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3.97 | 45 ratings | 6 reviews
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Album · 1991

Filed under US Power Metal


1. Angels Holocaust (4:54)
2. Stormrider (4:49)
3. The Path I Choose (5:54)
4. Before the Vision (1:37)
5. Mystical End (4:44)
6. Desert Rain (6:57)
7. Pure Evil (6:35)
8. Reaching the End (1:13)
9. Travel in Stygian (9:31)

Total Time: 46:18


- Jon Schaffer / guitar, vocals
- John Greely / vocals
- Randy Shawver / guitar
- Dave Abell / bass guitar
- Richey Secchiari / drums


- Kent Smith / keyboards
- Roger Huff / keyboards

About this release

Released by Century Media.

Remixed and Remastered in 2001 with new cover art.

Thanks to adg211288 for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

Iced Earth’s sophomore album is where they aced their style of epic, thrashy Power Metal. The album is a concept about a man fed up with religion who receives power from the devil and leads a sort of crusade against humanity, plunging the world into darkness, before finally losing his mortal soul to the devil after all is done. It’s a well written story with a decent variety of songs that back up each chapter. None of the musicianship or songwriting is mind-blowing, but it’s certainly very strong, and the rhythm section puts down some quite unique (for the time) beats.

I feel I should enjoy this album more than I do, but despite the awesome concept and genre being right up my ally, it just doesn’t strike home. The riffs are very rhythmic and unmemorable, somehow they are missing both the edge of Thrash as well as the melody of Power Metal. That aside it is very great stuff, a strong concept album played in a style unique at the time.
'Iced Earth' was a solid debut album that set the bar pretty high for this band very early in their career, but they've managed to take what worked before and build upon it, with this, 'Night of the Stormrider', an equally solid follow-up.

Most of what we have on this album is identical to its predecessor with just a few tweaks. Most notably is the acquisition of a new vocalist (a position that will change many times in this bands history) in John Greely, who replaces Gene Adams. While Adams did a great job with his fairly limited ability, Greely has a much more powerful voice which suits the more symphonic and operatic elements which have been implemented into the groups sound with this record.

Guitarist, songwriter and all-round band leader Jon Schaffer takes charge once more with lightning-fast riffs that puts most thrash metal bands to shame. With songwriting so polished and precise, this sounds like a band who have been around for a long time. If their debut album didn't convert any fans, then tracks like 'Stormrider', 'Desert Rain', 'Travel in Stygian' and the true gem of this release 'Angel's Holocaust' will surely win you over.

Whilst I personally prefer ‘Iced Earth’ to ‘Night of the Stormrider’ (personal preference), strong songwriting and beefed up production make this a worthy successor to a strong debut. It no doubt helped establish Iced Earth as one of power metals heavyweights, and deserves its place in the genres history.
A confident second album from Iced Earth sees them playing a mixture of power metal and thrash, with the influence of Iron Maiden regularly becoming apparent. The concept, revolving around the life of a vengeful protagonist chosen by the dark forces of nature to be some variety of terrifying warlord in their name, isn't especially original, but it does lend the album an impressive cohesiveness. John Greely's vocals are not quite on a par with his successor's, but work well with the material in question. On the whole, the album is a more or less acceptable example of thrash-based US power metal.
Night of the Stormrider is the second album by Iced Earth, it was released in 1991, just a year after their debut self-titled album. Some line-ups changes have occurred between the two albums however, the most notable being that singer Gene Adam was kicked from the band and replaced by John Greely. Band main man Jon Schaffer also does a lot more vocals on Night of the Stormrider than he did on the debut, singing most of the lead vocals on the track Stormrider and doing vocal tradeoffs with Greely on Desert Rain. To cut a long story short the vocal department is much improved on all counts on Night of the Stormrider.

Night of the Stormrider is a concept album, the band’s first. The story is “mystical and horrific” and “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.” Quotes from the official Iced Earth website.

The first two tracks on the album, Angels Holocaust and Stormrider are pretty much a double act; they flow perfectly with each other without a pause. Angels Holocaust begins with a variation on Carl Orff's Carmina Burana, giving the beginning of the album a haunting sound that fits with the atmosphere of the storyline before bursting out with a style that for this release is mostly Thrash Metal mixed with some US Power Metal, but in this album’s case its mostly thrash. As the first song ends there’s a lighter section that serves almost as an interlude between it and Stormrider, kind of like the later tracks Before the Vision and Reaching the End do, but this one is a part of the Stormrider track. Greely sings this part, and as it comes to a climax the style gets heavier again and Schaffer takes over the vocals. It’s hearing this take makes me really sad again about the vocals on the band’s debut, because Schaffer is definitely a much superior vocalist to the sacked Gene Adam. On Stormrider he’s about on par with Greely and this track is epic.

The quality just keeps on coming with Night of the Stormrider. Even the interlude tracks feature some very interesting guitar work. The vocal work of both Greely and Schaffer fits very well with this release, which is much more riff based than some other works by Iced Earth. Like on the debut the musicianship between the members of the band is very strong. My favourite tracks would have to be Angels Holocaust/Stormrider, Desert Rain, and the epic ending piece Travel in Stygian. But as with any album of this sort of quality, it’s an experience best taken from start to finish without stopping, and is one to be enjoyed time and time again.

Of course, by doing a review for an album so many years after its release I can’t help but mention that most of this album is also available on the compilation Days of Purgatory, with new vocals recorded by long-time frontman Matt Barlow, who replaced Greely after this album. I have to be honest, the versions on Days of Purgatory are vocally superior to those found here on Night of the Stormrider, and that to me Matt Barlow will always be the best Iced Earth vocalist. However at the same time, to me, there is no denying that it is Night of the Stormrider that is the true classic out of Iced Earth’s full-length albums. This is an absolutely essential album for all metal fans, particularly those who are really into Thrash, Power and Traditional Heavy Metal.

(Review originally written for Heavy Metal Haven)
Time Signature
Pure metal...

Genre: power metal

This album is one of the reasons why Iced Earth are one of the great power metal legends. Everything about this album rocks - even the vocalist, John Greely, who was eventually fired - does a good job, although his vocal technique is rather standard.

The music is epic, yet quite aggressive, which is reflected in the aggressive-yet-catchy choruses (like "Fight on, grab on, StormRIDer, StormRIDer" or "This is the path that IIII CHOOOSE"). Although most of the songs are centered around Jon Shaffer's insanely fast galloping guitar riffs, the album is actually quite varied with a lot of changes, twists and turns (possibly owing to Shaffer's fascination with Iron Maiden).

"Night of the Stormrider" has been described as a thrash metal album; I don't know if I think it's thrash metal, but it certainly is more aggressive that your stereotypical power metal band. I also like how most of the epicness is achieved through the classic rock band instrumentation, and when keyboards and choir-effects are used (like in the opener), the degree of cheesiness is kept at an absolute minimum.

This album is an absolute must in any power metal collection.

Members reviews

1967/ 1976
Difficult to judge this album? NO!!!

And in fact for me "NIght Of The Stormrider" is a pure masterpiece!!!

But, I think, this album is great because the music is magical! In a certain sense "Night Of The Stormrider" is a sort of definitive Dio/ Powell/ Blackmore's Rainbow album! And this my conviction is the same conviction that God exist!!!

The first song is "Angels Holocaust" which has an intro from "Carmina Burana" truly excellent if I think that this song is a pure Symphonic Thrash song!!! The style of this concept album is various song by song. And in fact "Stormrider" is a pure Prog Power Metal with a great guitar riffs and rhythmic soli. Also the vocals (I've 2001 version) are great! This song (which inspired the cover) is very (too) evocative and whenever I listen to seems to be the title character! What about "The Path The Choose"? That here the slaughterhouse sound dominates the song! Very aggressive and rhythmic guitars spewing lava imprison the mind of the listener forcing him to a dimension of warfare and darkness!!! Another lesson of Prog Metal... Also if this song is only a pure Power Metal song! "Before The Vision" is a sort of acoustic Song of lightening, very evocative and with great tension. "Mystical End" is only a great Power Metal in pure tradition of Traditional Metal. "Desert Rain" is one of those songs that every band should be able to write and make topical dands as Rush, Rainbow, Cacophony, Progressive Rock and the Bay Area Thrash, since it is the perfect summary of this mix! And all this in a song that is pure Power Metal... And that it sounds so much like Richard Wagner! "Pure Evil"... Is so natual... So powerful... So technical... So evocative... So Powerful... Yet it is an elementary song, colorful... Pays high tribute to Rainbow (Dio/ Powell/ Blackmore)and to Flotsam And Jetsam but it is very personal. "Reaching The End" is an acoustic smoky bridge to "Travel in Stygian", another Masterpiece in this album. Simply song... Evocative song... This melodic(!?!) slaughterhouse sound song present the better best vocal proof by John Greely. The acoustic part (Bridge) is simply devastating, combined with the next chorus! I'm not the damage being carried by Charon. But it's as if I'm this damned soul! Every time I hear this song takes my anxiety... The heart runs fast... Salivation is reduced to zero... Yet the charge that my body has to dissipate is enormous... I do not know why, but come to an end the tension vanishes and the desire to race in a flowery meadow become unhealthy deviation of pure pleasure!

Hmm... Probably "Night Of The Stormrider" is the devastating studio album of my personal Metal discography. I must say that another album so perfect I do not have yet found. And I must say again, with great pleasure, so that an album must be heard several times in order to be understood!

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