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Riot - Through The Storm (Reissue)

Through The Storm (Reissue)
by Craig Rider at 06 October 2017, 4:21 PM

Metal maniacs, rejoice! I'm proud to present: RIOT (a.k.a. RIOT V); signed via Metal Blade Records, hailing from the United States of America - performing Heavy/Power/Speed Metal, on their 12th album entitled “Through The Storm” (Bonus Edition) (released 15th September, 2017).

Since formation in 1975; the quintet in question have 15 albums behind them, I'm introduced to their 12th album “Through The Storm” re-issued as a Bonus Edition including a Demo and 3 instrumental tracks. 16 tracks ranging at around 1:15:47, RIOT supposedly incorporate Heavy/Power/Speed Metal (according to Metal Archives) so my expectations were very high with this one; unfortunately, those were reduced as soon as I played the first song “Turn The Tables”. Now, don't get me wrong…I appreciate what these guys are delivering, as the instrumentation and musicianship are proficiently flair and consistently sufficient – only there is just not enough hard-hitting diligence here to get me relentlessly stimulated; so as the chosen sub-genres dictate, I expected the aforementioned genres so that was disappointing. What I'm hearing here is more of a mix of Soft/Hard Rock & Heavy Metal characteristics.

Lost Inside This World” consists of rhythmic anthems from guitarist Bobby Rondinelli, in which showcases mid-tempo harmonic yet thunderous melodies and at times - at an intricately hasty arrangement…only they come across as more ballad-esquire influenced, which is fine considering the quartet's formula of 70s/80s amalgamations. “Chains (Revolving)” begins with more galloping riffs until vocalist Mike DiMeo comes into play, his vocalization stems from rough to high-pitched juxtapositions - they don't really provide anything more than that though. The titular track begins with ambient thunder, and more of those boisterous solos and complex pummeling from drummer Frank Gilchriest, one of the record's highlights. “Let It Show” is where it got a little generic and simplistic on the ballad aesthetic, it's substance felt dry and lowered the excitement dramatically - an admirable track however.

Burn The Sun” brought back the pulverizing energy as bassist Pete Perez contributed some elegant sound production enlightenments, the songwriting still feels a bit blandish yet there are some great and catchy memorability here. “To My Head” showcased more flamboyant solos from guitarist Mike Flyntz that manifested with uncompromising elements, keeping things afloat and enjoyable - to an extent. “Essential Enemies”, “Somebody” & “Only You Can Rock Me” (UFO cover) constructed more captivating orchestrations - the latter song being the most distinctive with its chorus ridden merits and fulfilling attributions in which rocked me out significantly, still…there was nothing heavy, powerful or with using brisk developments. “Isle Of Shadows” is an instrumental rock ballad, mostly what the entire record provided - while “Here Comes The Sun” delivered a similar differentiate, only it didn't bring much heaviness or power.

Follow You” is where the record started to get stimulating - ironically, as it's a demo version. The tone here is what the entire recording should've sounded like, the band sounded slow and tired until this point. Concluding “Through The Storm” with more bonus features with instrumental versions of “Army Of One”, “Shine” & “Blinded”, which yet again sounded better than what the original record supplied.

Overall - “Through The Storm” felt very weak, unfortunately. The band had some good moments but not enough that would make me want to listen to the record again, if you want Heavy/Power/Speed Metal - look elsewhere.

Songwriting: 6
Originality: 6
Memorability: 6
Sound Production: 6

3 Star Rating

1. Turn The Tables
2. Lost Inside This World
3. Chains (Revolving)
4. Through The Storm
5. Let It Show
6. Burn The Sun
7. To My Head
8. Essential Enemies
9. Somebody
10. Only You Can Rock Me
11. Isle Of Shadows
12. Here Comes The Sun
13. Follow You (Demo)
14. Army Of One (Instrumental)
15. Shine (Instrumental)
16. Blinded (Instrumental)
Pete Perez - Bass
Mark Reale - Guitars
Frank Gilchriest - Drums
Mike DiMeo - Vocals
Bobby Rondinelli - Guitars
Record Label: Metal Blade Records


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Edited 28 May 2023

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