Riot

Riot Founder/Guitarist Mark Reale Hospitalized in Serious Condition

Riot Founder/Guitarist Mark Reale Hospitalized in Serious Condition

Various sources are reporting Mark Reale, founding member/guitarist of New York metal legends Riot, has been hospitalized with severe complications related to Crohn’s Disease. Though there are conflicting reports as to his current condition, all suggest this is a serious and life threatening situation and at a minimum,¬†will impact his participation in Riot‘s upcoming tour […]

Steel Druhm’s Top 10(ish) of 2011

Steel Druhm’s Top 10(ish) of 2011

We made it through another year here in Angry Metal World. We overcame Terminal Reviewer Burnout Syndrome, careers and personal lives, just to bring you more of our self-righteous, ego-driven babbling and blathering. Why did we do it? Because we care so damn much! Now, as the year grinds us all towards inevitable doom, it falls to me to get the metal wheel a rollin and name my picks for the best albums of 2011. This was a pretty solid year, so it was tough to figure out which albums belonged where, but you demanded it, so I’m delivering the goods, Yeah!

Steel Druhm’s Top Ten Songs of 2011

Steel Druhm’s Top Ten Songs of 2011

It’s a week-long reflection on the year in metal music here at Angry Metal Guy and we’re getting all sorts of nostalgic and sentimental. We’ve already covered the worsts, so now let’s get to the firsts! For the very first time, we’ve decided (by that I mean AMG decided) to name our top ten best songs of the year. Though it sounded like an easy task, once I tried to create said list, it proved quite difficult. There were so many potential candidates, it became an arduous culling process to find the ten metal gems to rule them all. While the list seems final, I’m sure I forgot some amazing stuff and I’m also sure you bastards will point it out to me. Steel Druhm awaits your scorn, disapprobation and silent judgment.

Riot – Immortal Soul Review

Riot – Immortal Soul Review

Steel Druhm is as happy as a pig in shite! You see, one of my all time favorite metal albums is Riot’s Thundersteel. Although it was released way back in 1988, I still listen to it regularly and felt the burning need to write a Retro-spective Review of it a few months ago to spread the gospel. So masterful was that platter, Riot never even came close to equaling it with their later output. In fact, the immortal Thundersteel lineup only recorded one more album together (the very good Privilege of Power) and after that, things dropped off a lot. Now, twenty-three long years later, that powerhouse lineup has reunited to record a proper followup to their magnum opus. Naturally, I was skeptical they could re-bottle the might and magic and create something as brilliant, especially after so many years. Well, I was wrong to doubt, because Immortal Soul is the modern day version of Thundersteel and the best album of 2011 (so far). It has everything that made the Thundersteel sound so intoxicating. There’s speed, power, wailing vocals, blistering guitars, top-flight song writing, amazingly catchy melodies, choruses and smart lyrics. It’s a winner every way an album can be and its the record I’ve been praying for Riot to write since ’88. If you love the classic, traditional sounds of Judas Priest (think Painkiller), Iron Maiden and especially American acts like Jag Panzer and old Agent Steel, this will blow you away. If you, like me, loved Thundersteel, prepare to be stunned, stupefied and shellacked.

Arch/Matheos – Sympathetic Resonance Review

Arch/Matheos – Sympathetic Resonance Review

Steel Druhm needs to ramble on for a bit so kindly bear with me, or else! As a life long metal fan, I can look back and pinpoint those few truly special albums that blew me away upon release and continue to feel magical after decades of listening. Right at the top of that very short list are two classics by Fates Warning. Hailing from Connecticut, they released three albums in the early to mid-80s that really embodied the American take on the traditional NWOBHM ethos and at times sounded quite like vintage Iron Maiden. Of those three albums, 85’s The Specter Within and 86’s Awaken the Guardian were their masterworks and any fan of classic metal really needs to hear them immediately if not sooner. After so many years, both easily stand the test of time and I find myself going back to them frequently. The main draw, aside from the expert songwriting, are the vocals by John Arch. The man had a one-of-a-kind voice, killer range and the ability to write hyper-intelligent lyrics. When he left the band following Awaken the Guardian, Fates Warning sank into mediocrity and I lost all interest. Arch himself left the music business entirely and I always hoped he would resurface and grace us with his voice again. He finally did in 2003 with the short but excellent Twist of Fate EP, which I hoped was the start of a serious comeback. Well, it took another eight long years but he finally has resurfaced again for a collaboration with his old Fates Warning guitarists Jim Matheos (OSI, Gordian Knot), Frank Aresti and other Fates alumni, bassist Joey Vera (Armored Saint, Anthrax, Seven Witches) and drum lord Bobby Jarzombek (Halford, Riot, Iced Earth, Rob Rock). So does this mega reunion bring back any of the potent magic from days long gone? Well, it seems that isn’t a fair question since Sympathetic Resonance is quite a different animal than Fates Warning. It’s way more modern, proggy, convoluted and heavier than anything their old unit attempted (I was actually surprised how heavy some of this material gets). Overall, its very polished and aggressive progressive metal from old dogs that obviously have plenty of life left in them.

Retro-spective Review: Riot – Thundersteel

Retro-spective Review: Riot – Thundersteel

Unlike the other bands featured in these Retro-spective reviews, New York’s own Riot is a seminal, long running and well known act. Slogging away since 1977, they released classic albums like Rock City and Fire Down Under. So why are they included here you ask? Well, one of their albums seems to have been lost in time and forgotten even though I regard it as their best by far. That album is, or course 1988’s Thundersteel. This release marked a stark departure in sound for Riot. Forgoing their more traditional, slower 70’s roots, Thundersteel was all about intense Painkiller-like aggression, soaring vocals and speed speed and more speed. Maybe it was the arrival of vocalist extraordinaire Tony Moore or just something in the NYC water that year but this album is one non-stop explosion of blistering guitar, air raid vocals, superb writing and unreal energy. It was a sound and urgency they never recaptured despite very strong moments on their 1990 follow up The Privilege of Power. Since this album is a true buried treasure of speed/power, I felt it was job, nay, my DUTY to bring it back out of the shadows in 2011. Commence the learning!