Great Metal Albums of 1980: Triumph- Progressions of Power


In 1980, we had metal contributions from Great Britain, the USA and Australia, so it would only be natural that we had at least one from Canada. Of course in this year of great rock and metal albums, there was a brilliant album from Rush, which I have already posted on, but since even they don’t want to be called heavy metal, I decided to honour their wishes and not refer to them as such. I’m digressing again, what Canada did give the metal world that year was a brilliant album from Triumph.

When I visited their “Just a Game” album during my tour of 1979, I explained that because heavy metal was still in it’s infancy back then, Triumph was still looking for the sound that would stamp them firmly onto the metal monument. I can now safely say that after hearing “Progressions of Power” twice, that they definitely found the sound they were looking for. For me, this is yet another great metal album from the year. Not only did the opener “I Live for the Weekend” had me banging my head away, but that lasted through the second song “I Can Survive.” Even the more power ballad “In the Night” didn’t lessen my happy mood. Then there were two great back to backĀ rockers, “Nature’s Child” and “Women in Love” and I have to really sing the praises of “Tear the Roof Off.” That songs really gets me going even if it is followed by a total ballad in the form of “Take My Heart.” Finally “Hard Road” that takes the album to it’s conclusion in a very well done fashion.

The problem that has always plagued Triumph is that because they’re Canadian, the get compared to Rush. Shame on those who do that. They are noticeably different. While Rush likes to go more progressive, Triumph lets you know that they are a hard rocking band and should be seen as such. I’m even going to go out on a limb here and say that I prefer the guitar playing of Rik Emmet to Alex Liefson but that’s just me. The solos he performs on this album are just grand.

Track Listing:

1. I Live For the Weekend

2. I Can Survive

3. In the Night

4. Nature’s Child

5. Women in Love

6. Take My Heart

7. Tear the Roof Off

8. Finger Talkin’

9. Hard Road



Rik Emmet- guitars, prophet 5 synthesiser, vocals

Gil Moore- drums, percussion vocals

Mike Levine- bass, keyboards

Way back when I first began this blog nearly three years ago, I said that Canadian metal doesn’t get the respect it deserves. I hope that as people follow me through this journey of heavy metal history, they will begin to give that respect to them. If you want a good place to start, then I can wholeheartedly suggest this album.

Next post: Van Halen- Women and Children First

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20 Responses to “Great Metal Albums of 1980: Triumph- Progressions of Power”

  1. Thanks for giving Canada some metal cred!

    The comparisons to Rush were easy for the press to grasp. Both trios, both Canadians, both with a high-pitched lead singer…

    I think that’s where the comparisons end though. Rik Emmett was not beyond putting progressive moments in their music from time to time but as you say, this is a rock band primarily.


    • You’re welcome and more on that subject is still to come. Especially as the years roll on and I visit Anvil, Lee Aaron and my personal favourite, The Killer Dwarfs. Come to think of it, there were some brief prog moments on the album but yes, it is definitely hard rock.


      • Killer Dwarfs! I will definitely be talking about them more in the future. Dirty Weapons was 1990 but an amazing album.

        I was watching their old music videos. They did so much with like no money.


  2. This was my first exposure to Triumph, back in 1980, and I immediately became a fan. The extended outro of “I Live For The Weekend” always makes me laugh because it seems to have 3-4 false endings. I love the fact that they started the album with a song that could be the encore of their live show. They would go on to make a couple of albums I enjoyed more (Allied Forces and Never Surrender), and I might like Just A Game slightly more (although, as you pointed out, they weren’t really metal at that point), but Progressions Of Power should get more love from the metal community when discussing the best albums of that era.

    As for Killer Dwarfs, I only discovered them about 10-12 years ago but like a lot of their stuff now. I hope to see some write-ups on their music in the future.


    • Rich, I reviewed the Dwarfs’ Dirty Weapons album last year if you want to have a look. I’m still missing their Method to the Madness CD. It seems to be rare now.


    • I will definitely be visiting all of the Killer Dwarfs albums in the 80s as well as the two Triumph albums you’ve mentioned. Mike, I am going to go back an read your review of “Dirty Weapons.” Good album although “Big Deal” remains my favourite.


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