In 1988, the unthinkable happened--Riot burst back on the scene, revitalized and renewed. While their sound changed drastically, branching off into speed and power metal territory, the quality was very much the same, and the spirit matched anything found on their previous five records. Indeed, their then latest effort, Thundersteel, stampeded with double bass and tempos far quicker than their other albums, and stood as an unexpected addition to their discography.
Aside from the music, what I like most about the record is the art. As I mentioned above, it's absolutely cheesy and cringe-worthy today, but for the time, it was perfect, because an enlarged jacket gave the over-the-top details a chance to shine. CBS did a fantastic job blowing up the art for final production, and the war-torn environment, depicting a half tank, half robot man and a green-bullet goddess, is as good as the 1980s gets.
And while the vinyl itself is standard fare, the blue center is a nice touch. To be honest, this isn't a record that I'm worried about aesthetically, though. The music is the primary attraction here--even with the artwork--and, above all, the first of the many reasons I love Riot.
That's all, folks. This is, hands down, one of the best metal records ever.