Riot are still basically Riot, with guitarist/leader Mark Reale calling the shots and Joe Lynn Turner soundalike Mike DiMeo carrying the tunes, the two working together to form a sound not unlike the early ‘80s incarnation of Rainbow (also fitting that new drummer Bobby Rondinelli was in Rainbow back then). I’ve always found Riot to be one of metal’s most overrated bands, but this is probably their strongest work in some time, which, unfortunately, isn’t saying much.
15 years ago, “Lost Inside This World” would have been an instant metal classic. Today, it rocks but is hopelessly dated. Still, this is the first time I’ve thought Riot have rocked since, well, 15 years ago. Reale manages to churn out a really good riff here and there, sounding alternately like Blackmore and Michael Schenker (the latter obviously so on a cover of UFO’s “Only You Can Rock Me”). Through the Storm is perfectly acceptable (even an instrumental cover of “Here Comes the Sun,” which seems in theory to be a horrid idea, turns out quite nice), and is something I could see reaching “guilty pleasure” status, but, in the grand scheme of things, it’s utterly meaningless—after years of releasing drivel on Metal Blade, they’ve finally started to let it rock. Too bad they’re about a decade and a half late.