Rik Emmett (Triumph) & RESolution9 | RES9 (2016)

Label: Rockit Records/Mascot Label Group

Release Year: 2016

Country: Canada

Genre: Classic Rock/Blues/AOR


Band Members

Rik Emmet – Lead Guitars/Vocals

Dave Dunlop – Guitars

Paul Delong – Drums

Steve Stingley – Bass


Guest Musicians

James Labrie – Dream Theater – Vocals

Alex Lifeson RUSH – Guitars


Track Listing 

Stand Still

Human Race – (Alex Lifeson)

I Sing  – (James LaBrie)

My Cathedral

The Ghost of Shadow Town

When You Were My Baby

Sweet Tooth

Heads Up

Rest of My Life

End of the Line (Alex Lifeson & Jame LaBrie)

Grand Parade (Gil Moore & Mike Levine) (Bonus Track)


Contact Links

Rik Emmett Official Website

Rik Emmett Official Facebook Page

Rik Emmett Official Twitter

Rik Emmett Official YouTube Channel

Rik Emmett Official Mascot Group Label Profile

Mascot Label Group Official Website



I can still remember my first introduction to Triumph. It was at the US Festival at Devore California in 1983. My main listening at that time was the NWOBHM bands like Iron Maiden, Def Leppard, Saxon, Diamond Head and even some Ozzy Osbourne. So when I discovered I was going out to the US Festival with my parents to the Rock & Metal Day I had this preconceived idea that was going to watch and even listen to old geezer music. To my shock and surprise it was one of the very best concerts I have been to.

 This was Day #2 and the following played on the bill that day. Judas Priest , Mötley Crüe, Ozzy Osbourne , Quiet Riot, Scorpions, Triumph, Van Halen. The one  thing all this bands and artists had in common was in the vocals. The vocals on all this acts were up in the high rent district with towering soprano like styles. Besides Rob Halford in Judas Priest which was obvious of his insane range at the time, another one really stuck out at me. That being Triumph’s Rik Emmett. It was almost mandatory to have a vocal style like that in those days with this music.

Coming out of the same area about the same time as their contemporaries RUSH, Triumph would forge another path for Toronto, Ontario Canadian AOR/Arena Rock. What RUSH did to the progressive hard rock, Triumph would do for a new upcoming sub genre called Melodic Metal/AOR. Rik Emmett’s towering vocal style would also become both a mainstay on FM radio and the new medium of the day MTV. Like RUSH, Zebra and ZZ Top who were all three men outfits, Triumph would also find some satisfactory success on MTV. Songs like Lay It On The Line, Magic Power, Follow Your Heart and Fight The Good guaranteed that Triumph was much more than just the flavour of the month at the time. They were mainstays throughout the majority of the latter 1970’s through to the middle to latter part of the 1980’s.

Fast forward now to 2016. I am still discovering new depths and different sides to Rik Emmett. He returns with a powerful, knity grity style of stripped down almost blues hard rock AOR with Rik Emmett  & RESolution9 – RES9. If you think for a moment this is just another Triumph style big arena rock/AOR/Melodic Metal sound you are in for somewhat of a shock, but a good shock nevertheless. Rik Emmett explores many sounds and depths of guitar oriented rock with this new album.  Rik Emmett has also tapped into the rich Canadian rock pedigree to enlist the likes of Dream Theater’s James Labrie, RUSH’s Alex Lifeson, Dave Dunlop , etc … for Rik Emmett  & RESolution9 – RES9.

On Rik Emmett  & RESolution9 – RES9, we see Rik Emmett really strip down to bare bones straight up bluesy AOR rock. It is also amazing to see how he employed two people more known for their prog rock prowess in Alex Lifeson and James Labrie on a very fundamental straight away blues rock and how their individual talents totally fall in line with great precision on both time and range. Now a little breakdown of Rik Emmett  & RESolution9 – RES9.


Stand Still begins with a very straight forward stripped down blues chord progression.  It is almost that Texas southern fried rock made better known by ZZ Top. Lyrically it tells the story of all sorts of characters. The rhythm section is partially blues with light jazz elements you would find in a Zydeco joint in New Orleans. The guitar solo’s are nasty in nostalgia yet with a wonderful modern elemental sound. This track is the perfect setup for the bluesy buffet ahead.

Human Race (feat. Alex Lifeson) begins with a very familiar opening passage on guitar by Alex Lifeson. This is the very sound a riff playing we have come to know Alex in RUSH. This time it is acclimated more towards a bluesy passage more than a progressive one. Rik has totally built a Toronto Ontario, bloodline throughout this album and it starts on this track.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gT1_GyBoBkc]

Video Courtesy of (Mascot Label Group Official YouTube Channel)

I Sing (feat: James Labrie) Lyrically this is a classic tale of the life of a working musician going in and out of the trials and tribulations of life. James Labrie comes in quite subtly on vocals and takes over in certain parts. Both Rik and James do a great job playing of the rhythm section. Particularly the drum/bass rhythm section. This track also features another side to James Labrie many do not see in Dream Theater, that being a ‘Classic Rock Vocalist’.

My Cathedral is a very introspective track of people making proclamations of what faith and life mean. Is it God, music, whatever people find peace of mind and spirit in. This is really has some American southern fried roots in the chord progressions. Rik allows both the lyrical and instrumental narrative to carry this track into the middle and more experimental tracks of the album.

The Ghost Of Shadow Town starts off with thunderous drums to set the rhythmic tone with a almost steel guitar vibe.  The guitar solos throughout this track add more of a accent to the rhythm section narrative. Rik also employs more of a semi spoken word semi melodic vocal to tell the story.

When You Were My Baby starts out much in a Southern Texas Stevie Ray Vaughn style guitar passage. There are some nice isolated elements throughout to showcase both the instrumental and lyrical portions of the song. This is almost sounds like he and his band did this one live in studio and went back and did vocals later. The guitar solos are organically nasty and fluently blues.

Sweet Tooth is a little love ballad that is done in a 2:12 time frame. Kind of short and sweet , no pun intended. It is almost has a later 1960’s blues soul vibe about it.  The lyrical content is how the individual listener receives it.

Heads Up starts out with with a straight away rock passage. This track is probably the closest the traditional Triumph fan will enjoy. This is probably the most AOR track on the album in its anthemic nature.

Rest Of My Life begins with a smooth acoustic guitar passage along with a very harmonic vocal melody. Rik cuts in with a solo vocal isolation in the middle of the beautiful vocal harmony. This track has very rolling guitar oriented rock chord progressions. A lot of Rik Emmett’s vocal register over the last 40 years really flourishes in this one.

End Of The Line (feat: Alex Lifeson & James Labrie) displays the full Canadian rock element over the last half a century.  Rik has written towards the strengths of both Alex Lifeson & James Labrie while maintaining the original blues objective he has for the album.  This track is very heavy on the Classic Rock and AOR elements. This is the essential song that is very appropriate for both sub genres. There is a beautiful nastiness in the guitar passages throughout the track. The solos are big and so are the rhythmic elements. The solo’s are huge and you can hear both Rik Emmett’s signature style and Alex Lifeson’s signature style within the context of the main narrative.


[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8NJUS7737GM]

Video Courtesy of (Mascot Label Group Official YouTube Channel)

Grand Parade (feat: Gil Moore & Mike Levine) {Bonus Track} sees Rik Emmett reunited with his Triumph band mates. This is a very subtle track. The guitars and vocal harmonies progress towards an apex where the the track takes some subtle drops and begins to build in between passages. It also does not depend on the verse/bridge/chorus format in the lyrical narrative.

I will say this  about Rik Emmett  & RESolution9  RES9, this was a very unexpected gift to music in 2016. In a year plagued by many losses in the music world this is one of those albums that brings home what traditional ‘classic rock’ and AOR are about. It also continues to solidify Rik Emmett’s legacy as one of the best Canadian songwriters and musicians of our time.This album also has confirmed in me the maturity and appreciation for music outside my heavy metal and folk rock and progressive rock/metal roots.  Rik Emmett  & RESolution9  RES9 gets a 4.75/5 .

Making Of Rik Emmett  & RESolution9  RES9 Video

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rkwInU5HPc]

Video Courtesy of (Mascot Label Group Official YouTube Channel)