One of the most beloved topics of conversation through the years in the metal community revolves around the fact that there are quite a few bands out there that should or could have made it big and for a number of reasons never achieved that goal. Riot is always on the top of that list and it always makes you wonder how and why this band’s back catalogue didn’t reach gold or platinum status. But that’s a conversation for another time…

“Live in Japan 2018” is released via AFM records (and not via Nuclear Blast) and captures the band’s storming performance in the Land of the Rising Sun last spring. This is actually a really special show as it includes the vast majority of the classic hits, songs cued from the band’s latest opus “Armor of Light” plus the entire (!) live performance of the monumental “Thundersteel” record. So one can easily gather that this is one full package that shines furthermore due to its fitting production that brings forth the live feeling of that night without much studio retouch.

Now to say that Riot’s performance was flawless is so obvious as stating that “Fire Down Under”. All of us who have seen the band live in concert know perfectly well what this band is all about. This live show in Japan is not the exception to the rule…of course! MVP of the night is Todd Michael Hall who has absolutely no problem in reaching even the most demanding note of the “Thundersteel” era while the overall performance of the classic Speranza era is mind-blowing!

Needless to say more. The hardcore Riot fans will surely buy the album. As for the others…well, check it out and see how a band pays tribute to its glorious past and at the same time curves new paths in honor of the late and great Mark Reale! Shine on, Warriors!

Highlight: The excellent relationship between Riot and Japan is traced back in the late 70s and the album “Narita”.