Stormrider - What Lies Within - (6/10)
Published on August 20, 2019
Following their 2018 EP Heavy Metal Machine, Stormrider’s What Lies Within is here. The English newcomers have evidently been hard at work, and their latest efforts will find favour with fans of classic heavy metal. While What Lies Within doesn’t quite achieve greatness, but it makes for an easy and enjoyable listen.
In a word, this EP is good. There’s nothing wrong with it; it’s a good classic metal album. There’s just not enough going on to really get me excited about it. All of the parts are pretty simplistic and neither the songs nor the melodies are very memorable. It’s a lot more laid back than I like my heavy metal to be, but it’s not bad.
Stormrider’s sound is akin to what Iron Maiden would sound like if they had a Swedish heavy metal singer who’s comfortable with singing exclusively in his speaking register (except for some falsetto shrieking). And, like Iron Maiden, Stormrider’s drums and bass parts, while not technically challenging, are a good driving force for the band; they coordinate well with eachother and provide a stable footing for the guitars and vocals above.
However, unlike Iron Maiden, the guitars and vocals fail to take advantage of their foundation and, rather than running with memorable riffs or powerful melodies, they sink back into the comfort of the rhythm section. Again, this doesn’t make Stormrider bad, but it keeps them stuck as being just another traditional metal band. Additionally, the guitar solos are decent, but they lack excitement or flare.
That is, until the last half of the final track, ‘What Lies Within’. As if out of nowhere, the presolo gets invigorated by a driving gallop and rides all the way to a great solo, before ending on an epic chorus filled with vocal layers. If the rest of the EP carried as much energy as these two minutes did, it’d easily be a 9.
So, if you want some straightforward metal to add to your summer playlist, give What Lies Within a go. It’s far from being a waste of time, and, who knows? You might find something about it I missed.
Originally written for PowerThorn.com