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Riot V: Armor Of Light
Riot V - Armor Of Light Music Review

Riot V: Armor Of Light

Heavy/Power Metal
4.5/5.0

In the early Eighties, one of the first American metal bands that caught my interest was New York's Riot, founded by guitarist Mark Reale (1955-2012). Albums like Narita and Fire Down Under were classics of American heavy metal for me. The band has had many incarnations since then, always with Reale at the helm. After his passing, the band would continue on as Riot V and release 2014's Unleash The Fire. Now the band is back with their sixteenth album, Armor Of Light.

Riot V Band Photo

Riot V

And it's a smoker, pure Riot delivering their classic American power metal that began with 1988's Thundersteel. All their signature trademarks remain: twin guitar harmony in riffage and solos, a strong rhythm section for gallop and groove, and Todd Michael Hall's powerful vocal presence, singing melodic and clean.

For the album and songs, Armor Of Light, with a few exceptions, is essentially a horse race from start to finish. Fast, furious, and heavy, the songs roar with riffage and rise with thrilling solos, all the while maintaining an abundance of harmony and melody. While a song such as Victory or Burn The Daylight may start with a moderate entrance, don't be fooled, the pedal hits the metal quickly. Then there's Angel's Thunder, Devil's Reign that begins with bluster of bass, before ripping into galloping power metal. Alternatively, within Heart Of A Lion, there's an ever so slight down shift in speed about three quarters in. But Riot can dial things back for more traditional, moderately paced, heavy metal with Set The World Alight, the thumping Caught In The Witches Eye, or the rock groove of Ready To Share. All in all, as said earlier, Armor Of Light is unmistakably Riot, delivering their twin guitar charged and galloping classic American power metal. Easily recommended.



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The Bottom Line

All in all, Armor Of Light is unmistakably Riot, delivering their twin guitar charged and galloping classic American power metal. Easily recommended.

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