Riot – Nightbreaker (2002, CD-Maximum – Russian Import)
Original Release: 1993, Sony Music Japan
1. “Soldier” … 4:54
2. “Destiny” … 4:42
3. “Burn” … 6:01
4. “In Your Eyes” …4:34
5. “Nightbreaker” … 4:12
6. “Medicine Man” … 5:36
7. “Silent Scream” … 5:07
8. “Magic Maker” … 5:10
9. “I’m On The Run” … 4:56
10. “Babylon” … 5:05
11. “Outlaw” … 6:14
Mike DiMeo – Vocals
Mark Reale – Guitar
Mike Flyntz – Guitar
Pete Perez – Bass
Bobby Jarzombek – Drums
Producer: Steve Loeb
Those Riot boys are back at it again delivering even more great heavy metal to the masses (or Japan and Europe, at least)! It still boggles the mind that these guys aren’t heavy metal legends after delivering great album after great album since 1977!
This album didn’t get a U.S. release until 1999 under the Metal Blade label (which featured the bonus track “Faded Hero”), but was originally released in Japan in ’93 (featuring the bonus track “Black Mountain Woman”), then Europe in ’94 (which features “I’m On The Run” as a replacement for the Procul Harum cover “A White Shade of Pale”, which is available on the Japan and U.S. pressings). My particular copy is a Russian reissue from 2002. I almost thought I would never have this album. It seemed to be out-of-print and everywhere I looked online it was crazy expensive then I came across NuclearHell.com and was ecstatic find buy a brand new copy at a good price.
All three versions have a different cover, none of which make much sense in relation to the album’s title. The European covering featuring the shark is easily the best though and is pretty cool but it looks like something Great White would use. It’s a shame this album didn’t get a U.S. release sooner, but given the sound of the album, it wouldn’t have made much of a difference considering the musical climate at the time.
With Nightbreaker, we once again hear a new vocalist — Mike DiMeo. He has an excellent set of pipes and is a great replacement for the departing Tony Moore. They both have similar styles.
Riot is so good, I haven’t heard a bad album from them yet, but Nightbreaker is truly one of their elite releases. It continues the path of melodic heavy metal that Mark Reale started taking the band in with the last effort, The Privilege of Power. Riot always does great ballads and “In Your Eyes” is no exception, then you’ve got heavy metal numbers like “Nightbreaker” and “Destiny” where Mark Reale gets to show off as the guitar virtuoso that he is. There’s even a pretty good cover of Deep Purple’s “Burn” and Riot covers themselves with “Outlaw”, which was originally released on Fire Down Under way back in 1981. I happen to prefer this updated version.
If you’re a Riot fan, this is a must have!
Highlights: “Soldier”, “Destiny”, “In Your Eyes”, “Nightbreaker”, “Magic Maker”, “Outlaw”