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RIOT (V)

Riot-V

New album, "Mean Streets", out on May 10th!

 Heavy metal was born on the streets. A dangerous din, the calamitous sound of chains and leather, of motorbikes, of recklessness and lawlessness. On their ripping new album »Mean Streets,« NYC legends RIOT (V) take heavy metal back to the streets. Back to where it was born. Back to where it belongs.
 "RIOT was born and raised on the streets of New York," bass veteran Donnie Van Stavern says of the band that was started by iconic guitar overlord Mark Reale. "Mark and the guys would play block parties and concerts and ended up meeting the first producers and management that helped them take off so to speak. This new record represents growing up on the streets of Brooklyn." He must know: Joining the band in 1986, he's the longest running RIOT (V) member. Founded in 1975 - almost a whooping 50 years ago - by Reale, the band all but dominated the US metal scene in the '80s, bursting out of New York City with ground-breaking albums »Fire Down Under« [1981] and »Thundersteel« [1988], swiftly becoming one of the biggest metal bands in the world.
 Early landslide performances in the UK at Castle Donington (where else?), in Wacken or as support for some of the biggest names ever like BLACK SABBATH, AC/DC, RUSH, RAINBOW or KISS - to name but a few - made them become pioneers of power metal. RIOT quickly rose to one of the pivotal acts worldwide to herald the triumph of steel. After the tragic death of figurehead Reale back in 2012, the surviving members reformed the band to RIOT (V), honoring his legacy and continuing to spawn world-class, hard-hitting, gritty heavy metal in the way it was meant to be played. With amps on eleven and the pedal to the metal.
 »Mean Streets« tells about this legacy. And about the undying love for an immortal genre. Today, RIOT (V) combine their early days street-style heavy metal with their triumphant power metal force, patching together their various body parts to a Frankenstein's monster kind of record that will please fans of each and every era. "»Mean Streets« is an album that we put a lot of passion into for our legacy and fans," notes Van Stavern. And that's not lightly said for a band looking back at a storied and tumultuous career like theirs. "Throughout the years I have learned what the listener expects from the band," he continues. "We had some time off so we really wanted to make the fans happy with our return. We always write with Mark in mind and what he might have done. This one will represent all eras of the band from the rock beginnings of »Rock City« to our last power metal release »Armor Of Light.«" He promises: "We always unleash the 'fire down under'!"
 Written in the chaos of these past years and recorded in their various home studios as well as in Michigan, Texas and New Jersey, already the first seconds of »Mean Streets« make good of that promise. Only take churning album opener 'Hail To The Warriors,' a banger that will make present-day JUDAS PRIEST and IRON MAIDEN look pale in comparison: The power, the vigor, the zeal - it's as if the '80s had never ended! After two albums without founding figure Mark Reale, RIOT (V) truly come into their own on their overall 17th record. "We knew continuing wouldn't be an easy task because RIOT (V) fans deserve what they to came to know and love," the bassist says and adds: "Luckily we were well received and soldier on for the family."
 What's extraordinary about RIOT (V) is that this band is all but an estate manager of past glories. Instead, with a stable line-up since 2012, they continue the saga and honor the legacy of one of the biggest and most influential bands ever to come from the States. In fact, there has never been a longer time with the same line-up. Seems the fellowship of vocal tornado Todd Michael Hall, Donnie Van Stavern, Mike Flyntz (guitars), Nick Lee (guitars) and Frank Gilchriest (drums) has finally broken the curse of this endlessly rotating cast of members. "I am very proud that the band continues on and I do all in my power to make us the best we can be in this ever changing musical world," bassist and manager Van Stavern says. "Mark used to say 'longevity of a band is achieved through good music'... so as long as we keep putting out good music we will keep the fire burning for the RIOT legacy."
 Oh and how wild this fire is burning. From 'High Noon,' a quintessential RIOT (V) anthem in the vein only Mark Reale could write, to PRIEST-like banger 'Feel the Fire' or the dirty daredevilry of title track 'Mean Streets,' RIOT (V) never lose their nerve, their verve, their bite. "Heavy metal is a passion. It's impossible to give up after doing it for so many years," Van Stavern says with a crooked grin. "As long as you can perform and compose it will be ingrained deep in your heart and soul." There's really nothing to add here.

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SEBASTIAN BACH
BLACK WATER SUNSET

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