ICED EARTH SURVIVOR 2018: Results -> A Question Of Heaven wins!

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Night Prowler

Customer Deathcycle Manager
Staff member

Welcome to Iced Earth Survivor IV!
There will be 13 albums in this game.
We start off with the two of the most recent albums - Incorruptible and Plagues Of Babylon.
It works out because the good stuff is saved for later, although going through some of these may take a lot of patience. Latest one isn’t bad though.
Nice to see this opposite chronology. It's about time. I'd love to see a Maiden survivor (and others) like this as well.

My "problem" is that I still have not bought the latest IE record. I do not want to know this album via YouTube. Rather a CD. So either I'll buy it soon, either I'll wait a bit before I join. The other Stu albums I am not planning to buy soon, so I'll surely take these on via the net.
Nice to see this opposite chronology. It's about time. I'd love to see a Maiden survivor (and others) like this as well.
@Mosh said he'll do Maiden like this next time. Also I might do the next Opeth Survivor (when they release a new album) this way too. Possibly Amorphis too.
Contrary to the general opinion, I quite like the Stu albums, especially Incorruptible and Dystopia. Well, Plagues of Babylon too, for that matter. Yes, they lack some extraordinary tracks, although I think Clear The Way and Anthem for example could be among the band's best in general. What won me over in the three Stu albums is the overall consistency. I'm not saying there are no mediocre songs there, but I can think of a couple of fillers in every "classic" IE album. I also enjoy Stu's singing quite a bit - he sounds powerful and quite versatile. So yeah, count me among the Stu fans.
Veil, Relic, Ghost Dance, Brothers (although it's grown on me a little), Among the Living Dead, Resistance, Cthulhu, Peacemaker, Parasite, Outro
I will be playing as well. I'm mostly unfamiliar with any of IE's post 2000 releases, except Horror Show, which I've heard all the way through, besides that I've only heard a few tracks here and there from the other albums, so this will be a good opportunity to catch up.
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Great Heathen Army
Seven Headed Whore (discount 'Violate', again)
Among the Living Dead

'Plagues of Babylon' definitely takes a few songs to kick into gear, but once it gets going it's a good album.
I nearly voted for Seven Headed Whore. It's not one of my favourites on Incorruptible, but it's got a real kick to it so I left it for now. I doubt I'll preserve Great Heathen Army much longer either. It's decent, but doesn't live up to the grandiose intro.
Okay, so here are my thoughts on Incorruptible and Plagues of Babylon.

I struggle to find a song on Incorruptible that I can vote for, since I honestly like all of them to a certain extent. Maybe it's the novelty element, but I thoroughly enjoy the album from start to finish. The only song I still haven't got entirely into is Seven Headed Whore, so it gets a vote. I will also vote for Ghost Dance because I find it a bit inconsistent and feels a bit patched-up, even though it's not bad. Also, it needs more Stu. Other than that, I was very pleasantly surprised by The Relic. I find it among the highlights of the album, along with Clear the Way, Black Flag, and Great Heathen Army. Defiance has a super catchy chorus.

On to Plagues of Babylon. Overall, an enjoyable album, with a couple of totally forgettable songs. The title track stands out by a long shot, in my opinion. Democide starts in as a super generic and quite unmemorable track, but it picks up and turns into a very enjoyable song, so I can't get rid of it straight from the start. Unfortunately, this doesn't hold true for The Culling: it just stays boring throughout. This is the reason why I also vote for Among The Living Dead, which can't be saved even by Hansi Kürsch's vocals. Resistance and Outro also get my vote.
Great Heathen Army - Kind of a generic Iced Earth intro but it works decently. I like it much more than the intros to the previous two albums. When the actual song kicks in it's anything but generic. Love that pummeling riff. It sounds like Iced Earth, but it isn't predictable the way a lot of their recent music is. The lead guitar playing is also great, Troy Seele stepping aside was one of the better lineup changes they've had. Some questionable vocals from Stu but he does a good job.

Black Flag - This one stats off really plodding, but when it gets going it's good. I dig the pirate theme. Stu gives a great performance.

Raven Wing - This is another one that starts off pretty week but quickly picks up a bit. I could do without all the string and acoustic bits, but the heavy parts are good. It'll probably earn a vote soon, but not this round.

The Veil - It's not bad but also nothing very noteworthy about it either. Therefore, it gets a vote. I do like the atmospheric part of the instrumental section though.

Seven Headed Whore - Still not sure what to make of this. The vocals are pretty bad in places and the song is overall pretty goofy, but it has a great chorus and lots of energy. It has its moments ultimately it is not among the album's best moments, so it gets a vote.

The Relic - Awesome song. Great riffing, leads, and an emotional dynamic performance from Stu. Like Great Heathen Army, it is another refreshing moment. I also like when they get really melodic without being in the confines of a generic ballad. The only real flaw is the ending, which doesn't add anything to the song for me. I'm guessing since this is "part 1" it is meant to serve as an interlude, but if I was into making custom edits of songs I would probably shave off the last minute or so.

Ghost Dance - Love a good instrumental. This is very melodic and has some great guitar work all over it. It's a little overlong, but that seems to be a recurring theme on this album. There are several songs that just slightly overstay their welcome. Probably not going to last too long in the game, but I'd take this over most of Plagues.

Brothers - Like Raven Wing, it has a boring start but eventually picks up steam. Awesome chorus, although the rest of the song doesn't quite live up to it. Not a bad song, but not on the level of some of the other stuff here so it gets a vote.

Defiance - Nothing really remarkable here. Seems like obvious filler, the sort of thing they came up with in a few minutes. Some bad vocals here too. Stu's upper range needs a lot of work. Similar weaknesses to Ripper, it sounds weak and almost whiny. Not a good sound at all. It gets a vote.

Clear the Way - This is insanely melodic. Love the guitar harmonies and choruses. One of their catchiest epics. Has a bit of a Thin Lizzy vibe, similar melodic heaviness. A pleasantly surprising epic and a solid way to close the album.

What I like about this album is that it seems to cut out a lot of the Iced Earth tropes that drag down other albums. The overused rhythms, the generic ballads, all things that make a lot of their recent music indistinguishable. Meanwhile their strong points, such as guitar harmonies and riffs, are more refined and become the focus of this album. The band seems reenergized and I can't overstate how much the new guitarist adds to the music. If I was to sum up the album in one word, it'd be "refreshing." It still doesn't come close to their best early moments, but few bands recapture that glory this late into their careers. It's consistently good music, which is all I can ask for from them at this point.