Riot V
Armor of Light


4.0
excellent

Review

by PsychicChris USER (305 Reviews)
May 3rd, 2018 | 12 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: There aren’t as many key players from the classic eras left these days, but Riot V’s clear enthusiasm puts them leagues above most of their peers.

In the alarmingly growing world of franchise bands carrying on after the passing of their leading figureheads, Riot V is closer to the Black Star Riders side of the spectrum than it is to say Lynyrd Skynyrd. Sure, adding the Roman numeral was a rather flimsy way to avoid a total name change but it still acknowledges the end of an era and a new beginning. It’s also reassuring to see Riot V put out some damn good material in the process.

Like 2014’s Unleash the Fire before it, Armor of Light offers plenty of that post-Thundersteel power metal that Riot fans have come to know and love. The drums are near constant double kicks, the guitars offer a mix of sweeping solos and fast chord progressions, the bass has a subtle but audible place in the mix, and the vocals deliver a slew of catchy hooks in a high-pitched tenor without going full-on Tony Moore. The drum sound is rather clicky at times, but the musicians’ tight chemistry keeps things from feeling too stilted.

Such a description may make the album seem like a retread of its predecessor, but a slower, more melodic execution helps set it apart. Tracks like “Angel’s Thunder, Devil’s Reign” and “Raining Fire” may offer gritty updates to the old speed metal formula, but the band’s hard rock side is emphasized more than it had been in over a decade. “Set the World Alight” and “Caught in the Witch’s Eye” offer strong mid-tempo grooves with the latter even sporting a horn section that is sure to remind listeners of The Privilege of Power.

With that said, Armor of Light does prove to be a rather derivative listen. It’s only inevitable as Riot V now exists as a tribute to original guitarist Mark Reale’s memory, but there are moments that draw from outside sources. The verses of the opening “Victory” have obvious parallels to a certain Iron Maiden staple, while the “Kill the King” homages on “Burn the Daylight” and “San Antonio” see the band’s long dormant Ritchie Blackmore influences come to light. But it’s hard to be that mad when the choruses are this catchy and the performances this enthusiastic.

Whether Armor of Light is Riot V’s second album or Riot’s sixteenth, it proves to be an enjoyable listen. It leans more toward the hard rock flavor of The Privilege of Power or the underrated Sons of Society than Thundersteel intensity, but Riot fans should enjoy this regardless of their era preferences. There aren’t as many key players from the classic eras left these days, but Riot V’s clear enthusiasm puts them leagues above most of their peers.

Highlights:
“Angel’s Thunder, Devil’s Reign”
“Burn the Daylight”
“Set the World Alight”
“Caught in the Witch’s Eye”
“Raining Fire”

Originally published at http://indymetalvault.com



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user ratings (19)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
KILL
May 3rd 2018


81232 Comments


these dudes are still rockin huh

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
May 3rd 2018


16439 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Question is, is this better than Thundersteel?

Digging: Cross Record - Cross Record

PsychicChris
May 3rd 2018


324 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nothing is better than Thundersteel.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
May 4th 2018


8396 Comments


Good album, but the excessive use of double bass drumming during the first half, rubbed me the wrong way, because the songs kind of sound similar.

As such, I haven't been binge-listening the album, as expected, but will probably end up doing so in the end :-)

Digging: Meridian (CHE) - The Seventh Sun

bloc
May 4th 2018


56931 Comments


Might check this. Those damn seal-men on the cover burn my eyes though

Digging: MC Solaar - Prose Combat

Sabrutin
May 4th 2018


6271 Comments


Big props for reviewing it. Very samey but some very strongs cuts nevertheless. They'll never top Black Leather off The Privilege of Power (that song smokes anything on Thundersteel imo) but still nice try.

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
July 24th 2018


16439 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I can't sit through this album in one sit. The Thundersteel rendition though, it's... interesting.

Sabrutin
July 24th 2018


6271 Comments


Excellent cuts, tiresome album... business as usual. Todd Michael Hall's vocals are so good, live shows too from videos I saw.

Victory is a killer single. I dig big time the melodic approach of Set the World Alight. Haven't spun in a long while but there were a lot of bangers, I need to rejam.

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
July 24th 2018


16439 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Todd Michael Hall is so over the top sometimes with the whole metaaaaaaal schtick that it's just laughable. Thundersteel could put off that feel without being this ridiculous.

Sabrutin
July 25th 2018


6271 Comments


"Todd Michael Hall is so over the top sometimes with the whole metaaaaaaal schtick that it's just laughable."

I don't see that at all, this is not the Firepower thread. Thundersteel would sound just as ridiculous as this if it had the same modern production (which for the record I don't like).

TheNotrap
December 2nd 2018


11600 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The album is unnecessarily long, but it has its moments



Messiah rocks

Digging: Humanity's Last Breath - Abyssal

Sabrutin
December 3rd 2018


6271 Comments


Agreed. I think my favorites could be Victory, Set the World Alight and San Antonio. I need to relisten though. On a side note, they put on a great show when they opened for Primal Fear, definitely the better show.



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