Progressions Of Power


MCA, 1980

REVIEW BY: Chris Harlow


In a hard rock era marked by bombast and excess, it's a wonder, looking back, to realize that Triumph's Progressions Of Power has always been considered the most benign release in the band's catalog.

Drummer Gil Moore, assuming one half of the band's lead vocal responsibilities, was showcased with his gritty blues-driven delivery in a way not to be seen again until the band's Edge Of Excess release some 12 years later. Four of the first five tracks here reward the listener with a great jukebox-in-the-barroom experience led by the shout-a-long anthems, "Tear The Roof Off" and "I Live For The Weekend."my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

As much as those songs will be remembered by diehard fans for being predictably heavy with their cliché-driven choruses, Moore offers quite a bit more diversity with his songwriting approach, while still clinging to his blues-rooted vocal style in the criminally forgotten track "Woman In Love."

With Rik Emmett delivering his more textured vocal and guitar-led contributions, Progressions Of Power attempts to achieve the listening balance the band created for itself with the prior effort Just A Game. Had it not been for Emmett misfiring in slipping in a Sinatra-styled rendition of "Take My Heart," Progressions Of Power may have actually succeeded in being remembered correctly as the band's third release, as opposed to the oh-so-common reference by fans to this being their sophomore effort. As such, the gamble to focus on Moore's contributions relegated the two Emmett gems, "Hard Road" and "In the Night," to time capsule status -- "In The Night" would have stood toe-to-toe with any of the prog-rock pieces featured in the day, and "Hard Road" was the upbeat rock anthem never heard by the masses because it was buried as the last track on this album.

These song order gaffes worked against the strengths Triumph had to offer; a more delicate balance in mixing Moore and Emmett's contributions on this effort would have certainly kept Progressions Of Power on the listening public's radar longer than it was. The tracks are there -- you just need to hit shuffle.

Good thing for all of us, though, that Triumph would release the gold selling Allied Forces a couple of years later, relegating the errors on Progressions Of Power to nothing more than a couple of inconsequential missteps. These experiences should be chalked up to nothing more than evolutionary steps in Triumph's progression to power.

Rating: B-

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