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TRIUMPH Reissues Castle (2006)

Sanctuary continue their excellent remaster series of the Triumph back catalogue, kicking off with Thunder Seven, the band's classic 1984 seventh album. (Castle CMRCD1301).

With hiatus with the record company, the best of the trio was brought out by producer Eddie Kramer. A touch more commercial but as strong, heavy and classic as ever. 'Rock Out Roll On' is a memorable number and 'Spellbound' a good single too.

'Cool Down' opens with a bluesy acoustic sound that was copied by the late 80s big hair crew. Definitely one of the better period North American rock albums. ***½

Stages (Castle CMRCD1302) is an epic and much overlooked live album, recorded between 1981 and 1985. The Canadian trio of Rik Rmmett (guitar / vocals), Mike Levine (bass/keyboards) and Gil Moore (drums/vocals) always had an explosive live show; plenty of pyrotechnics and performances to match.

The original double LP in a well designed gatefold sleeve is still a pride to hold. Blistering guitar, and a bass sound that wrecks speakers in true Thin Lizzy style, it's a classy live album if a little rough and distorted in places. With the 6 minute 'Never Surrender' and 10 minute 'Rock'n'Roll Machine', it'll please any fan and more. ****

1986's Sport Of Kings (Castle CMRCD1303) was more overtly commercial, at the push of MCA and a producer who nearly destroyed the band. Yet new producer Mike Clink saved the band and the record got released. The commercial sound here is in no way detrimental. A solid modern sound, vocal harmonies and keyboard programming that all sound great, really, but it wasn't the power trio of old. ***½

Review by Joe Geesin

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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