STORMRIDER – The Path Of Salvation
The third album from this German power metal group, Stormrider unleashes "The Path of Salvation" and it shouldn’t be too hard for most to discover where direction-wise these 10 songs go. Stefan Hebes has that sinister, Matt Barlow-esque range and personality throughout winning cuts such as the militant anthem "Long Way Down" and all out rhythmic ballbuster "Into the Light". The axe duo of Ingo Rieger and Jan Gerbracht apply a lot of US and UK influences to their already notably German power lineage- peeling off rhythms and dual leads like Iced Earth, Blind Guardian, and Iron Maiden in their prime. Bassist Daniel Woyke isn’t relegated to root note plodding- he pulls out the neo-classical virtuoso card in a solo segment for spirited closer "Transcendence".
The title track incorporates slight blast beat runs (remember Steel Prophet doing this during "Dark Hallucinations"?) while the main riff is a speed metal triplet feast- something worthy of note during the "Night of the Stormrider" Iced Earth era. Another band that comes to mind with some of their tricky riff maneuvers on "Across the Acheron" is the mighty Helstar, back when Andre Corbin was dazzling audiences. Lyrically each track tackles a piece of Dante’s Inferno, a book that I personally read in college and always believed perfect subject matter for a metal band to incorporate into an album.
Primal production plus potent cover art rounds off a mighty release for the quintet- "The Path of Salvation" doesn’t sacrifice integrity in its songwriting and obvious stellar musicianship. Tired of watered down keyboards ruining otherwise killer guitar riffs and thunderous double bass runs? Hoping for sincere melodies that can be replicated live possessing an epic, traditional quality? Then Stormrider is your band- and should be going places thanks to this honest record.