Though Iced Earth are commonly represented through the Matt Barlow albums, Night of the Stormrider isn't an album to cast aside. The band's thrash influences are particularly beneficial here, adding a level of seriousness that the band would never replicate in the future. Night of the Stormrider also has the advantage of staying power, especially if it doesn't immediately click. Lower production values initially come off as inhibitory, but they actually play into the album's bleak nature and give it a nostalgic vibe that only early heavy metal classics possess.
Probably my favorite metal album. This CD just doesn't ever start to bore me. I can listen to this album, and ONLY this album for week after week and never grow tired of it. The whole thing just flows from one track to another nicely. Many concept albums tend to end up sounding like the music had to take a step back for the story to be properly told, which is definitely not the case here. I'd recommend this album to anyone who's into thrash or powermetal.
Probably the ultimate concept album. John Schaffer's guitars are excellent, vocals suit the songs very well. Dave Abell does a good job on this release, his bass isn't as thick as it is in future releases. An essential in any metal fans collection, great riffs that gallop along through the album, superb drumming and great storyline with the perfect atmosphere.