Continuing a legacy of Canadian epic metal are Calgary’s very own merchants of steel: Riot City.
Written by: gdmonline
ARTIST: Riot City
ALBUM: Burn The Night
LABEL: No Remorse
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Canada
LINEUP: Cale Savy – vocals, guitars * Roidan Reimer – guitars * Dustin Smith – bass * Chad Vallier – drums (1-7) * Ty Gogal – drums (8)
TRACK LISTING: 01 Warrior Of Time * 02 Burn The Night * 03 In The Dark * 04 Livin’ Fast * 05 The Hunter * 06 Steel Rider * 07 329 * 08 Halloween At Midnight
WEBLINKS: Bandcamp Page
Continuing a legacy of Canadian epic metal are new boys on the block, Calgary’s very own merchants of steel: Riot City. These guys are in that hyper level category called manic metal where death-defying vocals, hammering guitar riffs and slam dunk drumming is the order of the day. Riot City first made these tracks available on Bandcamp, but were soon signed to Greek label No Remorse Records who then put the experienced engineer Bart Gabriel into the mixers chair.
Riot City are firmly established in the 80’s metal soundalike competition, with nods to Helstar, Agent Steel plus fellow Canucks Razor and Metallian. For a modern comparison think White Wizzard on steroids.
The star of this particular show is singer/guitarist Cale Savy, a monster vocalist that can go toe to toe with screamers like James Rivera (Helstar, Malice etc) and Wyatt Anderson (White Wizzard) for instance. Everything about Riot City is overblown 80’s metal with a no holds barred attitude and relentless delivery that will be the envy of many metal rivals. What do they feed these boys up in the wintery Canadian North?
‘Warrior Of Time’ is as epic as the song title, our protagonist speeding across the void propelled by engines of percussion, six string fuel and god like vocals. Yeah you heard right. Prepare to take a visceral roasting when slapping on the headphones for ‘Burn The Night’. Savy is literally in your ear the whole time while holding a lit match in his hand ready to set fire to the Night. Bring it.
‘In The Dark’ features about a minute of introspective acoustic mellowness before the lights are switched off for a metal explosion guaranteed to cause a power surge. ‘Livin’ Fast’ is an anthemic grinder in the vein of ‘Painkiller’ era Judas Priest. Riffs are sliced off the bone like a kebab when listening to ‘The Hunter’. The vocal screams will send any wild animal scarpering for the hills before a shot can be fired. Lol. I like the mellow mid-song change up too.
Maybe ‘Steel Rider’ is a tribute to Saxon, but with that being said, Riot City are playing this far faster than the boys from Barnsley could ever hope to achieve. I couldn’t quite get a handle of the meaning of ‘329’, but reading the lyrics online suggested a definite apocalyptic theme, with the band playing as if their lives depended on it. ‘Halloween At Midnight’ is the obligatory shock/horror theme song, perhaps a nod to our favourite movies from the slasher genre in years gone by?
It’s not every day that I hook into this type of metal, but when I do there is this expectation of being blown away, and with Riot City that is definitely the case. The band recently returned in October 2022 with their second album ‘Electric Elite’ but according to reports Cale Savy has passed on the lead singer baton to new vocalist Jordan Jacobs to focus on guitars. A review of that album is in the queue. In the meantime, ‘bang thine head’.
Burn The Night