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MARK TAYLOR'S BIG CITY NIGHTS
American Heavy Metallers Riot first made an explosion way back between 1977-81 with the release of three classic albums in 'Rock City', 'Narita' and 'Fire Down Under'. Albums full of headbanging delights with the debut being a major influence on the on coming NWOBHM scene.
Riot also immortalised themselves in rock history by performing at the first Castle Donington Rock Festival in 1980 (it wasn't called Monsters Of Rock then) performing on the same bill as headliners Rainbow, Scorpions, Judas Priest, April Wine and Touch. They also played a notable date at Port Vale football ground a year later with Motorhead, Ozzy Osbourne, Triumph and Vardis. Since then there profile has almost disappeared from the UK Metal scene.
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However Riot haven't been laying idle. Original guitarist Mark Reale re-ignited Riot in 1988 with a new line up to record the critically acclaimed 'Thundersteel' and 'Privilege Of Power' a couple of years later, Two albums that saw Riot make major dents in the European Metal scene and major success on the Japanesse market. It is that 'Thundersteel' line up along with touring guitarist Mike Fyntz that have got back together to record their latest album 'Immortal Soul'.
Thirty-four years on from their debut Riot have a vibrant freshness about them that sits comfortably in the current Metal scene. Older grey haired rockers looking for some 'Warrior' or 'Road Racin'' may be out of depth here but lovers of HammerFall and Helloween will lap this album up.
Opener 'Still Your Man' openly states where Riot are at today. Tony Moore has a clear high pitched voice that reaches all the scales. The duel guitar work has plenty of fluid and the powerhorse double drumming from Bobby Jarzombek has a fine amount of kick.
The eponymous 'Riot' is exactly that, over the top Metal that points towards the metal madness of Raven or Anvil. 'Sins Of The Father' has a Maiden-esque 'Aces High' intro before steering towards an arm waving chorus. 'Echoes' is another fist thumper sing along.
It's about time that the UK woke up to this sleeping giant. A visit to these shores is long overdue.