Has it's moments....
I won’t deny my initial disappoint at hearing this album when it was released in 96.
I thought to myself, we waited 10 years for this?
Far too many slow or mid-tempo songs and the “rockers’ are simply not of the par with what one would expect from the Journey boys.
Although I will say that the slower songs such as "It's Just the Rain" "When You Love a Woman", "Easy to Fall" "When I Think of You" "Colors of the Spirit" & "Still She Cries" are wonderfully constructed songs and rate high here.
But the lack of quality rockers is puzzling here. Schon and Co really missed on an opportunity to deliver a stellar album.
Of the few rockers on this release, none of them really take the listener on a ride like the days of old.
“One More” is the best of the harder songs here (and only decent at that)
Although I can appreciate the singing and playing, “Castles Burning" just never appealed to me. I still skip past song anytime I play this release.
Overall, I feel they missed a real opportunity to bring Journey into the 90’s and beyond and reconquer the world.
Of course, everything fell apart after this was recorded.
The fact that “Trial By Fire” might be the last Journey release with Perry is depressing.
The worst Journey record, by far.
I've never understood the appeal of this album. I tried to enjoy it, but is seems over produced and just another step away from the rock band Journey was used to be. This is AC not rock and roll. What a waste of a great band.
Outstanding & Classy!!!
I bought this album when it came out in 1996 and I must admit, it took me a while to appreciate it. Message of love and When you love a woman are definitely more similar to the sound we're used to but listeners owe it to themselves to give this album good listen like in the good ole days; sitting alone in your room with your headphones on! As a singer, I can definitely hear the difference in Perry's range compared to his younger days but his execution is still remarkable!!! Very few people can express that level of emotion with just their vocal chords and, IMO, Steve Perry is the best, period. Needless to say, the rest of the band is as crisp as ever and their sound is impeccable! I just saw them live (5/16/15) and I was thoroughly impressed! My favorite track is Still she cries! WOW!!!
Terrific Album, completely underrated
By Jcj bear
Still love this album almost 20 years later.
One of their best!
A must have for any Journey fan.
It's about Half of a good album
It just sounds like most of the vocal melodies were rushed and unfinished.
The album would have been better suited as a 10 song release.
Steve Perry voice sounds great as always, but his performing effort is minimal.
Nothing here, save for the remake of "Separate Ways" (Message of Love) sound the least bit inspired.
And by the way, why didn't we all catch the "band kiss off" by Steve Perry on,
"Baby, I'm Leaving You" which may be the worst attempt at reggae ever recorded.
The song now sounds prophetic.
I'm glad I didn't write a review when I first bought Trial By Fire because at first I was a bit disappointed- I was wrong. This is a very, very good Journey record.
Message of Love rocks, great song to get you moving and singing in your car. For a while that was the only song I listened to and then as I just let my Journey playlist keep running through I started to really appreciate the other songs. My disappointment at first was that the record felt too ballad heavy, not enough good Journey rocking' songs but I've listened to the record about 6 times now and I love a number of the songs on it and actually don't have one that I would skip, I like them all. It's Just the Rain is a beautiful song as is If He Should Break Your Heart and So Easy To Fall is a really good song that showcases Neal's Blues background at the end and of course Steve's fantastic voice.
If you like Journey and you don't have this record, go ahead and buy it- we may never hear these guys together again, which would be a tragedy. I wish they would all put their differences aside and start making more great music. Steve has a fantastic voice and Neal is one of the best guitarists of all time, but they are at their best together. The band that is calling themselves Journey now is a farce- no better than a Karaoke band if you ask me.
"When You Love a Woman"
My ALL TIME FAV Journey song! Way better than "Don't Stop Believin'". Absolutely stunning
There is a lot of overlooked magic here...
There are a lot of great tracks on this album, and I always feel that if Perry were back in Journey for one studio album today, we'd get an even better album. They aren't at all ashamed of how they sounded in the 80's with these recordings, as they still clearly sound like the guys who did albums like ESCAPE and Frontiers, but they also were not at all afraid to break away from that unmistakable 80s sound heard on a lot of their hits from Frontiers and Raised on Radio. Great album, truly a shame it fell to earth so quickly. My second favorite next to the legendary Frontiers!
Departure, Escape and Trial By Fire are my favorite Journey Studio albums. Captured is amazing, but it's live-if you want that. If you are choosing journey albums- buy this one. Skip any of the stuff post Steve Perry.