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RIOT V - Armor of Light
(Nuclear Blast, 27 Apr 2018)
By Wojtek Gabriel, posted 12 Aug 2018
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Riot V Armor of Light cover
It was four years ago, that deciding to keep Mark Reale's legacy alive (and slightly altering the band's name to indicate the change on the singer's position, Todd being their 5th shouter), the ex-Riot guys released "Unleash the Fire". Would you have thought back then, that after that truly extraordinary album they would still be able to come up with more tunes of that same high quality, and even outdo themselves? Well, believe it or not, they did, bringing us a collection of songs so well written and arranged, they easily put Desmond Child to shame. The 5-piece machine never slows down during the first half of the album and the double bass neckbreakers such as "Victory", "End of the World", "Messiah" or "Heart of a Lion" might as well have been released back in the '80s on "Thundersteel", while the second half brings a bit more diversity, with some references to the "Privilege of Power" album (that would be the wind section in "Caught in the Witches Eye"), heavier guitar sound in "Raining Fire" and the slightly progressive riffs in the slower "Unbelief". But regardless of the tempo, the vocal lines sung by Todd Michael Hall are so memorable, the lightning-fast lead guitar work so pleasant to the ears and the rhythm section so tight, that having gone through all the songs (including the neck-hair raising new version of "Thundersteel") you can't believe the album is actually over and you still scream for more. The crystal-clear production is more on the modern side, as opposed to some of the earlier Riot albums that usually had a more underground vibe to them, but all in all "Armor of Light" is the yardstick all future US power metal releases should be measured against. Well done guys, Mark would be so proud of you.
Rating: 9

Written by Wojtek Gabriel

Official Riot V website: www.areyoureadytoriot.com
Riot V on facebook: facebook.com/riotrockcity
Tags: Riot V, Armor of Light, heavy metal
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© 2007-2018 Wojtek Gabriel. All rights reserved.
Unauthorised use of any works published on this website is prohibited.
Materials may not be reproduced in whole or in part by persons, organisations
or corporations without the prior written permission.