2 of 2 thought this review was well written
Night of the Stormrider
As you can see, Night of the Stormrider had two different covers. The first picture posted is the new edition of NOTS. (which I have) It's the same album, same exact thing, but it's been re-mixed and re-mastered. The second picture is of the original version of NOTS.
Night of the Stormrider
Iced Earth's second effort is a concept album with a mystical, horrific story line. It traces the path of a man who is betrayed by religion and turns away from it in anger. The dark forces of nature reach out to this enraged man and use him as their vessel to bring death and destruction to Earth. Through it all, he feels no remorse for his deeds, and upon reaching the end, numbly accepts his fate of eternity in Hell. Musically, the band picked up a new singer and drummer for this album. The singing is a definite improvement from the debut, ranging from a powerful growl to a Halford-like scream. Such skill is necessary to portray the wide range of feeling on this album. There's quite a bit of background keys on this disc, some choral moaning, and a memorable piano outro, which all add to the dark mood. There are also several excellent acoustic passages seamlessly interwoven with the driving guitar riffs. The music meshes perfectly with the story, magnifying the hatred, manic joy, confusion, and sadness present in the lyrics. After listening to this musical masterpiece, one cannot help but to feel some of the sadness and guilt that the Stormrider was unable to feel for himself.
If you want any history of the band: [url]http://www.metalyou.com/band/iced_earth/history/[/url]
There's loads of information ;)
1) Angel's Holocaust: This song starts out with a powerful, choir-like intro. At about 1 minute in, it slows down, and it's just an acoustic guitar playing. Then, vocalist John Greely comes in. After another 30 seconds, you hear the aggressiveness of his voice, which I really love. This guy can howl, I'll tell you that. This song is awesome and it's got an amazing guitar solo starting at 4:08. This is a great song 4/5
2) Stormrider: This is in my top 2 songs for this album. But my favorite on this album changes daily. This song starts out with an awesome acoustic riff. Greely's voice really stands out here. At 54 seconds in, the mood of the song changes and the song gets really thrashy, while Greely's voice gets aggressive. I love the lyrics in this song. One of the most memorable moments of the song is the chorus. This song also has awesome guitar solo (just about every song on this album does) 5/5
3) The Path I Choose: This song starts out fast right away. Then in the verse, it slows down, while Greely shows off his vocals a bit. Even though this song isn't one of my favorites, it is still a really great song. Once again, this song has an amazing solo by Randy Shawver at 2:10. 4/5
4) Before the Vision: This song is a short 1:20 acoustic song (which is wicked) The mood of the song is really relaxed. This is the point in the album where we just slow down a little bit. Shawver and Schaffer did an awesome job creating this song. 4/5
5) Mystical End: This song starts out fast right away yet again. I love Greely's vocals in the verse. I don't even think Matt Barlow could do better vocals than Greely did in this song. This is definitely in my top 4 songs of this album. This song also has a great guitar solo (what a surprise) 5/5
6) Desert Rain: This song , along with Stormrider and another song transition between my favorites on this album. Desert Rain is definitely an amazing song. The most memorable part of this song is definitely the chorus. I think the drummer, Richey Secchiari did a great job on this song. This song almost sounds as if it has a touch of middle eastern style in it. And OMG! Another solo at 2:45. What a surprise. I LOVE this song 5/5
7) Pure Evil: As much as I hate to admit it, this is not one of my favorites on the album. It is an amazing song, but it just fails to capture me. The guitar is nice and fast, Secchiari's double bass is extremely fast, and Greely's vocals are brilliant. It really is a great song, I'm not trying to give you a bad impression, but I feel that there are better songs on this album. 3.5/5
8) Reaching The End: This is another 1:00 long acoustic song. This one is even better than Before the Vision though. This one is extremely soothing and relaxing, and it is describing the end of the Stormrider's journey. Greely's vocals and Schaffer and Schawver's guitar playing mix extremely well together. 4.5/5
9) Travel In Stygian: This is one of the more popular/favorite songs of this album. If you know Iced Earth, they almost always have an epic at the end of their albums. This song is one of their shorter epics, but it is still an amazing song. This song also transitions between my favorite song. Greely's voice is pretty high-pitched in the verse of this song, which actually fits the song pretty well. The song is very "gallopy". If you listen to Iced Earth or Iron Maiden, you'll know what I'm talking about. This song has some pretty sweet solos (and by that, I mean orgasmic), and a brilliant piano outro at the very end that just about made me spooge my pants. It's so amazing.
With no doubt, Iced Earth is one of my favorite bands. Out of the five albums that I own by Iced Earth (Night of the Stormrider, Burnt Offerings, Days in Purgatory, Horror Show, and Glorious Burden) Night of the Stormrider is definitely my favorite right now. I really think you should check out this album. I've listened to it millions of times, and the songs never get old/wear down.
Overall rating: 5/5
Oh, and one more thing: Don't get a bad impression of Iced Earth by their newer albums, Horror Show and Glorious Burden. (Especially Glorious Burden) You can still hear the old Iced Earth in Glorious Burden, but it isn't like old times. This album is NOTHING like Glorious Burden. Songs like The Reckoning, Hollow Man, and When the Eagle Cries are completely different from songs on this album.
Just wanted to get you all hooked on one of my all time favorite bands.
Thanks for reading this whole thing (if you did ;) )