Saturday, September 9, 2017

review: Riot

[review by MMB]
Sons of Society (Bonus Edition)
Metal Blade Records
release: 30 June 2017
original release: 1999
Riot's history of traditional heavy metal comprises an abundant list of classics, gems, and pioneering works, a remarkable discography that kicked off with 1977's Rock City, a solid album with a fun, young energy right there at the Big Bang of the first self-conscious heavy metal internationally. As years and decades passed, there has been a long list of memorable songs. More than 20 years after their debut album this Sons of Society was issued in 1999. Now, some 18 years after its original release the folks at Metal Blade want to remind us about the 1999 title.
Is this album any good? Was it ever good at all? How does it sound now nearly two decades after it was made? Sons of Society is, in my opinion, a very good album that shines in so many ways and the years have made the music sound even better and more unique. Riot's field of operations on here is traditional, melodic singing proper; uptempo and song-oriented drumming and bass guitar; riffs and melodies by the barrel; songs to remember. Quite a variety of songs makes an appearance, although it is all done so well that it might not be particularly noticeable. Some tracks lean in the faster, power-metal-like direction, others are uptempo rockers, while some go at a steady midpace, and some veer into slower tempos. I find that the overall pace works very well.
Vocally, the singing is smooth, pleasant on the ears, the type that American rock and metal audiences enjoy with traditional singing as you find on the radio for classic rock and metal, with a general and broad appeal, without high shouting, without punk screaming and without super high notes, just a great midrange and upper range with some bluesy shades here and there; it's got the perfect energy for this music.
Who would enjoy this album? Fans of classic, melodic and traditional heavy metal, and of classic rock, hard and heavy rock in general that like melody, singing and guitar riffs and solos would possibly appreciate the album the most.

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