken, I'm pretty sure thats Rik Emmett taping in the solo.
    Triumph is my favourite band of all time but i am really upset that i cant find tabs for the songs i want like when the lights go down, allied forces and so many more if any one knows where i can find any more tabs for this rock trio please let me know.