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The Privilege of Power

Riot

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Album Review

Like Queensrÿche's 1988 prog metal masterpiece Operation: Mindcrime, Riot's Privilege of Power works off of fear, paranoia, and conspiracy, employing ten complex tracks that work as a single unit. Where Mindcrime stuck to a straight narrative, working every Pink Floyd-ism it could into its disillusioned protagonist, Power takes a broader, less specific approach to its subject. The atmospheric snippets that tuck-point each song into place help maintain a general air of unease, eventually giving way to an ambiguous but entertaining revolution that lacks Queensrÿche's self-importance. Lyrically, the group does little to deviate from obvious metaphor and "Viking" simplicity — in "metalspeak" something as mundane as an airplane ride ("Metal Soldiers") is described by shouting "We climb aboard the eagle made of steel" followed by a four-octave scream — but "true blue" fans of heavy metal know the genre's scholarly limitations, and revel in its face-value descriptions of rebellion and honor. The bizarre use of a horn section (keyboards?) on tracks like "On Your Knees" and "Killer" actually works, adding a swaggering charm to the already hook-laden tunes. The ferocious "Dance of Death" brings to mind classic Judas Priest and features brutal guitar work by guitarist/songwriter Mark Reale — he really is remarkable — and elements of Iron Maiden run rampant throughout the rousing "Storming the Gates of Hell." The record loses its flow — not its focus, as it never really has any — with the dreadful "Little Miss Death" — a study in "horned-hand" mediocrity — and the obvious single "Maryanne," which — although the vocals are outstanding and the slight melodic variation (mixed with car horns and other sonic oddities) is infectious — is virtually a carbon copy of Boston's "More Than a Feeling."

Biography

Formed: 1973 in New York, NY

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The long-lived New York-based heavy metal band Riot was formed in 1976 by guitarist/songwriter Mark Reale, who recruited vocalist Guy Speranza, guitarist L.A. Kouvaris, bassist Jimmy Iommi, and drummer Peter Bitelli. After debuting in 1977 with Rock City, Kouvaris was replaced by guitarist Rick Ventura, and the group returned in 1979 with Narita; Iommi and Bitelli were the next to exit, and with the recruitment of bassist Kip Leming and drummer Sandy Slavin, the classic Riot lineup was in place....
Full bio
The Privilege of Power, Riot
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  • 6,99 €
  • Genres: Rock, Music, Metal
  • Released: 1990

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