Riot - Through The Storm
MetalBlade Records
Heavy Metal
11 songs (56:35)
Release year: 0
Riot, MetalBlade Records
Reviewed by Mike

Riot has been one of my favorite cult bands of all time, and one of my favorite bands in general. For those of you counting, this is Riot's twelfth studio album and fifth with vocalist Mike DiMeo. The Mike DiMeo era of the band has been all about infectious melodies (less of these on Sons of Society), excellent production, and killer guitar work of founding member Mark Reale

First off, let me say that Mike DiMeo's vocals are fantastic as expected and Mark Reale has come up with some of the best guitar work around again. Mark Reale's driving, yet catchy riffs and interesting solos are the core of Riot's sound. Tony Harnell again makes contributes backing vocals in this album. As most of you know through his work with TNT, Harnell's soaring voice is unique and I think his vocals make for a more complete and rich sound overall. The production is crisp as has been the case with this band during the last few releases. Bobby Rondinelli (Ozzy, Blue Oyster Cult, Rainbow) does a great job on drums in place of Bobby Jarzombeck who left to join Halford. I was a bit worried about the departure of Jarzombeck, but Rondinelli is a very capable replacement. In my opinion, Sons of Society was a weak album by Riot standards in that the songs were very anonymous and failed to stick in my memory. The trademark Riot melodies seemed lost on that album. This album sees the return of those memorable melodies in a big way. The songs certainly aren't the heaviest that Riot has recorded during the DiMeo era, but at least they are well written and demand continuous spins. In fact, the song To My Head has a distinct hard rock feel, but the melody and solo will grip you upon first listen. Only You Can Rock Me is a bit of a different direction for Riot. It has a very bluesy feel to it, which I'm normally not a big fan of. But, add the guitar work of Mark Reale and an infectious melody, and you have another winning track that Riot can be counted on to deliver.

After listening to the first few songs of this album, I was sure it was a killer album. After several listens to the entire album, I have retreated on that opinion slightly for a couple of reasons. First, Essential Enemies feature some distorted vocals that really make Mike DiMeo sound horrible during the verses. In my mind, this effect really kills the song despite the cool riffs and solos as well as Harnell's masterful backing vocals during the chorus lines. Hopefully that was an experiment the band will not repeat. DiMeo's voice is one of the best around, no strange effects like this are necessary! Secondly, the album ends with two decent, but mostly forgettable instrumental tracks. The album bursts in with plenty of power with Turn the Tables and Lost Inside the World, but ends with a whimper.

In the end, I feel that Riot has improved upon Sons of Society greatly. The song structures are much improved and contain the wonderful melodies that were somehow missing on the last album. The guitar work is fantastic as usual, and the backing vocals of Tony Harnell give the songs an extra bit of energy and variety. I could have done without one of the instrumental tracks and the out of place song Essential Enemies, but this is still a great Riot album. Fans of Inishmore should like this album. However, I can't say Through The Storm album eclipses that album, but it's not far behind. If you like songs that are built around catchy melodies, excellent guitar work, strong backing vocals, and excellent production, buy this album!

Killing Songs :
Lost Inside The World, Let It Show, Turn The Tables
Mike quoted 80 / 100
Other albums by Riot that we have reviewed:
Riot - The Privilege of Power reviewed by Andy and quoted 84 / 100
Riot - Narita reviewed by Andy and quoted 95 / 100
Riot - Unleash the Fire reviewed by Andy and quoted 88 / 100
Riot - Immortal Soul reviewed by Alex and quoted 80 / 100
Riot - Rock City reviewed by Mike and quoted 90 / 100
To see all 8 reviews click here
3 readers voted
Your quote was: 100.
Change your vote

There are no replies yet to this review
Be the first one to post a reply!