The Canadian power trio of Triumph were always a little bit progressive, and at times self-indulgent. This is understandable based on their collective musical talent. But while past records tempered their urge to show off their musical chops with plenty of songs that spoke to the common mullet, Thunder Seven seems a little wankier than usual for Triumph. For the second album in a row, Triumph close with a instrumental featuring guitarist Rik Emmett playing a blues solo. As great as Emmett was, I don’t think he was at his best with the blues stuff. I much prefer his classical acoustic solos, like Thunder Seven‘s resident entry Midsummer’s Dream. Another case of Triumph’s over-indulgence is the vocal-only piece Time Canon. Though impressive, it’s a tad pretentious.
Triumph were at their best when delivering empowering anthems. Thunder Seven has its share of inspiring numbers — with my favorite being Follow Your Heart. The album also includes a couple of interesting choices by Triumph. The song Cool Down is unabashed Led Zeppelin worship, and Killing Time is a rare treat for Triumph fans because Rik Emmett and Gil Moore actually share lead vocals. (Typically, a Triumph song would feature either one or the other alone on vocals.) My score: B