|Classic Review: Iced Earth - Night Of The Stormrider|
|Night Of The Stormrider|
Label: Century Media
Year released: 1991
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: September 5, 2005
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
for:Night Of The Stormrider
Rated 4.07/5 (81.36%) (44 Votes)
This was not Iced Earth's first album, but is often said to be their best. This was put out right on the edge of the Dark Age, as metal was slipping down into a welter of grunge and alt-rock sewage, and I guess Iced Earth get some kind of props for keeping on recording and releasing albums right through it.
I was surprised by how much like their last album "The Glorious Burden", this sounds. It might have something to do with vocalist John Greely, who may have been kicked out of the band for being a racist, but he sure was a killer singer. He has a lower register that sounds a lot like Dark Angel's Ron Reinhart, and an upper register that is dead-on Rob Halford, so he sounds a lot more like Ripper than Matt Barlowe.
This is pretty much a traditional metal album with some thrashy elements to it. "Angels Holocaust" is an OK opener, not great. But "Stormrider" is heavier and faster and has that cool shout along chorus. "The Path I Choose" is where things get really heavy with the thrash-style rhythm playing and Greely wailing like Halford. Killer tune. "Mystical End" and "Desert Rain" are pretty good, but step down the intensity. But "Pure Evil" kills hard, and after the brief ballad "Reaching The End" you get the stomping nine-minute epic "Travel In Stygian", which is more complex and takes a bit to get into, but once you let it sink in it slays all the way.
This album doesn't have the artistic sweep of "The Glorious Burden", but then it isn't as pretentious either, and is mostly just a good, solid metal album. I'm not a big Iced Earth fan, but this is a fun album, and I like it a lot. If you don't care for IE's later output, you might pick this up, as it points out that under all the fanboying and the overrated reputation, there is a good band there after all.
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