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Riot: Immortal Soul
Riot Immortal Soul album new music review

Riot: Immortal Soul

Melodic Hard Rock/Heavy Metal
4.5/5.0

We haven't heard from New York City's Riot in better than five years. Considering the slightly better than average nature of 2006's Army of One, a fan might approach their fourteenth album, Immortal Soul, with some trepidation. Putting your mind at ease from the start, this platter of tunes outshines its predecessor.

Generally, the songs here are better and more diverse. But, likely the largest reason for its vitality is the return of the popular Thundersteel (1988) and The Privilege Of Power (1990) lineup. This means, significantly, that Mike DiMeo is out, and Tony Moore is back on lead vocals. (And for some fans, including this one, that may be the deal maker.) The band rounds out with founder and guitarist Mark Reale, Don Van Stavern (b), Bobby Jarzombek (d), and live guitarist Mike Flyntz.

Immortal Soul is a fine platter of classic Riot. It's a mixture of melodic hard rock and heavy metal, often indistinguishable a times, with lots of the fiery fret work you would expect. Actually, a greater portion of this album leans to the melodic hard rock side, with a dash of metal edge. This is most notable in the second half of Immortal Soul. On tunes like Immortal Soul, Whiskey Man, and Believe there's an echo of a strong rock groove, accentuated by the metal spice and guitar pyrotechnics, that make them incredibly catchy. But this description also rings true for the earlier songs Still Your Man and the lyrically powerful Crawling.

But when Riot goes for the heavy metal, it's pretty much blistering and relentless. Riot, Sins of the Father and, to a slightly lesser extent, Wings Are for Angels are lessons in pure Eighties speed metal. Riot, alone, will run you over like a contentious and unruly mob.

This is nice stuff. Is it close to Narita or Rock City? Yes and maybe. I think times have changed, but the band remembers their core: guitar-driven melodic hard rock and metal with naunces of intrigue. Frankly, it's good to have Riot back in vintage form, if only to piss off the current generation of modern rock ( who can't find a melody or guitar solo to save themselves.).

Immortal Soul is a strong return for Riot. With their classic line up, and Tony Moore on the microphone, the band offers a versatile and entertaining disc of melodic hard rock and metal. Definitely a must buy.





In Short

Immortal Soul is a strong return for Riot. With their classic line up, and Tony Moore on the microphone, the band offers a versatile and entertaining disc of melodic hard rock and metal. Definitely a must buy.

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