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Articles Home » 1988 Articles » Riot - 1988 Thundersteel
Riot - 1988 Thundersteel

ALBUM: Thundersteel
LABEL: Noise
SERIAL: N 0117-3
YEAR: 1988
CD REISSUE: Reissue List..


LINEUP: Tony Moore - vocals * Mark Reale - guitars * Don Van Stavern - bass * Bobby Jarzombek - drums, except on 02, 03, 05 & 07 * Mark Edwards - drums on 02, 03, 05 & 07

TRACK LISTING: 01 Thundersteel * 02 Fight Or Fall * 03 Sign Of The Crimson Storm * 04 Flight Of The Warrior * 05 On Wings Of Eagles * 06 Johnny's Back * 07 Bloodstreeets * 08 Run For Your Life * 09 Buried Alive (Tell Tale Heart)


In the late 70's only Kiss, Aerosmith and Van Halen were doing heavy rock in America. The NWOBHM fuelled the movement and Riot was closer to the British bands than to the American ones. 1981's 'Fire Down Under' was the American response to the NWOBHM. Mark Reale put the band on hold in 1986, moved to San Antonio, Tx, and heavily influenced by cult band S.A. Slayer, took Don Van Stavern and two more members from the band. Their new band Narita recorded some demos, including the track 'Thundersteel'. Back to NYC and with the addition of Mark Edwards (Lion) on drums, replaced in the middle of the recording by Bobby Jarzombek, and Tony Moore on vocals, the reformed Riot was born. The best was yet to come.

The Songs
'Thundersteel' strikes like lightning with an incredible riff and Jarzombek's storming drumming. Moore's wail rounds up the new Riot sound: sheer power metal, fast, furious and melodic. Reminds me of 'Fire Down Under (the song)' beefed up. The worked out Michael Schenker influenced guitar solo is brilliant. A fantastic song to boost your energy! 'Fight Or Fall' verges on thrash, the technical kind. The chorus slows down just a little bit. It's notorious the difference between Edwards and Jarzombek drumming as the former's double kick is more subtle than the latter. Reale's playing is definitively more metal, plenty of tasty whammy bar licks. 'Sign Of The Crimson Storm' has some Deep Purple/Rainbow overtones. Environmental lyrics, very melodic and heavy. Moore, shines reaching incredible highs. The next three songs are fantastic. 'Flight Of The Warrior' is Deep Purple on steroids, 'On Wings Of Eagles' alike and 'Johnny's Back' is my favourite, powerful drumming and crystal clear vocals. The verses rise to the chorus, the guitar riff is insistent like a wall of sound. It became a live staple. 'Bloodstreets' is a power metal ballad on the tough and hopeless life in the streets. The solo is vintage Reale. 'Run For Your Life' is classic metal. 'Buried Alive', the album closer, comes out like 'Bloodstreets' and turns into a dead man's daunting cry from the grave with a Black Sabbath style.

In Summary
Often times compared to Judas Priest's 'Painkiller', 'Thundersteel' sounds less forced, fresher to me. And it was released two years before! Go get this timeless classic in any format! Tony Moore, where on earth were you hidden before? Riot successfully toured Japan for the first time in 1989 adding Mike Flintz on guitars. The same lineup recorded the equally impressive 'The Privilege Of Power' in 1990. Moore left in 1992 and was replaced by the bluesy Mike DiMeo, a great singer as well. 'Thundersteel's lineup successfully reunited in 2008 for a 20th anniversary tour. In early 2012, Reale died of complications related to Crohn's disease after the release of 2011's 'Immortal Soul'. Flintz took the lead and with singer Todd Michael Hall released 'Unleash The Fire' in 2014 under the 'Riot V' moniker agreed with Anthony Reale, Mark's father. [word count 496]

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