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Riot Horse - This Is Who We Are

Riot Horse
This Is Who We Are
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 28 July 2014, 12:57 PM

RIOT HORSE is a Danish/Swedish Heavy Rock band, based out of Skane, Sweden.  For their music, they draw inspiration from bands like Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and The Black Crowes, and in general from heavy riffing and grooving.  As far as I can tell, this is their debut album, and contains twelve tracks.  From the opening riff of “Bring ‘Em On,” the SABBATH influence is immediate.  It’s a slow, simple and plodding riff that accentuates the low E chord, and an overall doomy feeling.  Vocally, Andreas has a baritone or tenor two type range.  There is just enough distortion in the guitars to feel like the music is post 1970.  “Didn’t See It Coming” opens with the guitarist playing with a wah-wah pedal for the first time.  When the band joins in, it’s a mid tempo, riff-driven song with a bluesy, sexy swag.  In “Get Your Hands Up,” a slide guitar makes a little presence, and the energy is devoted to the vocal performance and big chorus.  “Going Undercover” has a GOLDEN EARRING feel to it to me.  The pace is swifter and this could be FASTWAY jamming on that riff.  I knew it would only be a matter of time before we had a slow, quiet type of ballad, and “Hold Me” fills that sound.  I expected a bit more bombast at some point during the song, to showcase some more emotion, but it never quite reached a zenith.  “Medicine Man” has a trippy kind of feeling to it, with a darkness that seems to be just enough to make the point.

“Miss Mississippi” could have been a track on the first BLACK SABBATH album, and the guitar and bass carry the opening riff in unison.  That is, until the chorus, where a distinct Southern Rock type of swag comes into play.  “My Mountain” has a nice contrasting chorus, and a more upbeat sound at times.  I enjoy the guitar patterns in this song.  “Shine” has a more ZEPPELIN kind of influence, with a pretty clear message in the lyrics.  The guitar work in the bridge after the second chorus does a nice job of tying together the song overall.  This is my favorite track on the album.  “Starlight” has that sleazy slide guitar that reminds you of being in a biker bar that reeks of gasoline and stale beer, while “Torn” circles back to that strong SABBATH sound with prominent bass work.  Closing the album is “You Took My Soul,” a song where the riff splits two octaves.  RIOT HORSE focuses on simple, early 1970’s type of Hard Rock, with no pretention.  The riffs are not anything you haven’t heard before, but it’s an honest approach to their songwriting.  Still, I did find myself fairly bored throughout the album, but to be fair to the band, this kind of sound really just isn’t my thing.

3 Star Rating

1. Bring It On
2. Didn’t See it Coming
3. Get Your Hands Up
4. Going Undercover
5. Hold Me
6. Medicine Man
7. Miss Mississippi
8. My Mountain
9. Shine
10. Starlight
11. Torn
12. You Took My Soul
Andreas “Adde” Sydow – Vocals
Nille “Neil” Schuttman – Guitars
Joacim Sandin – Bass
Jonas Langebro – Drums
Record Label: Metalville Records


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