By Wilder Penfield III
From The Toronto Sun – September 10, 1976
Triumph is getting ready for a career worthy of the name.
The power-rock trio made its dance-and-dive reputation slugging out effective carbons of Deep Zeppelin and Led Purple. This week, though, for the first time, whole sets of original material are being included. Not only does the new music sound like it belongs in the same league with the metal masters, the Gasworks crowds are also responding to it just as eagerly. After their last set Wednesday morning, even the house lights and loud closing-time music didn’t deter the inmates, who banged and pounded and whistled and shouted for almost ten minutes total to win themselves a couple of encores from the band.
Part of the acceptance undoubtedly comes from the release of a first-rate debut album of home-cast ingots call (wait for it!) Triumph. Inevitably, Triumph makes its maximum impact live. Digestion is short-circuited while the threesome beat their ploughshares into swords; beer disappears like magic in the shadow of their wall of sound. But this is one of few such bands which delivers on record what it promises in concert. Guitarist Rik Emmett, a mane-waving sex-appealing punk of 23, is the visual focus of the trio. Musically, bassman Mike Levine and drummer-vocalist Gil Moore are tight and equal partners. Mike also served as producer on the album, and he deserves special credit for capturing their live vitality on vinyl; all three contributed to the nine-song selection.
Other performers were part of the audience. Singer Geddy Lee from Rush, checking out the competition while he awaits the release of his own band’s live-at-Massey Hall album, brought a couple of members of Blue Oyster Cult with him. The Dishes dropped by, Shirley Eikhard was introduced from stage, and Artful Dodger caught a set before catching up with the Kiss entourage. Triumph is a relative newcomer to such company, barely a year old. It is still shopping for a manager, an agent, an American deal, and an opening slot on a national tour.