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Review: Stormrider - First Battle Won
First Battle Won

Label: Karmageddon Media
Year released: 2003
Duration: 45:55
Tracks: 12
Genre: Black/Death

Rating: 3.5/5

Review online: September 7, 2004
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating
First Battle Won

Rated 3.1/5 (62%) (10 Votes)

There are, like, a zillion bands called Stormrider. There's the German true metal band Stormrider (whom I shall get to), there's the power metal band called The Stormrider, and then there is this band. This is their debut, and while it is pretty cool, it lacks originality.

I think the best touchstone for this band would be Marduk's last one "World Funeral". "First Battle Won" is almost textbook Black/Death Metal with the tremolo riffs that trade off with the heavy grind, the roar/screech split vocals, and that they-might-as-well-patent-it Abyss guitar tone. Stormrider are energetic and aggressive, and they play some very cool riffs. Songs like "The Other Side", "Odin's Ride" and "Addiction" are Blackened Death Metal worthy of Belphegor. But some of the other tunes are rather flat, and overall there is a tremendous "heard this song before" feeling about this CD. Lyrically Stormrider cannot seem to settle on what they want to do. There are the expected and fun anti-christian rants like "God Is Dead" and "Burning The Heavens", but there are also more realistic songs like "Addiction" and the weepy "Dead Love Of Mine". Plus with "Into Battle" and "Completely Dead" they engage in stupid, profanity-riddled rants against pop music. Whatever.

So while this is fun, and very well-played and produced, it hasn't got a shred of musical originality, and the lack of a definite lyrical focus makes the whole album feel disjointed. If Stormrider can keep playing music this cool and perhaps inject just a tiny bit of something new into it, and find something to say lyrically that isn't utterly cliché, then they will produce a killer album someday. I'll keep an eye on this band, and hope they don't end up with the also-rans, because they have great potential.

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