Riot bandleader/guitarist Mark Reale's frequent lineup shifts finally caught up with him on 1982's Restless Breed. Longtime vocalist Guy Speranza's exit after the group's seminal release, Fire Down Under, wasn't just another member change. Replacement Rhett Forrester demonstrates nice range and intensity on Restless Breed, but Speranza's performance and writing abilities are sorely missed. While Riot always suffered from a faceless quality, with Speranza, they managed to somehow stay ahead of their time. The New York outfit was one of the first American metal acts to adopt a melodic, speedy approach that approximated thrash and the about-to-crest New Wave of British Heavy Metal many years before each would emerge from the underground. Times finally caught up with Reale and company on Restless Breed. Forrester isn't exactly mimicking David Coverdale on "When We Were Young," and the rest of the guys never exactly rip off Thin Lizzy, Bad Company, Whitesnake, or a list of younger melodic metal bands throughout Restless Breed, but without Speranza, Riot misses their edge and their individuality.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Jason Anderson