Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Riot-Immortal Soul

Steamhammer Us

New York heavy metal band Riot was formed in 1975 by guitarist Mark Reale. After a four-track demo the group released their debut album, "Rock City" in 1977. Despite early success and support slots for AC/DC and Molly Hatchet times were tough for the band and by 1979 it looked like the party was over. Thankfully for Riot the NWOBHM movement hit and this traditional heavy metal band was able to reap the rewards. England took notice of Riot and this heavy metal band from America with the weird mascot was saved. Riot was able to keep momentum going long enough to make it through the tough times. Albums like "Narita" and "Fire Down Under" became classics. In fact "Fire Down Under" is still regarded as one of the best heavy metal albums of the eighties. Their initial blue collar heavy metal style though would shift to more of a power metal sound after the 1988 release of "Thundersteel". Speaking of this classic 1988 album "Thundersteel" was the last album of Riot's that I bought although I've heard bits and pieces of later day albums. Why haven't I picked up more newer albums? For me it is hard to beat those early classics when Riot were still straight ahead US metal. With "Immortal Soul" though I took another shot. Quite honestly the early single, "Wings Are For Angels" had peaked my interest. Vocalist Tony Moore hit all the right notes on that one and based on "Immortal Soul"'s rave reviews I was anxious to run out and pick it up. I first listened to it in my car and let me just say the lead off track is unreal. "Riot" is an insane speed metal number. What a way to start an album out with fist pumping speed metal that is all killer and no filler! With that song being so good it would be hard for the rest of the album to live up to it. Honestly they put the best track up front and center. While nothing comes close to touching how cool "Riot" is the album does have it's charm. The one thing I have taken aware from "Immortal Soul" is that it has many different flavors to it. There is speed metal and thrash mixed in with Euro-style power metal and pure bone crushing heavy metal. Little bit of everything. Tracks like "Sins of the Father" and "Whiskey Man" are killer as is "Insanity". It is enough to get me through some of the lulls in the album. I knew going into it that it would never be as good as Riot's classic albums so I wasn't let down. If anything it is a really good power metal affair from a band that still has a few tricks up it's sleeves.


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