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Unleash The Fire (Ltd Cd) Limited Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Limited Edition, 27 Oct 2014
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Product details

  • Audio CD (27 Oct. 2014)
  • Limited Edition edition
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Limited Edition
  • Label: Steamhammer
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 192,004 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
A totally excellent riot of an album .
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Great Rock from a great band
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program) 4.3 out of 5 stars 30 reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mark Reale would be proud! 30 Oct. 2014
By NostalgiaVHS - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Riot is one of the more under-appreciated bands in the realm of heavy metal. Founding guitarist Mark Reale spent more than three decades creating powerful, inspiring, and fist-pumping metal music. The consistency of Riot's catalog is comparable to that of Motorhead or AC/DC, but Reale and company would struggle throughout their career to rise above cult status. The band was dealt a heavy blow when founding guitarist Mark Reale passed away in 2012, but the remaining members refused to let his legacy die with him. Bassist Donnie Van Stavern and guitarist Mike Flyntz reformed the band under the name Riot V and recorded this fantastic album not only as a testament to Reale's enduring legacy, but as a continuation to it.

To truly appreciate Unleash the Fire, you must be familiar with the history of Riot. While NWOBHM bands were tearing it up overseas, Riot was one of the first U.S bands to fly the metal band. They gained a following with their early masterpiece 'Narita' then kicked it up even heavier with their next album, the now-classic 'Fire Down Under'.

The band underwent a transformation in the late-80's, leaning away from their hard rock roots and more towards a power/speed sound. With a new line-up (including Riot V bassist Donnie Van Stavern) and higher-energy tunes, Riot released the fan-favorite 'Thundersteel', which was seen as a comeback. Throughout the 90's and early 00's, Riot stuck with the progressive speed-metal format, but the line-up became a revolving door.

In 2011 Reale reunited the Thundersteel line-up and released 'Immortal Soul', which was seen as yet another comeback. Unfortunately, the success was short lived when Reale died in 2012. I saw the last show Riot played while he was still alive in New York City on January 18 of that year. Reale could not make it to the show so Mike Flyntz played all of his parts. The band paid a loving tribute to Reale and kept his guitar case onstage with them (something they still do at every Riot V show). As a fan, it was heart-breaking to see what I thought would be the band's final show.

Many fans were skeptical when the remaining members of the band announced plans to continue under the name Riot V, but as a true fan I knew that it was done now out of greed but of love and respect for the Riot name and the spirit it represents. Donnie Van Stavern and Mike Flyntz recruited a fantastic singer, Todd Michael Hall, who has an incredible range and power in his voice. His performance on this record and live do justice to the power of the music. Filling out the line-up are guitarist Nick Lee, a young man who contributes a youthful energy, and drummer Frank Gilchriest, who does an admirable job, especially considering he's replacing one of the most fantastically skilled drummers in the business, Bobby Jarzombek.

With the new line-up filled out the band set forth recording twelve new tracks for this album, Unleash the Fire. Immediately upon seeing the album cover, Riot fans will recognize this as not only a tribute to the band's legacy (look at the street signs for example), but also to an over-the-top 80's awesomeness (lightening striking an axe held by a muscle-bound seal? Badass). The music definitely reflects both. For the most part the songs on this album are similar to the speed/power metal embraced in the band's 'Thundersteel' era, if not a little heavier. The twin guitar assaults in songs such as 'Kill to Survive' are reminiscent of Judas Priest, and the choruses on songs like 'Bring the Hammer Down' and 'Fall from the Sky' are a lot like what you'd expect from Blind Guardian in the 80's. There is a lot of variety in terms of intensity. For example, 'Land of the Rising Sun' is a more melodic than thrashing, as is 'Take me Back'. Its a rare delight to hear this sort of stuff in 2014.

The riffs are fast and heavy, the solos exciting and well-executed, and Todd Michael Hall's singing is impeccable. The lyrical content makes several references to Riot's history and past catalog. For example there is 'Return of the Outlaw', a follow-up to the bone-crushing original off the 'Fire Down Under' album. 'The Land of the Rising Sun' pays tribute to Japan, the country where Riot are most popular. Mark Reale's legacy is the subject matter to the song 'Immortal' which proclaims 'Though your soul has touched the sky/ through your songs you are immortal". A loving tribute if I ever heard one.

By far my favorite track on the album is the Flyntz/Hall penned 'Take me Back', a nostalgic ode to the glory days of past. With a simple yet effective structure and charismatic performance by Hall, its really the only song on the album that reminds me of the 'Fire Down Under' days. 'Take me Back' is a song that has been on regular rotation on my stereo and probably will for years to come alongside all the other classic Riot tracks.

Overall Unleash the Fire is a hard-hitting, fist-pounding salute to all things hard and heavy, a love letter to the legacy of a band that represents the spirit of heavy metal empowerment. Through the years of hopelessness and tribulation in Riot's history, the music always remained upbeat and inspiring. That legacy continues with Unleash the Fire, and hopefully will continue for years to come.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Heavy and heartfelt tribute to Mark Reale 29 Oct. 2014
By Connak - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
When heavy metal/hard rock band Riot announced they would start working on new material, some fans were skeptical. The band’s founder and sole original member, Mark Reale, passed in early 2012 after a lifelong battle with Crohn’s Disease. With Reale’s passing, it seemed that the band would die with him. The band, now under the name Riot V, have been touring all of this year and now have a new studio album. The album, Unleash the Fire, is a touching hard hitting tribute to Reale. While Reale might be gone, the Riot riffs and melodies he wrote are very much alive on this new album.

Riot are one of those bands that carries a long history with them. The group were originally formed in 1975 by Reale in New York. Despite constant line-up changes, the band were able to churn out three studio album with original singer Guy Speranza. The band’s third album, Fire Down Under, is considered by many to be an underrated hard rock gem. Speranza left in 1981 and was replaced by singer Rhett Forrester. With Forrester, the band made another two albums. In 1984, the band were left in limbo as they had reached rock bottom with disappointing album sales. Reale left the band on the back burner until 1986 when he revamped the band with a new line-up and more heavy metal oriented sound. This line-up released 1988’s Thundersteel, which help resurrect the band and gain some attention. Although this line-up would end in 1992, Reale and guitarist Mike Flyntz (who was added to the group during the Thundersteel tour) kept the band going. The Thundersteel line-up reunited in 2008 and in 2011, they released an album entitled Immortal Soul. In early 2012, Reale passed away after being a coma for several days due to his lifelong battle with Crohn’s Disease.

Sometimes after Reale’s passing, Flyntz and Thundersteel era bassist Donnie Van Stavern started putting together a new version of Riot. Flyntz and Stavern are joined by three other members: drummer Frank Gilchriest (who drummed on 2006’s Army of One), singer Todd Michael Hall and guitarist Nick Lee (who is also one of Flyntz’s guitar students).

The band gets down to business on the head-banging “Ride Hard Live Free.” Right from the start, Flyntz and Lee are at it with their twin lead guitar melodies. As for Hall, he is a remarkable singer. Listening to this song, Hall could be mistaken for former singer Tony Moore. I highly recommend watching a video of the band performing live with Hall: the man has a range that gives him the ability to tackle all of the Riot material. The guitar heavy “Metal Warrior” is lyrically filled with references to other Riot songs. The cries of “shine on” are heard throughout, which references to the chorus of the Riot classic “Warrior.” There are also mentions of Johnny, the name of the band’s seal mascot (other fans will argue his name is the Mighty Tior, but I like to think of him as Johnny- the Mighty Tior): “Raise your fists up to our brother man” sings Hall. “Johnny lead us to your promised land.” The songs is filled with so many references to Riot songs, one might find it hard to keep track of all of them!

Riot sure know how to deliver heavy metal songs and this album is no exception. “Bring the Hammer Down” certainly lives up to its title while Gilchriest shows off his rapid-fire drumming skills on the thunderous “Fall From the Sky.” The title track is even badass, with Hall shining again on lead vocals. There’s also the anthem-driven “Fight Fight Fight” and the melodic “Land of the Rising Sun,” a Stavern-penned tune written for Riot’s rabid fanbase in Japan. Believe it or not, there are a few songs on here that are a throwback to the old school hard rock Riot. “Return of the Outlaw” is exactly what it sounds like: it is lyrically and musically a sequel to the Riot classic, “Outlaw.” Musically, the song captures the sound of the original while Hall channels his inner Guy Speranza. Hall channels his inner Speranza once again on the nostalgic “Take Me Back.”

Overall, Unleash the Fire is an impressive album. After listening to this album, I feel that Riot can indeed go on without Mark Reale. Somebody has to play these songs, and that is what this new band is exactly doing. I think it’s safe to say that Mark would be proud.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars RIOT V IS AN AWESOME RETURN. SHINE ON RIOT, SHINE ON 27 Oct. 2014
By Phil Baker (music man) - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a Riot album that would definitely make Mark Reale proud. Great guitar throughout and super production along with well written songs and the BEST LEAD VOCALIST SINCE GUY SPERENZA. The harmonies on the album are fantastic also. This is my Favorite Riot cd since Restless Breed. I have all of Riots cds, but none have reached the heights of Unleash the Fire since the early days. If you are or ever have been a Riot fan then this is a MUST HAVE. If you just like great melodic hard rock/metal this is still a MUST HAVE. Put this cd on and CRANK IT UP!!!!!!!!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By THOMAS LEARY SR. - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best releases of 2014 24 May 2015
By L0.renz - Published on
Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
Great Power Metal album, superb vocals and guitar work. This is one of the best albums of 2014. I got a recommendation from a youtube review channel and I am glad that I listened to this masterpiece.
The Vinyl is awesome and comes with de CD!
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