Riot - ThunderSteel
CBS Records
Melodic Power Metal
9 songs (46:02)
Release year: 1988
Riot
Reviewed by Mike

Returning with a new lineup in 1988, Riot came thundering back from the ashes to release their most powerful release to date, Thundersteel. Unlike the Guy Sperazna and Rhett Forrester fronted albums, Thundersteel is a full out power metal assault. Their previous offerings (which I plan to look at more closely in due time) are all excellent melodic hard rock / metal albums. After recording Thundersteel and Privilege of Power with Tony Moore on vocals, Riot again saw a vocalist change with Mike DiMeo taking the helm with the 1993 release, Nightbreaker. Again, the DiMeo era of Riot is something that I hope to talk about in due time. For now, let me tell you about the power metal masterpiece that first introduced me to this band - Thundersteel.

Perhaps the directional change to power metal due in part to Tony Moore's voice. This guy was born to sing this genre. After his stint with Riot, I have no idea if Moore ever recorded any music again. If not, that is a shame as his voice fits this style of music like a glove. He hits and sustains the high notes with great ease, but does not over indulge himself in the higher octaves. To top that off, his outstanding melodic vocal delivery only ensures that each of the nine tracks on this album will head straight to your long term memory and stay there for quite some time.

The musicianship on this album is simply amazing. Mark Reale has come up with some of the best power metal riffs I've ever heard and spread them over the entire album. If you ask me for a specific song that contains a magnificent yet melodic riff, my answer is this: Put your CD player on random and you are sure to be pleased. Not only that, but we are treated to a constant supply of shredding and blistering solos throughout. As you may remember from some of my prior reviews, I am a huge fan of big solos and shredding. This album is one of the best albums I have in my collection with regards to great guitar work. The rhythm section is steady and builds a very solid and consistent foundation for the sound. The drumming is relentlessly fast, yet varied to keep things interesting. Pounding double bass, loud cymbal crashes and technical accuracy are featured on this album. You may recognize the name of the drummer: Bobby Jarzombek (Halford). Don Van Stavern fills out the rhythm section on bass. This is a classic example for me of what power metal should like: killer riffs, shredding, melodies beginning to end, and top notch vocals.

There is not one weak track on this album. Each song is delivered with the utmost urgency and will beg to be played again and again as the melodies are addictive as hell and the guitar work is sure to please as well. Although each song is a killer, Flight Of The Warrior is simply an amazing song that through the years has remained one of my favorite power metal songs ever. If you are a power metal fan, or a just a metal fan looking for cool melodies and excellent musicianship, this CD needs to be in your collection. I stumbled across this CD in a pawnshop for $2 and bought it blindly based on the name of the band and the name of the album. I figured it would be no big loss if I didn't like the CD, but it turned out to be one of the best ways for me to spend $2. Although the band never reached this level of intensity again, Riot cartainly deserve your attention. It's a shame these guys have never really made it out of the undergound.

Killing Songs :
Nine songs, nine power metal bombs in your face...
Mike quoted CLASSIC
Other albums by Riot that we have reviewed:
Riot - The Privilege of Power reviewed by Andy and quoted 84 / 100
Riot - Narita reviewed by Andy and quoted 95 / 100
Riot - Unleash the Fire reviewed by Andy and quoted 88 / 100
Riot - Immortal Soul reviewed by Alex and quoted 80 / 100
Riot - Rock City reviewed by Mike and quoted 90 / 100
To see all 8 reviews click here
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