Riot: Immortal Soul

The American heavy metal outfit Riot is back at it again for their 14th album. Formed in 1975, Riot has undergone countless lineup changes over the years but they never seem to disappoint their fans. Released on Nov. 22, Immortal Soul attacks you from every angle as Tony Moore is back on vocals for the first time since 1990’s The Privilege Of Power.

The first track off the disc, “Still Your Man,” is brutalizing. Moore shows that he hasn’t lost a beat, having his high-pitched voice blend in extremely well with the heavy drums from Bobby Jarzombek, whom you may know as the current drummer for Sebastian Bach’s band. “Riot” follows and the guitars played by both Mark Reale and Mike Flyntz are exceptional. It has an awesome speed metal feel to it and the solos will leave you wanting more. The pace slows down a bit on “Crawling,” but the emotional song still impresses. The bass gets heavy on “Wings Are For Angels,” one of the best tracks on the album. It actually sounds like it could be a Dream Theater jam just with slightly faster rhythm guitar.

While I’m usually not a fan of short, one-minute songs in the middle of an album, “Majestica” is the exception. Featuring a smooth electric guitar, it provides some tranquility to the disc. Another very melodic number, “Immortal Soul” is one of the finest hits in the band’s existence. Seriously, it’s mind-blowing how well every instrument is played and while it’s nowhere near the heaviest track, Moore’s dynamic voice puts it over the top.

These guys proved that after being around for decades, they can still put out some amazing songs. Without question, it’s one of the best power/speed metal albums of the year. Let’s hope a full tour is in the works.

In A Word: Incredible