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 Hard 9/10 [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


Related Research Articles

<i>The Sickness</i> 2000 studio album by Disturbed

The Sickness is the debut studio album by American heavy metal band Disturbed. It was released on March 7, 2000, by Giant and Reprise Records. The album peaked at number 29 on the US Billboard 200, and spent a total of 106 weeks on the chart. It was Disturbed's only album to not hit number one on the US Billboard 200 until their seventh album Evolution debuted at number 4 in 2018. In 2018, The Sickness was certified five times platinum by the RIAA for shipments of over five million copies in the US, making it the band's most successful album.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Freedom Call</span> German power metal band

Freedom Call is a German power metal band formed in 1998. The band tours regularly and the current line-up includes one original member, lead vocalist and songwriter, Chris Bay. Freedom Call has released 12 albums in total, nine of these studio albums.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Vinny Appice</span> American drummer

Vincent Samson Appice is an American rock and metal drummer best known for his work with the bands Dio, Black Sabbath, and Heaven & Hell. Of Italian descent, he is the younger brother of drummer Carmine Appice.

<i>Master of the Moon</i> 2004 studio album by Dio

Master of the Moon is the tenth and final studio album by American heavy metal band Dio. It was released on August 30, 2004 in Europe through SPV/Steamhammer and on September 7, 2004 in the US through Sanctuary Records. It was produced by Ronnie James Dio.

<i>Spine of God</i> 1991 studio album by Monster Magnet

Spine of God is the debut studio album by American rock band Monster Magnet, released in Europe in 1991 and in the United States the following year. The album represents one of the earliest examples of the emerging 1990s sub-genre of stoner rock. Though Spine of God did not perform well commercially upon its initial release, the album was listed on Spin magazine's "Ten Best Albums of the Year You Didn't Hear" for 1991. The song "Medicine" was released as a single with accompanying music video.

<i>Leprosy</i> (album) 1988 studio album by Death

Leprosy is the second studio album by American death metal band Death, released on November 16, 1988, by Combat Records. The album is notable in its different tone and quality from the band's 1987 debut, it is the first example of Scott Burns' work heard on many of the death metal and grindcore albums of that era. The cover is featured in Metal: A Headbanger's Journey. It is the first album to feature drummer Bill Andrews and the only one to feature guitarist Rick Rozz.

<i>The Crimson Idol</i> 1992 studio album by W.A.S.P.

The Crimson Idol is the fifth studio album by heavy metal band W.A.S.P., released in June 1992 through Capitol Records, their last album for the label. It was the first album by W.A.S.P. since the band's temporary breakup in 1990; this was because vocalist and rhythm guitarist Blackie Lawless had intended to release The Crimson Idol as a solo album, until he decided to release it as a W.A.S.P. album. The album charted within the top 40 in five countries. The Crimson Idol is a rock opera, telling the story of the rise and fall of a fictional rock star named Jonathan Steel.

<i>Gutter Ballet</i> 1989 studio album by Savatage

Gutter Ballet is the fifth full-length album produced by the American progressive metal band Savatage. This was the second album created under the direction of producer Paul O'Neill and was initially released in December 1, 1989.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Riot V</span> American heavy metal band

Riot V, formerly known as Riot, is an American heavy metal band formed in New York City in 1975 by guitarist Mark Reale. Reaching peak in popularity in the early 1980s, the band has continued a long-running successful career. Riot's sound initially started out as straightforward heavy metal, but since their 1988 release Thundersteel, their musical style has shifted a little towards power metal.

Bobby Jarzombek is an American musician of Polish and German ancestry who is currently the drummer for country music legend George Strait. Bobby also has been a drummer for: vocalist Sebastian Bach, and progressive metal band Fates Warning. Guitarist Ron Jarzombek is his younger brother.

<i>The Weight of the World</i> (Metal Church album) 2004 studio album by Metal Church

The Weight of the World is the seventh studio album by American heavy metal band Metal Church. It was released in 2004 through the Steamhammer/SPV label.

<i>Fire Down Under</i> 1981 studio album by Riot

Fire Down Under is the third studio album by American heavy metal band Riot, released in 1981, it's the last album to feature original vocalist Guy Speranza. The song "Flashbacks" is dedicated to Neal Kay, a British DJ who supported heavy metal in the UK during the new wave of British heavy metal.

<i>Restless Breed</i> 1982 studio album by Riot

Restless Breed is the fourth studio album by American heavy metal band Riot, released on May 21, 1982. It was the band's first record with vocalist Rhett Forrester. "When I Was Young" is an Eric Burdon and the Animals' cover.

<i>Narita</i> (album) 1979 studio album by Riot

Narita is the second studio album by the American heavy metal band Riot. The album was initially released in 1979. It became out of print in the late 1980s and was only being pressed in CD format in Japan in 1989 until the early 1990s. It was finally issued on CD outside Japan in 2005 by UK-based Rock Candy Records, run by former Kerrang! writers Derek Oliver and Dante Bonutto.

<i>Riot in Japan – Live!!</i> 1992 live album by Riot

Riot in Japan – Live!! is the second live album by the American heavy metal band Riot, recorded in June 1990 in Osaka and Tokyo, and first released in 1992 by Sony Music Japan. It marks the debut by bassist Pete Perez who replaced Don Van Stavern at the end of the U.S. leg of The Privilege of Power tour. This album was taken from Front of House console mixes by sound man George Geranios. There was no multi-track recording made.

<i>The Privilege of Power</i> 1990 studio album by Riot

The Privilege of Power is the seventh studio album by American heavy metal band Riot. It was more experimental than their previous work, being an attempt at a concept album and also including a horn section on some of the tracks.

S.A. Slayer, originally known as Slayer, was an American heavy metal band formed in San Antonio, Texas, in 1981 by the former Blitzkrieg guitar duo Robert "Bob Dog" Catlin and Art Villarreal, bassist Don Van Stavern, drummer Dave McClain, and vocalist Chris Cronk. The latter was soon replaced by Steve Cooper and the band signed a record deal with local upstart label Rainforest Records and proceeded to record six songs for a proposed EP at B.O.S.S. Studios with producer/engineer duo Bob O'Neill and Rick Shrieves. The Prepare to Die EP was released in 1983 and "Slayer" became one of the top metal draws of the Texas scene. The band changed their name to S.A. Slayer following a cease and desist lawsuit from founder of Metal Blade Records, Brian Slagel, on behalf of thrash metal legends Slayer.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mark Reale</span> American guitarist (1955–2012)

Mark Reale was an American guitarist who was the sole consistent and founding member of the heavy metal band Riot.

<i>Immortal Soul</i> 2011 studio album by Riot

Immortal Soul is the fourteenth studio album by American heavy metal band Riot, released through Marquee/Avalon in Japan and Steamhammer Records in the rest of the world. It marked the short lived return of the Thundersteel touring line-up featuring vocalist Tony Moore, guitarists Mark Reale and Mike Flyntz, bassist Don Van Stavern, and drummer Bobby Jarzombek. It is the last Riot album to feature Moore, Jarzombek and long-time guitarist Mark Reale, who at the time was the only original member left in the band, before his death in January 2012.

<i>Seven Devils Moonshine</i> 2018 compilation album by Virgin Steele

Seven Devils Moonshine is a five-disc box set by the American heavy metal band Virgin Steele, comprising three new albums and two reissues. It was released in November 2018 by SPV/Steamhammer.


  1. 1 2 O'Neill, Brian. "Riot Thundersteel review". AllMusic . Retrieved January 10, 2012.
  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.