"Sons of Society" (Metal Blade; 1999)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton


Riot is a veteran metal band whose sound has never really changed. That's both good and bad news. It's good news for the band's fans, who have stuck with the band throughout the years. It's bad news for those who expect a band to grow and change. Although it's obvious their musicianship has matured and production has improved since the early days, Riot's 1999 "Sons of Society" sounds a lot like their earlier stuff.

Personally, that's what I like in a band. I understand the need to experiment with your sound, but when I buy a Motorhead album, I know I'm gonna hear Motorhead; and Lemmy and company haven't disappointed me yet. You can expect the same from Riot.

"Sons of Society" is ten hard rocking songs (eleven, if you count the opening intro, "Snake Charmer," which sounds an awful lot like the soundtrack from a level of Mario 64 - I kid you not). Each is pretty fast-paced, surprisingly melodic and fill with chunky guitars. Some have called Riot power metal but I'm not sure I'd go that far. I'd be more likely to match them up with L.A. Guns or Armored Saint.

My favorite track is the final track, "Promises," with its irresistible riff.

Riot: Mark Reale - electric and acoustic guitars, keyboards, percussion; Mike Flyntz - electric guitar; Mike Dimeo - lead vocals, hammond organ, keyboards; Bobby Jarzombek - drums; Pete Perez - bass.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


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Copyright 2003 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 21 Feb 2021 14:29:50 -0500 .