Power of Metal.dk Review

Riot V
Unleash the Fire
Style: Heavy Metal
Release date: 24 October, 2014
Playing time: 61:03

Riot was founded way back in time, back in 1975 by Mark Reale and he has been the leader and main songwriter for this heavy metal institution all the way until he passed away in 2012. So the future for Riot looked very bleak to say the least, but lo and behold: a new album is out now, under the moniker: Riot V and a great one I might add.

People will forever discuss when they had their hay-days: some swears to their early days with albums like "Fire Down Under" (1981) and "Restless Breed" (1982), while other prefers the double pack of "Thundersteel" (1988) and "The Privilege of Power" (1990), but almost everyone agrees on the fact that they have been on a downwards pointing slope for quite some time.

People have been coming and going in Riot and the band consists today of Mark's longtime songwriting partner Mike Flyntz (Guitars), who together with new guitarist Nick Lee (a former student of Mike's) have written twelve brilliant Riot songs that captures the essence of the band very well: fast-paced razor-sharp guitar riffs, great melodic guitar leads and harmonies. The signature high-pitched vocals are this time done by Todd Michael Hall (Burning Starr, Reverence) and he maintain the standard set by so many before him (I count at least six!). The rhythm section is also occupied by two well known faces: Don van Stavern (Bass) and Frank Gilchriest (Drums).

While the cover and lyrics are smeared with clichés bordering to embarrassing, this is all about the music! And on that level they deliver some of the best true heavy metal I have heard this year - not that I dig deep into that sub-genre - and this tops what many consider to be the premier band in this sub-genre, HammerFall - at least in my humble opinion.

A very well written album that not many had seen coming and without a doubt their best album since "The Privilege of Power" and a great testament to the legacy of the late Mark Reale.

01. Ride Hard Live Free
02. Metal Warrior
03. Fall from the Sky
04. Bring the Hammer Down
05. Unleash the Fire
06. Land of the Rising Sun
07. Kill to Survive
08. Return of the Outlaw
09. Immortal
10. Take Me Back
11. Fight Fight Fight
12. Until We Meet Again
13. Thundersteel (Live)
Label: Steamhammer/SPV
Distribution: Border Music (Denmark)
Reviewed by: Kenn Jensen
Date: 2 November, 2014
Website: Riot V @ Facebook