Reviewed: October 1, 2022
Released: October 14, 2022, No Remorse Records
Reviewer: The Elitist Metalhead
Canada’s RIOT CITY is a band that seemed to fall under my radar until recently. They play a mix of traditional and speed metal and their debut landed quite well with all positive reviews from what I could see. Formed in 2011 it took until 2019 for their debut to get released. I am not familiar with that album as of yet but it appears they picked up vocalist Jordan Jacobs along the way and now comes the follow up, Electric Elite, due out on October 14. Not knowing anything about their previous album put me in a good spot to review this album based on pure merit and not on a pre conceived notion of how they should have followed up their debut.
Coming straight for the throat right away, “Eye of the Jaguar” kicks this beast off with some speed and serious riffs. This is more of a speed metal song in most parts. But then you hear the siren that is Jordan Jacobs. What a range this guy has and his higher register chops show on this song in a major way. The notes he hits on the chorus are incredible! Following that impressive album opener is “Beyond The Stars” another killer track with more of an emphasis on riffs and melody than speed. Once again Jacobs hits some serious notes but this also a song where he shows he’s not all about hitting as many high notes as possible. The guitar work on this track is sick. Not only are the riffs coming at you steady but the solos are ridiculously good. Rounding out the opening trio is “Tyrant,” one of the strongest songs on the album. This song displays everything great about this band. Their use of riffs and melodies is in the forefront and the chorus is one of the best on the album.
The opening trio of songs can make or break an album and, in most cases, if the opening trio is strong the rest of the album will follow suit. Not only does the rest of this album follow suit, song after song just comes at you like a freight train. Songs like “Paris Nights” with its infectious melodies and killer chorus and displays Jacobs’ total range or the fist single released, “Ghost of Reality” where his range is again showcased. The latter being another one of those epic metal songs that begins slow and clean and builds to a soaring metal anthem. Also as important as the opening trio, the album closer is an important part of an albums flow. “Severed Ties” is the perfect example of how a metal album should close. This amazing track begins slow and clean, almost reminding me of QUEENSRYCHE’S “Take Hold of the Flame.” Jacobs’ range is on display here as he begins with some slower and more lower register vocals only to hit some incredible high notes throughout the song. But it is also the song itself, the structure, melodies and riffs just make this one of those goosebump metal songs and the definitive metal album closer.
My first experience with this Canadian band has completely blown me away and created an instant fan. As I said before, I had not heard their debut so I was totally amazed at how strong each song was. As we get closer to the end of the year, the list of contenders for AOTY are growing, and we can add Electric Elite to that list!