When founding member and guitar virtuoso Mark Reale passed away in 2012, the future for Riot seemed unclear. Was this band, with a career of almost 40 years, doomed to be ended? This would really have been a shame, after releasing magic albums like Narita, Fire Down Under, and their latest efforts Thundersteel and Immortal Soul, not to forget The Privilege Of Power.
But Mike Flyntz, long time guitarist in this band, was not going to throw the towel. With a renewed line-up, consisting of himself on guitars, Todd Michael Hall (Burning Star, Reverence) on vocals, Frank Gilchriest (Virgin Steele, Riot’s Army of One) on vocals, Don Van Stavern (Slayer) on bass and finally Nick Lee also on guitars, the band continues, although they now go under the name of Riot V.
And a very good album they have delivered us. I would dare to state that this album combines both the vintage Riot sound from the Narita of Fire Down Under period, with their newer, more heavy metal sound like on the Thundersteel album. The new vocalist sounds almost exactly like his predecessor Tony Moore, and the guitar work is as good as in Mark Reale’s days.
With quality music like this, this band is still going strong, and hopefully will continue for a few years more.