“Thunder And Steel Down Under – A Tribute To RIOT” (Skol Records)
With Riot V continuing the incredible legacy of Mark Reale, “Thunder And Steel Down Under – A Tribute To RIOT” is homage paid by both American and European bands and musicians who were influenced by this cult US hard rock band who trod the stage boards from 1975 to 2012! Twelve tracks in all, from the likes of Axel Rudi Pell, Crystal Viper, Alpha Tiger….well, the list is endless and so is the passion as they deliver on timeless classics like ‘Outlaw’, ‘Road Racing’ and of course, my all time favorite ‘Thundersteel’ which actually features ‘guest’ vocals from Riot V’s Todd Micheal Hall! The renditions are nothing short of superb, with each band trying to strike it as close as possible to Riot themselves (no mean feat given the sheer number of musicians that graced the band over the years) whilst reverently offering their own stamp on the material that ranges from late 70s hard rock to 80s power metal to the more contemporary epic rock metal that the band finished on. Whatever the style, all twelve bands strike the perfect balance between fire n ice that made Riot so loved by their fans and now even more missed than ever before. Bart Gabriel and the Skol team have once again come up with a fan’s package that does true justice to the memory of Mark Reale, Guy Speranza and Rhett Forrester, who all passed on tragically way before their time. Strictly limited to 1,000 copies, even the proceeds of the album will be handed to Mark’s father Tony – fan devotion doesn’t get any better so shine on!