Riot – Thundersteel (1988, CBS Records)
1. “Thundersteel” … 3:49
2. “Fight or Fall” … 4:25
3. “Sign of the Crimson Storm” … 4:40
4. “Flight of the Warrior” … 4:17
5. “On Wings of Eagles” … 5:41
6. “Johnny’s Back” … 5:32
7. “Bloodstreets” … 4:39
8. “Run For Your Life” … 4:08
9. “Buried Alive (Tell Tale Heart)” … 8:55
Tony Moore – Vocals
Mark Reale – Guitar
Don Van Stavern – Bass
Bobby Jarzombek – Drums
Mark Edwards – Drums (Tracks 2, 3, 5, 7)
Producer: Steve Loeb, Rob Hui and Mark Reale
What was I thinking ?!?!?! Never judge an album by its cover because then you miss out on some great music! That’s a lesson I’ve learned quite well with Riot. Despite reading for years that they were a great American NWOBHM-style band, I never bothered picking any release up. The main reason? Those awful album covers. I can’t think of any other band that has had so much terrible cover art. It really put me off and had me thinking these guys were cheap, cheesy metal that was not worth my time. How wrong I’ve been proven with Fire Down Under and now Thundersteel!
Out of the two Riot releases I’ve heard so far, Thundersteel is definitely my favorite. Fire Down Under saw the band in fully entrenched in New Wave of British Heavy Metal coming off like Diamond Head, but Thundersteel has a blend of NWOBHM, power metal and a more traditional ’80s metal sound that brings to mind Helloween, Iron Maiden and Judas Priest.
This was Riot’s “comeback” album after not having released any music since 1983’s Born In America. The band has continued to released albums every few years, but it’s a real shame this one wasn’t a huge success for them and that this band and album are fully appreciated like they should be.
While I had no problems with Guy Speranza on vocals, I much prefer Tony (his first album with the band), but I think each one was perfect for the type of metal the band was playing at the time. Tony has greater range though and that shows on “Run for Your Life”, which is actually my favorite song on the album. It sounds like the band was going for a Judas Priest vibe, right down to Moore’s vocals and the song would fit in well on Ram It Down.
A definite classic metal album well worth any headbanger’s time.
Highlights: “Thundersteel”, “Sign of the Crimson Storm”, “Johnny’s Back”, “Bloodstreets”, “Run For Your Life”, “Buried Alive (Tell Tale Heart)”