Riot - _Inishmore_
(Metal Blade, 1998)
by: Drew Snow (7 out of 10)
Apparently, New York metal quintet Riot has been around, albeit with some lineup changes, since 1976, but I'll be damned if I've ever heard of them. Nevertheless, _Inishmore_ was welcomed with kind ears and an open mind as I hoped for the best but expected the worst. That said, the album is neither spectacular nor abysmal, rather it exists as a pretty straight-forward heavy metal release with plenty of influence from the realms of power metal and Irish melody, probably owing much to their development throughout the '80s, as well as a strong dose of Irish background. Commencing with a fantastic two minute intro, _Inishmore_ goes through eleven tracks of classic metal with few real surprises; nothing here will make you drop your jaw in awe (that's best left to the likes of HammerFall), but none of the material is outright bad, either. Well, maybe one thing: the vocals, while definitely not unlistenable, remind me very much of a heavy metal version of Richard Marx. For some that may be a plus, since I can't judge your personal vocal preference, but for this listener it's certainly a detractor. Riot's _Inishmore_ is destined to be just another average metal album, plain and simple.

(article published 5/2/1997)

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