After Ralf's review of "Criseida" I had been very interested in this CD and it came even more surprising to receive a mail of band-member Marcos Cuadrado, asking me of my personal opinion of the album. Well, here it is ;)
"Criseida" is not the next "Happy Metal"-album invading us, but a very ambitioned work of a young band that tries to differ and definitely manages to do so! First off, the CD is divided into three acts and not only tells a quite interesting story in the lyrics, but also features a grand total of eight characters, giving the whole album a more dramatic, varied approach than many others.
Sure, the music is Power Metal, no doubt about that, but THE STORMRIDER are not as close to the major players of the game as you might fear, but the story also is adequately expressed musically, where you can find calm and dramatic passages embedded into sometimes fast Power Metal parts, masterfully displayed in songs like the 11-minute-epos "Never (Deep Winter)", which clearly shows us the potential of these Spaniards.
The folks from Asturias show an impressive hand for very good and flowing arrangements and catchy melodies that do not sound like heard a dozen of times, despite using many of the common ingredients. Yet the mix of Power Metal, some classical influences, the diverse vocals and choirs, everything forged together into already very mature sounding compositions, which of course still have some room for improvements, don't get me wrong, is more than just promising!
But still, songs like the already mentioned "Never (Deep Winter)", "Cults Of The Shadow" and "Montsacrum (Ready To Die)" show us the truly impressive potential of THE STORMRIDER, which definitely should not go by unnoticed by record-labels, because these guys prove that you still can do a Power Metal-album without stomping through the cliché-shop, very good work, guys!
So, if you like dramatic and simply good Power Metal, very variable, then THE STORMRIDER definitely are the right thing for you! (Online November 14, 2002)