Tales Of Darkness And Light

Skull Blackwing (voc/git/key/flute), Arion Axmun (git/bs recorder), Nick Stilldream (Synth bs/key), Pat Hammer (dr)

format: MLP Side A:
  1. Death To Death
  2. Electric Chair
  3. Executioner

Side B:

  1. Rain Dance
  2. Blackwing
  3. Galaxy
year: 1989
country: Canada
label: Dance Planet Records
#: DP 1010
insert: innersleave w/ lyrics
edition: ?
rarity: 7/10


If you want Epic - THUNDER RIDER will give you Epic!! ...until you choke on it and wonder why the Hell you haven't played those old VENOM-records for so long. Don't misunderstand me, "Tales.." is an alright album, OK songwriting, "Good" production, great vocals. Knowing how popular this style is, I'm surprised I don't see this album mentioned more often. Maybe because it lacks a very important part of any Metal record: Heavy guitars. They are practically drowned in the mix by pompous keyboards and the occational flute or recorder. Yeah, they're a White Metal band alright. Good guys don't crank their speakers to 10 and if that don't give them away the statement on the insert will: "...Their music and lyrics clearly state the evil and destructive powers of satan and his wars. The name was concieved to convey that THUNDER RIDER is the lord's messenger". Songs like "Death to Death" and "Blackwing" are top-notch Epic Metal anthems that will leave noone disappointed, but they never come close to the complexity or songwriting skills of BLIND GUARDIAN or ADRAMELCH, or the lead-weight riff quality of MANOWAR or BROCAS HELM. The closest musical comparison I can think of would be the rather overrated (in my very own opinion) WARLORD, and at their worst, their infamous countryman THOR. They stay mid-paced all the way, no speed-songs, which is OK since they keep a dynamic and variated sound, but in my ears they still lack power. They are like the metalmusical equivalent of a breathmint - annoyingly fresh. Do I want the taste of Colgate Ultra in my mouth when I listen to Metal? No. I want to taste beer, raw meat, blood, guts, tempered steel grinding my teeth to sawdust! Personal taste aside, dressing up in corny Viking-gear that put the aforementioned THOR to shame - in 1989! - takes some guts, I'll give them that. If you have a serious epic-fetish and rather listen to Enya and U2 than MOTÖRHEAD or ANVIL, THUNDER RIDER will blow you away, if not they'll just blow. Get the CD re-release from here:

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