After the ultra success of the third album "Fire Down Under", which for many people was the first Speed Metal album – which I can’t comprehend – RIOT (with new singer Rhett Forrester for Guy Sperenza) performed a radical change of direction from powerful Heavy Rock to Blues-y dead boring Hard Rock sounds and massively lost fans.
Only with the sixth studio album "Thundersteel" they returned to old values, yes they even reached the "Fire Down Under" level. Finally master chief and wig god Mark Reale wanted to do Heavy Metal again. In-between even Harry Conklin (JAG PANZER) had been in the picture, but the connection didn’t last long. For that Mark discovered another vocal talent named Tony Moore and convinced industry giant Epic/CBS of the new songs’ quality. Add a strong backing band that formerly had been with bands such as JUGGERNAUT and S.A.SLAYER, what could go wrong?
By now one should not have big problems to get the album and nowadays, where melodic and speedy Metal is “in” again, they should be able to get somewhere. Most Italian and Scandinavian bands could take this album as a big role model! And if HAMMERFALL haven’t taken RIOT’s stomper “Sign Of The Crimson Storm” as template for their hymn “Crimson Thunder”, I’ll eat a broom.
Long talk, not sense, who likes unbridled, yet controlled, very melodic, but never childish Heavy Metal with sense, intelligence and a lot of power will love “Thundersteel” from the first to the last second, of course only if you don’t have problems with the high vocals. Only the CD’s cover is not really nice to look at, but other than that there hardly are any points of criticism. Check out tips: Everything!!! (Online February 6, 2006)