Riot City - Burn The Night

Heavy metal will never die! Hailing from Canada, Riot City released their debut album "Burn The Night" through "No Remorse Records".

After a spacey intro the opening riff of 'Warrior Of Time' is 'Somewhere in Time' influenced with an American 80's heavy metal touch. Cale Savy's vocals owe a lot to the Metal God Rob Halford and especially to his 80's golden era. The bass of Dustin Smith is dominant and serves as a third guitar instead of a simple filler. The sweet leads of Cale Savy with Roldan Reimer (guitar) show advanced technical skills and worship for the classic Murray/Smith Iron Maiden duo. Chad Vallier (drums) is steady. The composition is really good and the track really got me from the neck!

The album's same titled song is another classic heavy metal song. The basic riff brought memories of Dio. The backing vocals add color to Cale Savy's excellent vocals while the bass again is what attracted my attention doing an excellent job. The double guitars of the lead are fabulous and I really wonder how would it be to see this live.

'In the Dark' starts with the wind and an acoustic guitar intro with backing synth. Cale Savy shows again the extent of his charismatic voice. At the beginning of the song his vocals are more sensitive, but soon he shows again his appreciation for Rob Halford. The screaming way of singing requires advanced techniques that Cale Savy possesses. If you grew up in the 80's like me you will love the way Riot City structures their songs. The lead guitar reminded me of the advanced techniques of Jake E. Lee (Ozzy Osbourne) just to end in a very emotional a-la Murray Smith guitar dialogue.
'Livin' Fast' is a more straight song that is build upon a hard rock heavy metal riff like Motorhead or Tank used to do. In its less than 3 minutes you will listen another dynamite wisely placed after 'In the Dark'.

The opening riff of 'The Hunter' brought to mind a mixture of Randy Rhoads and Eddie Van Halen. This is another classic heavy metal song. After the 2nd minute there is a break and a melodic lead like the ones we learned to love from early Scorpions. Absolutely brilliant! The lead turns somewhat epic in its 2nd part just before a 3rd part breaks in the classic 'Powerslave', 'Somewhere In Time' and '7th Son of a 7th Son' era with some excellent palm muting and incredible melodies. Riot City seem to have listened to all the 80's scene and they are excellent players. This song is a true masterpiece.
The 6th song 'Steel Rider's fast riffage with palm muting is on the heritage of the American heavy metal of the 80's. The backing vocals give a live aura and I am sure I would need a bar for my own to see this live. The aggressiveness of the vocals is unmatched and ends either to chorus backing vocals or to high screams like the one that closes the song.

'329' riff sounds like a mixture of Kiss, Iron Maiden ("Killers" era) and early Alice Cooper. It is another more rock structured song. The lead work takes me straight to Murray/Smith and makes me wanna singalong to the melody. Another excellent song.

The last song of the album 'Halloween At Midnight' starts with a scream intro possibly from a horror film. The Maiden-ish riff possesses an old street rock aura like the one Saxon and Motorhead had. The high vocal screams are glorious. The rhythm section is thick with the bass having a leading role. The guitar work is once again brilliant. And this is a great song to end an excellent album!

There is a revival of heavy metal during the last years, but this band is one of the best I came across. If you like old Iron Maiden and Judas Priest you will love the album. Haters will moan they lack originality, but believe me "Burn The Night" surpasses many old releases. Had it been released in the 80s, it would have already been pronounced a classic. It happened to be released now, but I am sure this album will soon be a classic anyway.


1. Warrior Of Time
2. Burn The Night
3. In The Dark
4. Livin' Fast
5. The Hunter
6. Steel Rider
7. 329
8. Halloween At Midnight