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Riot Act – Closer To The Flame

Riot Act
Closer To The Flame
by Issy Herring at 04 May 2022, 1:00 PM

RIOT ACT have just released their debut album “Closer To The Flame”. In the early months of 2020, RIOT ACT were born; with their first ever live performance in January. Following the devastating loss of founding member Lou Kouvaris, the band had an understandably tough few months. The hard rock fourpiece are now back with a vengeance with their first album “Closer To The Flame”, which was released on the 1st April 2022 via Global Rock Records.

The first track to come from the album is the title track “Closer To The Flame”. The song begins with an almost grunge like guitar riff, before Don Chaffin’s powerful and impactful vocals kick in. The vocal style and musical accompaniment sound very similar to Myles Kennedy and his band ALTER BRIDGE. “Wanted” starts on a good note with a groovy guitar riff taking the lead, before leaping in with a truly infectious chorus – definitely sure to keep your head bopping! “Straight For Your Heart” is another certified banger, which will leave you wanting more while “Smoking Gun” is a track which definitely shows off Chaffin’s true vocal ability.

“Almost There” is a slower song on the release, which is the perfect blend of emotion and power. It has an almost 70s feel to it, similar to that of LED ZEPPELIN. “Stand Or Fall” is more of an energetic effort from the band, which contains an addictive guitar riff throughout and fits perfectly with Chaffin’s vocal style. “Love Come Round” is a great song from the get-go, proving that RIOT ACT’s music is infectious to say the least. “Angelina” appears to discuss Don Chaffin’s fascination with his female lover, which seems romantic yet memorable in nature. “Right Between The Eyes” is another song that begins with a thumping guitar riff and drum beat which is sure to keep your attention. The last track on this first part of the 2-side album is “Rock Love and Roll”, which is most certainly a memorable hard rock beast of a track that will keep you entertained until the next CD.

Rock City” is the debut track on the B-side of this album. It begins with a MOTLEY CRUE type hook, which is very reminiscent of their classic song “Kickstart My Heart”. Next up is “49er”, which appears to take inspiration lyrically from the journey of aspiring musicians in the industry and how some of them win and some of them fall. “Swords and Tequila” has a MOTLEY CRUE and even a KISS feel about it, with the track’s infectious chorus really speaking for itself here. “Overdrive” appears to have drawn influence from STEEL PANTHER here, with Chaffin’s vocals sounding very similar to that of Ralph Saenz in parts. “No Lies” is up next, which speaks honestly about Chaffin’s experience with an untruthful past partner. “Tokyo Rose” is another song with a belter of a chorus, paired with a catchy guitar hook throughout – addictive for sure! “Warrior” is most definitely one of the faster paced songs on the entire release. The song is constantly changing, which brings the listener on an exciting musical journey.

“Don’t Hold Back” and “White Rock” are both fiery and impactful tracks from RIOT ACT’s “Closer To The Flame”. “Outlaw” is another highlight from the album, being instantly catchy and memorable. “Road Racing” is the second to last track, which seems to talk about Chaffin’s thrill of being on the road and driving at a high speed, as well as the adrenaline that comes with it. “Altar Of The King” is the last track on this release, which is unfortunately a little bit of an anti-climax in comparison to a lot of tracks on this album – such a shame.

“Closer To The Flame” is most definitely worth a listen to say the least! Even though it’s a remarkable effort from RIOT ACT, there are sadly only a few musical highlights on this compilation such as “Road Racing” and “Swords and Tequila”. Saying this, you must bear in mind that RIOT ACT are a fairly new band in the making, and they still have years of time to learn and improve, changing things up now and again as they go. Overall, it’s a fairly solid effort from RIOT ACT, even though it’s a tad disappointing at times.

Songwriting: 5
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 6
Production: 9

3 Star Rating

1. Closer To The Flame
2. Wanted
3. Straight For Your Heart
4. Smoking Gun
5. Almost There
6. Stand Or Fall
7. Love Come Round
8. Angelina
9. Right Between the Eyes
10. Rock Love and Roll
Don Chaffin – Vocals
Paul Ranieri – Bass
Rick Ventura – Guitar
Claudio Galinski – Drums
Record Label: Global Rock Records


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