There are people out there who argue that New York’s very own Riot are possibly the most important band in the history of American heavy metal. Up to the present day and the current Riot V incarnation, the band went through different artistic periods during their 44-year career. So Riot not only put their mark on one but several metal subgenres.
»Archives Vol.1« featured the classic Riot line-up consisting of Guy Speranza (vocals), Mark Reale (guitar), Lou Kouvaris (on second guitar), Jimmy Iommi (bass) and Peter Bitelli (drums). The early works culminated with the critically acclaimed 1981 proto speed metal milestone »Fire Down Under«. When new vocalist Rhett Forrester joined Mark Reale (guitar), Rick Ventura (guitar), Kip Leming (bass) and Sandy Slavin (drums) for 1982’s »Restless Breed« record, Riot took a more southern rock-tinged direction (to be witnessed on »Riot Archives Vol.2«). »Born In America« from 1983 followed a similar approach.
Just like its two predecessors, »Riot Archives Vol.3« also features a wealth of unreleased recordings, e.g. interesting rough mix versions of »Thundersteel« album tracks such as “Thundersteel” itself, “Fight Or Fall”, “Sign Of The Crimson Storm”, the intro to “Buried Alive”, “Flight Of The Warrior” as well as the classic “Johnny’s Back” (referring to the band’s mascot Johnny the seal) and a rare instrumental rough mix version of “Run For Your Life”. All recordings feature Tony Moore on vocals, the one and only Mark Reale on guitar, Don Van Stavern on bass and Bobby Jarzombek on drums.
Maybe even more interesting for die-hard Riot fans though, » Archives Vol.3«, spanning the years 1987 to 1988, also contains demo versions of songs later to be featured on 1990’s »Privilege Of Power« record: such as “On Your Knees”, “Metal Soldiers” and “Killer” (a rough version with vocals sung by a certain Joe Lynn Turner also exists in the archives). “Exciter”, “When Lights Go Down”, “A Place Called Tomorrow” and “Liar”, however, are songs not to be found on any Riot studio album!