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RIOT V Live In Japan 2018

By Alex Yarborough, Orlando Contributor
Wednesday, September 4, 2019 @ 7:01 AM


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RIOT V
Live In Japan 2018

2019 AFM Records




RIOT began way back in the mid-‘70s and released its first album, Rock City, in 1977. This first version of RIOT featured lead singer Guy Speranza (RIP) and recorded several classic albums, including the seminal Fire Down Under (1981) and the band’s first live album, Riot Live, recorded a year earlier at the first Monsters Of Rock Festival in Donington, England in 1980 (although not officially released until 1989). Speranza quit the band shortly after Fire Down Under, and was replaced by Rhett Forrester (RIP) in the second version of RIOT, which recorded Restless Breed (1982) and Born In America (1983). This lineup recorded a live EP, also called Riot Live, in 1982. The third version of RIOT featured singer Tony Moore and recorded Thundersteel (1988), The Privilege Of Power (1990) and the band’s first live album recorded in Japan, Riot In Japan – Live!! (1992). The fourth version of RIOT featured singer Mike DiMeo, and recorded six studio albums and a second live album recorded in Japan, Shine On (1998). There was a brief reunion with version three singer Tony Moore, drummer Bobby Jarzombek and bassist Don Van Stavern (along with long-time guitarist Mike Flyntz) for Immortal Soul (2011). After the loss of original guitarist and leader Mark Reale (RIP) in 2012, the band regrouped again, this time with its fifth official version.

RIOT V consists of vocalist Todd Michael Hall, drummer Frank Gilchriest, guitarist Nick Lee, bassist Don Van Stavern and guitarist Mike Flyntz. This lineup has recorded two studio albums, Unleash The Fire (2014) and Armor Of Light (2018).

Japan is obviously RIOT V’s go-to country for recording live albums (this marks the third official live album the band has recorded there), and the fans in Japan are very supportive. Live In Japan 2018 was recorded on the Armor Of Light tour at Club Citta in Kanagawa, Japan, and is the band’s first double live album, featuring a career-spanning 23 songs at a length of nearly two hours. The album opens with “Armor Of Light”, the title track from the band’s most recent studio album, and later includes “Messiah” from the album as well. Unleash The Fire finds five of its tracks played here, namely ”Ride Hard Live Free”, “Fall From The Sky”, “Land of The Rising Sun”, “Take Me Back” and “Metal Warrior”. The Tony Moore era is well represented early with two tracks (“On Your Knees” and “Metal Soldiers” from The Privilege Of Power) and later with all nine tracks (played in order) from the absolute metal classic Thundersteel. Check out the band performing “Thundersteel” on KNAC.COM HERE. I’m blown away by the proficiency of the band on these songs, particularly singer Todd Michael Hall, who ably performs all these classic tracks with a requisite passion. His ability to sound like Tony Moore as well as Mike DiMeo, yet add his own touch, is why he’s the singer for this band. His vocals on “Buried Alive” and “Angel Eyes” particularly impressed me. The band even plays “Wings Are For Angels” from Immortal Soul. Nice to hear them play “Road Racin’” from Narita and of course no RIOT V show would be complete without the classics “Swords and Tequila” and “Warrior”.

Live In Japan 2018 finds RIOT V alive and well and as tight as it’s ever been. The Japanese audience shows their affection with fervor and clearly loves this band of Americans, often singing the words as loud as the band. It looks like a party every time they play. Now, if I could only convince them to do a US tour! Live In Japan 2018 is available from AFM Records now as a 2-CD/DVD package and a 2-CD/Blu-ray package.

5.0 Out Of 5.0


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