RIOT - Immortal Soul

Riot - Immortal Soul

11 songs
55:02 minutes
***** ****
Steamhammer / SPV


American power metal band Riot were founded in 1975 and are therefore doubtlessly one of the most enduring bands of the genre. After a five year break, they are now back with their thirteenth album Immortal Soul. I first encountered Riot in 1988 with their comeback album Thundersteel, which was soon followed by the equally great The Privilege Of Power two years later. I dare say that the late Eighties showed the band at their zenith, and afterwards I somehow lost track of them.

Their new album has all it takes to let them relive their glory days. One of the reasons is certainly the line-up which contains the members that were in charge of their two classic albums. The opener, simply titled Riot, is an unexpectedly fast track that instantly recalls the good, old days. You soon get the impression that the band is not trying to reinvent itself, but rather builds on their virtues. Some tracks are chock-full of ideas, and the instruments are played at such an incredible pace that it sometimes hard following all that is happening. Mark Reale proves once again that he is a true guitar wizard. The songs are full of incredible speed and contain tons of melodies, and never have to rely on aggression. It’s also great to hear that the band won Tony Moore back to do vocals on the album. He’s mastering the high notes without ever sounding like a castrato. Three quarters of the album are among the best material that you will ever have heard in the US metal genre. Unfortunately there are also some less distinctive tracks, with Insanity and the title track somewhat paling compared to the rest.

Notwithstanding, this is still a great comeback, with Riot doing what they can best. I am just disappointed that they had to cancel their concert opening for Hammerfall at the Rockhal, which made me miss out on seeing this legendary heavy metal band. I console myself therefore with this amazing album, and hope that there will be thirty-six more years of Riot!

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