STORMRIDER - THE PATH OF SALVATION (Pure Steel Records / H'Art)

 

                               (Review by Officer Nice)

Germany stays the ‘Mecca’ of the entire Metal scène. This country delivered plenty of bands that coloured the History Book of Heavy Metal, lots of foreign bands became immense popular thanks to this land. Even unknown bands have the opportunity to feel like a real ‘Rock star’ in this country. Nevertheless there are also lots of German bands under the surface, formations that are mostly local successes but don’t break through in the rest of Europe. Stormrider is that kind of band. They released two albums before, “Shipwrecked” in 2005 and “Fate Of The Hunter” in 2008.

Now these guys are ready to represent their latest effort, “The Path Of Salvation”. I don’t know if this is the right path to force a breakthrough but this kind of albums will never hurt the soul of fans of True Metal. There are two red lines on this album, lyrics are written around a concept of Dante’s inferno and secondly Stormrider is a band that stands for excellent Power Metal. This band is influenced by the American and the European scène. They have that typical German sound, how do they call it again? Teutonic? Yes, I suppose so…although some songs are clearly influenced by Iced Earth.

What makes Stormrider sound pretty unique is their lead singer Stefan Hebes. This guy contains his own vocal sound, not especially spectacular but I can surely appreciate it. Not as special as J.D. Kimball (Omen – R.I.P.), Michael Grant (Onward, Crescent Shield, Legend Maker, Cyypher Seer – R.I.P.) or John Johnson (Rival) but at least he makes me think to those singers. And yes, it is a sound I really like. It’s pretty low but emotional and as I’ve said before music only succeeds when emotions, no matter what kind of, are included.

Stormrider also contains two good guitar players and the same can be said about the basic musicians, baas player Daniel Woyke and drummer Tim Nestler. The production is strong and the arrangements are well played. What I miss are tracks that take me by the throat. Stormrider delivers, to be honest, a lot of tracks that we’ve heard before. That’s a pity because these guys are capable of doing so much more! I miss a dark atmosphere, some tunes that overwhelm me, songs that crack my brain.

A good release, no doubt about it but it’s about time that Stormrider takes the next step if they want that breakthrough! The talent is there, listen for example to “The Sentence Devine”, a track that could be an Iced Earth track, but Stormrider should consider creating its own dark sound. Fans of Iced Earth and German Metal shouldn’t doubt anyway. Check these guys out at http://www.stormrider-metal.de.

My Points: 82 / 100