“Nightbreaker” is the 8th full length studio album by Riot and it was released in Japan by Sony Music in 1993, in Europe by Rising Sun Productions in 1994, and finally re-issued in the United States by Metal Blade Records in 1999, all with different cover artwork (in 1999 U.S. edition bonus track “Faded Hero”, while on the pressing “A Whiter Shade of Pale” is220px-Nightbreaker_cover replaced with “I’m on the Run”). It was the band’s first with vocalist Mike DiMeo (now Masterplan), as well as the studio debut of guitarist Mike Flyntz and bassist Pete Perez. As you may know “Burn” is a cover of the title track of Deep Purple’s album of 1974; “A Whiter Shade of Pale” is a cover Procol Harum’s hit single of 1967; “Outlaw” is a re-recorded song from Riot’s 1981 album “Fire Down Under”. “Nightbreaker” has some very fine moments of melodic yet powerful heavy metal. In 1994 (in 1993 was only Japanese metalheads that had this album) the whole world was under Pantera’s boot (and groove) while death or black metal were conquering the underground. So there was no space for melody or anthem-like songs in the vein of Deep Purple/Rainbow/early Priest or even Van Halen (not so happy though). But Mark Reale’s riffs were so great to be unnoticeable from metal fans worldwide, even the marketing plan for the album was a disaster. Great choruses, inspired set of riffs and solos, excellent performance from every band member and a voice that had nothing to fear from the bands legacy. Highlights not only for the album but for the band’s whole career220px-Riot_nightbreaker_US the first two tracks “Soldier” & “Destiny” while the title track and “Magic Maker” have a speed/power approach that “Thundersteel” fans love. “In Your Eyes” & “Silent Scream” are ballads but I don’t like ballads but these two are well written and well performed, but sounds probably out of place. “Medicine Man” is more hard rock, Whitesnake-like song and “Babylon” is one of the best Riot songs with Scorpions feeling (no this is not a ballad folks…) that shows once again the song writing ability Reale had and the excellent combination of melody and power he could achieve so easily without being cheesy at all.“Nightbreaker” is an almost excellent melodic heavy metal album that is totally underrated and unrecognized by metal masses even though 20 years have already passed since its first release….