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Riot V: Unleash the Fire

What probably started out as a loving tribute to the late, great, lead guitarist of Riot Mark Reale (who passed away in 2012) by the surviving members of the band has actually turned into a hell of a melodic, chops galore power metal album. Unleash the Fire is the new release for Steamhammer/SPV, with the band (now calling themselves Riot V) now comprised of bassist Don Van Stavern, guitarists Mike Flyntz & Nick Lee, drummer Frank Gilchriest, and lead singer Todd Michael Hall.

Unleash the Fire is quite simply impressive on so many levels. First, Hall just soars to the heavens on instantly memorable tracks like "Kill to Survive", "Metal Warrior", "Land of the Rising Sun", "Fall From the Sky", and the emotional "Immortal". This guy really delivers the goods folks, no doubt his time spent in Burning Starr & Reverence has prepared him well for this gig. As for the guitar work, which, with any Riot release is always one of the main highlights, it's just stellar. Flyntz & Lee work very well together, weaving plenty of dazzling, chops laden harmony lines around each other throughout many of these songs, as well as crafting some complex yet melodic riffery on tracks such as "Fight Fight Fight" and the sizzling, speedy power metal assault of "Ride Hard Live Free". "Bring the Hammer Down" also crushes with some serious metal might, the riffs & driving rhythms just so addictive, and with an anthemic chorus delivered perfectly by Hall it's an instant classic that should transport so well to their live show, as would the rampaging title track.

Honestly, I wasn't sure what to expect from Unleash the Fire, but it really blew me away from the very first listen. It's instantly addicting, headbanging fun, with so many exciting guitar moments and stellar vocals, proving that despite the sudden death of founder Mark Reale a few years back, the band still has plenty left to offer.

Track Listing
1.Ride Hard Live Free
2.Metal Warrior
3.Fall from the Sky
4.Bring the Hammer Down
5.Unleash the Fire
6.Land of the Rising Sun
7.Kill to Survive
8.Return of the Outlaw
10.Take Me Back
11.Fight Fight Fight
12.Until We Meet Again
13.Thundersteel (live) - Bonus Track

Added: September 30th 2014
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 2393
Language: english

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