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Riot V - Unleash The Fire

Published October 22 2014

=Staff's pick

Ride Hard Live Free*
Metal Warrior*
Fall From The Sky
Bring The Hammer Down
Unleash The Fire
Land Of The Rising Sun*
Kill To Survive
Return Of The Outlaw
Take My Back
Fight Fight Fight
Until We Meet Again

Genre Power Metal/Heavy Metal
Todd Michael Hall
Tracks 12
Mike Flyntz
Running time 57 Min.
Nick Lee
Label Steamhammer/SPV
Don Van Stavern
Release 22 October 2014
Frank Gilchriest
Country USA
Producer Josh Block
Similar artists ---

Riot enters a new age as Riot V and with bass player Don Van Stavern and guitar player Mike Flyntz as the sole consisting members, we see quite a few changes in the lineup since the band's last record, 2011's Immortal Soul. This is the first release without the late founding guitarist Mark Reale who tragically passed away in early 2012. Although Flyntz definitely does the lion's share of the guitar playing, we have Nick Lee stepping in to supposedly fulfill the duties of Reale, who actually had very limited playing time on the band's last effort. We also see the comeback of drummer Frank Gilchriest, replacing Bobby Jarzombek and finally, we see lead vocalist Todd Michael Hall joining the ranks in favor of Tony Moore.

The band continues to try to capitalize on the Thundersteel era. A lot of what Unleash The Fire represents really allude to, or go hand in hand with, that rather short period of time around 25 years ago. I don't find this phenomenon the least peculiar however, since many of the band's fans are looking for things similar to that type of metal music, written and recorded in a way that really wasn't what Riot had done in the past. This period is certainly still a strong influence on the band's musical direction and many of the songs on this new record actually feel kind of like natural successors to what was created during that distant age.

To take one step further back in time, the beyond belief ugly seal is present on the liner notes once again. Definitely a mascot or character who in my eyes always has been something negative to their image and I most definitely believe that this unit did miss out on a lot of fans back in the day due to this bad career decision to have some sort of fur ball covering the front covers of a heavy metal band's records. None of the members in the current lineup was present when the band was up and coming and I guess that they now just want to build the legacy even stronger.

Todd Michael Hall is a good replacement for Tony Moore. Just like his predecessor, he takes the high notes on a regular basis and he controls his voice to adjust to the music. I have to admit that I had my doubts when Moore went separate ways with the band again, but now I feel comfortable with what we're given and I feel that the former vocalist probably wasn't as important for the total outcome as I thought. The songs are mainly in the power / heavy metal vein and this is certainly what the band does best at this point, as far as I'm concerned. A good record overall and fans to Riot's power metal era will certainly embrace this record.








7 chalices of 10 - Tobbe

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