Sound — 9
Iced Earth returns with the 1992 release "Night of the Stormrider". Not only did they have a new storyline about a man betrayed by religion (early story of Set Abominae possibly), but a new vocalist and drummer. I believe this is one of Jon Schaffer's finest ideas because the "Something Wicked" story. When I first listened to the CD, when I started to really get into Iced Earth, I first thought it was trashy, but my mind was cluttered with music I thought was amazing when it was really clich when someone compares it to the average metal head. Now when I listen to it, I am blown away by the anger and dark gallops of the guitar and the whaling solos. I believe that this was one of the CD's that Iced Earth is proud of as it has a lot of their most successful songs on the album. Prepare for the Stormrider to guide you through the fires of his eternal damnation.
Lyrics — 9
The lyrics were very dark, like the first album. Jon Schaffer usually likes to write about fantasy, horror, destiny, sin, pretty much end of the world type of shit, and Night of the Stormrider was no different. I personally thought it was awesome as it tells the story of man betrayed by religion and he turns away from it in anger. He travels through a desert where he eventually becomes "The Stormrider". After the destruction of Earth, he is summoned to the depths of hell and soon realizes what he has done is wrong but it is too late to repent. Very interesting concept, I wish that I had a creative mind like Jon Schaffer. 01. Angel's Holocaust - this where the angels and the man's religion betrays him. This is also the first of few songs that has a Gregorian chant in the song. I personally like the Alive In Athens version the most. 02. Stormrider - probably the most powerful song on the album itself. It talks about the man becoming the Stormrider. This is where Jon shows his creative side with lyrics the most on the album and besides the first few stanza's of the song, he sings most of it. It is one of Iced Earth's most famous songs, and def one of my top 10 from the band. 03. The Path I Choose - the title is pretty self-explanatory, it talks about the path the man chooses when becoming the Stormrider. I think the opening stanza's of the songs are probably the best in my opinion. 04. Before The Vision - this is more of an acoustic passage then anything. I can't really figure out the point of view but I think it's in third. The speaker tells the Stormrider to go to the desert and he will find the answers that he is looking for. One of Schaffer's shorter pieces for a song. 05. Mystical End - this is the one song that I think was John Greely stood out the most on the album. I think this was the one song that was undermined by a lot of people. I think it should have been put on the Days Of Purgatory album but oh well. The song talks about the Stormrider traveling through a village in the desert causing destruction when night falls. Definitely kick ass! 06. Desert Rain - this has to be my second or third favorite on the album. This continues the Stormrider traveling through the desert while it is raining, and it causes him to rise. Just read the lyrics in the chorus, that is what is says. 07. Pure Evil - I have to say that Matt Barlow is impressive when he sings the song live, especially on the Alive In Athens CD. The song is about the Stormrider conquering his native land and bringing and end to the storm (which is a war) which also brings and end to his revenge 08. Reaching The End - again, the title is pretty self-explanatory. It talks about the end of the Stormrider's journey and how he realizes that what he has done was wrong. 09. Travel In Stygian - besides Stormrider, I think it is the best song on the album. I especially love the piano ending. It's so damn catchy. The song talks about the Stormrider traveling through Stygian, which could maybe consider the River Styx, or Hell. He now must suffer for eternity in Hell for what he has done. John Greely I believe was better than Gene Adam as a vocalist. In 1992, he fit the bill for Iced Earth, I mean I know a guy who thought the whole CD sucked just because he couldn't stand Greely's voice, but I think it's pretty good. He did a good job on Desert Rain, Pure Evil, and especially Mystical End. Although I did not like the fact that in Angel's Holocaust when he sings Only time will tell my true destiny, he was saying it more than singing, I thought he could put more emotion into it, but other than that, I was fine with John being the vocalist on Night Of The Stormrider.
Overall Impression — 9
Well besides comparing it to Iced Earth's first album, I don't think I could compare to any other albums. As I said before, maybe a 1992 version of Set Abominae maybe but it's pretty original to me. I love the fact that it was a lot different from the album, I like the lyrics and the words Schaffer uses like hypocrisy and mystical. I don't think I hate anything about the album at all really. I'm just glad the remastered version artwork is a lot better than the originals, I even have my "Night Of The Stormrider" shirt on right now. I had the CD and I do intend on buying it again because my friend who lost/stole the first Iced Earth CD took this one as well. The only other thing I would get would be Iced Earth's new album, but it's not out yet. Until next time, "Fear The Angel's Holocaust."