Riot
Fire Down Under


4.0
excellent

Review

by Sabrutin USER (36 Reviews)
October 5th, 2014 | 34 replies


Release Date: 1981 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The sound of refinement

A difficult birth, it's been. The relationship between Riot and Capitol Records has never been perfect, but this time it reached its breaking point: Capitol refused to publish Fire Down Under because it was "too heavy" (remember, we are speaking of year 1981). The situation quickly degenerated, and the anger of Riot's fan base led to Capitol ceding the rights to Elektra, the label that ended up publishing the record.

Fire Down Under presents itself as the fusion between Rock City and Narita: it wants to be loud, but it's also polished and catchy, making therefore a solid yet fresh record. The band's line-up had to change, drums and bass needed new players. Thankfully, Sandy Slavin (drums) and Kip Leming (bass) proved to be good choices, and combined with the tested Reale-Ventura aggressive guitar couple they managed to create some really engaging musical rides. Basically, everything Riot attempted to make earlier is present here in a refined shape.

Nothing has been forgotten, the classic energetic and motivational opener is still present, this time taking the name of "Swords And Tequila" and featuring an iconic chorus and tasty guitar work: the same combo that makes rock anthems like "Outlaw" irresistible to hear. The overall monotony (the problem that afflicted Narita) is gone thanks to a larger variety of styles. The band returns to walk through the road created with "Warrior", continuing to push for the title of power metal precursors with the fast title track and the epic "Altar Of The King", introduced by a long calm section where the record's powerful musical ride rests. This intro is not the only slower moment, there is in fact a really particular song, that goes by the name of "Feel The Same", which carry a doomy, yet gritty, mood accentuated by a well placed guitar solo. Similar, but sustained by a catchy drumming pattern, is the track "No Lies" which shows how catchy Speranza's singing can be. In contrast, the high speed and intensity found in Narita is still present in songs like the engaging "Run For Your Life" and mentioned title track.

The remaining tracks are the last signal of refinement over Narita: the more carefree numbers that plagued Riot's sophomore studio effort are now gone. While a few songs still feel inferior to the rest, there are no real skip-inducing moments. The reason of this better feeling is found in the "fusion between Rock City and Narita" sentence: Fire Down Under in fact combines the more precise rhythms of Rock City with the more "metal" sides of Narita, such as powerful riffage, driving solos, and a varied rhythm section. Furthermore, the variety is enhanced by the way the tracks are placed, continuously alternating styles, having a mammoth like "Feel The Same" preceded by the strong title track and followed by the cheerful "Outlaw".

Crowning the record is "Flashback", a live recording that we can see as a memorial to the Speranza era. Sadly, this is in fact the last Riot album featuring Guy Speranza on vocals, who will leave the band after the publishing of the record. Anyway, this didn't stop Riot from publishing their fourth studio effort "Restless Breed" the next year, with Rhett Forrester taking Speranza's place.



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user ratings (74)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Sabrutin
October 5th 2014


4460 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm sorry for the amazingly long waiting, but I had to face various issues including health problems and even a funeral.



Hoping the review turned out well.

Digging: Necromandus - Necromandus

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
October 5th 2014


7571 Comments


I've been waiting for your review.

Good read, pos.

Digging: Urarv - Aurum

Sabrutin
October 5th 2014


4460 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thank you, I had it almost completed for a week but I never managed to be in the mood for actually

finish it.

manosg
Staff Reviewer
October 5th 2014


10490 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hell yeah! Glad to see this album finally reviewed.



Great work, pos.

Digging: Ruler - Rise to Power

Friday13th
October 5th 2014


5952 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

SWORDS! AND TEQUILA!

Digging: Universal Totem Orchestra - Mathematical Mother

Sabrutin
October 5th 2014


4460 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

CARRY ME THROUGH THE FFFIGHT!



@manosg: Thanks!

Mister Twister
October 5th 2014


2495 Comments


the greatest cover

Jasdevi087
October 6th 2014


4498 Comments


Yay you're back. Great review!

Sabrutin
October 6th 2014


4460 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@Mister Twister: Their recent album has a pretty cover too.



@Jasdevi087: Thanks, I never really meant to "leave" but stuff had to happen.

menawati
October 6th 2014


16582 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

outlaw and don't hold back are amazing, nice review

KILL
October 6th 2014


80846 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

how the fuck did i not notice that fucking cover on the front page? legendary

menawati
October 6th 2014


16582 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

got the lp of this haha, its in tatters i must have played it a lot

KILL
October 6th 2014


80846 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

you should frame it on the wall, the missus will love it

Sabrutin
October 6th 2014


4460 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It would be really cool to find a wrong printed one with the "Fire Down Below" error.



I'm really in the mood of "No Lies" these days, so catchy.



emester
November 16th 2014


8163 Comments


excuse me, but is that a harp seal basking in an inferno?

Holy fuckballs

Digging: Spectral Voice - Eroded Corridors of Unbeing

Mister Twister
November 16th 2014


2495 Comments


ikr metal as fuck

manosg
Staff Reviewer
July 12th 2015


10490 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Gotta be my favorite Riot right now. So many killer tunes.

Sabrutin
July 12th 2015


4460 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hard to choose a favorite when a band changes so much, but I really love the carefreeness of Rock City and in general I love the Speranza phase. By the way I'll try to publish a Riot review before disappearing for a while.

Titan
July 12th 2015


17872 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

2....minutes....2 miiiidniiiight

Sabrutin
July 12th 2015


4460 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

That riff is a harlot, literally. Accept's Flash Rockin' Man is another example.



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