Foretoken
Triumphs

Ya know, I had completely forgotten about this North Carolina duo. This is surprising considering I rather enjoyed the debut from a few years ago, and the fact my enthusiasm, some would even say fanboyish obsession with any sort of metal with symphonic/orchestral elements. Throw in another couple of my weaknesses- history/mythological tales and modern, shreddy melodic death/tech metal and these guys should theoretically be a total slamdunk eargasm for me.

So why aren’t they?

I can’t quite put my finger on it. They check the above boxes with aplomb and could certainly be in the same ballpark as say Fleshgod Apocalypse. But ultimately as much as all the elements are well done, Triumphs is just lacking a certain something to prevent it from being a much more impactful listen for me.

The 9 lengthier songs (plus a cover of Naglfar’s “I am Vengeance”) for the most part, all kind of have the same pace and structure; busy, blasty, shreddy riffs and solos, rasped vocals and a layer of synths that should be utterly rousing and enthralling, especially considering the epic saga being told. But none of them truly standout or grab me, or any parts of any of the songs even.

Its all …..just …pretty good? From “Revenant of Valor” to  “A Tyrant Rises as Titans Fall” I’ve got absolutely no recall of virtually any moments from Triumphs when its over. The guys are good at their instruments, the production is modern and clean and certainly, they weave an epic tale, but I don’t feel the need instantly revisit a song or a riff at all at any point. The synths are pretty constant, but never generate anything truly sweeping or epic, they are just sort of ‘there’.

Even the mid-album song “Serpent Kings Venom”, the rare slower song on the album fails to generate any sort of blood-pumping, war-mongering emotions. The only songs that come close to garnering my attention are the following track “His Riastrad” and the saga’s concluding number “A Tyrant Rises as Titans Fall”. On the positive side, the album ending on Naglfar cover, however, hits all the right notes, but that’s easy considering what a ripper the original was.

It’s a pity these guys fall into the all too common tech metal pitfall of ‘great musicians, not great songwriters’, as I want to love them soooo much more. But for now, they, and Triumphs is a bit of a tantalizing letdown of sorts.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
April 25th, 2023

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