RIVAL had been found in 1990 in Chicago by bass player/singer John Johnson, the guitar players Neven Trivic and Chuck McNulty and original drummer Gary Olson. They had all played together in some cover bands and the chemistry was right, so that they founded a new band.
With limited financial capabilities, they recorded their selftitled debut EP in 1991. Many headaches and three engineers later, they finally released their first longplayer “Modern World” in 2000. The band was frustrated due to the delays and they decided to split up if the expected reactions would stay away.
The reviews in the local medias had been very good but they had not that succes until a German music journalist discovered them. While the band shipped lots of CDs to Europe, their song “Death Stalker” from the “Modern World” album was used for the “Best Of Unsigned” compilations of Rock Hard and Heavy, Oder Was!? magazines. Then followed some invitations for the famous “Headbangers Open Air” and “Bang Your Head” festivals in summer 2002, where the band could prove their live qualities...
The feedback was quite positive, German was hot for RIVAL and so they entered the studios with new material again in autumn 2003 to record dithyrambically the CD “State Of Mind”. Finally, RIVAL got a record deal with none less than Metal Blade Records – congratulations!!!
Well, you should know that RIVAL are children of the 80s because their Metal is pure Old School with a modern, thick production. Jaunty songs rule, a gloomy and majestical singing and dive guitar salvos are used. You feel reminded of OMEN, although whose comeback album wasn’t great at all... but let’s forget these stupid OMEN comparisions because RIVAL are similar but definitive individual enough. They don’t need those comparisions – their album is a must for all US Metalheads out there. The CD is pretty short though but there is also no single filler. Songs like “Extreme Aggression”, “Tyrants” or the divine “Lord Of The Tyrants” (killer!) are outstanding for this genre. Or just listen to the speedy “Hell Train” and you will know what I mean... great! (Online April 22, 2004)