Last updated

Thundersteel cover.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedMarch 24, 1988
RecordedJanuary 1988 at Greene St. Recording, New York City
Genre Power metal
Label CBS
Epic (Europe)
Producer Steve Loeb, Rod Hui, Mark Reale
Riot chronology
Born in America
Riot Live
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svg [1]
Classic Rock Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [2]
The Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [3]
Rock HardStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [4]

Thundersteel is the sixth studio album by the American heavy metal band Riot, released after coming back from a period of inactivity in the mid-1980s. It features a totally different line-up from that of the previous work, with guitarist Mark Reale being the only remaining member.


It was re-issued in 2003 by Collectables Records with slightly amended artwork and re-issued on 180g vinyl as a 2-LP set with The Privilege of Power by SPV on February 25, 2013. [5] The album originally charted at No. 150 on Billboard 200 [6]

The song "Thundersteel" was originally written by Mark Reale and Don Van Stavern for 'Narita', a short-lived project Reale formed with members of S.A.Slayer following the demise of Riot in 1984. A demo released by Narita exists, with "Thundersteel" and two other tracks: "Liar" and "The Feeling Is Gone". The song's cover appears as a bonus track on 2013 album "Possession" by the Polish heavy metal band Crystal Viper.

The song "Flight of the Warrior" was covered by the Swedish heavy metal band HammerFall on their 2008 album Masterpieces . A cover of "Flight of the Warrior" also appears as a bonus track on the 2013 album Beneath the Surface by German metal band Alpha Tiger who've performed the song live as well.

Album information

The album's sound has been described as power metal; [7] with AllMusic writer Brian O'Neill going into great detail describing what all went into its sound, saying, "The disc takes cues from everything that was metal at the time, combining classic European styles reminiscent of Judas Priest's heavier moments (a premonition for Painkiller), thrashing guitars and pounding percussion indicative of the then-burgeoning underground thrash movement (it's got more riffs than Anthrax ever had), and undertones of the hair metal that was riding the charts at the time (especially in appearance) into a cohesive moment of refined ferocity." [1]


In 2008, the album's personnel reunited for 2009's Sweden Rock Festival. [8] The album was reissued in Japan on October 7 in 2009. [9] A 30th anniversary version of the album was released in 2018. [10]

Track listing

1."Thundersteel"Reale, Van Stavern3:49
2."Fight or Fall"Van Stavern4:25
3."Sign of the Crimson Storm"Reale4:40
4."Flight of the Warrior"Moore, Reale, Van Stavern4:17
5."On Wings of Eagles"Moore, Reale, Van Stavern5:41
6."Johnny's Back"Moore, Reale, Van Stavern5:32
7."Bloodstreets"Moore, Reale4:39
8."Run for Your Life"Moore, Reale, Van Stavern4:08
9."Buried Alive (Tell Tale Heart)"Moore, Reale, Van Stavern, Jarzombek, Bob Held, Steve Loeb8:55
Total length:46:06



Additional musicians


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  2. Barton, Geoff (February 2010). "Riot - Thundersteel/The Privilege of Power". Classic Rock . No. 141. p. 93.
  3. Popoff, Martin (November 1, 2005). The Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal: Volume 2: The Eighties. Burlington, Ontario, Canada: Collector's Guide Publishing. p. 289. ISBN   978-1-894959-31-5.
  4. "Riot - Thundersteel Review". Rock Hard. Retrieved November 1, 2021.
  5. "SPV launch an exciting new series of catalogue vinyl releases". Archived from the original on January 1, 2014.
  6. "Thundersteel – Riot". Billboard . Retrieved October 16, 2010.
  7. Lawson, Dom (October 19, 2016). "The 10 essential power metal albums". Metal Hammer. Retrieved November 1, 2021.
  8. "RIOT's 'Thundersteel' Lineup To Tour Europe In June". Blabbermouth. December 28, 2008. Retrieved November 1, 2021.
  9. 'Thundersteel', 'The Privilege Of Power' Albums To Be Reissued In Japan With Bonus Tracks "RIOT's 'Thundersteel' Lineup To Tour Europe In June". Blabbermouth. August 19, 2009. Retrieved November 1, 2021.{{cite web}}: Check |url= value (help)
  10. "Riot: "Thundersteel - 30th Anniversary Edition"". Rock Hard. February 10, 2018. Retrieved November 1, 2021.
  11. "The 66 Best Metal+Hard Rock Drummers of All Time". Loudwire. April 24, 2021. Retrieved November 1, 2021.